Doctors Without Borders Vice President speaks

Dr. Adi Nadimpalli, Vice President of the US Board of Doctors Without Borders, addresses Northwestern undergraduates.

Phi Delta Epsilon and MEDLIFE co-hosted an event on May 12, bringing in speaker Adi Nadimpalli, the current vice president of the board of Médecins Sans Frontières, also known as Doctors Without Borders.

Nadimpalli introduced the students to the mission of MSF and chronicled his experiences with the organization, showing pictures of his trips to Liberia, Mozambique, Sri Lanka, and Nigeria. Specifically, he delved into some of the issues that refugees and internally displaced persons face in Syria with the current civil war, such as chronic diseases, war trauma, and refugee illnesses such as diarrhea and typhoid fever.

As a physician currently practicing in New Orleans, Louisiana, he feels his clinical practice has changed since before his missions with MSF.

“The people who are doing MSF that you meet in the field are incredible,” Nadimpalli said. “I gain empathy and passion when I go abroad.”

The best advice he had for college students was to travel, learn different languages, and follow global politics to be a more connected and experienced candidate for any graduate program.

“Dr. Nadimpalli emphasized the importance of being worldly and being aware of what is going on outside of Northwestern,” said Weinberg sophomore Jay Mainthia. “There’s a much bigger world outside of our classes.”

After his talk, students were eager to stick around and ask questions about Nadimpalli’s personal experiences and issues in the global medical landscape. Even after the question and answer portion was over, upwards of ten students approached Nadimpalli, wanting to hear more.

One student asked how he remains dedicated and determined while confronting medical issues in war-torn and resource poor areas.

“Even if you solve today’s problems, there are going to be more problems tomorrow,” Nadimpalli responded. “Living in the moment and saying ‘this is what I’m going to do today’ helps a lot.”


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