Penh – Pre Departure

The Brandeis summer shadowing program has given me the opportunity to shadow Dr. Cataldo at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. I am extremely excited to witness what goes on “behind the scenes” in a hospital. Prior to this, I volunteered at the emergency room at my local hospital where my duties mainly revolved around assisting patients. I witnessed very little patient-provider interactions. Furthermore, my previous hands-on clinical experience was gained through my training as an EMT and an internship working on physical therapy with brain injury survivors. As someone who would like to become a physician in the future, I think it is important to understand what it truly means to be a doctor through shadowing one. I am excited to see the motives behind clinical decisions and observe the human aspect of patient-provider relationships. 

This will be my first exposure to a hospital’s OR and my first time shadowing a doctor. Therefore, I am nervous that I would not be able to meet my own expectations as well as those of the healthcare team. My expectations are pretty straightforward. I want to observe the inner workings of a hospital to understand the complexity of healthcare delivery. Taking what I learned in the classroom regarding biology and healthcare, I hope I can apply some concepts to my observations in the OR. After focusing on translational medicine during my semester abroad, I realized that a career in medicine is not at all glamorous. My goals for learning this summer include networking with Dr. Cataldo, analyzing the complexity of patient-provider interactions and applying my academic knowledge to my observations. Ultimately, I hope that this shadowing experience will allow me to understand what a career in medicine entails and further reinforce my aspiration to become a doctor. 

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