Hospital Medicine & Infectious Disease
Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, is India’s most cosmopolitan and bustling city. With a population of nearly 13 million, Mumbai houses wealthy industrialists, flashy film stars, and internationally acclaimed artists as well as workers, teachers, clerks and slum dwellers. All coexist together in soaring skyscrapers, middle class neighborhoods and sprawling slums.
According to the WHO, the five biggest infectious disease killers worldwide are respiratory infectious, HIV/AIDS, diarrheal diseases, tuberculosis and malaria. In this overcrowded megalopolis, inadequate sanitation and congested living conditions are some of the factors that contribute to the spread of many preventable communicable diseases like pneumonia, tuberculosis, meningitis and measles. The physical geographic environment - tropical climate and monsoon rains - also lead to tropical vector-borne diseases like malaria, dengue and chikungunya. Hansen's disease (also known as Leprosy), still has documented incidence in Mumbai.
Many of these diseases can be effectively controlled with cost-effective interventions, such as public health campaigns to educate the population on preventative measures and prompt clinical care for those already infected to prevent the spread. Witness first-hand through urban and rural hospital settings, outpatient clinics, and by visiting nonprofit organizations, the gargantuan efforts being made by India’s largest metropolis in diminishing the incidence of communicable diseases.
During this program, spend 3 weeks in Mumbai and 1 week in the majestic Mt. Abu in Rajasthan to experience hospital medicine in a rural setting.
Clinical Rotations & Public Health Placements
Municipal General Hospital, Mumbai– A hospital with partial funding from the state government, this facility provides charitable services to over 40 percent of its outpatient and in-patient population and operates as a commercial hospital with the rest of the patients. Services include Internal Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics, Ob/Gyn, Orthopedics, ICU/NICU/MICU, Oncology, and Ophthalmology as well as community-based outreached health camps. The patient population ranges from low socioeconomic to the rich elite, making it an interesting comparative experience. Participants will have the opportunity to shadow local healthcare personnel in a variety of wards such as the outpatient department or the very busy labor and delivery ward.
Global Hospital Research Center, Mt. Abu, Rajasthan- Participants will spend just under a week at this rural rotation. The 120-bed hospital at Mt. Abu, Rajasthan was established in 1991 to provide healthcare to people in rural Rajasthan. The hospital provides holistic health care for in remote areas through mobile health clinics for its village outreach programs. The GHRC utilizes a unique holistic approach in modern medicine through medical research and outreach projects. The staff members create an environment of peace and positivity through daily contemplative practices. The Hospital's Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) Prevention and Regression Programme offers lifestyle modification using meditation, diet and exercise. More than 2500 patients have been treated with excellent results. It also provides a healthy life style, exercises and positive thinking program for weight reduction.
Private clinics, Mumbai- There are number of small clinics in Mumbai where general practitioners run their private practice with minimum diagnostic facilities and OPD based treatment services. In spite of free and subsidized government health services in the city, many patients chose to visit these private clinics and pay for services because of a quicker diagnosis and decreased waiting times.
Private clinic catering to middle/upper class neighborhood, Mumbai– Join a family physician in his general practice clinic and witness how service and waiting times differ between the local public hospitals and private clinics that cater to patients from a higher socioeconomic background.
Private Clinic catering to underserved community, Mumbai– Located in South Mumbai, this private clinic led by a general practitioner, caters to a lower socioeconomic strata. Learn how cases are diagnosed and treated while trying to keep costs at a minimum for the patient, heavily relying on focused physical exams and patient histories for diagnosis.
Policlinic, Mumbai– Join local physicians at this Mumbai policlinic and witness how they conduct diagnosis and manage cases of various communicable diseases such as malaria, dengue fever and leptospirosis in both out and inpatient wards.
Private clinics in slum areas, Mumbai- These two small private clinics are used by local slum dwellers as a first recourse for most non-urgent care. Join local physicians and witness the first contact with the healthcare system for most locals living in the slums. These small clinics barely have enough room for more than 4 people in the waiting room but are well attended by local residents.
DOTS Center, Mumbai- Under the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program, the “Directly Observed Treatment Schedule” center offers treatment to different forms of TB. Participants will learn about the national TB control program and how TB is treated clinically.
MSM (Men having Sex with Men) Project, Mumbai– This organization provides services to a targeted population and is linked with the national HIV-AIDS Control Program. Services provided include integrated counseling and HIV/STD testing center, nutrition support, and outreach and education on prevention methods.
Dermatology Center, Mumbai– This clinic is run by catholic nuns and provides in-patient and rehabilitation services to leprosy patients and is recognized nationally for its reconstructive surgeries on leprosy patients with deformities. The center also conducts ophthalmology and skin check-up services for the general population.
Leprosy Museum and Foot Wear Unit, Mumbai– A 100-year old leprosy hospital recently established a “Museum of the History of Leprosy”. The museum contains historical material from the 1860’s onwards, detailing the medical and social history of this re-emerging communicable disease. Participants will visit the museum main exhibit and also the working rehabilitation center at the Leprosy Hospital, visiting a unit specialized in producing specialized protective foot wear for leprosy patients who have lost sensation on their feet due to neuropathy. Patients who have been treated and cured of leprosy give back to their community by working in this unit, supervised by local engineers.
Community based Leprosy Referral Centre, Mumbai– This center provides care and support facilities for patients with complications from Leprosy. Staffed by medical and paramedical staff, the center diagnoses and treats leprosy patients and also provides physiotherapy for those in need of it. The center also offers diagnosis and treatment of other skin diseases as well as orthopedics.
CFHI is considered a global health ethics leader therefore CFHI programs uphold strict standards and comply with all local laws regarding student involvement in health settings. Your experience on the program depends on your previous clinical training (if applicable), Spanish level, and the relationship you build with your supervising preceptor. Above all, YOU are the most important factor in making the CFHI experience as fulfilling as possible by being respectful, culturally-humble, inquisitive, and open to the wide variety of learning experiences which you will encounter.
India is the 7th largest country in the world and one of the most populous, second only to China, with over 1.2 billion people with 20% of world’s population and only 2% of the world’s land mass. There are over 30 languages spoken across India’s 29 states and 7 union territories. The country is also the birthplace of 4 of the world’s major religions—Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism-and home to 32 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. India boasts a rich history, vibrant and colorful culture, and diverse and magnificent landscapes, including architectural wonders like the Taj Mahal and Golden Temple.
The program is based in the city of Mumbai, a bustling metropolis, home to over 15 million people. Known as the fashion, film and financial capital of India, the city pulsates with life and vitality. From Nariman Point, Mumbai`s "mini-Manhattan," to its distant suburbs, Mumbai creates an urban Indian melting pot.
Things To Do
This city that never sleeps offers more bazaars, restaurants and shops than students could ever explore. Visitors can try a variety of cuisines from Parsi dhansak, vegetarian Gujarati thalis, and Muslim kebabs to Goan vindaloo and Mangalorean seafood. Mumbai's vibrant nightlife ranges from simple beer bars to hi-tech discos and glamorous nightclubs. Its location is also convenient for short weekend trips to beaches and resorts such as the world famous port of Goa.
Accommodations & Homestays
Participants will stay at a local hostel located in the Mumbai University campus. Lodging will be on a shared basis with a maximum of 2-3 participants per room. Accommodations are clean, comfortable, and safe and include air-conditioning and hot water as well as a common area with cable TV. We cannot promise wi-fi connectivity. All services are subject to local conditions such as intermittent power outages, which are common during summer months. Two meals per day at the hostel dormitory canteen are included.
Eligibility: Who Can Apply?
This CFHI program is ideal for students of all levels with an interest in health and medicine in urban settings. The program offers an overview of primary through tertiary care through visits and experiences within hospitals and clinics. To confirm you may apply, please read CFHI's general eligibility requirements.
Language Required: English
India is a multicultural and diverse country with over 30 different languages spoken by more than a billion native speakers. English and Hindi are considered the language of government and business and English is widely spoken by most professionals and used frequently in many business and academic settings.
Marathi is the official language of the northern state of Maharastra and is commonly spoken in Mumbai. However, Mumbai is a melting pot of cultures and therefore has its own language, a unique blend of Gujarati, Marathi, Hindi, and English called Bambaiyya Hindi. You will find that daily communication amongst locals and community members will be not be in English. Nevertheless, all CFHI staff and the local health professionals you'll be interacting can communicate effectively in English and will provide interpretation whenever necesssary.
Participants should arrive in Mumbai (Bombay), India on the program start date and will be picked up from the airport by a CFHI representative and taken to their housing. A welcome orientation will take place the Sunday or Monday after arrival.
US citizens and others should apply for an Indian tourist visa in advance. More information and specific instructions on visa applications will be provided by CFHI after acceptance into the program.
- Guidance from CFHI staff in San Francisco before departure
- Program-specific materials with information on making travel arrangements, visa requirements, recommended immunizations, etc.
- Airport pick-up upon arrival and transportation to housing in Mumbai, India with local CFHI representative
- Welcome orientation covering safety, transportation, and other logistics
- CFHI Local Team: providing instruction, logistical support, and 24/7 emergency response
- Weekly meetings and lectures on local healthcare system and socio-economic determinants of health
- Placement and coordination of clinical activities
- Accommodation, two meals a day
- Local cell phone
- International emergency medical and evacuation insurance
- Access to CFHI alumni-only LinkedIn group featuring news and career opportunities related to Global Health
- CFHI alumni newsletter highlighting events, resources, and ways to stay involved
Uniquely CFHI, 50% or more of student program fees go directly to the communities they will be visiting, benefiting the local economy at large and specifically underserved health systems. Read more.
Hema Pandey- CFHI India Director: The role of the India Director is to coordinate and manage activities for all CFHI programs in India. Hema has been instrumental in establishing CFHI's growing presence in India, developing new program sites and researching CFHI's growth potential in-country. She has worked for CFHI since 2005. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business & Commerce from Kurukshetra University and a PG diploma Fashion Design from International Institute of Fashion Technology. Her professional interests include rural and urban healthcare, water and sanitation, gender, social development. She likes helping CFHI students achieve academic and personal goals and develop leadership skills during their time on program. In her free time she enjoys photography, travelling with family, volunteering, basketball, and cycling.
Dr. Waman S. Bhatki- CFHI Mumbai Medical Director: Dr. Bhatki has worked with CFHI as Medical Director in Mumbai since early 2006. He has extensive experience working as a clinician, advocate, and philanthropist for leprosy, HIV/AIDS, and tuburculosis. He is currently serving as Coordinator for LEAP, Leprosy Elimination Action Program, WHO Consultant for leprosy control programs in various districts of Mumbai, and Chief Medical Superintendent for 16 municipal general hospitals, amongst a myriad of other professional commitments. His passion is teaching and training prospective medical and public health professionals about leprosy and has characterized his time with CFHI, interacting with foreign students, as exciting and enlightening.In his spare time, Dr. Bhatki is a devoted cricket fan and enjoys reading and doing crafts such as painting with his grandson.
Claver Luis Dcosta- CFHI Mumbai Local Coordinator: Claver started working with CFHI in 2010. 4 years ago. What he enjoys most about hosting students is interacting with them and learning more about the world and himself. He earned his Bachelors in Science from a local University in Goa. His hobbies include listening to music in English and site seeing and traveling in rural areas.
What Alumni Say
"This has been an exciting first week of clinical rotations in Mumbai, India. I have learned different ways to obtain the same goal: an accurate medical diagnosis to achieve the best results for the patient. In circumstances where technology and sophisticated medical equipment is not readily available, there are options. Medical care is dependent in patient history, analysis of signs and symptoms and a relationship between physician/patient based on trust..." Read More.
-- Apurva Bhatt, August 2013 (Pre-Medical student)