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Global Health Education Student Experiences Deval Desai

Himalayan Health Exchange
Summer 2014

"I spent one month of the summer between first and second year working at medical clinics in the Himalayas through a program called Himalayan Health Exchange. The particular mission I went on was to Spiti Valley. The whole trip was approximately 25 days with 15 of those days being clinic days.

Drexel medical student Deval Desai in the Himalayaa with Himalayan Health Exchange.

"During the clinic days, we’d wake up in the morning and head to a village where we would break up into various stations. Each station had one doctor and two or three medical students including MS1s and MS4s. On an average clinic day, the group of 30 or so medical students and physicians would see over 100 patients. Working in teams, we’d speak with patients (with the help of translators), conduct physical exams, and work out a differential for each patient before presenting the case to the physician. There was also one day in Tabo which was spent doing well-child checks at a local school.

Drexel medical student Deval Desai in the Himalayaa with Himalayan Health Exchange.

"Along with the incredible medical experience, the trip offers a wonderful adventure for those who want to travel through India. The nights are spent in local monasteries, tents and guesthouses. There are also a few days set aside in the beginning of the trip to acclimate to the high altitude with some excellent treks. I would recommend this experience to anyone who enjoys traveling and wants to gain some firsthand clinical experience during their summer off. The whole experience is laid back and the doctors and other students are great at teaching."

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