Student Corner: Vidya Eswaran

In their second year of medical school, students at BCM begin the transition from classroom training to clinical rotations. It’s an exciting and busy time, but it doesn’t stop students, including Vidya Eswaran, from going above and beyond their duties as medical students to get involved in the community.

Second-year medical student Vidya Eswaran

Second-year medical student Vidya Eswaran

Second-year medical student Vidya Eswaran is the perfect example of this. For more than six months, she has been planning a CPR training event that will benefit high-risk neighborhoods in the Houston area. Called the BCM MassCPR, the event will be held Saturday, March 1, at five different community sites around the city of Houston, and community members will be able to receive free CPR training. The areas are considered high risk because of the high rates of out-of-hospital heart attacks and low rates of bystanders performing CPR in these areas.

In November 2013, a pilot event was held at the Kashmere Gardens Missionary Baptist Church where 35 community members were trained in CPR. In March, Eswaran and her peers hope to train about 300 people in CPR across the five community centers. The event will be held in partnership with the Houston Department of Health and Human Services, the American Heart Association and the American Red Cross.

For more information on the BCM MassCPR event, email

As if this didn’t keep Eswaran busy enough, she’s also working with undergraduate students at Rice University to bring Camp Kesem, a national organization whose chapters organize a free weeklong summer camp for children of cancer patients, to the Rice campus. Eswaran was involved with her college chapter at MIT, and saw the need to bring this camp to the Houston area when she moved here. The camp works with children affected by a parent’s cancer, but also empowers college students to organize this camp experience for children.

The first camp will be held Aug. 3-8 at the Uskichitto Retreat Center in Leblanc, La. They hope to recruit 30 campers this year and applications are now open. For more information on Camp Kesem at Rice, visit