Lehigh Valley

LVHN medical students working overseas

LVHN med students working overseas

KOLKATA, India - A handful of fourth-year medical students at  the University of South Florida are part of a program called SELECT with Lehigh Valley Health Network.

After studying in Tampa for two years, the students come to Allentown for their training.

The program aims to shape the students into well-rounded physicians.
As part of it, four students spent the month of February  volunteering at a clinic in Kolkata, India.
"We are doing injections, dressings, as well as blood pressure checks for the community," said Ariel Penaranda, via a Skype interview with 69 News.

Penaranda and his classmates also learning a new culture and experiencing a different health care system.

Their teacher, Dr. Sweety Jain at LVHN, born and raised in Kolkata, said the opportunity is truly priceless.

"This experience will make them a different kind of physician," Dr. Jain said.

According to Jain, the program encourages the students to be skilled in medicine and leaders in the community.

"It's more about developing a relationship with the population and caring for the poor than doing advanced medicine," said student Michael Manning via a Skype interview.

"You come back culturally humbled," Dr. Jain said.
During their stay, the students have donated clothes, traveled and chatted with the underprivileged, and even sponsored children they had the joy of meeting.

"That was one of the most powerful moments for me," said Samson Lu.
"I'm hoping to take some of that in my residency, remembering what I've seen in Kolkata, the people I've met and their stories," Penaranda said.

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