This summer, Heritage Adetola ’22, a sophomore in the College of Human Ecology, did a two-week medical internship based in Hue, Vietnam under the Future Docs Abroad program. Adetola learned about Vietnamese traditional medicine through shadowing doctors, observing surgeries, completing rotations and listening to medicine lectures.
Adetola, a Global and Public Health Sciences major, is interested in both public health and medicine and plans to pursue a career in healthcare. With Global and Public Health Sciences being a common major among pre-medical students, Adetola said this internship helped her narrow down her career goals and decide between public health and medicine.
“The main difference between public health and medicine is that public health is concerned about the entire population’s health whereas medicine is primarily concerned about individual care,” Adetola said. “So I wanted to go on this trip to see if I would want to continue with public health, switch to medicine or maybe find a way to mix the two.”
During the two week program, interns rotated through a number of different departments including obstetrics and gynecology, practical and experimental surgery and dentistry, where she got to see a vaginal hysterectomy, the removal of a benign tumor, and a cystoscopy. But of all the rotations, her favorite was dentistry, where children with cleft lips and cleft palates were treated.
“I realized that maybe one day I can specialize in cleft lip and palate surgery because like obstetrics and gynecology, I would be working with infants, while combining medicine and public health,” Adetola said.
Adetola is planning to travel abroad again next summer for experiential learning, which is a component of the Global and Public Health Sciences major curriculum. She feels that this will be a great chance to apply the skills that she has learned during Future Docs Abroad.
“The experience was eye-opening and life-changing. I have scrubbed into surgeries, have learned surgical techniques, have been exposed to a plethora of specialties that I never knew I had an interest for,” Adetola said.