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.

Beginning next week, 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.

Written 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


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


Video Interviews

Student Edition Story 1 – Attiya Harit

This entry in our weekly interview series International Medicine - In Their Words is a video interview featuring 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. Enjoy!

Student Edition Story 2 – Vincent Costers

Today’s edition of International Medicine- In Their Words features International Medicine Scholarly Concentration (imSC) students. MS4 (and recent graduate!) Vincent Costers discusses his international experience with MS1 Ahmad Harb.

Faculty Edition Story 1, Part 1 – Dr. Lynette Menezes

We're excited to announce a new entry in our weekly interview series International Medicine - In Their Words. In Part 1 of a two-part faculty interview with Dr. Lynette Menezes, the Asst. Dean of Medicine International and Asst. VP of Health International at USF, Dr. Menezes discusses how she got into the field of global health, why global health is so important, and how USF contributes to the global health community.

Faculty Edition Story 1, Part 2 – Dr. Lynette Menezes

In Part 2, 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.