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A Mix of East and West

Manali Kamdar’s journey to the treat­ment of lymphomas with blood and marrow trans­plantation

Manali Kamdar’s journey to specializing in the treat­ment of lymphomas with blood and marrow trans­plantation took nearly a decade, with layovers in North Carolina, New York and Northern California. But it all started in Mumbai, India with a little girl drawn to the arts and sciences.

“As far back as I can remember I was always interested in liberal arts and in sciences,” says Kamdar. “I was drawn towards the field of medicine, research and its impact on human lives. With respect to arts, the language of dance enamored me. Juggling between school and dance recitals was part of my life. They didn’t interfere – one ener­gized me to learn the other and vice versa.”

Kamdar says it was obvious early on that she would be applying to medical school. She was always curious to know the workings of the human body. She wondered why things go wrong and once they’re fixed, can they break again?​

Medical school is set up differently in India. It begins once a student finishes the United States’ equivalent of high school. It takes about four and a half years of rigorous training and because India is so populous, heavy emphasis is placed on clinical skills. Then students take tests to see in which specialty they will continue their training.​

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