Visiting Student Reflections

Nismat Javed

Shifa College of Medicine, Pakistan
November, 2019

I did Nephrology Consultation at the New York Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan. Over the duration of 1 month, I experienced a formative learning experience unlike any other experiences that I ever had. The rotation helped me improve as a medical student and challenged me to become an even better human being.

The schedule of the rotation was such that we had to pre-round on all of our patients before rounding with the supervising Fellow and Senior Attending. There was a variety of cases that I was exposed to at each floor and every patient presented a new opportunity to enhance my understanding. The idea that each patient is looked over by a specific team dealing with each organ system aided me in understanding the organization of the departments in the hospital.

During my rotation, I was given new consults on patients every day so that I can not only present them and follow up on their situation but also document their hospital course in my notes.

The conferences that the Nephrology Department provides proved to be extremely informative. There were two kinds of conferences: Rounds and Lectures. On two days of the week, the conferences for rounds presented new and challenging case studies for me and I got the opportunity to learn from actual approaches to treatment as done by the fellows. The lecture on Hyponatremia given by Dr. Vesh Srivatana was one of my favorites. I was kept informed of the innovative advances in the field of Nephrology through these experiences.

I also had the opportunity to observe Dr. Vesh Srivatana in his outpatient clinic for Peritoneal Dialysis. We were able to follow up on many patients and were able to comprehend the mechanism of this form of dialysis.

The strength of doctor to patient relationship was well highlighted by both Dr. Line Malha and Dr. Vesh Srivatana. By observing them, I realized the importance of addressing each and every concern of the patient and I believe that this experience indeed will serve as a high point for my professional development. We had brief discussions with Dr. Malha on various topics and those topics were always related to our patients; it created an environment where we understood the practical aspects of the theory we usually study.

I am grateful to Dr. Supriya Suresh Gerardine who critiqued the management plans that I would draft for each and every patient and the fact that she highlighted the importance of clinical research for me.

This rotation was indeed a phenomenal experience. Being a part of the team provided me with a sense of responsibility and encouraged me to present my ideas. All the fellows and attendings as well as the staff treated me as a crucial member of the department. I would recommend this rotation to all of my peers and collegues and I am immensely thankful to the Office of Global Health, specifically, Ms. Dianne Young and Ms. Savita Birbal for all their help in this journey.

Yehuda Sabiner

Technion School of Medicine, Israel
February, 2019

Doing a Nephrology consultation rotation at The New York–Presbyterian Hospital was a truly formative learning experience. My time was packed with learning, clinical and research opportunities, and exceptional experiences with patients.


The main component of the rotation was the daily rounds which were carried out with the Fellow and the Senior Attending. We visited the numerous patients on all 14 hospital floors and were exposed to a wide range of patients with acute or chronic nephrology issues that required diagnosis or treatment. Through the diversity and wide-range of situations we encountered, we learned experientially about hospital and its departments.


As part of this work, I was given new patients every day to check, present, and monitor for the duration of their stay in the hospital and write notes about their situation.


Perhaps one of my favorite experiences was the conferences that the Nephrology Department provides; on most days there are two conferences in which interesting and instructive case studies are presented and discussed, or other academic activities are presented to the Fellow and students. These conferences helped me accumulate a great deal of knowledge in the field of nephrology and kept us updated regarding the latest innovations in the field. I enjoyed these conferences immensely.


I was also had the opportunity from time to time to join other units in the nephrology department, such as the transplant unit and the dialysis unit.


An unforgettable and memorable time for me, both professionally and personally was when I was learning from Dr. Phyllis August, who has a unique clinic which deals with pregnancy, gynecology, kidney disorders and hypertension. Beyond the broad knowledge and professionalism, I will never forget the special relationship of Dr. August with her patients and their families. Watching the artful way she works with people is an experience I will carry with me always, something I hope to emulate one day in my own work.


I also learned from Dr. Samuel Mann who graciously and thoughtfully taught me the intricacies of blood pressure theory and introduced me to an outstanding clinical research approach.


This rotation was a truly unique life experience. I was treated very well by all the professionals in the department, including the senior doctors and interns who taught me in a wonderful and exception manner and gave me an experience I will always remember.

I cannot possibly thank you enough!

Tanvi Deshpande

Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences, India
Pediatric Pulmonology
September, 2018

I always had abiding special love for children and being around them makes me delightful. I got the opportunity to rotate in Pediatric Pulmonology at New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Center in Manhattan and fulfill my passion to work closely with children.

There was a orientation program few days prior to the start of the rotation and Ms Dianne Young welcomed all the international students and made us comfortable. She not only gave us the overview of the rotation but also acquainted us to the New York City.

 In the Pulmonology department everybody was courteous and welcoming. Dr Stefan Worgall, the chief of Pulmonology department, is an outstanding physician. I used to begin my day by pre-rounding the patients with the fellow to know them better and later understanding their diagnosis and management on rounds with the attending physician. Dr Worgall taught everything from the diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary diseases to patient care. He also updated me with the current research and gave me the opportunity to attend a lab meeting in his research lab. It was an inspiring experience to visit the lab and familiarize with research done in a lab setting.

I had the opportunity to attend academic conferences, chest clinics and also specialized clinics such as airway clinic clubbed with otolaryngology and asthma/ allergy clinics and observe bronchoscopies. I also attended inpatient consults which gave me an insight of patients in PICU and NICU. While working with Dr Veler, a sleep medicine specialist, I learnt to read sleep studies and understand their impact. Not only analyzing the PFT results but how to make children perform a PFT was something I learnt when I spent time in PFT lab. With Dr. Graw Panzer I had a chance to take care of a cystic fibrosis patient and know the protocol followed while treating a CF patient. Due to Cornell-Columbia collaboration, I attended a talk on CF at by the chief of CF foundation at Columbia. This and Dr Graw Panzer’s excellent management motivated me to choose cystic fibrosis as the topic for my presentation on the last day.

I would like to mention that this rotation not only made me aware of Pulmonology but also about some aspects of critical care and otolaryngology. Everybody in the department kept me involved which was heartwarming. Having the chance to work with an extremely knowledgeable and talented team of physicians in the stunning city of New York makes this rotation one of the most enlightening experiences of my life.  I would not hesitate to recommend this rotation to other students. Working with children is my passion and this rotation is definitely a ladder towards my dream.

Lastly, I would mention gratitude to Dr Finkel and the staff of Global Health Education without whom this would be impossible and special thanks to Ms Young for being always approachable and taking care of me throughout the rotation.

Yuntao Zou

Medical School of Nanjing University, China
Emergency Medicine
March, 2019

Thanks to the opportunity I was given, I can not only experience excellent emergency care at New York-Presbyterian Hospital Queens but also work with so many awesome people. The community of New York-Presbyterian Hospital Queens is really multicultural; the population is diverse, and the languages are various. We see almost every kind of disease, which is interesting but full of challenges. Thank you Dr. Bardash for arranging me the wonderful rotation with Peds ER, Trauma team, urgent care, Main team of ER and didactic conference every Wednesday. It gives me a full understanding of ER. I had experience with sutures, placing a foley tube in urgency care, do ABG and placing peripheral IV lines in trauma team. It was also a good opportunity to practice CS test of USMLE. You can see more than 15 new patients in a shift, like an intense version of CS test.

The attendings, residents and PA are so nice here. My supervisor Dr. Lui is one of the most excellent attendings. Ever though there can be a lot of real emergency issues, she still dealt with them keeping calmly. Dr. Lui always asked you to figure out the answers on your own instead of telling you directly, so that you can take them into your heart. She showed me how smart and nice a doctor can be, and how to interact with your colleagues, senior, intern, medical student, and patients. I still remember that when she finishes with her patients in the trauma team, she always tries to take over more patients even though they are not trauma patient to help other teams. When other attendings cannot take their shifts, she is always trying to help. I learn from her not only to work smart, hard and happily, but also to be nice to others.

Finally, thank you so much, Weill Cornell Medicine and New York. I appreciate it for the opportunity from the Office of Global Health – Dr. Finkel and Ms. Young and for the wonderful month.

V D Navyamani Kagita

Rangaraya Medical College, India
Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplantation
January, 2019

“We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails” is what my attendings and team taught me. “Cancer didn’t bring me to my knees; it brought me to my feet” is what my patients taught me.

My brief stay for 4 weeks in the Department of Bone marrow and Stem Cell Transplantation, New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York, provided me ample opportunity to gain immense practical experience and left me with many incredible memories and invaluable learning experiences at every stage. I am fortunate to be associated with Dr. Philips and Dr. Hsu who were the embodiment of knowledge and kindness. My interaction with them expanded my knowledge and instilled in me the spirit of research and inquisitiveness. Our team of attendings, fellows, physician assistants, pharmacists would answer my untiring list of questions with great patience, demonstrating that patience is a primary requirement for both doctors and patients in the process of treatment. I was also given an opportunity for a 10-minute presentation. The remarks of my attending on my presentation; “Navya, Your presentation is so good, and also your confidence has improved a lot”; made me feel so blessed.

I was also given an opportunity to see and care for new and rare cases in both in-patient and clinics, view bone marrow biopsies, new treatments like CAR-T and miracle of Tocilizumab on patients. My unforgettable experience is with one of my complicated but “all-time surprising patients” who shed happy tears when I delivered him a good news and asked me “Why did you think to tell me first”. I told him that “My happiness lies in your happiness”. He was so thankful. By the end of elective, I formed a bond with patients both emotionally and clinically, thus enhancing my counselling skills and bedside manners. All my patients showed me gratitude and gave their blessings on my last day.

My attending Dr. Hsu gave me great articles regarding disease treatments to further expand my knowledge and gave me valuable suggestions on ways to improve. By the end of elective, I am happy to be appreciated by my attendings as an enthusiastic learner. My attending Dr. Hsu praised me and she gave me “hi-fi twice.” My attending Dr. Phillips told me “You deserve a hug” which brought tears into my eyes. I can never forget these two memories in my life.

My special thanks to Dr. Finkel and Dr. Dianne E. Young for giving me this wonderful opportunity of rotating in the dept of Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplantation. I would recommend all aspiring students this program to gain an awesome and exceptional learning experience.

Weill Cornell Medicine
Office of International Medical Student Education
1300 York Avenue (C-118) New York, NY 10065 Phone: (646) 962-8058