Adam Rodos – 2016 Recipient Resident/Fellow

Tell me about yourself and your current experience at the UIC College of Medicine

My name is Adam Rodos. I’m currently a 5th year resident in the EM/IM residency program who will remain at UIC after graduation.

How did you decide to go into the field of Medicine?

Good question.  My dad was a physician, and he worked a lot.  I was fairly lazy in high school (or at least thought I was) and didn’t want to do something that would require that much work. I thought the finance world would be the easiest path towards less work and better pay.  This lasted for about two years of college and two summers of interning before I decided to give medicine another look.  Though I still graduated with a degree in Finance, once I reconsidered becoming a doctor, I never looked back.

What inspired you to help others Globally?

Initially, my love of travel.  Having essentially “vacationed” in spots around the world with varying levels of medical care, I relished the opportunity to get involved in a professional manner.  As physicians, we have an obligation to get involved in the wider community, be that next-door, in the next town, or halfway across the world.

Why did you select this destination? 

In this case, it was fairly easy. I had been to Chiang Mai about 8 years ago while on one of my aforementioned vacations.  Previous UIC EM resident and now International Medicine Fellow Asim Sheriff started a project there two years ago, so that was my opening.  I also traveled with my wife and 3-month-old daughter.  The 3 month old precluded some of the more rural areas.

How did this experience from the Erickson Explorers Award impact your life/influence you?

EM is a relatively old specialty in the US, but it’s only about 10 years old in Thailand.  The level of medical care is outstanding, but they are still developing EM.  Interacting with physicians, residents, and medical students in Chiang Mai, we were able to exchange ideas, best practices, and inspire each other. The Thai doctors I worked with motivated me to go home and read—they rely less on specialty care and consultation than we do-though they have access to all the sub-specialties that I do at UIC.  Their senior residents are preparing for boards, which constitutes not just all the medical knowledge as we would define it here, but also hazmat classification, seat belt and infant safety seat usage, and a myriad of statistics at a far more in-depth level than we would be tested on in the US.  I was able to share some of the changes we’ve made within the EM residency program within the last few years, some of which the CMU EM Residency Program may incorporate in some form into their residency education.

Preiyaa Gopinath – M4 Student

Tell me about yourself and your current experience at the UIC College of Medicine.

I was born and raised in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, which is right in the middle of Illinois. After graduating from Vanderbilt University with a major in Spanish and Portuguese, I took two years off before starting medical school in Fall 2013. I’ve had a great experience at UIC, and I’m lucky to have met so many patients from all walks of life during my time at UIH, Jesse Brown VA and other hospitals across the city. I participated in the Urban Medicine Program and pursued a Certificate in Health Disparities Research through the UIC School of Public Health.

How did you decide to go into the field of Medicine?

I decided to go into the field of Medicine because I love learning about how the body works! While I’m still learning and will continue to learn throughout my career, I find the art of educating patients on their conditions to be very satisfying. Additionally, as a primary care doctor, I want to work on the prevention of chronic disease before it even happens.

What inspired you to help others Globally?

It was important for me to see how Medicine is practiced in another part of the world with limited resources. Seeing how the relationship between doctor and patient varies between cultures is also helpful for my future practice. I lived with a host family, so I was additionally able to identify environmental factors (smoke inhalation from wood-burning stoves, stray animals, etc.) that affected our patients’ health.

Why did you select this destination? 

I wanted to gain more experience speaking medical Spanish, and Mayan Medical Aid provided a great combination of formal coursework and hands-on experience with patients. The clinic was located in Santa Cruz on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, so I was happy to have a beautiful backdrop for my service trip!