Thanks to agreements with two universities in India, four UF pharmacy students were able to experience another culture, work with Indian physicians and even observe a brain surgery this past summer.
“I am gratefully reflecting on how many great experiences I have had in this beautifully unique country,” said Allison McFerran, during her trip back to the United States. McFerran, Alicia Diantonio, Timothy Finlayson and Jordan Wanner, all sixth-year pharmacy students, accompanied Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences M. Chandra Sekar, Ph.D., to India for an elective advanced pharmacy rotation.
During their month-long stay, the students spent about 10 days each at Bangalore Baptist Hospital, Manipal University Hospital and Rohini Hospital, Warangal. They accompanied doctors and Indian pharmacy students on ward rounds, presented case reviews, participated in a journal club, and observed “live” brain-tumor and spinal cord surgeries.
“I was given the opportunity to observe a brain surgery performed by Dr. T. Sanjay,” recalled Finlayson. “This was the most incredible thing that I have ever experienced in my life. I could not believe what I was seeing before my eyes. Dr. Sanjay was so steady and precise throughout the procedure.”
Sekar arranged visits to several faculty homes where the students shared meals and experienced Indian hospitality. They admitted they had “bittersweet” feelings about returning home.
“I am so thankful for this trip of a lifetime and will never forget meeting such wonderful people and memorable pharmacy experiences,” said Diantonio. Wanner added during his return trip, “There is a bittersweet feeling coming on, and I know that as much as I am looking forward to being back on U.S. soil, I will surely miss this place.”
Anyone interested in learning more about this student experience is encouraged to attend Sekar’s presentation in the Learning Commons in Shafer Library on Tuesday, Nov. 10 from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.