BSW Stories - Page 15

have on developing physicians. She was determined to make the student’s dream of going beyond borders a reality. She coordinated all the complex logistics for the 18-day trip and then accompanied nine medical students. They spent three days in remote villages in conjunction with the NICE Foundation, a nonprofit that provides health care to underprivileged mothers, children and newborns through on-site treatment. They participated in the school health program in which physicians go into the schools to directly provide care. “Seeing firsthand how medicine is practiced in remote villages, we were able to see the high impact that education can have, and how, over time, they’re changing mortality outcomes,” Dr. Alikhan explains. During their journey, the students observed hand surgery on a leprosy patient and toured a leprosy rehabilitation home, visited an HIV hospital, spent an evening in a charity clinic, and worked with local medical students and residents in a teaching hospital. “This was an inspiring journey that will shape the students’ careers,” Dr. Alikhan believes. “They gained a greater appreciation for the health care services we have but also learned that there are things we can glean from the experience as we try to serve our own underserved areas, like South Texas.” Because of her understanding of Indian culture and Western medicine, she taught the students context and perspective for the challenges faced by a nation trying to provide health care at a ratio of more than 1,700-to-1 (patients-to-health care providers). 13