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2004 MedicIndia Fellows

Shabri Bhatt is 24 years old and resides in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Her family is originally from the Surat district, specifically the town of Pulsana.  Her father is an internal medicine doctor in Cincinnati.  She is interested in neurology and hematology.

Shabri can be reached at shabri@medicindia.org

Fatema Bukhari, nicknamed “Dolly,” was born in Vadodara, Gujarat. After living in Vadodara and Ahmedabad for 10 months, she immigrated to Tampa, Florida with her parents.  Although Fatema is an only child, she grew up among many aunts, uncles, cousins and her grandmother in Tampa, where her father is an engineer and her mother is a teacher.  After she graduated from high school, she moved to Washington, D.C. to attend The George Washington University, where she majored in Human Services and minored in Sociology and Biology.  During college, Fatema volunteered in a free medical clinic and taught English to recently emigrated South Asian elementary school children.  After receiving her bachelor’s degree, she continued her education at the GWU School of Medicine.  Since childhood, Fatema has been to India several times to visit family and travel.  It was during these trips to her birthplace that she was inspired to become a physician and more importantly, serve the underprivileged community in India.  She feels that coming to Surat through the MedicIndia program is an invaluable experience in learning about the Indian healthcare system and her cultural roots.

Fatema can be reached at fatema@medicindia.org

Manisha Dayal was born in California and raised in Tennessee.  Her family is originally from the area surrounding Surat.  Currently, she attends medical school at UCSF (University of California San Francisco).  Manisha recently completed her first year in medical school and is interested in international health.  Prior to attending medical school, she worked as a biotech consultant for two years with McKinsey.  During this time she learned about the business side of healthcare and became interested in starting a biotech company that could both be profitable and have primarily humanistic aims such as manufacturing drugs for developing countries.  Manisha attended college at Stanford University in California.  She spent many of her summers during college traveling and working abroad.  Some of the activities she has participated in include working with victims of torture in a Tibetan refugee camp in Dharamsala and assisting orphaned children with UNAIDS in South Africa.  Other places that she has visited include Afghanistan, Mongolia, several countries in Europe and Africa, and South India.  Some of Manisha’s hobbies include playing the cello, writing short stories, cooking, trekking, surfing, running, rock climbing, dancing salsa and studying yoga. Among her many accomplishments include a full scholarship to medical school at UCSF.    

Manisha can be reached at manisha@medicindia.org.

My name is Raj Keriwala and I am a first year medical student at Tulane University in New Orleans University.  I graduated from Tulane this past may as an undergraduate and I have resided in Louisiana for most of my life.  My interest in medicine lies in primary care and community health and prevention, which has led me to pursue a joint MD-MPH degree at Tulane in Community Health Sciences.  I look forward to participating in the MedicIndia program and gaining the valuable clinical, but more importantly I look forward to meeting and learning from the different people involved with the program.

Raj can be reached at raj@medicindia.org.

Sumit Khandhar was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. His parents also reside there and are now retired.  His father previously worked as a mechanical defense engineer.  They now return to India six months out of the year to visit family in Ahmedabad and Limbdi and to pursue spiritual growth within the Jain faith.  Sumit has an older brother who is a neurologist, who is currently married and is pursuing a fellowship at the University of California at San Francisco Medical Center.  His younger brother is working in the insurance sector for a firm in Los Angeles. 

Sumit is currently studying medicine at Western University of Health Sciences in Los Angeles and will now start his second year.  Sumit attended the University of California at Berkeley for his undergraduate degree in neurobiology.  After graduating in 2000 he worked in a biotechnology startup in San Francisco, California.  There, he helped design a software program which constructs three-dimensional models of the brain to aid in neurosurgery.  He has visited India on numerous occasions to visit his family and before medical school spent 7 months in India and Nepal.  During that time he traveled and volunteered as a teacher in Kathmandu.  He has enjoyed his first-year of medical school and is thinking about pursuing a career in neurology or pediatrics.  In the US, Sumit has been involved with several volunteer organizations ranging from work with the homeless to patient care in a free clinic.  His other interests include theatre, music, meditating, whitewater rafting, and snowboarding.  From the MedicIndia experience he hopes to explore the relationship between the Indian and American components of his identity and culture.  Sumit is interested in learning about the unique cultural and medical challenges facing the India's underserved population. 

Sumit can be reached at sumit@medicindia.org

Born in the southern US state of Alabama, Priya Pujara moved to South Carolina where she began studying Bharatnatyam at the age of 9.  She has continued to study the ancient dance form on frequent trips to Ahmedabad, where her parents where born.  At 18, Priya left for college in Pennsylvania where she studied Economics.  During the summer after her first year, she returned to India as an employee of Hindustan Unilever Corporation.  Two years later, she traveled to India again to work as an intern for the US consulate in Mumbai.  After graduating from college, Priya traveled through Northern India, throughout Asia (including Japan, China, and Thailand) and South America.  She currently attends the Medical College of South Carolina, after which she hopes to work in the field of international medicine, with a focus on women’s health.

Priya can be reached at priya@medicindia.org.

Apurva Patel is 23 years old, and was born in New York, NY.  He grew up in New Jersey, and now attends medical school in Boston, Massachusetts.  His father is originally from near Nadiad but spent his formative years in the Fiji Islands before returning to Mumbai for college and medical school.  His mother spent some of her childhood in Burma but then also returned to India for schooling.  His father is now a vascular surgeon, while his mother is a pediatric neurologist.  He has an older sister who is a radiology resident, and a younger sister who is in her third year in college.

Apurva has just completed his first year at Harvard Medical School, after receiving an undergraduate degree in Biophysics from Harvard College.  As an undergraduate he conducted research on the neurobiology of hearing and volunteered in a Multiple Sclerosis clinic.  In college, he also developed an interest in India and the South Asian Diaspora.  He helped to found Harvard’s Bhangra dance team, and went on to compete at the national level.  Along with this, he also studied Hindi and Urdu.  In this spirit of cultural exploration he has now returned to India after a period of ten years.  He is excited about the MedicIndia program because it engages both his cultural and medical interests.  So far he has found this experience intellectually stimulating, emotionally moving and personally challenging.  From this experience abroad, Apurva hopes to learn about healthcare in India, and through comparison gain perspective on medicine in the US and in India.

Apurva can be reached at apurva@medicindia.org

Ami Shah was born in New Jersey to Ashvin and Surekha Shah, both of Ahmedabad on Oct. 16, 1982.  Her parents immigrated to the US over 30 years ago.  Her father is an engineer and her mother a physician having studied at the BJ Medical College in Ahmedabad.  Inspired and by the support of her parents, Ami, now 21, is currently receiving medical education at the University of Alabama in Birmingham.  She lives in a flat with her younger brother, Neusil (20) who aspires to be a dentist.  Ami hopes to pursue international medicine and wishes to build a free clinic in India.  Ami enjoys traveling, cultural dance, music, and sports. 

Ami can be reached at ami@medicindia.org