Kavya Desai, MD
Kavya Desai, MD
Resident Physician · Minneapolis, MN

Medicine and Dermatology Experience in India

March 6th
Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Project Description

I plan to go to Bangalore, India in March 2023 to do a clinical rotation at a local hospital. I will be doing hands-on clinical work there and functioning in the capacity of a resident physician at the hospital. During my four weeks, I plan to spend half of my time rotating in dermatology and the other half of my time rotating in internal medicine. I will work with diverse patient populations in a low-resource setting and provide medical care. Additionally, at the hospital I will be rotating through, patients come from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds and I hope to better understand the barriers facing these patients, how to adapt to those challenges, and how to provide cost-effective high quality care in a low-income setting.

Population Served

I will be working with a diverse patient population in Bangalore, India. I have an interest in working with this population because my family is original from this area in India. While all of my education and training has been done in the United States, I am able to speak the language (Kannada) and converse with patients. This will allow me to better understand the needs of my patients and provide care for them. Additionally, the experience will allow me to learn from and give back to the community where my parents and ancestors come from.

Expected Impact

Beyond the direct clinical impact of the rotation, having the opportunity to work with a diverse patient population will allow me to gain a better understanding of dermatologic manifestations in skin of color patients. A special area of interest for me is in treating conditions in diverse patient populations. This learning experience would be invaluable as it would allow me to gain exposure to a wide array of pathology. I hope to apply my training and knowledge in caring for these patients with complex medical and dermatological conditions.

Trip Photos & Recap

During my monthlong experience, I was fortunate to work at the hospital associated with St. John's Medical College in Bangalore, India. I really enjoyed my monthlong experience working with a diverse array of patients. Many of the patients coming to clinic had come from small villages several hours away to seek treatment. In the dermatology clinic, we had the opportunity to treat a variety of conditions such as leprosy, hyper IgE syndrome, and many pigmentary disorders. On the inpatient side, we cared for patients with blistering diseases, severe pustular psoriasis, and lupus flares.

For me, the experience provided exposure to some skin conditions that I had never gotten the chance to see here in the US. I really appreciate the opportunity to learn from such complex cases and more importantly to interact and work with local physicians and trainees in India. Beyond patient care, there was a great deal of teaching and learning from which the local residents and I mutually benefited from. For example, I was able to talk to and educate residents about the different treatments for skin cancers (which are less commonly seen in India) and they were able to teach me about vitiligo treatments in a low resource setting.