My name is Roshni Kailar, and I will be interning at Aravind Eye Care Systems in Madurai, India this summer with three other Penn students. I am a rising junior from Atlanta, GA, and I am majoring in Biology and planning to minor in Statistics and Chemistry. While I know I want to be a doctor, I am completely undecided about which field within medicine I want to pursue. I have worked in labs that study gastroenterology, cardiology, as well as immunology; now, I am expanding my knowledge of biological systems by working in an eye hospital!
I am excited to step outside my comfort zone in a number of different ways this summer. The first step in this mission to go beyond what is comfortable is becoming more independent. As an only child, I have always been extremely close to my parents and have been pretty sheltered. Deciding to go to Philadelphia for college was one step towards becoming more independent. However, going alone to India, a country I have only ever traveled to with my parents, is a good next step in my quest for independence.
Another way I am going outside my comfort zone is by working in a more clinical setting. Since I was a rising junior in high school, I have been conducting research work in a lab. I have grown accustomed to associating medicine with cells and genes. Seeing that medicine is about people and their specific needs rather than simply about lab work was an important factor for me when deciding to go to Aravind this summer. Despite this realization, embracing the social aspect of medicine will be a new thing for a girl who is used to pipetting and running PCR (polymerase chain reaction) to understand medical problems.
At Aravind, I will be working on patient education. Specifically, I hope to help inform patients about eye conditions and how they can determine when they need help. Additionally, I want to help patients understand what sorts of behaviors they can adopt in order to live more healthy lives when it comes to eye care. One of the things I am most excited for at Aravind is volunteering in eye camps because I would be in direct contact with the patients who need the care the most. I am sure that I will learn a great deal, and I am excited to see what I can do this summer at Aravind!