My name is Neil Panchal and I am currently a fourth year medical student at the University Of Illinois College Of Medicine in Chicago. Although I was born in New York and spent the first year of my life with my grandparents in Ahmadabad, I have stayed in Chicago since then having completed my bachelor's degree from Northwestern University prior to entering medical school. Medicine has been in my blood, as my parents, uncles, and grandfather are all physicians. However, I know first-hand from my parents how tough it was initially for them when they came to America in 1985. They already had established themselves in India-my father was an orthopedic surgeon and my mother was an OB/GYN but they had to essentially start from scratch when they came here. Not only did they have to redo a residency in a different field (my father chose physical medicine and rehabilitation and my mother chose internal medicine, eventually completing a fellowship in rheumatology), but they had to obtain a residency in the first place which was very difficult as a foreign medical graduate.
Consequently, I feel it is my duty to advise the next generation of medical students from India who wish to come to the U.S., something that my parents did not have the luxury of 30 years ago. Please ask my any question you might have and I will try to answer it to the best of my ability. This might include the ERAS application (personal statement, extracurricular activities, research, grades), interview process, competitiveness of various specialties, programs that take FMG's, and how the culture in the U.S. differs from that in India. In addition, I majored in economics so I have an interest in the business side of medicine so I can answer any questions you might have regarding the effect of ObamaCare on the healthcare system and on physicians. Outside of my academic interests, I enjoy the following: playing table tennis and tennis, supporting the Chicago Bears (NFL) and Chelsea F.C., and listening to electronic music (my favorite DJ's are Armin Van Buuren and Eric Prydz).
You can also ask me questions regarding medicine itself such as the latest innovations in a particular field or questions on a particular subject/disease they might have.