The India Center and Medical Outreach

By: Charlotte Gillis
Presidential Advisor to International Medical Outreach at UCF

UCF IMO Students in India
UCF IMO students in India.

In December 2023, 15 undergraduate students with UCF’s International Medical Outreach (IMO) registered student organization traveled to Aurangabad, India for one week to participate in medical shadowing and cultural experiences. On the day of the students’ arrival at Sevankur Bharat hostel, they were welcomed by doctors and staff of Dr. Hedgewar Hospital with flowers and shawls. The students’ daily schedule at the hospital included shadowing doctors on clinical rounds, working with nurses in pre-operative and post-operative surgical units, and observing surgeries, including heart valve replacements, cesarean sections, and laparoscopic procedures. A blood bank tour offered perspectives on blood donations and lifesaving transfusions.

The students remarked that the hospital staff not only explained the healthcare system in India and how it differed from the United States, but also exposed them to Indian culture. The trip was an immersive experience of daily hospital life in India. Each day, the students sat alongside physicians and nurses to enjoy food in the hospital’s canteen. The students expressed that they enjoyed the canteen’s biryani, paneer, dosa, and chapati.

During the trip, the students also interacted with Indian medical students and shared cultural aspects, social issues and medical differences between India and the United States. Outside of the hospital experience, the students visited informal settlements in the city and a local free medical clinic, where they gained understanding into the vast social and economic contrasts in India.

IMO’s mission is, in part, “to instill in our members an ethos of multiculturalism and medical altruism that shall continue throughout their lives.” Through the hands-on experience in India, the IMO students felt the medical trip to India exposed them to new healthcare practices and offered understanding on being a successful healthcare provider in the future. The UCF India Center provided support for the students’ trip to India.

Comments are closed.