USF Medicine International

International Medicine- In Their Words Series

Welcome to In Their Words

During this difficult time, many international programs have been canceled or postponed. Now more than ever, we remain committed to support your future goals.

USF Medicine International will host a weekly interview series: International Medicine – In Their Words.

This series will provide you the opportunity to hear our medical students, international observers and subspecialty trainees share their stories of what international medicine means to them. We hope you find it useful as you navigate your future role in global health delivery.


Click HERE to watch In Their Words video interviews


Observer Interviews  

USF Observership Experience  

When did you rotate with us and in what specialty?

I rotated at University of South Florida/Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, St. Petersburg in Pediatric Allergy/Immunology during October 2019.

Why did you choose USF? 

When I was a medical student, I rotated at US hospitals for three months, which gave me a good understanding of the functioning of the healthcare system in the USA. After my graduation, I had begun preparing to apply for residency in the States, while simultaneously looking for observership opportunities to stay acquainted with clinical duties as well as the healthcare system here. I wanted to observe in a program that had an established International observership program so that the procedure would be organized and the physicians I was going to shadow under knew what to expect of me and what I was expecting to gain from the observership. USF seemed to have that experience as their program had been doing International observership programs for a while now. I contacted their Program Coordinator, who was very prompt and accommodating to my requests and queries. The icing on the cake was the location as I was getting to live in the beautiful Tampa Bay area for four weeks.

What was your favorite part of your observership? 

My favorite part of the observership was the faculty who were not just brilliant physicians but also exceptional teachers. Every faculty member tried to get me on interesting and complex cases, which always led to me being in awe of their expertise in the field. They were also warm people who often kept checking on me if I was enjoying and learning from the observership. I was doing the observership during my interview season, and I am grateful that I was around them at that time. They were incredibly supportive and boosted my morale during that stressful period. The other favorite part was that I got to meet and work with people from different countries with whom I made some wonderful memories that I am going to cherish for my lifetime.

How do you think this experience will or has impacted your future? 

Before this observership, I never considered the possibility of becoming a Pediatric Allergist/Immunologist. But, I learned the importance and virtues of this department during the observership, which opened a whole new possible career in front of me. I now have the chance to test my interest in this department during my residency and decide a career in it(there is a great possibility of that happening). Even if I prefer not to become an Allergist/Immunologist, I am sure that it is going to remain one of my favorite branches of Pediatrics.

What do you believe is the importance of international observership programs?

International observership programs are a great way for physicians from other countries to experience different healthcare systems and take the better aspects of their experience and implement it in their medical practice. It is an excellent opportunity to understand different perspectives in medicine and become more open to ideas and experimentation. It sheds light on global health issues and inspires physicians to work for the common objective of better global health. These programs also open up career possibilities that the physicians did not think were possible due to a lack of exposure or opportunities in the field in their native countries. 

Dr. Kranthi Nomula, MD

India 

USF Observership Experience  

When did you rotate with us and in what specialty?  

I was in USF-TGH in April 2016. I had the opportunity to rotate in Nephrology.

Why did you choose USF?  

I knew about the observership programs offered by USF through some of my friends who had rotated there. All of them had nothing but positive experiences to share which made me decide to do my observership at USF-TGH.  

What was your favorite part of your observership?  

The opportunity to observe how healthcare works in the US was one of the best aspects for me. It was also wonderful to understand the socio-cultural differences in the interactions amongst attendings, residents and fellows here, as compared to India. It also taught me about team dynamics and to work as a team member which helped me a great deal during my intern year of residency. The attendings made sure we had good learning opportunities each day, which made it more competitive and interesting.  

How do you think this experience will or has impacted your future?  

This observership gave me good exposure to understand how programs evaluate a potential candidate for residency and helped me hone my clinical skills. It boosted my confidence to work in a diverse environment.  

What do you believe is the importance of international observership programs?  

International Medical Graduates aspiring to pursue residency in the US need good exposure to the workings of the healthcare system here. They also need to master new skills like learning to use EMR while also improving their clinical skills and knowledge. These observership programs provide us with an opportunity to learn about all this prior to residency which makes us more poised to work in intern year, in my opinion.

Are you currently providing care to coronavirus disease (COVID)-19 patients? What has been your experience?  

I was in Detroit while COVID 19 was at its peak in the US. I was in the Medical ICU taking care of extremely sick patients. It was a physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting period. We were seeing hundreds of patients walk into our emergency rooms, getting intubated all of a sudden, only to never make it out of the ICU alive. We were having incredibly difficult telephone conversations with the patients’ families who were frustrated at not being able to be with their loved ones and not understanding this whole new disease (which was new to us too) that was killing their kith and kin. I am glad that Detroit is finally getting back on its feet again.  

Dr. Aparna Lakshminarasimhan, MD - Internal Medicine Physician  

Trainee Interviews

This week’s entry in our weekly interview series International Medicine- In Their Words is a written interview by one of our former subspecialty trainees, Dr. Jun Zou. Dr. Zou visited us last year, and has recently been on the frontlines battling COVID-19 in China.

Read her interview below:
“COVID-19 has been a thunderbolt in the Chinese Spring Festival. At the beginning, all of our patients were from Wuhan. Soon after, the local patients started to appear. We were very worried about the unknown modes of transmission. One of the patients was a street vendor who always wore a mask. Another local patient did not have any known contact with anyone from Wuhan. Our biggest challenge was dealing with the number of infected people continuing to rise every day. Eventually, the COVID-19 landscape updated over time and we received help from all sectors of the community.

I worked in the Fourth Peoples Hospital of Nanning, which was the COVID-19 designated hospital in Nanning. All of the staff in my hospital were prepared to fight COVID-19. The doctors and nurses rotated every 14 days. Everyone learned how to put on and take off the isolation gowns quickly, and everyone wore a mask.

Now all the patients in my hospital have recovered. However, COVID-19 has turned into a global pandemic and I worry about my friends in Tampa. I check up on their safety via email and Wechat. I received one email from a friend who is Christian. She asked me pray to God. Despite not being a Christian myself, I prayed for her. I wish safety for all of my friends during these times.

I studied in Tampa in 2019. I loved the city and all the people I met. I believe love is not narrow, love is philanthropic. We should work together to fight COVID-19 all over the word, because we are all one family and we have only one world.” - Dr. Jun Zou, China

 

Student Interviews

This interview features international medicine scholarly concentration (imSC) students Attiya Harit and Sonal Sian. Sonal, a first year medical student, asks Attiya, a fourth year and soon-to-be graduate, about her experiences in imSC and medical work abroad.  

*To watch this recorded video, please click the link above to visit USF Medicine International’s In Their Words playlist on YouTube.

Senior International Medicine Scholarly Concentration (imSC) student Vincent Costers discusses his international experience with first-year student Ahmad Harb.  

*To watch this recorded video, please click the link above to visit USF Medicine International’s In Their Words playlist on YouTube.

“If you have any interest in international medicine or global health work, get involved. This is a fantastic concentration with a lot of support and a lot of opportunities” - Indira Ranaweera, USF MCOM C/O 2020.

This interview features recent graduate Indira Ranaweera. Indira talks with her fellow imSC student Richa Bisht about why she chose international medicine, her favorite part of imSC, and offers some advice for new members and those considering joining.  

*To watch this recorded video, please click the link above to visit USF Medicine International’s In Their Words playlist on YouTube.

This interview is a special edition focusing on contraCOVID, a national collaboration project between future health professionals to provide underserved communities with up-to-date resources and access to social services in their community. The interview features Richa Bisht, an imSC student and Florida state leader for contraCOVID, as well as Shalini Jose, an imSC student and general volunteer for cotraCOVID. Learn about the goals of contraCOVID and don’t forget to check out the contraCOVID website: https://en.contracovid.com/.

*To watch this recorded video, please click the link above to visit USF Medicine International’s In Their Words playlist on YouTube.

International Medicine Scholarly Concentration (imSC) student Alana Snyder talks about how she found passion for global health and her international work in China.  

*To watch this recorded video, please click the link above to visit USF Medicine International’s In Their Words playlist on YouTube.

Amanda Vakos discusses her experiences in the International Medicine Scholarly Concentration (imSC), such as working with Syrian refugee children in Jordan and an OB/GYN clinical rotation in Colombia. Learn about how her international experiences helped shape her future career goals and what advice she can offer to those considering joining the imSC.  

*To watch this recorded video, please click the link above to visit USF Medicine International’s In Their Words playlist on YouTube.

International Medicine Scholarly Concentration (imSC) student Brennan Ninesling discusses his experience in Panama City where he worked to identify barriers to reproductive health services in the region within the context of Zika virus. Learn how he plans to incorporate international medicine into his future career goals and his favorite part of being a member of imSC.  

*To watch this recorded video, please click the link above to visit USF Medicine International’s In Their Words playlist on YouTube.

“Incorporating international experiences into your medical education in some way, shape, or form is so important. There’s so much to be learned, and there really is no other opportunity like this.” - Katherine Akeley, USF MCOM C/O 2020  

Katherine Akeley explains why she joined the International Medicine Scholarly Concentration and how her experiences have shaped her future.  

*To watch this recorded video, please click the link above to visit USF Medicine International’s In Their Words playlist on YouTube.

As future physicians, it’s important for us to learn and understand the way medicine is practiced in different parts of the world.” - Joshua Mizels, MCOM C/O 2021  

Welcome to another edition of Medicine International’s In Their Words Series. Josh Mizels, an imSC student, shares why he believes international medicine is important and how skills learned in international medical systems can be applied in the USA.  

*To watch this recorded video, please click the link above to visit USF Medicine International’s In Their Words playlist on YouTube.

In this entry, imSC student Celia Vitale Kucera talks about her research project in Manipal, India. She had the opportunity to do research on HIV epidemiology, shadow surgery, and shadow internal medicine physicians.  

*To watch this recorded video, please click the link above to visit USF Medicine International’s In Their Words playlist on YouTube.

Faculty Interviews

Hear from Dr. Lynette Menezes, the Asst. Dean of Medicine International and Asst. VP of Health International at USF, discuss how she got into the field of global health, why global health is so important, and how USF contributes to the global health community.

In Part 2 of the interview, Dr. Menezes discusses USF’s involvement regarding the COVID-19 situation. Watch now to learn about the types of research USF Health is doing on COVID-19, the global efforts USF is involved in, and how students are engaged in the response efforts. In addition, Dr. Menezes talks about what we have learned about the pandemic and what needs to be done to control it both in the U.S. and abroad.  

*To watch this recorded video, please click the link above to visit USF Medicine International’s In Their Words playlist on YouTube.