Myles – Pre Departure

This summer, I will be shadowing at Stony Brook University Hospital under Dr. Paula Denoya, Colorectal Surgeon. I do not necessarily know what to expect. I have shadowed here and there, but never have I done it for more than a couple of days or even all day. I have previously had the opportunity to shadow Haitian doctors and nurses the rural clinics of Léogâne, Haiti with Brandeis’s YourStory International Chapter.

Getting on the plane to come here, I tried to think of some of the things that I would be observing, but I could only seem to think about the many episodes of Grey’s Anatomy that I’d watched which is not necessarily an accurate representation of what it means to be a surgeon. I’m not necessarily sure what to expect because I have never shadowed in a hospital setting, but I am interested to see all of the working parts of a hospital in action.

I am most excited about being able to watch surgeries because I am interested in pursuing a career as a Pediatric Surgeon. I’ve visited the cadaver labs at Tufts School of Medicine, but I am excited to finally see surgeries being done on someone who is alive. I am interested to see what I may know a lot about or what I know absolutely nothing about regarding surgeries and clinic. I am interested to be able to see what a surgeon’s role is outside of surgery because I think preconceived notions about what it looks like to be a physician in general is typically misinformed and over exaggerated. I am glad that I have the opportunity to see what the day by day is for a Colorectal Surgeon.

There’s not too much that I am nervous about because I am really excited to learn so much. In emailing back and forth with both Dr. Denoya and her senior administrator, they have gone the extra mile to help accommodate me throughout the duration of my experience. I truly believe that this experience is going to inspire and strengthen my current passion for medicine.

A few of my expectations going in are to be able to shadow on a wide array of surgeries. I hope that the shadowing environment cultivates a space for me to learn and ask questions seeing that I am not quite yet well-versed in the field of medicine. While being able to learn about medical practices is important to me, I also hope to gain more insight on the process of entering a career in medicine.

Some of my goals:

  • To better understand the medical jargon specific to colorectal surgery.
  • To gain a better understanding of what it looks like to be a surgeon.
  • To challenge myself to apply what I already know and expand my knowledge.
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