Meet Improve Life's

Patients: We take privacy seriously. Names of patients are NEVER given to students. If you volunteer to have a student, they will not learn your name or any identifying information about you, unless you tell them directly. If you do not volunteer to have a student, no student will know any information about you.  All shadowing students are trained to follow HIPAA guidelines.

Maryam Azeem joined Improve Life's team in March of 2017 and became the first intern to reach the 20 hours of study achievement. Maryam is a college premed major and STEM instructor. She has attended career fairs with Improve Life to promote health and wellness education.  With Dr. Waggel's guidance, she took blood pressure readings and taught the community about blood pressure and heart health. Maryam has attended Dr. Waggel's seminars on medical specialties, anatomy, and taking patient histories. She has participated in Improve Life's Doctor/Pharmacist challenge. She even gave an excellent presentation of her own on mental health in the prison system to other students at Improve Life. Maryam has worked on Improve Life’s telemedicine project and conducted in-depth research on gender discrimination in the medical field.
School: Virginia Commonwealth University
Class of 2021
Interests: Running, working out, reading, and traveling
Career Goal: Psychiatrist
Favorite thing I learned from Dr. Waggel: That despite how competitive the medical field is, confidence is key in being successful.
Daniel Yang became a member of the Improve Life team in April of 2017. He has worked as a mental health first aid responder and pharmacy technician and volunteers at a rehabilitation center. Daniel demonstrated an advanced understanding of anatomy during Improve Life’s anatomy session. He has also showed his skills during Improve Life’s journal club and mock interviews. Daniel has participated in the Doctor/Pharmacist challenge, SOAP note module, and mental health in the prison system lecture. Daniel also completed Improve Life’s telemedicine and culture of medicine projects.
School: James Madison University
Class of 2020
Interests/Hobbies: piano, music and music production
Career goal: Physician assistant
Favorite thing I learned from Dr. Waggel: Dr. Waggel's willingness to teach seems to stem from her inspiring experiences and diligence that propels her passion for improving medical culture.  Through Dr. Waggel's mentorship I've been able to learn certain mechanisms in the health field, such as a SOAP note, and how a physician applies this type of notation through usage in her lectures.  This offered another avenue of insight into medical profession, something which I will gladly accept to further my experience.  I have also learned that this internship can be seen as an extension of Dr. Waggel's knowledge and desire to mentor, and I realized just how far a health professional's influence can spread to students like us. 
Michele Liu has been with Improve Life since April of 2017. She has been interested in psychology and neuroscience from a young age. Michele has studied psychoanalysts and the works of Jacques Lacan and Sigmund Freud. She has worked on an inpatient psychiatric unit as well as Operation SMILE. As a part of Improve Life’s team, Michele has studied topics such as anatomy, postpartum depression, autism, HELLP syndrome, enchondroma, patient interview skills, and mental health in prisons. She also participated in the Doctor/Pharmacist challenge. Michele attended Dr. Waggel’s seminar on HIPAA and psychiatric interviews.
School: Oakton High School
Class of 2018
Interests: Debate and photography
Career goal: Doctor
Favorite thing I learned from Dr. Waggel:  When morals and ethics come before rules and regulations. For example, when we were discussing Mental Health in Prisons and hospitalization of people in psychiatric wards against their will, Dr. Waggel explained that sometimes even though it might at first seem that a person should be hospitalized and the doctor has the ability to have them hospitalized, it could better for their quality of life to find another option.

Madhugayatri Somayajula has been and intern and scribe for Improve Life's learning sessions since June, 2017. She presented at an Improve Life session on the topic of postpartum depression and HELLP syndrome as she aims to one day be an OBGYN. She also works on Artificial intelligence projects and enjoys teaching. Madhugayatri attended Dr. Waggel’s seminar on HIPAA and psychiatric interviews, study abroad opportunities and learned about kidney failure and epilepsy. She attended the Improve Life PLLC weekend literature review workshop and neurology session. Madhugayatri also attended Dr. Waggel’s lecture on SOAP note writing.
School: Chantilly High School 
Class of 2019
Interests: Volleyball, Indian singing, dance, cooking
Career goal: OBGYN
Favorite thing I learned from Dr. Waggel:  Every patient is different when regarding their conditions, each should receive a different medical plan based on their SOAP information rather than just a general treatment. Additionally, the medical world is no place for judgement and all medical practitioners should feel proud of the work they do for the community.
Arpitha Shenoy joined the Improve Life team in May of 2017.  Aside from leaning to become a doctor, she is interested in aerospace engineering, and is a member of the rocketry club. She has learned anatomy and patient interview skills from the Improve Life learning sessions. She also attended Improve Life's journal club, HIPAA session, literature review workshop, autism lecture and student run presentation days.
School: Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
Class of 2018
Interests:  Hockey, volunteering at the INOVA Fairfax Hospital, reading, baking, and playing the piano.
Career Coal: Doctor
Favorite thing I learned from Dr. Waggel:  The Doctor versus Pharmacist session where I learned about the differences in the two careers and how they interact as well as some of the responsibilities of each.
Warda Nasir has been an intern with Improve Life since June 2017.  She gave an excellent presentation to the Improve Life students on autism. She also attended our seminars on taking a patient history and mental health in the prison system.  Warda has learned about HIPAA and psychiatry note writing. She was active in Improve Life's neurology session, SOAP note lecture, and study abroad meeting.
School: Herndon High School
Class of 2018
Interests: Cosmetology
Career goal: Doctor
Favorite thing that I learned from Dr. Waggel: Management of psychiatric emergencies (procedures and safety for suicidal and homicidal patients). 

Louis Hernandez began his internship with Improve Life in June of 2017. He is a health science major at North Greenville University. Louis has the desire to study medicine and fight against cancer because he, himself, is a cancer survivor. He is in the Army ROTC and plans to become a military doctor. In July, his culture of medicine project, a poem titled “Stand Up for What You Believe In” was published on Improve Medical Culture’s website. He has participated in an 8 hour research project addressing harassment and gender discrimination in the medical filed. Louis taught other students at Improve Life about a bone tumor called enchondroma and learned how to write SOAP notes and attended a presentation on mental health in the prison system. Louis also created an informational packet for the website Justice in Medicine.
School: North Greenville University
Class of 2019
Interests: Lacrosse
Career goal: Doctor
Favorite thing I learned from Dr. Waggel: When Dr. Waggel taught us about SOAP notes and the mnemonic OLD CART and how to read and identify a patient's condition in the hospital.

Twinkle Desai has been a part of the Improve Life intern program since April of 2017. She is the Chair of Chantilly’s Model United Nations, a poet, a math and English tutor and volunteers at many charities for the homeless and animal protection. Twinkle has attended Improve Life’s informational session on study abroad programs, patient safety lecture, student run presentation, literature review workshop, neurology seminar, and dementia and Alzheimer’s presentation. She has contributed to research for the Justice in Medicine website and learned HIPAA and note writing skills from Dr. Waggel.
Twinkle even gave a presentation herself on kidney failure and epilepsy.
School: Chantilly High School
Class of 2018
Interests: Basketball, Writing, Reading
Career Goal: Sports Physician or Teacher
Favorite thing learnt from Dr. Waggel: In depth knowledge of the PNS (Peripheral Nervous System) and the CNS (Central Nervous System), the different kinds of cells and the functions of each (Neurons: send and receive signals; Astrosight: physical support; Microglia: damage control; Mylin: protective sheath.

Afifa Roohi began her internship with Improve Life in June of 2017. She is a health science student certified in CPR and First Aid. She has studied heart health and hearing and vision screenings. She has attended Dr. Waggel’s seminars on HIPAA, psychiatry note writing, neurology, dementia, and mental health in the prison system.  She has participated in student presentations and the weekend literature review workshop.
School: Herndon High School
School Year: 2017-2018
Interests: soccer, dancing, singing, drawing
Career goal: Become an OBGYN
Best/favorite thing I learned: I really enjoyed learning about neurons. Different aspects of it and how it functions as a whole was new and I liked it a lot.

​Amy Wen joined the team in April of 2017. She is an INOVA Fairfax Medical Campus Volunteer. She attended Dr. Waggel’s sessions on neurology and gave an excellent presentation on dementia and Alzheimer’s in July. She also participated in Improve Life’s weekend literature review workshop and Justice in Medicine project.
School: Langley High School
Class of 2018
Interests: Cheerleading, Track and Field, Science Olympiad, Member of the Math Honor Society, Science Honor Society, History Honor Society, National Honor Society, and Gymnastics
Career goal: Doctor
Favorite thing that I learned from Dr. Waggel: I loved the session on neurology, learning how everything in the body is connected to the brain and nervous system. Throughout the internship, I have also learned that mental health is just as important as physical health. It is empowering to see how strongly Dr. Waggel advocates for better mental health programs in schools and workplaces to improve life. 

Ritika Shrivastav has attended  sessions in neurology, schizophrenia, synesthesia, pathology, adrenal glands, and parasites. Ritika has also completed an OBGYN project.
School:  Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
Class of 2019  
Interests: Crew, Reading, Volunteering at Children's National Hospital, Puzzles, Adventure, Photography, Hiking, Camping, Climbing, Video Editing, Dance
Career Goal: Doctor
Favorite Thing I Learned from Dr. Waggel: I really enjoyed the session of Doctors and Pharmacists, it was interesting to see the interactions between the two professions and I learned a lot about how the two work together to help someone get better. I also found what we learned about allergies and anaphylactic shock to be really interesting.