Utilizing her Murphy Scholar travel funds, Anushka Yadava ’22 spent one of her winter breaks studying abroad in Spain. As a Biochemistry—Molecular Biology (BCMB) major, Yadava applied for the Atlantis Fellowship, a pre-health study abroad program for students interested in medicine and international exchange. This immersion in Spain’s healthcare system provided her with valuable clinical experience alongside the real-life practice of her Spanish language skills.  

While she began the program with a serious interest in medicine, she credits this trip with solidifying her passion for Spanish and encouraging her to break out of her comfort zone.  "I strongly believe as somebody who learned English after immigrating here that the most effective way to learn a language is by immersing yourself fully,” she said. 

As a Murphy Scholar, Yadava also participated in the Narrative Medicine Reading Group and co-led the Spanish Graphic Novel Reading Group. Students from a variety of majors participated in the Narrative Medicine Reading Group, which “ignited a lot of conversation from multiple lens rather than a primarily medicine-based discussion,” Yadava said.

During these discussions, she contemplated the concept of “illness personified as a ‘monster’ who invades and destroys your body. This approach has always been quite interesting to me because as a Southeast Asian where we practice a lot of Ayurvedic medicine, we tend to treat illness as something one works with to help find balance within the body instead of ‘fighting’ it or ‘killing’ it. It provided me a lot of insight into Western medicine through literary usage that I have not really been able to achieve through shadowing or even working in the emergency department.”