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Where are They Now?

Sabine Karam, M.D.

Saint Joseph's University, Beirut, Lebanon
Nephrology
June 2005

sabine_karam

My rotation in the renal service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center was life changing and profoundly shaped my career interests. It steered me, in many ways, toward a clinical and academic career in Nephrology with a particular interest in Onco-Nephrology.

Once I graduated from Medical School, after gaining experience in clinical research techniques, as a post-doctoral research fellow in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Johns Hopkins University, I completed an Internal Medicine residency at Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center and a Nephrology fellowship at George Washington University Hospital. I also achieved certification as a hypertension clinical specialist via the American Society of Hypertension.

Next, eager to have my country of birth benefit of my newly-acquired competencies, I returned home and joined the Division of Nephrology of Saint George Hospital University Medical Center and the department of Medicine at the University of Balamand in Beirut. There, I have assumed diverse clinical and teaching responsibilities, with most recently the position of Head of Nephrology.

I remain deeply grateful to what Cornell offered me, an outstanding academic experience but mostly a life-long very special friendship and mentorship relation with Dr. Madelon Finkel, the director of International Medical Education.

Ruth Delaney, FRCS

University College Cork Medical School, Ireland
Orthopaedic Surgery
July 2005

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The Weill Cornell international program offered an amazing opportunity to spend time at HSS. I did a one-month elective rotation on the Sports Medicine service there. Although I had not made up my mind at the time as to whether I would pursue orthopaedic training in the US or in Ireland, this rotation paved the way for a successful orthopaedic residency application three years later. My chief resident from my rotation at HSS wrote one of my letters of recommendation. I matched to the Harvard Combined Orthopaedic Residency Program and spent 2008 – 2014 in Boston, staying on for a fellowship year in shoulder surgery at MGH and including two months in France. I then returned to Ireland and started private practice in Dublin, where I have a subspecialist shoulder practice. I started a fellowship program in 2018 and I train fellows from all over the world. I am fortunate to be invited as faculty to international shoulder conferences on a regular basis. I am also an Associate Clinical Professor at University College Dublin. The elective rotation at Cornell/HSS through the international program was a hugely important step in my career as well as a thoroughly enjoyable experience with other international students from many different countries.

Rasika V. Bhamre, M.D.

Seth G.S. Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India
Pediatric Neurology
February - March 2018

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I rotated at Weill Cornell Medicine for my Pediatric Neurology elective in the spring of 2018. As a final year medical student from a major hospital in Mumbai, I was accustomed to the Indian healthcare system and was eager to learn more about healthcare internationally. I felt very lucky to be selected for my first preference clinical elective at a renowned institute like Weill Cornell to embark on my USMLE Journey. I was always interested in Pediatrics and I got the privilege of working closely with senior specialists in Child Neurology at NYP-WCMC.

Every attending and fellow I worked with during my elective were extremely welcoming and inspiring. I learned so much in just one month because of them- from improving my clinical skills to learning how to operate EPIC and interpreting radiological scans and EEGs.  My first two weeks of the elective were outpatient, and I learned the importance of involving patient families in the treatment of their child. Every day, I worked with a different attending who was a specialist in their own field of interest, so I got the opportunity to see a lot of rare presentations along with bread-and-butter cases. Each attending took the time to ask me questions and discuss the pathology with me, which helped me a lot in my approach to patients in the future.

During my last two weeks on the inpatient service, I got to pre-round on my patients and present their progress during the rounds, which helped improve my presentation skills and taught me how to manage my time. Even though I was a visiting student, I was treated as a part of the team and was given the opportunity to take responsibility of the patients I saw, in both inpatient and outpatient settings. I couldn’t have asked for a better transition into the American Healthcare System! In addition, the Office of Global Health and Ms. Dianne Young were amazing at facilitating with the transition and encouraging me and my fellow visiting students to explore the city. I am very thankful for their help in understanding the process and making my time in NYC so memorable!

This elective allowed me to be more confident and responsible clinically and that is the best takeaway I could get from my time here. After my elective, I went on to take my USMLE exams, and participate in 3 more pediatric clinical electives at UTSW and Cleveland Clinic. I graduated last year in 2020 and joined the Indian front-line workers as a House Officer in a COVID-19 Hospital in Mumbai. I loved that I could apply what I learned from my electives and took the time to discuss the prognosis and treatment to both patients and their families, as it was such a delicate period. My experience at WCMC has played a huge role in shaping the way I care for my patients today.

I am now very excited to start the next chapter of my medical journey- my residency. I matched in Pediatrics at my top choice: Case Western Reserve University- MetroHealth Medical Center! I am really looking forward to continuing to promote the health of my patients and help create a thriving future generation.

Petal Louisa Elder, M.D., MPH

Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Neurosurgery
March 2017

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I am from the beautiful twin island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. I was honored to complete an elective at Cornell in March 2017. I gained a wealth of experience in neurosurgery, in depth exposure to the workings of the American healthcare system, research and elective contacts, and quite importantly, I found inspiration working alongside some of the most hard working and compassionate physicians.

Since my elective at Cornell, I completed medical school, following which, I ventured to Tanzania and Zimbabwe, to obtain firsthand exposure to neurosurgical practice in underserved areas. I must note that I developed contacts at Cornell that helped me to facilitate my trip to these countries- given Cornell’s affiliation with Bugando Medical Center in Mwanza, Tanzania and a referral from my neurosurgical mentor, who knew Dr. Nozipo Maraire who I was privileged to work with in Zimbabwe.

Following this, I went on to pursue a Master of Public Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. This was an enlightening and enriching experience. I was able to develop a new lens for looking at medicine and address it more holistically. It is during my MPH studies, that I decided to apply for internal medicine rather than neurosurgery. The courses that interested me the most were health policy, community based participatory research and I decided that internal medicine would provide me with the balance of longitudinal care and community involvement that I was searching for.

Thus, after my MPH, I transitioned to internal medicine residency at Baystate Medical Center-University of Massachusetts Medical School. I am currently in my second year and I am ever so grateful to have been given this opportunity to go after my medical dreams at this program. Baystate is supportive, nurturing and allows me to be involved in public health work as part of the community health and advocacy track. Additionally, we are heavily involved in social justice work, which was further galvanized after shocking 2020 events of racial injustices. I was delighted to be one of the founders of a social justice workforce comprising of residents and attendings across the internal medicine, pediatrics and medicine-pediatrics residencies.

The Weill Cornell elective set me up for success. It was a wonderful learning opportunity in addition to providing me with resources that I needed to jumpstart my career. Thank you for choosing me to participate in your program!

Esha Kothekar, M.D.

Government Medical College, Nagpur, India
Pediatric Endocrinology
May 2017

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I did a 4-week Pediatric Endocrinology elective rotation at NYP-Cornell in May 2017. I remember I was warmly welcomed by Sejal Shah, Dianne Young, and Koree Richardson. My time at NYP was quite wholesome. Working with Dr. Feuer and others never felt like I was doing an away rotation. It was both fun and educational. Outside of work, I enjoyed walking in NYC, eating new cuisines and doing touristy things! Post my time at NYP, I did another elective in Kansas, following which I moved back to India to graduate. While working in India, I found my true passion: Radiology. So, I started a research position at University of Pennsylvania with a focus on Nuclear Radiology. I applied for Match 2020 and matched into Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Jacobi, NYC for prelim year in Internal Medicine followed by Radiology at St. Vincent Hospital, Worcester, MA. I am extremely thrilled to be back in NYC, and hoping that in the future my paths cross with NYP again!

Deigo Eduardo Rey Rodriguez, M.D.

SanFernando Medical School - Universided Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima Peru
Pediatric Nephrology
February 2015

Diego Eduardo Rey Rodriguez
My four-week rotation elective in Pediatric Nephrology at Weill Cornell Medical College provided me with an invaluable experience and challenged me to pursuit excellence in my medical practice.

I graduated from San Fernando Medical School, and worked for a year as a physician in an establishment of primary health care in Pozuzo, which is a rural area in the forest of my country.  

After this period, in 2017, I participated in the elaboration of “Ranolazine for stable angine pectoris”, which is published in Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews.

Then, I completed the Pediatric Surgery Residency at “Guillermo Almenara Irigoyen National Hospital” in Lima, Peru; where I learned about surgical diseases of children and achieved surgical skills. I could travel for many countries in order to attend several international congress, meetings and courses of my specialty, emphasizing on minimally invasive and neonatal surgery.

Currently, I’m working as a pediatric surgeon at “Ramiro Prialé Prialé National Hospital” in Huancayo, Perú. Also, since this year, I am a university professor, and have the opportunity to share my knowledge and love for medicine with future generations of medical students. 

Andrea Zambrano, M.D.

Universidad Centrl de Venezuela - Jose Maria Vargas School
Ophthalmology
2007

andrea_zambrano
After finishing medical school, I did a Post Doctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute Cornea Department where I worked on treatment for neovascularization of cornea and improving outcomes of cataract surgery.

I did a preliminary year of Internal Medicine at Jacobi Medical Center in N.Y. and a second Post Doctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute Dana Center for Preventive Ophthalmology where I worked on prevention of blindness due to infectious diseases- Trachoma. This is how I decided I wanted to become an Infectious Diseases doctor.  I did my Internal Medicine Residency at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and currently doing my Infectious Diseases fellowship at University of Washington where I am the Chief Fellow.  I am also currently working on my MPH in Epidemiology and Global Health at the University of Washington.

Victoria Partey – Newman, M.D.

School of Medical Sciences, K.N.U.S.T, Ghana
Pediatric Nephrology
October 2010

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My name is Dr. Victoria Partey -Newman. I did pediatric nephrology rotation at Weill Cornell Medical College (27/9/2010-22/10/2010).  It was 4 weeks rotation. I experienced a different side of the medicine I had never seen before. My supervising physicians were Dr. Valerie Johnson and Dr. Eduardo Perelstein. The staff at the hospital were very warm and friendly and were all willing to teach me. I enjoyed the Morning meetings where a lot was learnt on several health topics. The ward rounds we had as a team were very important times as most of my questions were answered.

I had wonderful flat mates that kept me entertained. Ms. Dianne Young also made my stay very comfortable. She served as a mother figure and was ready to solve all impromptu clinical and domestic issues for students.

Currently, I work at The Trust Hospital (Osu, Accra,Ghana) as a Senior Medical Officer. I am the Doctor in Charge of the Well Woman Clinic, a clinic specifically made for women where breast screening (mammograms, breast scan), cervical screening (pap smear), family Planning Methods, administering cervarix vaccine and issues related to adolescent reproductive health are tackled. I am a Woman’s Health Advocate through Social media specifically radio and television programs. I am the Project manager for the Pink October Breast Cancer awareness Program for the Trust Hospital since 2016.

I recently just completed my Masters in Public Health at Ensign College of Public health.  Currently about to enter a residency program in Obstetrics and Gynaecology.  My vision is to empower and equip women to be independent and self -reliant in society.

Rosa Maria Pari Nana, M.D.

San Fernando Medical School- National University of San Marcos, Peru
Pediatric Neurology – January 2014
Pediatric Hematology-Oncology – February 2014
Dermatology – February 2014

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As a medical student of a public medical school in Peru, access to prestigious Hospitals in USA is frequently impossible. Nonetheless, I had the opportunity to do two months of clinical electives in pediatric neurology, pediatric hematology/oncology and dermatology at New York Presbyterian Hospital/ Weill Cornell Medical College in 2014 thanks to the collaborative interchange that WCMC has developed with my medical school.

My time at New York-Presbyterian Hospital was unforgettable. Not only did I have the chance to join morning rounds and grant rounds, but I also had the opportunity to interact with patients, residents, fellows, and attendings on pre-rounds, write up my own notes and present my patients. This nurturing experience was complemented by my experiences in the outpatient and emergency settings. The fascinating cases discussions enhanced my knowledge and interest to learn more each day and prompted me to take on the challenge of presenting in-depth literature reviews in complex topics. Doing clinical rotations at NYPH introduced me to the US clinical system, but foremost awoke my interest to pursue residency training in the USA.

Following my rotations, I graduated, and then work as a young physician in Peru for three years. During this time, my dream to return to the US didn’t expire, so I was also completing my USMLE examinations. More recently, I joined Dr. David Systrom as a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA, where I have been given the opportunity to work in clinical and non-clinical research while setting my path towards a residency position. My clinical electives at NYPH have opened up many opportunities to me that otherwise, I would have not been able to attain. I am deeply thankful to Dr. M. Finkel, Ms. Dianne Young, and the Office of Global Health Education for their help in those key moments of my career.

Ndeipala Hamutenya

Medical University of Lodz, Poland
Nephrology Consultation
September 2019

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When I applied for the Visiting International Student Program, I was eager to gain clinical experience within the context of the American healthcare system. Given Weill Cornell’s esteemed medical teaching history, I was naturally very honored to be accepted to rotate at New York-Presbyterian’s world class Weill Cornell Medical Center (WCMC) in the Fall of 2019. Having read testimonies from previous visiting students, I expected to be intellectually challenged during my clinical clerkship, however my time at WCMC far surpassed any expectations I had.

My strong interest in internal medicine (IM) lead me to apply to IM subspecialty rotations. I ultimately did my training in the Division of Nephrology & Hypertension where I had the pleasure of undertaking the Nephrology Consultation elective under the direct supervision of Dr. Daniil Shimonov, a Nephrology Fellow and Nephrology Attendings, Dr. Malha & Dr. Perlman. Rotating as a sub-intern, I was given autonomy to follow my own patients, which included pre-rounding, presenting in rounds and clerking their daily notes using the hospital’s electronic medical recording system.

During my time at WCMC I greatly improved my patient documentation skills; thanks to the continuous feedback and guidance of Dr. Shimonov. Moreover, I picked up precious renal, fluid & electrolyte management pearls from the Attendings, teaching seminars and even my own medical literature presentations that related to the nephrology pathologies of my designated patients. It was further a privilege and real life experience to attend grand rounds at WCMC. From talks given by renowned transplant surgeon Dr. Anthony Watkins to experts at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, I was afforded the opportunity to learn from the very best physicians.

Above all, I am most grateful that I got the chance to work with such a medically, ethnically and socioeconomically diverse patient population. Beyond clinical medicine, I got to sincerely witness at close range the social aspects, complex barriers and determinants of healthcare within the US health system in the context of social work, immigrant policies and ethnic sensitive treatment approaches.

Following my rotation at WCMC, I was accepted to do another rotation in my home country, Namibia where I did my final international elective. Time spent in my country’s main referral public hospital, Katutura State Hospital highlighted components lacking in the public healthcare system of my country. This has prompted me to make the most use of my Masters Degree in Global Health.

The clinical guidance and insight that I gained under the mentorship of doctors at Weill Cornell was genuinely invaluable and inspiring, which is why I am currently undertaking the US residency application process. My dream is to one day return to WCMC or to practice in any US hospital of similar medical excellence. Having just graduated from medical school, I am now focusing on integrating my Global Health Masters and Medical Degree education into real world applications. By virtue of becoming a well-trained doctor and my experiences in international health governance, I hope in the near future to help promote the health of my patients and advocate against healthcare inequities within Namibia and globally.

In conclusion, I would like to acknowledge the Office of Global Health especially
Dr. Madelon Finkel and Ms. Dianne E. Young who had helped to facilitate this opportunity for me to attend clinical rotations at WCMC. My appreciation equally goes to the praiseworthy doctors that made this program a treasured learning experience.

Juan Valdiviezo-Chunga. M.D.

San Fernando Medical School - National University of San Marcos, Peru
Pediatric Genetics - November 2015
Clinical Nephrology - December 2015.

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The clinical electives at the NYP-WCMC showed me how medicine works in a developed country. I was able to be part of the inpatient and outpatient consult, grand rounds and conferences at the hospital. Dr. Jennifer Bassetti and Dr.Muthukumar Thangamani were my great tutors at NYP.

After that, I did my internship in Lima in 2016, inspired and with a better perspective of the patient-centered and evidence-based healthcare.

Then, I was admitted for another elective in the US, this time in Cardiology, at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in April 2017.

After that, I came back to my country and started the rural service in medicine at the Peruvian Andes, serving people in need. I had to drive a quad bike through the mountains to bring medical attention to children, elder people and pregnant women, many of them suffering from infectious diseases.

On December 2020, I started the Cardiology residency program at the Arzobispo Loayza National Hospital in Lima. Now I'm taking care of patients with many cardiac diseases such as myocardial infarction, arrhythmias, cardiogenic shock, valvular diseases, etc. Some of them suffer a cardiac injury as part of covid infection in this new "pandemic" world.

I will be always grateful to WCMC, Dr. Madelon Finkel and Ms. Dianne Young for being a big turning point in my medical career and motivate me to be a better physician and a better human being.

Jacob Fyhring Mortensen, M.D.

University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Trauma surgery – March 2013
Thoracic Surgery – April 2013

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Experiencing medical practice in other countries is a great way to broaden one's horizon. Since travel is important to me, I did not hesitate to apply for an elective at WCMC. The Big Apple, high-quality medical professionals to learn from, and international students to meet with and roam around the wards and the city together, learning and taking it all in. This opportunity was a once in a lifetime chance, so I packed my bags and jumped on the plane. The first couple of days, I constantly had neck pains, mostly because I could not stop looking up at the massive skyscrapers all around the city. I was just a little ant in the maze, and what an experience it was.

I was fortunate enough to experience the Trauma Unit at the Lincoln Hospital and the Thoracic Surgery Unit at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital. I was always fascinated by surgery, both acute and planned surgery. These two electives gave me a broad insight and ultimately helped guide me in the direction of Orthopedic surgery, in which I pursued both a Ph.D. and now residency.

Having an experience as profound as a medical (surgical) elective in New York City gives one a feeling that anything is possible and helps build the courage to pursue one's academic and personal dreams with pride. I thank WCMC for this opportunity and Ms. Dianne Young for her positivity and helpfulness along the way.

Dhruv Gupta, M.D.

Manipal College of Medical Sciences, Nepal
Pediatric Neurology/Pediatric Nephrology
April 2011

DG

I did Pediatric Neurology and Pediatric Nephrology electives in the Spring of 2011 at the Weill Cornell Medical College/New York Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan. Ms. Dianne Young was the coordinator for these rotations, she made sure that everything was taken care of and she was like a guardian for me and all the other international students during the elective.

After finishing my electives with Weil Cornell, I started my Pediatrics Residency at Children’s Hospital of Michigan where I stayed on to complete a fellowship in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine. Over the six years of my training in Michigan, I was able to actively participate in research, which was focused primarily on mechanical ventilation and extubation failure in low-birth-weight infants. I have consistently been presenting my research at both local and national meetings. and have also been able to publish my research in peer reviewed journals.

After finishing my training in Michigan, I moved to El Paso, Texas where I am the Medical Director at a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

This journey wouldn’t have been possible without the platform I was provided with the electives at Weil Cornell Medical College. The electives were a unique learning opportunity as I was able to experience bedside clinical management and understood the expectations from medical trainees. This was especially important for me, as I was an international medical student. I cannot stress enough, the importance of this elective for international students who are looking to get into residency and fellowship programs in the United States. The experience and the exposure that these electives provide are second –to- none in my opinion.

I am greatly thankful to the Office of Global Health, and again specifically to Ms. Dianne Young for all her help and support.

Mariam Victor, MD

Qingdao Medical College, China
Urology
September 2014

Mariam

I did my urology rotation at New York Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan, New York, starting from the end of September 2014. During this period of time, I had a wonderful opportunity to work with and learn from amazing team of attending physicians and fellows of urology department at NYPH. The most amazing and exciting part of the rotation was scrubbing in with my attending physician in the OR and assisting them in suturing and other surgical procedures and I feel humbled that I had this opportunity several times during my electives. While performing surgeries, the fellow physicians were very kind and pleased to answer my questions relevant to the case and sometimes they would ask me questions too to recall my knowledge and to clear my concepts regarding urology.

I was overwhelmed by the welcoming nature and teaching attitude I encountered at NYPH. Three times I had a chance to see patients at a clinic with Dr. Bilal Chughtai and that was an amazing learning experience. The senior fellows at the department were so humble and thoughtful to give me career advice. I remember the early morning 5 a.m. conferences before the surgeries where everyone would put their schedule of the upcoming surgeries for the day and everyone would discuss each case individually, contributing with their knowledge and experience in patient’s best interest. Two times I attended case presentations where the fellow doctors presented their complicated cases in front of Dr. Wise who critically analyzed their cases and performances and would give them his opinion about that particular case.

At NYPH, I learnt how to control your nerves in the most nerve wrecking situations in the OR as surgery is a field where you have to make life saving decisions extremely quickly and efficiently and this is a key element to become a successful physician. Every week there was an interactive quiz session among fellows where they would play in two teams which was a fun way to learn and brush up your knowledge. Every week there would be a lecture on an interesting topic for 30-45 minutes after which there was a Q&A session and this was one of my most awaited and favorite part of the week as it would help me burnish my medical knowledge.

After graduation, I cleared my country’s board examinations and worked as a doctor at Jinnah Hospital and Faiz Hospital in Multan. I also took USMLE exams but haven’t completed all of them due to some unavoidable personal reasons. I still haven’t achieved my goal of doing residency in USA but I am persistent on it. To broaden my views in medicine, I decided to do MPH at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia and I am currently pursuing that in Australia.                             

My time in the New York City was also a memorable experience. The location of NYPH in the heart of Manhattan enabled me to enjoy its lively vibes after I finish my day at the hospital. The food culture and people’s friendliness leaves you with a feeling of belonging.  In the conclusion, having an opportunity to work at NYPH was one of my dream that came true and I am very thankful to Ms. Dianne Young who helped me throughout the process. The experience I gained from NYPH helped me a lot in my career and I would like to express my gratitude to the whole team of urology department and Weill Cornell for this truly unforgettable experience.   

Alejandro Martinez Herrada, MD, FAAP

San Fernando Medical School - National University of San Marcos, Peru
Pediatric Infectious Disease - February 2010
Emergency Medicine - March 2010

Alejandro

My experience as a visiting medical student at Weil Cornell Medical College was life-changing. I remember the warm welcome by Ms. Dianne and Dr. Finkel when I had just arrived from Peru to start my clinical electives at New York Presbyterian Hospital in February 2010. During my time in New York, I made new friends from all around the world and realized how many things we shared in common despite of our different backgrounds. I had the honor to learn from Dr. Christine Salvatore, Dr. Sima Toussi and Dr. Patricia Delamora during my clinical elective in Pediatric Infectious Diseases and I strengthen my decision-making skills during my subinternship in Emergency Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical Center and Columbia University Medical Center. I was inspired by this experience to pursue a career in Pediatrics. After graduating from National University of San Marcos – San Fernando Medical School, I completed a residency in Pediatrics at Miami Children’s Hospital and now I am finishing my fellowship in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital / Case Western Reserve University. Words will not suffice to express my gratitude for all the support given by Dr. Madelon Finkel and Ms. Dianne Young because the opportunity they gave me shaped the rest of my life and my professional career.

Nikita Garg, MD

Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, India
Pediatric Hematology and Oncology
November 2018

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I consider myself blessed that I had an opportunity to be a part of Weill Cornell Medicine during my elective rotation there. On the very first day of my rotation, I incidentally met one of the physicians at WCMC who was a graduate of the same medical school as me.

I was welcomed with warmth and learned a lot during my time here. I could see a lot of rare cases and pathologies that I had just read about in my life. I improved my clinical as well as my presentation skills which really helped me in my USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills exam.  After my rotation here, I did two more pediatric electives, one in Pediatric Cardiology at Emory and one in Pediatric Neurology at Mount Sinai, New York.

Following that, I moved back to India and graduated from my med school and started applying for a pediatric residency position in the USA. I matched the same year and have started as a Pediatric resident at St. John's Hospital (Southern Illinois University School of Medicine) at Springfield in Illinois, USA. 

I would really like to thank Weill Cornell again for giving me this opportunity!   

Enad Maher Dawod, MD

University of Jordan, Amman Jordan 
Trauma Surgery
November 2014

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The path I followed and where I am today was heavily influenced by my elective experience at Weill Cornell.  I dreamed of going to Weill Cornell ever since I was in high school and the electives offered for International students was a great first step. During my elective in trauma service, I was exposed to a vast array of clinical scenarios where I was made to feel a very valuable member of the team. I fell in love with this institution and I was determined to return to Weill Cornell in the future.  

Following graduation, I returned to Weill Cornell as a research fellow, with the advanced endoscopy team in the Gastroenterology Division. I spent two years in this position and during that period, our team was able to publish more than 40 studies in medical Journals conferences. My research experience added a dimension to my identity as a physician and inspired my love for research. During that time, I continued to routinely meet with International students on their elective to orient them with Weill Cornell and discuss their future career plans and offer advice and mentorship. I am fortunate to have built long term mentoring relationships with many of these students.

I am proud to say that my dream has come true as I am currently an Internal medicine resident at Weill Cornell in Manhattan. Even though it seemed as a far-fetched dream as an international graduate, truly nothing is impossible. I plan to pursue further fellowship training in Gastroenterology and advanced endoscopy with the hope of becoming an academic gastroenterologist and clinical investigator in a tertiary academic center working with residents, fellows, students while building expertise as a clinician and researcher in pancreatic disease and bariatric endoscopy.

Alessandra Kostolias, MD

Federal Flumenense University, Brazil 
Maternal Fetal Medicine, Obstetrics
2009

Alessandra Kostolias

I went to medical school in Brazil and as soon as I decided my ultimate goal was to practice medicine in the United States, I understood that having clinical experience in American hospitals would be imperative.

I did an elective at NYP/ Cornell University in the fall of 2009 in the department of Obstetrics. It was my first introduction to medicine in America. The orientation process was initially overwhelming to me. It was like stepping into a whole different world that I knew very little about. The fast pace of New York was exciting and scary initially. But the office of global health was so welcoming, accessible and warm that I quickly felt comfortable, knowing I had people to reach out to for any issues. Also, the office hosted meetings with all international students taking electives and each one would share their background and experiences. I suddenly had a group of people that I became friends with and still keep in touch to this day, 11 years later. I recall Dr. Fein and Dianne Young and they were amazing and present during these meetings. My mentor was Dr. Zervoudakis, an amazing Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist who was patient and kind, and taught me so much. I also interacted with the residents and fellows. I was present in their grand rounds and did a share of night call. I was able to accumulate a lot of experience in those 4 weeks. After an exciting month, I completed another two months at Memorial Sloane-Kettering Cancer Center in the Breast Surgical Oncology and then Gynecologic Oncology Department. This experience opened doors that lead to spending a year doing a research fellowship at MSKCC in the Gynecologic Oncology Department and then completing my residency at Columbia University, something my young self would have not even dreamed of.

I am currently in private practice, as a generalist obstetrician and gynecologist in California and I perform minimally invasive gynecologic surgery. I encourage all students to have great aspirations, never be discouraged by the challenges of the way and to see the beauty of the practice of medicine. I am very thankful for the opportunities given to me and hold dear memories spent in the wards and Labor and Delivery at NYP/Weill Cornell.

Mohammed Ibrahim, MD

Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Egypt
Otolaryngology/ Head & Neck Surgery - March 2011
Radiology - May 2011
Hematology/Oncology - June 2011

mohammed_ibrahim

It has been a privilege to spend 12-weeks as a visiting international student at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medicine in 2011. I have done three 4-week electives in Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery, Radiology and Hematology/Oncology. This gave me a broad exposure to different fields of medicine, and solidified my interest in Internal Medicine as a career.

Having done these electives at Weill Cornell Medicine had a significant impact in helping me advance my career in the USA. In 2012, I was accepted to a research position in the Interventional Cardiology Department at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medicine, which resulted in a publication in an elite interventional cardiology journal. It also helped me obtain strong letters of recommendations for my residency match, where I ended up matching for Internal Medicine at Danbury Hospital/Yale School of Medicine. I am confident that my experience at Weill Cornell had a strong influence on matching to a wonderful residency program.

Currently, I am a Chief Cardiology Fellow at University of Massachusetts Medical School – Baystate Medical Center, and will be doing a year of Interventional Cardiology fellowship next year! I am grateful for Ms. Dianne Young for her phenomenal support throughout my time at Weill Cornell.

Viky Suncion Loescher, MD

Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru
Interventional Radiology
April 2008

Viky Suncion Loescher

Ever since my first rotations in medical school and my elective at WCMC, I saw many cardiovascular diseases and witnessed the power of medical imaging and its impact on patient care. These experiences got me interested in diagnostic radiology, specifically cardiac imaging.

After obtaining my MD degree, I decided to pursue this new-found interest and joined the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine as a Clinical Research Fellow. During that time, I was actively involved in numerous clinical trials involving cardiac imaging. I did my residency in Diagnostic Radiology at Mount Sinai Medical Center (MSMC), Miami Beach-FL, and the Advanced Non-Invasive Cardiovascular Imaging Fellowship at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital (BWH)- Harvard Medical School, Boston-MA. Working with the best radiologists and cardiologists at WCMC, MSMC and BWH, I have been given all the tools that have helped me learn and achieve the challenge of providing immediate and accurate interpretation of different imaging. 

The work I have done up till now have provided me wonderful learning opportunities and have helped me broaden my knowledge and technical skills. Particularly my time at WCMC, which was the first eye opener and showed me a diverse world of opportunities. My desire is to share my personal experience with other visiting medical students at WCMC and let them know that with hard work and dedication we can achieve our dreams. Currently, I am a radiology attending at the Cardiothoracic Section of MSMC in Miami Beach-FL, where I am very happy to apply all the acquired knowledge to patient needs.

Finally, thank you so much to the Office of Global Health for an awesome opportunity and experience. Particularly, thank you to Dr. Madelon Finkel and Ms. Dianne E. Young.

Felix Machleid

Technical University of Munich, Germany
Nephrology Consultations
November 2019

Felix Machleid

During my studies in Germany, I discovered that health reaches further than medicine alone and that in order to tackle current challenges within the global health perspective, it is necessary to broaden one’s view. I became inspired to learn more and to look above the fence, completed an undergraduate degree in Philosophy and Psychology on the side, and became active in student organizations. Inspired by the international experiences I have made, I decided to spend a large part of my final year in medical school abroad. My application for electives at Weill Cornell Medical College (WCMC) was motivated by the wish to get a unique study experience at one of the most prestigious medical schools, to draw global health comparisons, and to get a clearer perspective on my professional future on working in international healthcare settings. 

My stay at NewYork-Presbytarian Hospital in fall 2019 exceeded my expectations. I had the exceptional opportunity to experience world-class medicine while enjoying the vibrant, multicultural city of New York.  In my first month, I was assigned to the team of general medicine and was given the responsibility of caring for my own patients being involved in admissions, diagnostic and therapeutic decisions, presenting relevant updates, writing progress notes, and final reports. I was encouraged to speak my mind and to come up with my individual decisions, which was one of the greatest lessons of this elective. Besides the daily work on the wards, I participated in the classes of the third medical students of WCMC, where I deepened my knowledge about the clinical cases of my patients and made new friends. In the following month, I was part of the nephrology consultation service, where I was also taking care of patients, discussed rare and challenging cases with the fellows and attendings, and attended grand rounds expanding my professional knowledge in the field. 

The time at NewYork-Presbytarian Hospital was exceptionally memorable and enriched my education as a future doctor in many ways. The American teaching system introduced me to new and different approaches to problem-solving and patient management and gave me a more holistic view of medicine. The guidance and support I received from the residents and attending physicians were truly unique and continues to be an inspiration for my future career as a physician and mentor to other students. 

The experiences in medical school and beyond have inspired me to take one step further providing care for patients at a higher level. That is why I enrolled in the MPH program at Imperial College London, to build upon my medical background with a degree in public health, to deepen my understanding of population health, its determinants and etiology, the distribution of disease and the impact of community interventions. In the future, I want to make use of my training as a doctor and public health professional to tackle the burden of health inequalities and to further improve quality healthcare and equity in health.

Last but not least, I would like to express my gratitude to the team of the Global Health Office, Dr. Finkel, and Dianne Young, who helped me organize my stay, and my home university for supporting me during the whole process. 

Camille Hage

University of Balamand, Lebanon
Emergency Medicine
September 2017

I consider myself to be one of the fortunate individuals to have completed a clinical elective at Weill Cornell Medicine in September 2017. I have always dreamt of being part of the medical team that is treating the most populated city in the United States. I still can’t fathom this extreme numbness I felt when I started my first night shift at the Emergency Department at NewYork-Presbyterian / Weill Cornell Medical Center. Being a medical student from Lebanon back then, I wanted to experience medicine in a nurturing environment while learning from the pioneers in the field. The perspective on the medical field I’ve gained is immense; I understood how holistic the approach to a patient should be. The patient’s chief complaint extends beyond the moment per se, there is a need to cooperate with every entity in the department from nurses to social workers. Tackling complex problems in the emergency room was just one of the many nourishing activities. I still recollect the manifold didactics we've been taught such as complex ECG interpretation to appropriate intubations and airway management. I will never forget the guidance and assistance I received from the attending physicians. Till today, they are available for mentoring when needed. Following this experience, I fell more in love with medicine while shaping up my future inspirations.

Today, I am embarking through a path that once seemed unattainable. I am a fresh medical doctor; but also, a recent Master of Public Health graduate from Johns Hopkins University. I’m currently working as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Applying the skills I’ve recently attained while anticipating to be back in clinical practice shortly. Alongside that, I’ve indulged in humanitarian relief where I hope to give back to the community the life's blessings I’ve been offered.

Weill Cornell Medicine International Programs 402 East 67th St New York, NY 10065 Phone: (646) 962-8058 globalhealthelectives@med.cornell.edu