Radhika Kulkarni – Kasturba Medical College, Manipal (India)
MEDI 407 – Digestive Diseases and Nutrition
MEDI 408 – Hematology/Coagulation Consults
What do you feel stands out about this program?
UNC has a wide range of student electives to offer with in-detail description of the course work. What stood out most was the personal help and attention the international office –Rawley and Shay had to offer. I am sure each student had some issue or the other, be it Visa, health insurance, immunization requirements, housing, etc. and they really reached out and made this process so smooth for us. They even help out with housing by providing a list of trusted hosts. I know for sure that this international office is really working in the true spirit of global education by trying their level best to inculcate foreign students in various teams around the hospital. During this one month here, you are treated as if you are a UNC student.
The international office also communicated weekly student programs that happen during the day so that if you have an hour to spare in the day you can attend lectures/talks that are of interest to you. During one such noon lecture in Oct 2017 when I had initially come here for an elective in Gastroenterology, I had attended a talk which was of interest to me- careers in Heme-Onc. The talk was conducted by a panel of hematologist and oncologists and students were allowed to interact with faculty after. I then approached the OIA if student electives are possible in Heme-Onc as this is my field of interest. A few weeks later, I was notified that I had been accommodated for a rotation, and I came back in Feb 2018 for a rotation in Hematology.
Describe your elective experience:
During this month, I interacted with many esteemed Hematologists, many of whom are in the National bodies for Hematologic diseases- the people who make the diagnostic and therapeutic guidelines, those involved in large scale clinical trials, and most importantly, absolutely awe-inspiring clinicians. This rotation has been important to see what a career that you are interested in truly entails. We were able to attend numerous conferences through the week and got a snapshot into the kind of research that is happening in this field. It also allows you to make great contacts, whom you could further approach for future research experiences.
Do you have any advice for applicants?
For students who are interested in coming to UNC or any other US hospital, I sincerely encourage that you are in your final year of medical school and that you have given the USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 CK exams. The reason I harp on this is because firstly until you have finished core rotations in your own home environment this experience will not be optimized. Secondly, medical practice here is starkly different than what is practiced in most parts of the world; so giving the Step exams really helps you to tune your mind to the US system and the guidelines used here. That is my sincere advice.
I had a great experience at UNC. During one of my months here, we were a group of 8 students from literally all over the world-India, China, Jordan, Brazil, and Canada but we all hit it off so well that we remain in touch even now. We had weekly outings and explored every corner of Chapel Hill, which is one of the liveliest and most exciting student towns I have visited. This experience really proved that we are only separated by geographic borders, but human nature and values remain the same!