I grew up in a modest family in rural India, watching people in the underprivileged strata of the society suffer from diseases that could have been easily treated if they had access to state-of-the-art healthcare. Experiencing the devastating consequences of health issues firsthand left an indelible mark in my mind. That lasting impression and a lifelong fascination with science is what led to my passion and ambition for medicine.
By ECFMG Exchange Visitor Sponsorship Program Team
ECFMG’s Exchange Visitor Sponsorship Program (EVSP) has been the sole visa sponsor for J-1 exchange visitor physicians for decades. As an organization, we’ve always known that the physicians we sponsor are remarkable individuals. We’ve seen them exhibit great bravery, dedication, and talent. But this year, during the COVID-19 global pandemic, we’ve never been more proud of them or of the role that we play in supporting their journeys in medicine.
An Interview with Fred Valente Regional Advisor, ECFMG Exchange Visitor Sponsorship Program
Fred Valente celebrated his 30th year as an ECFMG employee this fall, working as a regional advisor for the Exchange Visitor Sponsorship Program (EVSP). The following is an interview conducted by Journeys in Medicine to chronicle his achievement.
30 years! How does it feel to reflect on this milestone moment in your career?
Return with me now to the thrilling days of yesteryear, 1989. The Berlin Wall was torn down. The Dalai Lama won the Nobel Peace Prize. The World Series was postponed for ten days as a result of an earthquake. An entire generation grew up since I started working here. Considering that this sort of longevity in one job is practically unheard of these days, I consider myself to be extremely lucky. Through my three decades, I have worked with many wonderful and talented people. We have always worked hard… really hard. We also laughed together and, sometimes, we cried.
By Tracy Wallowicz Director, ECFMG Exchange Visitor Sponsorship Program and Compliance
The one-year anniversary of Journeys in Medicine is the perfect time to reflect and reminisce about the past year and to look ahead with excitement to all of the amazing exchange visitor (EV) physician stories yet to be told. The impact that EV physicians have on health care in the United States and around the world cannot be underestimated and it has been both an honor and pleasure to tell their stories through our blog. While I have truly enjoyed each and every blog entry, below are a few of my favorite quotes from the past year.
“Surgery in the USA, huh? Do you know what are you doing with your life?” That was a quote from one of my friends.
Surgery is the most precious thing that happened to me. It was my dream to be a surgeon, but things got complicated when training in the USA came into play. I, like most of my friends during my medical school, thought surgery residency in the USA was an impossible task to accomplish, given the visa, high test scores, and research required to be competitive with US medical graduates. I dreamt of being a surgeon, day and night since childhood. So to me it was like a vision that only I was able to see, the passion only I was able to feel, the road only I had to walk, so that when I eventually make it come true it will become a hope for the people around me.