"I found out about Dr. Krishnan and her work at Bhojay through some of my other mentors in public health. Right away, I was really impressed with her passion and commitment and knew that we would work well together. As we planned the next steps of the project, she was incredibly supportive and did her best to nurture my interests. Through her support and the generosity of my residency program, I was able to spend a month at Bhojay during my internship to build on my research in the area. I returned wanting more and committed to spending my research time during residency in India building this program further and designing research to support cervical cancer screening efforts in India. I am really grateful to Dr. Krishnan for opening me to this experience and being very patient and supportive as I find my direction in this field."
Bio: Dr. Surbhi Grover is currently a Radiation Oncology resident at Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. She received her MD from Harvard Medical School and her BA in Economics from Columbia University. During medical school she worked under Prof. Jeffrey Sachs and other economists at the Earth Institute on evaluation of the National Rural Health Mission, a rural health initiative by the Ministry of Health of India. Her interests lie in oncology and public health, specifically women's health, cervical and breast cancer screening, and awareness program implementation and upscaling. She hopes to continue to contribute towards cancer prevention efforts in India through her residency and beyond.
"I initially contacted Dr. Krishnan after a history professor at Yale told me about her public health work. Dr. Krishnan kindly put me in contact with the women of Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangatan, which she had visited earlier in the year to discuss starting a grassroots program to screen for cervical cancer. I was encouraged by their enthusiasm and long record of community involvement. I volunteered as the summer health intern for KMVS in the summer of 2009 working to launch a cervical and breast screening program. For the first half of the summer I was based primarily in the KMVS office in Bhuj, though I visited Bhojay Sarvoday Hospital during one of their quarterly gynecological camps, where I was invited into the OR to view surgeries and to two villages for field group discussions. I lived a ten-minute walk away from the office in a modest guest room and worked Monday through Saturday to produce materials for the education campaign, research cervical cancer testing and vaccination strategies, organize field visits and document the program. In Bhuj I dressed in clothes from the local bazaar, met other foreigners volunteering through different organizations, celebrated at a wedding, and enjoyed mango season and Indian snacks with my coworkers with great pleasure. Later in the summer I travelled with a dozen women for a two-week training program at Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai and then helped with two pre-camp education visits to launch the cervical cancer screening camps. Throughout the entire experience, Dr. Krishnan's encouragement and support was invaluable. I updated her on progress in Bhuj, and her counsel and presence was crucial in keeping the momentum of the program going. Because I did not speak Hindi or Gujarati, I appreciated having someone I could turn to with nuanced questions or when I needed comforting after my computer crashed!"
Bio: Alice Drain is a senior at Yale University majoring in history. She is involved in community service and currently serves as the Education Network Coordinator for Dwight Hall, the independent center for public service and social justice at Yale, and as a volunteer at The Connecticut Hospice. A course on public health convinced Alice to make the transition to medicine, and she plans on enrolling in a post-baccalaureate program after obtaining her B.A.