Who Am I?


My name is Carla Plaza. I am an undergraduate student at the University of California, Irvine. I will be graduating June 2013 from the School of Biological Sciences with the B.S Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. I  am also pursuing a minor in Civic & Community Engagement. Since I was young I wanted to become a physician. I have always been interested in science and how to use it to help others. For me, whether you hold an M.D. or not, there is the principle of The Three C’s in practicing medical care: Commitment, Competence and Compassion within the context of developing better physicians and healthcare workers and the relevance of service leadership in their lives. Read the rest of this entry


An Unforgettable Adventure: Day 1


Day 1

Just as exciting as I though it would be. Mary and Amanda proposed that we go to a Hindu Temple…we got off the taxicab, because you couldn’t take a rickshaw into the city. After several attempts to cross the street, or maybe the multiple intersections that seem to become a single street, there were stands and men calling to us pointing to our shoes…I did not know what to think of it, until… Read the rest of this entry

Say Yes to the Indian Sun!


It is Saturday morning. I heard no rain. When it does, Rain makes a hissing noise when hits some of the tin roofs below me. I picked through the curtains to check that it is not raining. It is not. It is partly cloudy. The sun has started to wake up…

A new CFHI participant had arrived last night. His name is Nick. I met the local coordinator, Claver and Nick at the cafeteria downstairs. Nick was getting debriefed about the rules of the program and his future schedule. We decided to go to Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Bolivari; about 35 minute drive in a rickshaw to the north from where we live.  The National Park encompasses an area of 104 km2 (40 sq mi) and is surrounded on three sides by India’s most populous city. It is notable as Read the rest of this entry

Week 1 (June 18th – June 23rd)


Dr. Mehta-Sewri-Afternoon

Dr. Batki-Kalina-Night

It has been a week already since I arrived in Mumbai.  Clinical rotations have been keeping me occupied starting at noon at Dr. Mehta’s office located in Kurta, a neighborhood in Sewri. It is a 30-minute train ride from Sta Cruz railway station. Dr. Mehta is a family practice doctor. He has been a physician in India since 1980. He is also the president of the Midtown Medicos Association (MMA) in Mumbai, India. As we arrived to his office, I noticed Read the rest of this entry

New Delhi…New Me!


Week 2 (June 25th – June 29th)

After a weekend trip to New Delhi, and finally visiting the Taj Mahal in Agra, one of the places in my bucket list, I feel full of energy, happy to be a CFHI participant in Mumbai, and enthusiastic about my future as a physician.

The Taj Mahal and Me-Agra, India

Week 2 (June 25th – June 29th)


Going to our next destinationThe second week starts full of diverse activities. On Monday morning, we visited the Humsafar Project in Vakola, Santa Cruz (East) (www.humsafar.org). The purpose of our visit is to gain an understanding of level of preparedness and awareness that exists in India about HIV. As I enter the room where the presentation was an about to begin, there were Psychology students that are getting ready to become counselors. There were about 25 of them, men and women, almost in equal numbers. As we come into the room we are offered India tea and biscuits (lovely! What else I can ask for?). Read the rest of this entry

Last day of Week 2


We visited the Larsen & Toubro Limited Health Center in Andheri East, Mumbai. This is a health center of the L&T Public Charitable Trust, a private corporation.  The health center focuses on creating awareness through camps and outreach programs on reproductive health, tuberculosis, HIV / AIDS, health and hygiene, and immunization. The center also collaborates with the local administration and participates in the initiatives under the National Rural Health Mission, in India.

Outpatient care at the health center is open to the public on all days except Sundays and public holidays between 8.30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Consultants in gynecology, pediatrics and eye care are on the panel of specialists.

This center works in conjunction with the Mumbai Districts AIDS Control Society (MDACS). It was established it on 27th July 1998 for the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS.

                        Read the rest of this entry