School of Medicine Students Spend Summer Working in Poland

Ten students participated in a one month clinical externship at Jagiellonian University Medical College

UCR Medical Students in Poland

UCR medical students visited Prague on a weekend off during their summer clinical externship at Jagiellonian University Medical College in Krakow, Poland. From left to right: Chinedum Oranusi, Cynthia Ogubuike, Karim Rashid, Vanessa Castillo, Rashid Awan, Tiffany Phon, Valerie Armstrong, Breanna Fell, Nicole Margarit, Noah Ghossein, and Michael Garcia.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( – Several medical students from the School of Medicine at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) traveled to Krakow, Poland this summer during their break between their first and second year of medical school. In collaboration with Jagiellonian University Medical College (JUMC), 10 students participated in a one month clinical externship at JUMC Hospitals.

Organized by Joanne Witkowski, M.D., physician director of special medical services at Kaiser Permanente in Riverside and associate clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCR School of Medicine, the externship program was part of the students’ educational development as future doctors. The students participated in several clinical rotations in various departments including surgery, OB/GYN, and anesthesiology.

The students spent their time immersed in the hospital experience working directly with Polish physicians, nurses, and medical students. It gave students the opportunity to compare the medical system in Poland with the medical system in California.

“The UCR-JUMC collaboration is a wonderful way to share knowledge of medical models of care globally in providing healthcare,” Witkowski said.

In addition to their externship experience, students were able to experience a new culture and visited several historic sites in Poland and neighboring countries.

“This experience was incredibly rewarding, educational, and fun. We learned a lot about the Polish healthcare system, observed incredible procedures, and had an unforgettable summer together in Poland,” said Valerie Armstrong, second-year medical student. “The people of Poland and the faculty at JUMC were welcoming and made us feel at home during our time abroad.”

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