Monica – Pre Departure

This summer I have been given the opportunity to shadow at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania through the Brandeis program! I am looking forward to shadowing Dr. Gerald Isenberg, professor of surgery and program director for the Colorectal Surgery Residency.  I intend to shadow him as he meets, interacts with, and examines patients. I am truly excited about the opportunity to be able to witness him and his colleagues performing surgery in the OR.

Since young I have always wanted to become a doctor. In high school I attended a summer camp for students interested in pursuing a career in medicine, and also volunteered in a university hospital recovery room where I assisted nurses by attending to patients’ needs.  I witnessed firsthand how stressful the environment can be and how those nurses handled the patients with care. These experiences reaffirmed my goal to work in the medical field and help others.

This being my first shadowing experience, I hope to learn as much as I can from a doctor’s perspective by observing what goes on behind the scenes during pre-and post surgery activities in a hospital environment, and the teamwork that it takes to fully treat patients. I have watched a few medical shows on TV, but I’m guessing that in reality, hospitals may not be as dramatic at all times!

I would really like to learn how Dr. Isenberg communicates with his patients about their condition- the approach he takes to relate to the patients, the types of questions he asks them, the medical terminology he uses to articulate his thoughts, the steps to diagnosis, and the decision-making that goes into providing treatment options. I look forward to hearing about his experiences over the years, and how he got to where he is today. It would be nice to also witness doctors collaborating with other specialists to understand how they come to conclusive diagnoses. In addition, I’m excited to meet and network with others who work there, such as fellow doctors, nurses, and interns, so I can gather as much information as I can about what it takes to be a doctor and work in a hospital environment.

The knowledge I gain this summer will hopefully transfer to the research I am involved in on campus during the school year. Furthermore, this summer will provide experiences that I’ll carry with me for a lifetime. I can’t wait to start!

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