Hi everyone! I’m currently writing this in Helsinki, Finland as I wait for my third of five flights to Tamil Nadu. My name is Aravind Krishnan, and I will be interning at the Aravind Eye Hospital in Madurai, Tamil Nadu this summer. At Penn, I’m a rising sophomore in the Life Sciences & Management (LSM) Program, a dual-degree program in the College and Wharton—more specifically, I’m planning to major in Molecular & Cell Biology in the College, and concentrate in Healthcare Management & Policy and Statistics in Wharton.
I grew up in Hillsborough, New Jersey but now call Newark, DE home since my family recently moved. Having been to India and even Tamil Nadu several times in the past since my grandparents and many extended family members live there, I am not extremely nervous for any sort of culture shock I may encounter. Having visited India just last summer in fact, India definitely “feels” closer than it has in the past.
Granted, I haven’t spent much time in India away from my family so I have been preparing myself for the inevitability of stretching beyond my comfort zone. I am definitely more excited than nervous though, and I look forward to exploring Madurai more than I have been able to in the past, as well as other parts of South India too if time permits.
Interning at Aravind Eye Hospital seems like a perfect opportunity that was made for me, as someone who is deeply interested in connecting clinical medicine and the scientific side of healthcare with business and healthcare policy. Business and policy are essential to clinical medicine, and vice versa, to ensure that not only are advancements in the quality of care made, but that they are also able to be expanded to everyone that can benefit from care, no matter their identity. The Aravind Eye Care system has something that has captured my wonder from a young age, as doctors in my family in Coimbatore raved about the efficiency and quality of care provided at Aravind’s hospital there. After hearing about the system for years, I’m thrilled to finally be able to go in and learn the inner workings, to see how an institution with fewer resources than Western counterparts is able to achieve an arguably higher performance than those counterparts.
While many details of this summer remain uncertain, I am sure my experiences will be incredibly rewarding and unforgettable. Keep following along over the coming weeks to have an up close and personal look at my adventures at Aravind!