UConn School of Medicine
I was born in Kiev, Ukraine and immigrated to New London, CT when I was six years old. I graduated from Mount Holyoke College where I majored in biology and Spanish. As part of my undergraduate education, I studied abroad in Seville, Spain and volunteered at a nursing home. Additionally, I was a volunteer English teacher in small villages in Slovakia and Hungary. Both of these cross-cultural experiences helped to break down common stereotypes about the U.S., Spain, Hungary, or Slovakia. As an immigrant, I can relate to patients from different countries who are not familiar with our health care system or who have experienced communication problems due to a language barrier. As a first-year medical student, one of my professional goals is to become fluent in medical Spanish so that I can personally eliminate language difficulties that I may encounter with Spanish-speaking patients. After medical school, I hope to open a family wellness clinic with my uncle, an acupuncturist, in New York City. The goal is to create a fusion of Western and Eastern medicine to provide optimal patient care. I firmly believe that one type of medicine cannot adequately address the complexities of disease. Therefore, if medical providers integrated various aspects of Eastern and Western medicine they could produce an innovative and more effective plan of care for their patients. UST creates a platform for formal cross-cultural learning, interdisciplinary teamwork, and education about the critical medical issues plaguing minority groups. As a UST participant, I will contribute my language skills, cultural sensitivity, and desire to change the one-size-fits-all medical model.