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Student Careers

International education

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 01 February 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:050261
  1. Padmasayee Papineni, final year medical student1
  1. 1University College London

After extensive travel and work overseas, John Yudkin helped to set up the International Health and Medical Education Centre at University College London. Padimasayee Papineni finds out about his work and what spurs him on


How did your medical career begin?

I did my preclinical studies at St John's, Cambridge, and my clinical studies at University College Hospital, London, and qualified in 1967. It was at medical school that I met fellow student Gill, who is now my wife of 39 years' standing; we got married one year into our clinical course.

During our house jobs in London, Gill and I decided that we wanted to work abroad and applied to the Voluntary Service Overseas to go to India. The only placement for two doctors together, however, was in northern Tanzania, which we accepted.

Tell us about your experience working in Tanzania

We arrived to tropical heat and began work in a government hospital in a town called Mwanza. Gill was responsible for the paediatrics, and obstetrics and gynaecology wards, and I was responsible for the general adult medical ward. There were an enormous number of patients, but to our surprise not all had rare tropical diseases. Lots had malaria and hookworm, …

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