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Summer Diaries #2

Featured Profile #2 - Ravi Sadhu CMC’19

Major - Biology and Religious Studies

Ravi Sadhu CMC’19, is a dual major in Biology and Religious Studies. Dedicated to gain confidence in speaking with people from distinct backgrounds in order to conduct a collaborative conversation, Sadhu worked as a clinical intern at the South Asian Heart Center in the Bay Area. South Asian Heart Center works towards attracting participants to join programs that address the twin epidemics of heart disease and diabetes, specifically in individuals whose ancestry relates to the Indian subcontinent. Their programs focus on: assessing and discovering hidden risks, intervening in culturally-appropriate lifestyle MEDS (Meditate, Exercise, Diet and Sleep), as well as counseling and managing personalized heart-health coaching. Interested in gaining supplementary clinical and culturally competent professional experiences, Sadhu decided to intern here. The internship included a 3-week training in scientific literature, and then 2 weeks of practicing rigorous mock calls before talking with program participants over the phone.The phone calls he received were mainly regarding the enquiries for the programs and a discussion about how the issues faced by the participants can be dealt with through the programs offered by the Center.

Connections to the Major - Through this opportunity, Sadhu, who is on a pre-med track, learned how lifestyle interventions can impact diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. He was able to make connections from his Vertebrate Physiology class and learnings from this internship.

Sadhu has taken several courses about religion in South Asia and he has always been interested to know how socio-religious identities shaped people's beliefs pertaining to their health and lifestyle in the South Asian context. In the discipline of religious studies, he says, “we constantly examine why societies and individuals make the decisions that they do because of religious texts, ideologies or beliefs.” Applying a similar analytical way of thinking enabled him me to gain sensitivity towards how being a South Asian can affect one's expectations of their own health, and from their health care providers. Health, therefore, as Sadhu states is an integral aspect of humanities and vice versa. These ideologies made his healthcare internship relatable to both his majors.

Getting the Internship Position - Applying for the position was restricted to the students who could contribute over 3 months to the center and had prior clinical experience.

Therefore, the selection process of the internship was quite competitive. Sadhu mentioned that he underwent only one round of informal interviewing and added that he was skeptical about getting the clinical intern position without having a prior experience with South Asian communities in a healthcare setting.

Reflection of the Health-Care Sector - Sadhu mentions that there were five key takeaways about health from this internship: a). Healthcare providers must constantly be up to date with scientific literature, the most recent health recommendations, and the larger trends of lifestyle in the community that they are serving. b). It is important for healthcare providers to develop an investigative outlook to collect data on people's health and understand their clinical markers. c). Excellent health care providers create a lasting impression on their patients by motivating them in a positive direction. d). Being involved in healthcare is an emotional investment, and some participants will simply be unwilling or uncooperative. e). As much as healthcare providers must expect participants to learn from them, they must be humble and willing to learn from their participants as well.

Life Lessons Learnt - During the course of this internship, Sadhu learned that important to firstly preach what you practice. He added, “educating other people about their health outcomes certainly makes you think more about your own, enabling you to grow as a person.” While receiving calls from the unknown participants, he realized that one should be empathetic even if it is your first interaction with them. Lastly, Sadhu recognized that everyone holds a different perspective about taking care of their bodies and all career fields related to Health Sciences and Humanities should acknowledge this.

A message Sadhu wants to give out from his experiences is as follows - “Remember that your passion comes first. It's easier said than done.” Additionally, Sadhu noted, “ To keep deadlines in mind and make the most of all the opportunities at hand.”

Sadhu chose his internship after extensive research on the opportunities available to him that combine his major with his interests. He suggests the same to all the students, especially freshmen, to explore various fields of work.

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