We are excited to announce that this month, we have more than one winner for our photo and blog contest! That’s right, both Diego and Aishwarya are the winners of our July 2020 Photo and Blog Contest! Both individuals chose to participate in online telehealth clinical experiences, which allowed them to rotate from home, using technology as a point of connection.

Diego, a medical graduate from the U.S., elected to participate in an internal medicine clinical experience with a physician based in Michigan. Aishwarya, a medical graduate from India, also participating in an internal medicine clinical experience but selected a program with a physician based in Illinois.

While both visitors enjoyed their experiences, they initially had doubts about working with patients virtually. Throughout their four-week experiences, Diego and Aishwarya were able to perfect their webside manner.

If you are curious about how Diego connected with patients virtually, continue reading below. To read Aishwarya’s blog entry, click here.


Here’s Diego’s Story‚Ķ


Virtual Hugs


I’m am very thankful for the online telehealth experience I had under the guidance of Dr. S. At first, I was very hesitant about seeing patients online; I was worried I would not be able to connect with them. However, this was not the case. Being online provided me a safe environment to speak with patients. It even allowed me to show care to an elderly patient whom we were helping to manage an opioid use disorder.

The patient felt depressed and guilty because of her addiction. I advised her not to be so hard on herself and the fact that she needed medication to overcome her difficulties. I connected with her by revealing that I too take medication for specific issues. By the end of her appointment, she was thankful to have been heard and helped. My reply to her was, “if I were there, I would give you a hug.” I then proceeded to give her a virtual hug with outstretched arms. She did the same and then bump her elbow to the screen for an elbow handshake.

The interaction I had with this patient filled me with joy and purpose. I know there will be days during my professional career when l will wake up and feel overwhelmed by the suffering my patients are experiencing. On days like these, simple personal connections, like the online hug mentioned above, will bring meaning and peace.

I want to highlight and thank the staff who worked with me during my experience. I am especially thankful for Dr. E., from Nigeria and Dr. S., from India, who guided me through my online experience with kindness. They provided me with technical support, assistance, and friendship. Again, I feel very thankful for this experience. I was able to make a difference in the lives of many while feeling at home with a great group of helping, kind, and sometimes funny medical professionals.


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