July 27, 2012
I graduated as a pre-med student from UC Berkeley with a degree in molecular immunology. In an elective global poverty course, I could not help but realize the strong connection between infectious diseases and global poverty. To develop my interest in global health, I went to Ecuador through CFHI for a month to work in clinics both in Quito and by the rainforest, to better understand tropical diseases specifically. It was a life-changing learning experience. Not only did I learn so much about how public health initiatives work firsthand, I experienced a new culture and the extent to which culture and health care are connected in Ecuador. Every doctor, medical student, and health worker I interacted with was incredibly welcoming and friendly. They made great efforts to not only include me in different cases, but to also teach me about the medicine behind it. I loved interacting with patients so directly since clinical internships in the States usually involves being seen but not heard. Beyond the actual clinical aspect of the program, I had an amazing time making local friends, bonding with other students in the program, and exploring the beautiful country itself. I learned so much about myself and my interest in global health, and I am positive that I want to continue to be involved in helping underserved individuals internationally as a doctor.
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