Whether it was shadowing medical professionals, visiting local non-profits or fulfilling his childhood dream of visiting the Taj Mahal, Nutrition student Charles Baugh’s internship abroad experience in India is one he’ll never forget.
“My favorite aspect is getting to have conversations with doctors about patients we have seen during the day and hearing their take on current public health issues,” he says. “There are so many brilliant people to learn from here, and I have had a wonderful time being their observer and becoming their friend.”
For the majority of the internship, Charles shadowed doctors across India working in traditional and Western medicine specializing in naturopathy, Ayurveda, homeopathy, pediatrics, gynecology, emergency medicine and family practice.
He spent the remainder of the internship visiting non-governmental organizations, non-profits and government-funded public health organizations.
“India has many domestic public health issues they are battling such as general sanitation, population issues and access to health care,” he says. “Through this internship, I have learned that I want to pursue a career as a medical doctor and work on improving access to health care for minorities and financially insecure populations.”
In order to gain professional and clinical experience to prepare him for medical school, he chose to intern in India through IE3 Global Internships, a program administered by Oregon State University’s Office of International Programs. He was awarded a national scholarship, the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships, to fund his international internship experience.
“Everything I’ve learned here I feel is applicable to my career as a medical health professional, whether that be learning what type of doctor I want to be or learning about the culture here, I feel reinvigorated by this experience to continue my pursuit of becoming a doctor,” he says.
As Charles wraps up the final days of his internship, he reflects on his journey – from sitting in a classroom to taking that knowledge with him in the field in India – and how it’s helped him along his path.
“My studies prepared me very well for this trip,” he says. “One example is being able to identify nutritional deficits and diseases in children. I have seen many unique cases here in India that I thought I would only ever read about in textbooks.
“Looking back, this experience will always help me keep pushing forward with my goals and aid me in my pursuit to provide the best health care possible for my future patients.”