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Arunima Jose – Sree Gokulam Medical College and Research Foundation (India)

MEDI 414 – Pulmonary Medicine

MEDI 475 – Heart Failure

I had wonderful experiences at UNC right from day one. The orientation program was very detailed and the campus tour was really informative. It gave me a clear understanding of the program and what to expect in the following days.

UNC, being ranked number one in primary care has well renowned programs and I was excited to be a part of it. What I liked about the program is that there is a beautiful balance between patient care and academics.There are major research activities and efficient patient care going on here at the same time. Also, there are many department wide conferences conducted here. The didactic sessions helped me learn something new everyday . I loved the noon conferences and attended as many as I could. We also had the department-wide radiology conferences which gave an added benefit..

I did my first elective in pulmonary medicine. Our consulting service team included an attending, a fellow and myself. This made me more responsible as I was the first person to see and examine the patient and then to present the case before the team. They always encouraged me to come up with independent diagnosis and give my suggestions. Writing all the patient notes in the EPIC gave me a great exposure to the EMR system. It was a whole new experience and gave me a glimpse into the resident life.

Most of my attendings had great clinical and research expertise. They had  made huge contributions to clinical trials and development of new therapies. I was fortunate to learn and work with them and that gave me a new perspective and deeper understanding of clinical research.

I learned more about evidence-based practice in medicine here. I was impressed with the effectiveness of this approach when we encountered a rare case of pulmonary alveolar proteinosis. I remember, our team actively going through various case reports, research studies and recent updates on the subject  to approach it in the best possible way. These experiences gave me knowledge and confidence to apply evidence based medicine in patient care in the future.

I was also invited to clinics where I saw a variety of pulmonary conditions ranging from asthma/COPD to some very complex and rare lung conditions. Doing this elective at UNC got me familiar with various procedures that used latest and sophisticated technologies .Coming from a different continent,there were instances when I was excited about cases that are unique to this place. At the same time my attendings were also curious to know more about diseases that are common where I come from.The attendings were very excited to hear about various aspects of Tuberculosis and our treatment approaches.

My second elective was in Heart Failure and Cardiac transplantation.What excited me the most in this elective are the latest procedures that are being done here but not common in many other parts of the world like the ECMO and LVAD. I could interact with  patients who were posted for LVAD surgeries and also care for patients who got an LVAD or a heart transplant.I was thrilled to be part of the weekly transplant meetings that included a big team of cardiologists,cardiac surgeons, fellows,residents,NPs,social workers,psychiatrists to assess the candidacy of patients

Also,participating in CICU and TICU rounds with the attendings gave me good exposure to patients going through all stages of heart failure management.

Here I got to interact with students from different parts of the world and I think this cross cultural exchange has positively impacted my outlook.The free bus service in and around Chapel Hill is a big positive and makes our life much easier!

My advice to future students would be to enjoy what you are doing here and not to stress too much. Have an open-minded approach to learn from every opportunity. Never hold back from asking questions, give your best and everything else will fall in place.