Learn more about our past Merit Scholars, what their futures hold in store, and why they loved Atlantis!

Merit Scholars

George Bugarinovic

Toledo, Spain, '16 || Harvard Medical School

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George Bugarinovic

Toledo, Spain, '16 || Harvard Medical School

Program:

Toledo, Spain – Spring 2016

Current Education:

Medical student at Harvard Medical School

Undergraduate:

Johns Hopkins class of 2015

Major:

Public Health, Natural Sciences

Honors:

Graduated with University Honors, elected into Delta Omega National Public Health Honor Society, Robert H. Scott Award, Dean of Student Life Award: Christopher B. Elser Award, Dean of Student Life Award: JHU Class of 1979 Scholarship

Extracurricular Activities:

Varsity basketball, Stowers Institute for Medical Research assistant, University of Kansas Molecular Biology Research Assistant, medical interpreter, volunteer at the Maryland School for the Blind

How is Atlantis unique?

Atlantis unites clinical observation, volunteering opportunity, and international exploration into a single entity.

Describe Atlantis in Three Words:

Exploratory. Insightful. Galvanizing.

What was your favorite experience as an Atlantis fellow?

The entire package: spending time with students with similar goals, learning from physicians in a significantly different healthcare system, and soaking in a brand new culture along the way.

What was the most meaningful aspect of your time shadowing?

The most meaningful and memorable aspect of my time shadowing in Toledo had to do with an especially close bond I developed with a physician in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). She cared about my learning as much or more than any doctor I had previously worked with. To this day, I remember the clinical expertise and interpersonal aptitude she conveyed.

How has Atlantis helped equip you for the future?

I believe that highlighting the Atlantis experience significantly bolstered my candidacy and helped lead to numerous eventual [medical school] acceptances I was fortunate enough to receive.

Having been through the entire application process, I can now confidently say that the Atlantis experience would have been a tremendous asset throughout the cycle. Whether it was juxtaposing different healthcare models, witnessing a captivating medical procedure, meeting an extraordinary physician, or being deeply moved by a patient’s heartwarming story, the extended clinical shadowing experience offered by Atlantis provides fantastic opportunities for prospective health students in a variety of interests. I am very glad to have had the chance to broaden my medical and cultural horizons with Atlantis before beginning medical school.

Lauren Howser

Athens, Greece '16 || Indiana University School of Medicine

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Lauren Howser

Athens, Greece '16 || Indiana University School of Medicine

Program:

Athens, Greece, Summer 2016

Undergraduate:

Indiana University class of 2018

Major:

Supply Chain Management, Pre-med

Honors:

Hutton Honors College, Business Honors Program, Founder’s Scholar

Extracurricular Activities:

Hutton Honors Council Association Pre-Health Council, Undergraduate Research Assistant, Timmy Global Health, Alpha Phi Sorority

Why did you choose Atlantis?

I choose to participate in Atlantis because it was the perfect balance between learning and exploring. I was dying to travel abroad, and this opportunity gave me the ability to experience Greece while shadowing in amazing hospitals.

How is Atlantis unique?

Atlantis offers an experience unlike any other because of the planning and research that has gone into the Fellowship. It was so organized and the excursions allowed us as Fellows to get a real feel of the culture.

Describe Atlantis in Three Words:

Breath-taking. Exploration. Life-changing.

What was your favorite experience as an Atlantis fellow?

Having the opportunity to be in the operation room for multiple surgeries from lung tumor removal to knee replacement was my absolute favorite part of the Fellowship. It solidified my desire to be a doctor even more than I thought was possible.

What was the most meaningful aspect of your time shadowing?

Interacting with the doctors was the most meaningful aspect because they had so much knowledge and advice to offer. They were truly excited for the Fellows to shadow them and to get the opportunity to teach us about their career.

What are your post-grad plans?

I plan to attend medical school and enroll in a MD/MBA program where I can pursue my passions for both business and medicine.

How has Atlantis equipped you for active leadership in the medical field?

The Atlantis Fellowship gave me the confidence and desire to actively pursue a leadership position in the medical field. Being in the hospital setting really showed me how big of a responsibility and leadership role the doctors take in their everyday work.

Kenna Lum

Pontevedra, Spain '16 || Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine

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Kenna Lum

Pontevedra, Spain '16 || Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine

Program:

Pontevedra, Spain – 2016

Undergraduate:

Arizona State University class of 2017

Major:

Biomedical Engineering

Honors:

Presidential Merit Scholarship, Dean’s List, Barrett the Honors College

Extracurricular Activities:

Fulton Ambassadors, Biomedical Engineering Society, Alpha Eta Mu Beta, Tau Beta Pi, K-12 Outreach, intramural sports

How is Atlantis unique?

The Atlantis Fellowship sounded like a great opportunity to shadow doctors and to learn about another healthcare system. I had an incredible time on the program, both academically in the shadowing experiences and culturally.

Describe Atlantis in Three Words:

Just sign up.

What was the most meaningful aspect of your time shadowing?

In my shadowing, I got to see a wide variety of specialties which helped me narrow down what area of medicine I am most interested in.

What are your post-grad plans?

I will be finishing up  my Master’s this next year and am applying to medical schools.

How has Atlantis helped equip you for the future?

It was truly one of the greatest experiences in my life. I learned so much about the medical field, met some great friends, and really found out that I want to be in the medical field. I got to see procedures and ask questions in a setting that encouraged learning.

Daniel Human

Trieste, Italy '17 || Cal State University, Chico

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Daniel Human

Trieste, Italy '17 || Cal State University, Chico

Program:

Trieste, Italy, Winter 2017

Undergraduate:

University of California, Chico State class of 2019

Major:

Biology

Honors:

Honors program, Dean’s List, Senator of Chico State, National Honor Society

Extracurricular Activities:

Backpacking, hiking, camping, running, boxing

Describe Atlantis in Three Words:

Organized. Resourceful. Prepared.

What was your favorite experience as an Atlantis fellow?

I really enjoyed my time shadowing in the cardiology department and learning about the Italian approach to healthcare as compared to ours in the United States.

What was the most meaningful aspect of your time shadowing?

In Italian culture, patient interaction is much more intimate and compassionate. This is something that I definitely want to include in the way that I treat patients during my future career as a doctor. This was a really valuable thing to learn and an aspect that I will always incorporate in my patient care.

What are your post-grad plans?

Medical school.

How has Atlantis helped equip you for the future?

Along with learning about healthcare, through the Atlantis Fellowship I developed connections with several other pre-medical students.

I was exposed to a different approach to medicine – both the good and the bad of it. I was allowed to see parts of patient care that I had never seen before.

Tiffany Hu

Tereul, Spain '16 || U Michigan Medical School

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Tiffany Hu

Tereul, Spain '16 || U Michigan Medical School

Program:

Teruel, Spain – Summer 2016

Undergraduate:

University of Maryland class of 2017

Admitted medical student at:

University of Michigan Medical School

Major:

Neurobiology

Honors:

Honors Integrated Life Sciences Program, Banneker/Key Scholarship

Extracurricular Activities:

American Medical Student Association Co-President & Advocacy Day Liaison, Alternative Breaks Experience Leader, Health Professions Advising Office Student Advisory Board, Biology Teach Assistant, Health Leads, Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, NIH Research Intern, Physicians for Social Responsibility Environment & Health Intern

Why did you choose Atlantis?

I wanted to expand my horizons and understand a culture of health different from the ones I am accustomed to.  I had shadowed doctors in the United States and Taiwan prior to my Atlantis Fellowship experience, and being able to see first-hand the healthcare system in Spain allowed me to draw comparisons between the different complex healthcare systems.

Describe Atlantis in Three Words:

Educational. Eye-opening. Exhilarating.

What was your favorite experience as an Atlantis fellow?

Bonding with the other Fellows and celebrating our time together along with the doctors we shadowed. We would discuss our interests, passions, and motivation for medicine, and it was an incredible experience to learn from and alongside them.

What was your experience with the doctors you were shadowing?

Because of the pre-established relationships with the hospitals in which we shadowed, all the doctors were very welcoming and accommodating. They were willing to translate for us and explain in detail all of their medical decisions. My doctors and I had wonderful conversations about the differences between life in Spain vs. the United States.

What was the most meaningful aspect of your time shadowing?

I was excited to scrub in on surgeries and watch as the doctor explained what he was doing throughout the operation. Before and after surgeries, as well as in my other rotations, I observed how the doctors reassured and communicated with their patients. I was able to glean insight into differences between the experience of health in Spain versus the United States through observation as well as conversations with the doctors.

How has Atlantis helped equip you for the future?

Besides the wealth of medical knowledge I gained from shadowing the doctors, I challenged myself to step outside of my cultural comfort zone and explore more than I thought I was capable of. Atlantis allowed me to make connections with people from all around the United States and abroad, and the friendships I gained helped me learn so much more than I would have on my own.

Alexandra Roper

Ferrol, Spain '17 || Indiana University School of Medicine

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Alexandra Roper

Ferrol, Spain '17 || Indiana University School of Medicine

Program:

Ferrol, Spain – Winter 2017

Undergraduate:

Indiana University – Bloomington class of 2016

Major:

Biochemistry, Biology, Spanish

Future Plans:

I have been accepted at University of California Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine as well as Indiana University School of Medicine.

Honors:

Indiana University Founders Scholar, Department of Chemistry Honor Roll, College of Arts & Sciences Executive Dean’s List, the Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society Member, Department of Spanish and Portuguese Ashley Crouse Memorial Scholarship Winner, Hutton Honors College Hutton International Experiences Program Grant Winner, Phi Eta Sigma and Alpha Lambda Delta Honors Society, Cum Laude Academic Distinction

Extracurricular Activities:

Personal Trainer/YogaFit/Les Mills Group Exercise Instructor, Peer Mentorship, Hutton Honors College Council Association Chairman of Philanthropy, EMS First Aid volunteer, research assistant, Café Hispano Spanish Conversation Club, personal tutor, Epiphany Modeling Troupe, Ophthalmic Technician and Scribe

Why did you choose Atlantis?

My goal for my gap year was to seek reputable opportunities that would allow me to travel, practice speaking Spanish, and work directly with patients. Atlantis offered a unique combination of prestige from the competitive admissions process, complete cultural immersion, and diverse experiences shadowing in multiple hospital departments. It also allowed me to be adventurous and have fun exploring a new country and its culture. This combination made Atlantis the best choice for me.

How is Atlantis unique?

Atlantis facilitates the opportunity for Fellows to experience the lifestyle of physicians in their assigned country. In my experience, Fellows serve in smaller, less international cities where they shadow in the hospital for several hours. This provides a realistic perspective on what it would be like to be a physician in that department. This insight will guide me as I enter medical school and select a specialty for my career.

Describe Atlantis in Three Words:

Insightful. Inspiring. Incredible.

What was your favorite experience as an Atlantis fellow?

The friendships I made along the way. I worked with other amazing Fellows, my site director was like my second mom, I made great connections with the doctors I shadowed, and I even got to know some local people. I will forever value the shared experiences I have with each person who helped make my experience unforgettable.

What are your post-grad plans?

I graduated in May of 2016, and since then I have worked in an ophthalmology practice as a technician and scribe. I arranged my time so I would have opportunities to shadow and do research in the United States and overseas. I will be matriculating into medical school in the fall of 2017.

How has Atlantis helped equip you for the future?

Atlantis diversified my clinical experiences by showing me four new areas of medicine. It also exposed me to Spanish language in a medical context (although language skills were not required), which makes me an asset to Spanish-speaking populations. Furthermore, it gave me perspective about the lifestyle of a doctor and informed me about the functionality of a system with universal healthcare.

Nicholas Tucker

La Plata, Argentina || Case Western Reserve School of Medicine

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Nicholas Tucker

La Plata, Argentina || Case Western Reserve School of Medicine

Program:

La Plata, Argentina

Undergraduate:

The University of Notre Dame class of 2017

Major:

Neuroscience and Behavior

Honors:

Stamps Scholar, ND Monogram Club

Extracurricular Activities:

Student Athletic Trainer, Memory Lab Research, Student Assistant for the Alliance for Catholic Education, Singer/Songwriter and Guitarist

Why did you choose Atlantis?

The Atlantis Fellowship offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to combine my passions for medicine and Spanish. This was the only opportunity I could find that would allow me to improve these two areas concurrently while still being an undergraduate so that I could open up the amount of people I can serve in the future.

How is Atlantis unique?

Atlantis is very in touch with the evolving world that we live in. Having the ability to understand different cultures and languages is more important today than ever before, especially in the medical field. Doctors have an obligation to not only know about the various backgrounds of their patients but also to have the ability to connect with them–which only comes with full exposure into different cultures and a desire to appreciate and learn about both our similarities and differences.

Describe Atlantis in Three Words:

Insightful. Humbling, Life-Changing.

What was your favorite experience as an Atlantis fellow?

The best part of the Atlantis Fellowship was the day-to-day interactions I had with the Argentine people, whether in the hospital, at the hotel, or even out to eat at the local restaurants. The people of La Plata were so welcoming to us, and I am still in contact today with many of the people I met.

What was the most meaningful aspect of your time shadowing?

I truly enjoyed being able to witness how compassionate the doctors and residents were at the hospital. They gave every patient their full attention and time to make sure that they were cared for to the best of their ability, despite the constraints with which they had to deal. I also was inspired by the neurosurgeries I was able to witness, which have helped me discern what I want to do with my future in medicine.

How has Atlantis helped equip you for the future?

I walked away from the experience knowing a lot more about various medical fields (pediatrics, surgery, etc.), increasing my Spanish fluency dramatically, and learning an abundant amount about the dynamic culture that exists in Argentina.

Future plans?

I plan to attend medical school, and am already accepted.

Ria Shah

Pontevedra, Spain || Johns Hopkins University

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Ria Shah

Pontevedra, Spain || Johns Hopkins University

Program:

Pontevedra, Spain

Undergraduate:

Johns Hopkins class of 2018

Major:

Economics

Extracurricular Activities:

Alexander Hamilton Society JHU Chapter, Nourish International JHU Chapter, Member of the Women’s Pre-Health Leadership Society

What inspired you to join Atlantis?

Atlantis presents such a unique opportunity to explore healthcare and also see a very different part of the world. I knew it would be an experience that I could learn a lot from, both in experiencing time at-length in a clinical setting and at the level of getting to know the healthcare system as a whole in an entirely new country.

How is Atlantis Unique?

When you’re a pre-medicine or pre-health student, there are a ton of medically-related opportunities. I’ve found that traveling and expanding your perspective is one of the best ways to grow as a person. So in presenting an exceptional pre-medical fellowship combined with immersing yourself in a new culture and setting, Atlantis really gives you the best of both worlds.

Describe Atlantis in Three Words:

Adventurous. Exciting. Thought-provoking.

What was your favorite experience as a fellow?

Waking up in the morning to know I’d have a full day at the Hospital, rotating within a specialty, and getting to speak Spanish in order to learn from the doctors, and only to spend the evening trying brand new foods with some incredible friends you’ve just made. The entirety of the program was my favorite part – hard to find a dull moment.

What was the most meaningful aspect of your time shadowing?

One of the most meaningful parts of the Atlantis Fellowship, on top of getting a first-hand look at the clinical setting and finding mentorship in the doctors, was meeting, interacting and getting to know the local people of Pontevedra through fostering conversation within the hospital. From seeing the physical effects of an infectious disease to being a fly-on-the-wall in an operating room, you see just how much of an impact the clinical environment has on the resulting well-being of a patient. It’s something that I’m now able to carry with me today as a source of perspective and motivation as I chase my own path.

What are your post-grad plans?

I plan to take a gap-year then go to medical school.

How has Atlantis helped equip you for the future?

It has strengthened my breadth of experiences in a clinical setting and helped me better understand the parts of medicine I want to focus most on.

Alexis Stefaniak

Zaragoza, Spain || Stritch School of Medicine

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Alexis Stefaniak

Zaragoza, Spain || Stritch School of Medicine

Program:

Zaragoza, Spain

Undergraduate:

The University of Notre Dame class of 2017

Major:

Science Pre-Professional Studies and Spanish

Honors:

Resident Assistant, Dean’s List, Emil T. Hofman Memorial Scholarship, Sigma Delta Pi Spanish Honor Society

Extracurricular activities:

Global Medical Brigades participant, American Cancer Society officer, Friends of the Orphans Club officer, Notre Dame Dance Company tap dancer, College Mentors for Kids mentor, hospital volunteer, free medical clinic volunteer, Adult Development and Aging research assistant, Harper Cancer Research Institute research assistant

Why did you choose Atlantis?

Essentially, I was interested in Atlantis because I felt it would serve as a unique and beneficial clinical opportunity that I could not receive through any other program; I was confident it would form an important and necessary leg of my journey to becoming the doctor I wish to be. I was drawn to the fact that the Atlantis Fellowship would likely broaden my view of medicine not only by providing me with the opportunity to partake in long-term shadowing of physicians in multiple specialties, but also by allowing me to experience the European healthcare system and compare it to my experiences in the U.S. By spending several weeks being exposed to the daily routine of a physician, I hoped that my vocation for healthcare would become increasingly salient. I have always relished time spent shadowing physicians because I am able to gain clinical experience, mentorship, unique insights into a doctor’s life, and further direction regarding how I can practice medicine and incorporate faith into my work.Furthermore, as a student double-majoring in Spanish, I am always seeking opportunities to learn more about the culture of Spanish-speaking countries and practice my language abilities. Undeniably, the best way is by immersing myself in the language and culture. For me, one of the defining aspects of the Atlantis Fellowship was that it perfectly combined both of my majors, Science Pre-Professional Studies and Spanish, permitting me to explore my passion for healthcare and practice speaking Spanish–a valuable skill that will carry into my future career as a doctor and allow me to connect with as many patients as possible. Lastly, just as Notre Dame has provided an outstanding alumni network that I will cherish forever, I expected Atlantis to, similarly, provide me with an exceptional network of individuals passionate about medicine.

How is Atlantis unique?

Atlantis is unique because it allows students interested in medicine to experience health care in a different country than the United States and to also have a study abroad experience through excursions and cultural activities. It gives students an in-depth perspective on medicine–one they may have never received in the U.S.–and encourages them to explore their vocation, engage in the culture they are immersed in, and interact with like-minded individuals working toward a similar goal.

Describe Atlantis in three words:

Unique, formative, unforgettable.

What was your favorite experience as a fellow?

My favorite experience as an Atlantis Fellow was having the opportunity to essentially live as one of the locals of Zaragoza for an entire month. Each day of the week, I took the tram to the hospital, shadowed for 5-7 hours, grabbed lunch on my way back (often with other Atlantis Fellows), and had the rest of the evening to explore the treasures of the city and interact with the locals. Group dinners with all of the fellows and our coordinators are also something I will always cherish.Days at the hospital were both fulfilling and eye opening, and I absolutely loved being in the operating room. The surgeons and nurses were all so receptive of the Atlantis Fellows and genuinely wanted to teach us about the procedures they were doing, as well as their overall experience as health care providers in Spain. I had the opportunity to watch an open-heart surgery, which actually brought a tear to my eye when I saw the human heart beating in the chest cavity.

How has Atlantis helped equip you for active leadership in the medical world?

Something reinforced through my experiences with Atlantis is that you get out of life whatever you put into it. It may seem intimidating at first to shadow doctors in a different country, especially when you do not fluently speak the native language, which may result in hesitancy and passive observation. However, I put my heart and mind into my fellowship experience by being an active participant–asking questions, researching procedures, talking to the doctors and nurses during downtime, and taking advantage of every opportunity without overstepping boundaries. Essentially, Atlantis has reinforced that putting yourself out there and genuinely engaging in the work that you are doing allows you to grow as a strong and compassionate leader in a field that undoubtedly relies on strong leaders.

Elorm Yevudza

Ciudad Real, Spain '16 || Amherst College

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Elorm Yevudza

Ciudad Real, Spain '16 || Amherst College

Program:

Ciudad Real – Spain – 2016

Undergraduate:

Amherst College class of 2019

Major:

Neuroscience

Extracurricular Activities:

Track and Field, International Students Association, Charles Drew Health Professions Society

Why did you choose the Atlantis Fellowship?

The opportunity to shadow doctors in a European country greatly appealed to me. As an international student from Ghana, I value the subtle differences in approach that doctors, depending on the country in which they are trained, use to achieve a common result: alleviating illness and improving the quality of lives.

How is Atlantis Unique?

In an increasingly globalized world, having first-hand experience with the subtleties of healthcare in different parts of the world is vital to a future health professional. Atlantis exposes Fellows to these nuances in healthcare approaches, and in effect helps aspiring health professionals gain a global perspective on healthcare.

Describe Atlantis in three words:

A transformative experience.

What was your favorite experience as an Atlantis fellow?

Experiencing the city and culture of Ciudad Real was an experience that is etched in my memory. As I practiced my very elementary Spanish with the locals and discussed various health-related issues with the doctors I shadowed, I was reminded of the uniqueness of human life. I was also reminded of the role of a health professional in society: to preserve and improve the quality of human life.

What was the most meaningful aspect of your time shadowing?

My discussions with doctors about their relations with patients was most meaningful to me. Our discussions highlighted a trend I had spotted when I shadowed doctors in Ghana: that the core of healthcare is about alleviating illness and improving the quality of life. My conversations with doctors in Ciudad Real underscored the importance of treating patients not just as cases, but as people.

How has Atlantis helped equip you for the future?

The Atlantis Fellowship has given me a broader perspective on the field of healthcare. The program has also brought wonderful people into my life. The Fellows that I shadowed, explored, and conversed with impressed me with their passion for healthcare. The program has also taught me to be a lifelong leader, and the importance of fostering a curiosity that will help prepare me for my future in the medical field.

Hannah Kennedy

Almansa, Spain || Kent State University

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Hannah Kennedy

Almansa, Spain || Kent State University

Program:

Almansa, Spain

Undergraduate:

Kent State University class of 2017

Major:

Biology, Pre-med

Honors:

Trustee Scholarship, Honor’s Merit Scholarship, Sharon Sigel Memorial Scholarship, Panhellenic Council Individual Academic Excellence Award, Provost’s leadership Academy Scholarship, President’s List, Dean’s List

Extracurricular Activities:

President of Phi Delta Epsilon International Medical Fraternity, Undergraduate Research Assistant, volunteer at the local University Hospital Portage Medical Center, member of Alpha Phi Fraternity, University Tutor in the Academic Success Center

Why did you choose Atlantis?

I chose Atlantis because I wanted to experience healthcare that was different from our own while being able to have an impactful study abroad experience. As a pre-med student there aren’t many opportunities to go abroad. As this was one of my main goals coming into college, I wanted to experience it as well as continue to develop myself as an aspiring physician overseas.

How is Atlantis unique?

Atlantis is unique in that it provides you with the opportunity to a doorway of diversity, culture, and a lifetime of memories, all while learning new things and experiencing a different side to medicine. Atlantis not only allows you to learn in a hospital, but it also places you in the most beautiful places in locations they know you will thrive and thoroughly enjoy.

Describe Atlantis in three words:

Affirming, Inspirational, Once-in-a-lifetime.

What was the most meaningful aspect of your time shadowing?

Every day during my week I got to spend all day side by side physicians who were committed to teaching me and allowing me to experience as much as I possibly could. The physicians there truly cared about my development as a physician and took me in as one of their own immediately. They would always stop in the middle of a case and teach me the ins and outs of a presentation as well as walked me through the personal aspect of patient interaction. The knowledge, compassion, and appreciation I came out of this experience with was definitely the most meaningful aspect of my time in Hospital Público General De Almansa.

What was your favorite experience as an Atlantis fellow?

My favorite experience as an Atlantis Fellow was being immersed in this experience as a team with the other fellows. I made lifelong connections with the other seven students I was with in Almansa. Whether it was catching lunch during a break at the hospital, grabbing coffee before walking over together, discussing what we learned over dinner at the local Almansa Cafe, or adventuring through the town, I know that one day I can call them as a colleague and a friend and they will always be there.

What are your post-grad plans?

As I am graduating a semester early in the winter, I plan to take my 6-month gap prior to matriculating into medical school traveling wherever I possibly can. This experience definitely planted an everlasting feeling of wanderlust in me!

How has Atlantis helped equip you for the future?

Atlantis has been instrumental in reaching my goals in becoming a physician such that it deepened values of teamwork, independence, and diversity within myself. It also affirmed the notion without an ounce of a doubt that becoming a physician is what I want to spend the rest of my life doing–that all of the hard work is worth it because I will one day be doing something that does not feel like a job.

Mira Bakine

Trieste Italy '17 || Langston University

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Mira Bakine

Trieste Italy '17 || Langston University

Program:

Trieste, Italy – Winter 2017

Undergraduate:

Langston University class of 2017

Major:

Biology

Future plans:

I plan to attend medical school in the fall of 2017, and down the road I hope to specialize in either pediatrics or emergency medicine.

Honors:

McCabe Honors Program, President’s Honor Roll, Langston University Ambassador, White House Initiative HBCU All-star, 2nd place award winner at Annual Langston University Research Symposium, 1st place award winner at Oklahoma Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Research Symposium

Extracurricular Activities

ROAR-Health Peer Educator, Vice President of the Society of Distinguished Black Women, President of the Biology Club, Academic Committee Chairman for the Student Government Association, NAACP, Scholars Club, clinical assistant at a community clinic, volunteer at food bank and Habitat for Humanity

Why did you choose to participate in the Atlantis Fellowship?

I had offers to be a teaching assistant or a lab technician this winter,  but I chose to go abroad with Atlantis because it allowed me to combine both my interest for medicine and traveling into one, on top of the networking experience it also provides.

Describe Atlantis in three words:

An enriching experience.

How did the Atlantis Fellowship impact your perspective on the medical field?

The Atlantis Fellowship exposed me to health care abroad. Through Atlantis, I discovered similarities and differences in medicine as practiced in the US and elsewhere. Overall, Atlantis helped me enlarge my perspective on the medical field and patient care as a whole.

Why should other pre-meds participate in Atlantis?

Traveling abroad is one thing, and traveling abroad with the chance of getting exposure into a field of your passion is also another thing. It’s the icing the on the cake!

Azan Virji

Athens, Greece '17 || Yale School of Public Health & Harvard Medical School

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Azan Virji

Athens, Greece '17 || Yale School of Public Health & Harvard Medical School

Program:

Athens, Greece – winter 2017

Current Education:

Masters in Public Health at Yale School of Public Health

Undergraduate:

Yale College class of 2017

Major:

Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology/Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases

Honors:

Eben T. and Jokichi Takamine Memorial Scholarship; Science, Technology and Research Scholar, Yale Global Health Scholar

Extracurricular Activities:

Yale Office of International Students and Scholars, Yale Admissions Office, Partners in Health Engage, Yale College Council, Leadership Institute, Yale Ivy Council

Why did you choose Atlantis?

In an increasingly globalized world, skilled and trained doctors are needed everywhere especially in under resourced countries. My long-term goal is to work in the filed of healthcare and practice medicine on a global scale. With this path in mind, I decided to do the Atlantis Fellowship to gain exposure to another healthcare system, understand the nuances of how culture affects health, and to make comparisons in the healthcare I have witnessed in Tanzania and the United States of America.

How is Atlantis unique?

Atlantis is unique because it provides full immersion not only into the hospital environment, but into the country as well from the very first day. You’re in the hospital alongside doctors who are well-versed in English, who are experts in your field, and who are willing to help teach you and explain different medical concepts. The program is also committed to helping you explore the country and make the most of your experience.

Describe Atlantis in three words:

Educational. Breath-taking. Immersive.

What was your favorite experience as an Atlantis fellow?

While working at the hospital, we were invited to the weekly Greek dance practice that some of the doctors and hospital staff have every Thursday. Being able to partake in the Greek cultural dance followed by sitting in a large circle and talking about our experiences was when I felt the vibrant warmth of the Greeks – like I was part of a family. Additionally, visiting the numerous temples in Greece made me appreciate all the history that Greece had to offer and made the experience even more memorable.

What was the most meaningful aspect of your time shadowing?

I really enjoyed being able to sit down with the doctors and ask them questions not just about the medical field but also about the different aspects of the healthcare system. Learning about how the hospital finances its activities, how the economy has affected healthcare in Greece, and the differences between public and private hospitals made the shadowing experience a more enriching and well-rounded one.

How has Atlantis helped equip you for the future?

The Atlantis Fellowship has provided me with a different outlook on global health. I am now able to draw on examples from the different healthcare systems I have seen to know what works well and what doesn’t.  In the future, I can implement some of what I have learned to better a health system in a resource-limited environment. I now also have a deeper sense of appreciation for the role culture plays in the health of the population.

How has your thinking of active leadership in the medical field been shaped?

To be an active leader in the medical field, one must have a strong drive to succeed and to take charge. By working in a public hospital and seeing the great need that exists, the Atlantis Fellowship has instilled in me the motivation to help others and contribute to the scientific improvement of people’s health. Additionally, watching doctors in Greece, who are renowned in their field, work at public hospitals for less pay has inspired me to follow in their footsteps and commit to a life of service in the medical field.

Tory Prynn

Talavera de la Reina, Spain '16 ||University of Arizona College of Medicine

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Tory Prynn

Talavera de la Reina, Spain '16 ||University of Arizona College of Medicine

Program:

Talavera de la Reina, Spain – Winter 2016

Undergraduate:

Arizona State University class of 2017

Major:

Global Health

Honors:

Dean’s List, Presidential Scholarship, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Student Leader 2016

Extracurricular activities:

Omega Phi Alpha, American Medical Women’s Association, Project Sunshine, Devils’ Advocates (ASU Tour Guides), ASU Miracles

Why did you choose Atlantis?

I chose Atlantis because it would allow me to explore my two greatest passions: travel and medicine. I am very interested in learning about different systems of healthcare and learning how culture impacts health, so I was excited about the opportunity to see how the healthcare system functioned in Spain and to put my years of Spanish classes to good use. I was also of course interested in the opportunity to shadow many different specialties. I had never shadowed a physician before, so it was all exciting and new for me!

How is Atlantis unique?

Atlantis allows students to see healthcare systems in different countries and how they function differently than in the U.S. It also gives students the opportunity to see many different medical specialties.

Describe Atlantis in three words:

Medicine. Culture. Amazing.

What was your favorite experience as an Atlantis fellow?

I had the chance to shadow a pediatric neurologist, and was able to see many different cases and learn a lot about what it means to treat the child and take care of the family at the same time. I really bonded with the physician I shadowed, which made this a wonderful experience.

What was the most meaningful aspect of your time shadowing?

The most meaningful aspect of my time shadowing in the hospital was getting to learn about the Spanish healthcare system and being able to learn from all of the doctors. As it was my first time shadowing, I didn’t really know what to expect, but I was able to learn so many different and important aspects about the day-to-day lives of physicians.

How has the Atlantis fellowship helped equip you for the future?

It gave me needed experience in a healthcare setting and showed me that I was working toward the right goal for myself. It broadened my passion for medicine and for learning how culture impacts healthcare.

Atlantis taught me how to be independent and how to ask questions without hesitation. I learned that sometimes I need to be assertive, but there are also times when I should just listen and learn about what is going on around me.

What are your future plans?

I plan to attend medical school next year. I am currently accepted at the University of Arizona-Phoenix Medical School and have interviewed at a few other schools.

Brianna DiSanza

Terceira, Portugal '16 || UVA

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Brianna DiSanza

Terceira, Portugal '16 || UVA

Program:

Terceira, Portugal – Winter 2016

Undergraduate:

University of Virginia class of 2017

Major:

Human Biology

Honors:

2017 Scientific Publication to The Oculus: University of Virginia’s Multidisciplinary Research Journal, 2016 Paul Mellon Scholar, 2015 All-USA Community College Academic Team, 2015 Phi Theta Kappa Guistwhite Scholar, 2015 VFW District 8 Scout of the Year, 2015 President’s Volunteer Service Award

Extracurricular Activities:

Transfer student peer advisor, American Medical Student Association, Taekwondo Club, Pre-Health Organization, Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-med Honor Society, volunteer at The Virginia Discovery Museum in Charlottesville

Why did you choose Atlantis?

I knew Atlantis  would provide me with much-needed experience of shadowing doctors and witnessing the practice of medicine first-hand. Applying to medical school is highly competitive, and I felt as though this program can provide me with a great competitive edge. I also had the ability to observe healthcare within a publicly-funded system, which is something I have always considered very important.

How is Atlantis unique?

Atlantis not only provides an incredible amount of exposure to a variety of different medical fields by allowing students to rotate specialties, it also helps students bolster their medical school applications by offering pre-med students unique access to volunteering, MCAT preparation courses, and research opportunities in the medical humanities.

Describe Atlantis in three words:

Inspiring. Priceless. Motivational.

What was your favorite experience as an Atlantis fellow?

A memory I will cherish for the rest of my life was experiencing New Years Eve with the Atlantis Fellows on the top of a 700 year old castle.

What was the most meaningful aspect of your time shadowing?

Shadowing with Atlantis further instilled within me the importance of studying medicine cross-culturally. I learned a lot about Portugal’s healthcare system as well as the close nature of the patient-physician relationship in Portuguese culture. I’m glad I got to learn medicine from a different perspective through the doctors I shadowed.

What are your post-grad plans?

I plan to attend the NIH Summer Internship Program during the summer of 2017, become a trained EMT, and be accepted into a medical scribe program during my gap year. In the end, my ultimate dream is to attend medical school and become a pediatric surgeon.

How has Atlantis helped equip you for the future?

The Atlantis Fellowship has helped equip me for my future by giving me tremendous cultural experience that I can take with me for the rest of my life and into my future career. It also gave me a broadened perspective as a future physician by deepening my understanding of healthcare in a global context by observing host countries that see government as having a greater role in healthcare.

Yong-Hun Kim

Budapest, Hungary '17 || Stanford University

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Yong-Hun Kim

Budapest, Hungary '17 || Stanford University

Program:

Budapest, Hungary – Winter 2017

Undergraduate:

Stanford University class of 2019

Major:

Computer Science

Honors:

Bio-X Grant (award for research)

Undergraduate Activities:

President and Founder of Stanford Undergraduate Hospice and Palliative Care, Volunteer for Pacific Free Clinic, Research Assistant in Wernig Pathology Lab, President of Hong Kong Student Association, violin performance

Why did you choose Atlantis?

I chose the Atlantis Fellowship because it combines opportunities to shadow physicians and travel abroad, both of which I had little prior exposure to.

Describe Atlantis in three words:

Eye-opening. Spontaneous. Exhilarating.

What was your favorite experience as an Atlantis fellow?

My favorite experience as an Atlantis Fellow came in the stories exchanged over meals or excursions and the breadth of conversation that reflected the diversity of backgrounds within our cohort and site managers.

What was the most meaningful aspect of your time shadowing?

I appreciated the chance to speak with physicians in Budapest and hear their personal motivations for pursuing medicine because it really helped better contextualize and validate my own interest in medicine. The physicians were also just really welcoming, relatable, and down-to-earth people.

What are your post-grad plans?

My current plan is to take a few gap years after graduating to explore the tech/biotech industry before applying to medical schools. I would also love to spend those gap years traveling and seeing more of the world.

How has Atlantis helped equip you for the future?

The Atlantis Fellowship has equipped me with a better understanding of what a career in medicine looks like, which I think is an invaluable gift considering the long road ahead of those who aspire to be a physician.

How has Atlantis equipped you for active leadership in the medical field?

The ability to interact and empathize with patients of diverse backgrounds and communities is a necessity to be a leader in the medical field. I think the Atlantis Fellowship, through my interactions with mentors and their patients, has helped me take my first steps toward attaining the cultural vocabulary and literacy required of a physician.

Saira Alex

Barcelona, Spain '17 || Baylor College of Medicine

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Saira Alex

Barcelona, Spain '17 || Baylor College of Medicine

Program:

Barcelona, Spain – Summer 2017

Current Education:

University of Texas at Dallas, matriculating into Baylor Medical School in Fall 2018 with a scholarship

Undergraduate:

University of Texas at Dallas Class of 2018

Major:

Neuroscience

Honors:

Member of Phi Kappa Phi, recipient of the Memorial Hermann Hospital Academic Scholarship

Extracurricular Activities:

Molecular Neuroscience Research, Indian Classical Dance at Sreepadam School of Arts, President of UTD Molding Doctors

How is Atlantis unique?

Atlantis underlines the social components involved in healthcare, and I returned back home with a greater appreciation for Spain and universal healthcare. Additionally, the fellowship allows you to nurture lasting relationships with your physician mentors and colleagues.

Describe Atlantis in 3 words:

Educational. Memorable. Influential

What was your favorite experience as an Atlantis Fellow?

My favorite experience was watching orthopedic surgeries. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the enthusiastic surgeon using mallets and drills during the knee replacement surgery. Or maybe, it was unexpectedly falling in love with the orthopedic specialty. Or maybe, it was making lifelong friends and admiring the Sagrada Familia with them. It really is hard to choose just one favorite experience.

What was the most meaningful aspect of your time shadowing?

My most meaningful experience was shadowing the chief neurologist. Observing his style of practicing medicine made me realize the importance of being a humble educator. Patients were thankful for the time he took to explain the procedures–to resolve their doubts, and that is something I hope to emphasize in my future practice.

How has Atlantis helped equip you for the future?

Atlantis has given me an in-depth exposure to the areas of healthcare where I lacked understanding. I’m also thankful for improving my Spanish communication abilities during those three weeks abroad. A command for the Spanish language aids in serving the patient population of Texas.

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