Marissa Uriarte interned for Center for Social Medicine in Loni, India, through IE3 Global Internships in Summer ’12. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health with an option in Health Promotion and Health Behavior, and a minor in German. She is now working as an International Ambassador for the office of International Degree and Education Abroad (IDEA).
During my internship, I had the chance to work in a wide range of projects that focused on medical care, public health and social development in the rural and tribal areas of Maharashtra. Before I go more into depth about my work at Center For Social Medicine I wanted to note that I cannot sum up India in a single story. India is filled with a life full of color from the saris women wear to the the paints on the animals during a holiday. It is filled with noises from the people bargaining at the market to the honking on the streets, and it is filled with smells from the food cooking on the sidewalks.
However, I can tell you that interning abroad challenged every aspect of who I am; it revealed not only my strengths and weaknesses, but questioned my knowledge and beliefs. I met heart-warming people that I will keep dear to my heart and learned that life is precious and we all need a helping hand.
There are an infinite amount of memories I will hold, but I would place working with the staff at the Mobile Clinic in one of my favorite. Here, I visited a daycare center for children under the age of five years old. I assisted the pediatrician in charting their growth development to prevent malnutrition. Also, I performed regular health check-ups for pregnant women, which consists of finding the position of the fetus, measuring the fetus length, listening to the fetal heart beat and checking the women’s health status.
The Mobile Clinic was very impressive, because the doctors and nurses went to the people. It addressed the transportation barrier and really emphasized that the patient’s health is their number one priority.
I had the chance to do and see things that people only see on TV. And I don’t believe this is an exaggeration. The culture and atmosphere is new and enriching; it’s completely different from anything I have ever experienced.
The Center for Social Medicine truly offers unmatched opportunities for international interns. I was able to use the knowledge and skills I acquired at Oregon State University, as well as build new skills that will contribute to my professional aspirations as an international public health nurse.
I want to stress that I would not have acquired this chance to intern abroad without the support from the staff at International Programs Department and the scholarships I received, such as the Benjamin Gilman Scholarship and the Nicodemus Scholarship. I believe that anything is possible if you are proactive in your career aspirations.