Akhil Mehta
Fall 2013
Web Team
Web Team Member

Member since: Fall 2013

It took me awhile to realize that medicine is my calling. Initially while attending UC Berkeley, I had this great opportunity to teach a Biology section for two years, which left me convinced that my future career lay in STEM teaching. After that experience, I became interested in applying my teaching skills to bigger problems. That led me to an opportunity to reduce education inequalities faced by marginalized high school students of Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) in Orissa, India. Recognizing that a model like Khan Academy’s could work to help these students prepare for the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) entrance exam, a group of friends and I designed our own E-notebook software program, which anyone could use to develop learning content. As part of our capstone project, we worked with teachers from a local IIT during Summer 2010 to use the E-notebook to develop STEM modules for the students to help them prepare for the exam.

Following the success of that program, I never thought that I would use the E-notebook for anything else besides STEM teaching, but as it turns out, that would not be the case. Since 2012, I have been using it to help the El Camino Hospital South Asian Heart Center create a series of short culturally sensitive modules on pertinent medical topics like cardiovascular disease and diabetes for South Asians to watch in either Hindi or English. Having opportunities t0 see firsthand how effective face-to-face patient education combined with online modules can be for getting people to start taking a greater interest in their own health, I have witnessed my original interest in teaching evolve from a personal interest to clarify STEM material to a lifelong desire to become an individual’s primary care advocate.

On that note, I consider myself very fortunate to be a part of the SCOPE program. By giving me numerous opportunities to volunteer for ED attendings in the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC) ER, SCOPE has helped me gain an even deeper appreciation for the sacrosanct doctor patient relationship and reinforced my desire to pursue a future career in medicine.