Pre Departure (Ariel)

Today marks the end of spring semester, which is bittersweet. However, I am extremely excited for the summer to come. I am very grateful to the Brandeis Summer Shadowing Program for allowing me the invaluable opportunity to shadow Dr. Cataldo, a renowned colon rectal surgeon at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

I am most excited to shadow in the OR this summer, as it will be my first exposure to surgery here in the U.S. This is a perfectly timed opportunity, as I have just taken the Anatomy course with Professor Jim Morris at Brandeis. During the course, I dissected many organisms, including fetal pigs, perch, and frogs, and studied the various anatomical features of the organisms firsthand.Therefore, I expect to apply many of the things I learned to my observations in the OR.

I am most nervous about making the most of my experience in the shadowing program, as well as doing my part to be a good representative of Brandeis. I am worried that the program will not meet my expectations or that I will not meet the expectations of my project site. I have, however, already spoken with Dr. Cataldo a few weeks prior and he was unbelievably nice and accommodating so I am not nervous about meeting him in person.

My expectations are simple. I expect to be exposed to the inner workings of the hospital environment as well as to learn more about not only the technical aspect of clinical care, but also the human aspect of patient-doctor communication. I have already had a few shadowing experiences abroad, so I look forward to drawing comparisons between my experiences abroad and my shadowing experience at Beth Israel.

My goals for this summer are to:
– Network and develop good relations with Dr. Cataldo and all of the hospital staff
– Apply skills and knowledge from my college courses to my observations in the clinic and OR
– Compare and contrast American and foreign healthcare systems
– Identify gaps or areas for improvement in the American healthcare system
– Learn more about patient-doctor interaction and the anthropological aspect of treatment of illness
– Most importantly: as an aspiring doctor, to learn from Dr. Cataldo about what it truly means to be a healthcare practitioner and to better prepare myself for a future career in medicine

That’s it for now, and I will check back in with you once I have settled into the program. I wish you all a lovely summer!

Best,
Ariel – Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

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