Meet the Interns: Summer 2013 Edition

It’s summertime, and you know what that means: a fresh crop of MEDLIFE interns! Sunita, Galen, Cristina, Chanee and Ashlan join us in Lima, Peru, to help out with Mobile Clinics, projects, expansion and patient followup. Get to know our first group of summer interns: 


Name: Cristina Salvador
Hometown: The Americas. I was born in Miami, and moved every three years to countries including Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, Mexico and the United States.
School: Pomona College
Major: Psychology and neuroscience

I’m looking forward to… Talking to the community members and learning from them to develop a more comprehensive world perspective. I am also looking forward to seeing how some volunteers may grow and find a different way of thinking thanks to what the communities and their experiences in Lima have taught them.

My favorite part so far… The inauguration of the staircase last Friday was by far my favorite part. It was where I felt the most genuine happiness I have ever felt by seeing the volunteers, community and MEDLIFE staff take the time to dance and appreciate each other.

Name: Sunita Kheterpal
Hometown: Montreal, Quebec, Canada (Yes, I’m Canadian)sunita2
McGill University
Major: Physiology with minors in management and international development studies

How I got involved with MEDLIFE: I went on a Mobile Clinic to Riobamba, Ecuador on New Year’s Eve of 2011.  I then went on to become the Vice President of Fundraising for MEDLIFE McGill; this upcoming year, I will be our Vice President of Operations.

I’m looking forward to… Meeting students from around the world. Learning to speak better Spanish is my goal. If I succeed, then I will be able to speak five languages.

My favorite part so far… How can I possibly pinpoint my favorite part so far? I’ve loved every moment of being here so far. I’ve had the opportunity to spend time with people who work for MEDLIFE, meet follow-up patients, be on the other side of the MEDLIFE experience (not as a volunteer, but as an intern), and live in Lima! 

galenName: Galen Burns-Fulkerson
Hometown: Chapel Hill, NC
School: UNC
Major: Nursing

How I got involved with MEDLIFE: I heard about the club at my school and came across the application for the internship and thought it sounded like a really amazing opportunity.

I’m looking forward to… Testing out the Mobile School model and the Project Corps. model and just seeing how everything works.

My favorite part so far… I love meeting the patients and hearing their stories. I think medicine has the potential to be such an interactive profession but that people sometimes forget that those being treated are people in addition to patients. MEDLIFE allows many opportunities to be reminded of this through direct interactions with people who attend clinics.

Name: Chanée Massiah
cheneeHometown: Brooklyn, New York
School: Rutgers University
Major: Public health with minor in Spanish

My goals this summer… I really hope to establish a sound understanding of how poverty affects people in South America on a daily basis. In the few months that I am here, I hope that this internship gives me a little insight of what it will be like to pursue a career in global health.

My favorite part so far… Taking the tour of Pamplona has been my favorite part of my stay so far. Not only is physically attending to the needs of the community awesome, but it was a great educational insight to learn about the origin of the communities and experience the daily trek in the mountains.

ashlanName: Ashlan Bishop
Hometown: Boca Raton, FL
School: College of Charleston
Major: Public health with minor in neuroscience 

How I got involved with MEDLIFE: I helped start the MEDLIFE chapter at CofC this past semester and now serve on the executive board.

I’m looking forward to… Improving my Spanish language skills and helping the organization grow!

My favorite part so far… Interacting with all the patients and community members at the Mobile Clinic and project sites, especially with all of the kids.


Hear it From MEDLIFErs

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Reya Seby
Western University

This trip motivated me more to pursue a career in the healthcare field so that I can use my resources to help those who need it the most, similar to MEDLIFE’s mission.

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Victoria DiCanio
University of Connecticut

It was most enjoyable to finish the hard work and see how big a difference a group of individuals can make. It was such an amazing experience.

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Anita Woo
University of Toronto

I enjoyed the mobile clinics the most, especially the dental and triage portions. I would definitely recommend a MEDLIFE trip, it was a great experience.

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David Saff
Maclay High School

The most enjoyable part of my trip was hanging out with the amazing group of kids I was with. I would highly recommend a MEDLIFE volunteer trip to others.

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Sydney Sansone
Nova Southeastern University

This trip made everything that I was learning in my public health courses come to life and immersed me in a new culture while also learning about medicine.

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Abygail Youmans
College of Charleston

Being involved with MEDLIFE is not like joining another club - its bigger than that. It is about joining a movement that seeks to help change people’s quality of life for forever.

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Emi Hofmann
University of Central Florida

Not only was I able to participate in a week long Mobile Clinic, shadowing doctors of all types of specialties including pharmacy, dentistry, gynecology, and more, but I was also able to learn about the culture and visit incredible places.

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Julian Takagi-Stewart
University of Toronto

One thing that I really loved about this trip was that MEDLIFE made sure that the volunteers got an understanding of the complexity of issues that lead to underprivileged people in communities outside of the main city

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Hannah Van Hofwegen
University of Ottawa

Whether it was basketball with the local kids, assisting the doctors, talking with families, building washrooms, holding babies, or spending time with the people who were on the SLT with me, this was an amazing opportunity that I would do over and over again.

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Isabelle Holt
Cornell University

I loved learning about the patients MEDLIFE has followed and how they offer real help to people with chronic/urgent conditions. It is amazing how the organization formed real connections with the communities.

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Valerie Lindeborg

Our family had the privilege of participating in multiple trips with Nick [founder] and his amazing staff. Their expertise made the trips unforgettable while instilling in my boys the fundamentals of good character: selflessness, compassion, and empathy.

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Harry Vildibill
University of Georgia

As an aspiring physician, MEDLIFE motivated me to further continue my goal of becoming a doctor. In fact, I enjoyed the Tanzania Service Learning Trip so much that I decided to go on another trip to Cusco, Peru.