My name is Meghna Raj and I am studying MD (Doctor of medicine) at Medical University of Lublin.
Studying in Lublin has been an enriching experience, it’s quaint and beautiful. In contrast to the very large city I come from, it’s the kind of city where you have your favourite cafés, spots to see the sunset, everyone knows everyone, no chaos, a feeling of safety and familiarity. Language of course can be a hurdle while going through day to life and especially in the setting of a hospital, but you learn the pleasantries fairly quickly as a foreigner and saying even “dziękuję” or “przepraszam” to the cab driver or a patient can help you connect and communicate some understanding that you are trying your best, and there’s some mutual respect that can be established.
Within Medical University of Lublin I have learnt the most through doctors in the setting of a hospital, however in the theoretical years it can be a more variable experience with professors that are passionate about teaching and push you to work hard, and some who don’t, in the latter case I would hope for the university to have a better system of checks and balances to ensure students feel heard and professor are accountable. It’s a matter of student morale and their trust in the administration. Fortunately as Vice President of Student Board, I have witnessed the administration’s willingness to listen and work towards systemic changes to better the experience and quality of education the students.
The departments that I learnt the most from included running simulation scenarios at CSM, Physiology, Pharmacology, Anatomy. Within clinical rotations; Gynecology, Pediatrics, General surgery, Vascular surgery, Gastroenterology, Dermatology, Neurology had one of the best doctors that taught me the most.
When it come to how the experience has been like living in Poland as a foreigner, I like very simple things. I like the flowers everywhere during the springtime, huge supermarkets, the trolleybuses, how the city comes to life when the summer comes. Beautiful snow covered landscape during winter (as long as I’m inside, in a blanket). I suppose, that the most important thing to me, comparing to India, is the feeling of safety as woman in Poland.
I am the Vice President of Student Board. In my experience its hard work, a thankless position, and still it could feel like not enough is being accomplished. So the only thing that keeps me motivated to keep going is the knowledge that if I leave here making even a small difference for the better, I have done my part and I have used my voice responsibly. There are great challenges ahead for the English Student Board, as of now no funding for events or research circles is directed towards the students of English division. However we have been working hard on all issues that influence student welfare in the short and long term, we held an event for students to get to know Student Board better and with collaboration of Polish Student Board, we are working on legally getting funding for the projects, events, extracurriculars etc. That hopefully in the future can better be arranged by the board with the help of Vice Deans, we organized a webinar where the students who have already graduated from MUL and have managed to get residencies in their own country give advice to current MUL students from all over the world. We made sure that students that wear hijab or any other protective clothing have special covering Scrubs and a private place to change in hospitals, we are trying to start a peer program where seniors can help newcomers accommodate with life in Lublin and the university. On most days we handle day to day student conflicts with specific departments and try to find a solution. Personally I would like to see a greater push towards inspiring creativity in students outside academics such as Music, Dance, Creative Writing societies that allow students from different programs to interact, give them the opportunity to develop a multifaceted personality, and experience a sense of support and community.
Before I got to Lublin, I was a doing a major in English literature with a minor in sociology, I volunteered to teach underprivileged children living in the slums of Delhi. However since I was a kid I always loved science and with time I realized my two passions would have to include science and helping people, so I decided to pursue medicine. Through my research when deciding where to go I found that Polish doctors are respected all around the world, there were programs in English and I decided to give it a try. My goal always was to not just get a degree for the sake of it, but actually learn, grow as a person, and push myself outside of my comfort zone.
For the future, I have an interest in emergency medicine since I tend to thrive under high pressure and organized chaos but I’m still open to all possibilities.