This past summer I participated in an internship in partnership with Dr. Peter Korpi, an optometrist from Muscatine, Iowa. Dr. Korpi has traveled to underdeveloped countries to examine people’s eyes and provide the residents with corrective eyeglasses free of charge. Dr. Korpi and I arrived in Uzbekistan, my home country, to inspect eyesight of citizens who lacked the financial means to afford basic healthcare. We hoped that our mission would lead to a dramatic improvement in their quality of life.
Dr. Korpi and I traveled from house to house in Fergana, Uzbekistan, to examine patients. Word of mouth quickly spread and many citizens requested eye exams. My role was to record each patient’s eye and health history and act as a cultural interpreter for Dr. Korpi. In addition, I became familiar with eye structure and eye diseases. We saw patients for ten days and we are currently sending eyeglasses from the United States to patients in Uzbekistan.
This internship has been a very important experience in my life because I interacted with people from my homeland and met amazing and strong individuals who shared their unique life stories. This internship has inspired me to consider a career in Doctors Without Borders in order to continue to help people who cannot afford basic healthcare. I want my presentation to convey how meaningful this experience has been to me and I want to share this experience with the Cornell community.
Albina Alieva, ’12
Sponsor: Craig Tepper