In 2004, I ventured to India with a backpack and a mission to find myself. Like many college students, I felt lost and unsure as to what my future would be, let alone how it would end up relating to my career down the road. It was during this journey, where I began visiting ashrams and hospitals in India. In these visits, true health care disparities that plague under-served countries quickly made themselves apparent.

Although the common theme of poverty and ailment was sustained in all of my visits, there was one experience that exemplified the true revelations of what being uneducated and disadvantaged in India meant. At a private hospital I visited, there was a 23 year old woman that had suffered third degree burns on nearly half of her body.

The woman had suffered these burns days prior and should have been treated during that time, but neither her, nor were her family able to afford transportation to one of the few hospitals in the area. By the time she was able to reach this hospital, the effects of her burns had caused irreversible damage.  Instead of providing necessary care immediately, doctors and management asked for insurance and an upfront payment of services.

The woman was denied care, and without a doubt, would pass later that week. The cost of that lifesaving surgery and treatment would have been roughly $2,000.00. Upon seeing the pain and suffering of not only this woman, but many other women, men, and children, I vowed to return every year to under-served regions of India with college students, hoping they too would find value and motivation in making health care more about patients over profit.

In 2010, after receiving federal non-profit status, Dr. Interns and I hosted the first India Medical and Cultural Internship, launching us towards our first project, a new Burn Ward at the Shree Prannath Hospital in Surat, India. In the summer of 2013, that project became a reality when the ward doors opened, paying tribute to the woman who initiated the mission of Dr. Interns and all of our staff.

That achievement has only unlocked many more opportunities for Dr. Interns to help others in the future. With that said, I truly believe the experience Dr. Interns provides is life changing, and broadens the way each participant views health care models at home, and abroad. I thank you for taking the time to learn more about our organization, and hopefully becoming a part of our ongoing mission to serve the medical needs of under-served regions in not only India, but globally. 

 

  Sincerely,

  Ketan Patel

  Founder and Executive Director

  Dr. Interns