Why UMMS? The decision to attend Michigan for medical school was an easy one for me to make because of the world-renowned faculty members, diverse student body, and strong focus on interdisciplinary research. For me, the most remarkable thing about the UMMS was how accessible the faculty was and how open they were to mentoring my varied interests. Additionally, the students I met at Michigan were the happiest I had seen on the entire interview trail, with an excellent work-life balance.
When did you first develop an interest in global health? I majored in International Affairs as an undergraduate, so I have always been interested in addressing the needs of the global community, whether it is access to or quality of resources. During my undergraduate career, I made a couple trips to India to work in various healthcare settings, which led to my interest in global health.
Can you provide us with a brief view into any international experiences you’ve participated in while a UMMS student? After my M1 year I went to Meru, Kenya through the Global REACH program to study C-section rates and outcomes at a community hospital. During that experience, I got to work in both a clinical and community setting and interact with healthcare professionals to understand barriers to providing care and possible avenues for addressing this community's needs. During the experience, I also had the opportunity to teach sex education to 200 students in 6th-9th grade and implement an annual physical exam program at a children's home in Kithoka, Kenya.
|Vik is shown teaching a child at Amani Community Children's Home how to brush his teeth in Kithoka, Kenya during the summer of 2014|
Medical specialty area and why? As a physician, I want to comprehensively address the multitude of issues that patients face. This is why I have chosen to become a family physician. To me, this means working across medical specialties to prevent illness, rather than reacting to it. It also means holistically addressing the healthcare inequalities that ignited my passion for medicine. But the most compelling aspects of family medicine for me are the longitudinal patient relationships that are developed, nurtured, and maintained, forming the cornerstone of excellent patient management.
Significant impacts along your personal path that led you to medicine or that molded your education/life choices? Prior to entering medical school, I spent two years teaching middle and high school science in Philadelphia through Teach For America. Some of the most vexing problems that I encountered in my classroom were the persistent health obstacles that hindered my students from excelling in an academic environment. This experience further fueled my desire to go to medical school so that I could to use my medical training to recognize, treat and minimize the ailments that afflict underserved children.
Since you’ve been a student here, have you had any moments that you treasure most? What I have treasured most about my time at UMMS are the memories that I have made with my Michigan family. I have met some of my best friends in life during my time at UMMS. These are the people that have been with me when I have pulled all-nighters studying, gone tubing down the Huron, and raised money for the children of Washtenaw County while wearing red ponchos for Galens Tag Days. In my opinion, what separates Michigan from the other top medical schools in the country is the people, and I feel privileged to have spent the last 4 years with friends that I consider family.