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Global Health Education Student Experiences Vinesh Anandarajan

Drexel medical student Vinesh Anandarajan in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka
Summer 2017

"Through a connection with a family friend in Sri Lanka, I was able to set up an internship for a week and a half at Nawaloka Hospital in Colombo, Sri Lanka's capital.

"My goal was to learn more about a different healthcare system and to learn about advantages and disadvantages of that system. Most of my experience consisted of shadowing through different units of the hospital and speaking with physicians and staff. They were interested in learning about the differences in our healthcare and educational system in the US, and were also happy to discuss the Sri Lankan healthcare system with me. I not only learned about some of the issues facing the system but also how they have worked to treat dengue fever, a major disease in the region.



Drexel medical student Vinesh Anandarajan in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

"Overall, I enjoyed the experience, although I had a couple issues. First, the language barrier was an issue for me. Sri Lanka has two national languages, Tamil and Sinhalese, and I only understand a little Tamil, while most of the patients only spoke Sinhalese. I communicated in English with the physicians and through gestures with patients. Another thing that may have hindered my experience was the hospital I was in; it is a private hospital and Sri Lanka has a government health care system. I found that many people would go to the government hospital, only coming into private hospitals if they could afford it or for minor issues."

Drexel medical student Vinesh Anandarajan in the countryside of Sri Lanka.

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