Weather? Whatever! Visiting student from India makes the most of January rotation

For visiting international student Akshita Gupta, a recent clinical rotation at Michigan Medicine provided everything she was looking for in an elective.

A firsthand look at various aspects of nephrology in the US? Check. A chance to get hands-on with patients? Check. Polar vortex? Double check!

Akshita Gupta, a visiting medical student from All India Institute of Medical Science, in New Delhi, makes the most of winter in Ann Arbor.

“I was first afraid I would see no winter in Ann Arbor,” she said. “But I needn’t have worried.”

Ann Arbor welcomes a few visiting students each year from All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), one of India’s premier medical schools in New Delhi and longtime partner school of Michigan Medicine. Gupta was one of two to visit in 2018 for clinical electives, visits that Global REACH helps facilitate.

“I knew for the past two years that I wanted to come to the United States for a rotation,” she said. “I wanted to get experience here and learn the health system much better. It really adds a positive element to your CV and increases your chances of being able to find a residency in the US, which is what I am hoping to do.”

Gupta, who will graduate from AIMS this fall, spent four weeks at Michigan Medicine in January, rotating through various areas of the nephrology division. Her host was Professor of Nephrology and Internal Medicine Panduranga Rao, MBBS.

“She was an exceptional student – bright, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable,” said Rao. “Hosting international students benefits Michigan Medicine in many ways. Thanks to their unique backgrounds, they tend to approach each clinical situation with a fresh perspective, present each case with a greater emphasis on clinical examination, and invoke a broader differential diagnosis. Frequently, this makes the other members of the team re-think their own approach.”

Gupta enjoyed stints in acute, chronic, and transplant services, and shadowed Rao in the clinic as well.

“He and the fellows in nephrology were all very gracious and willing to teach. They made it a wonderful experience,” she said.

Gupta left Ann Arbor having learned a thing or two about the US health system, the different specialties within nephrology, and Michigan Winters. Her final week in Ann Arbor saw temperatures plunge briefly to sub-zero territory. Gupta, from sub-tropical New Delhi, made the most of it.

“I did every possible thing you could do in the snow,” she said. “I made snow angles, went sledding, went skating, made an igloo. I loved it!”

"I did every possible thing you could do in the snow," said Akshita Gupta.