I have just finished my 6 week shadowing program at CHA. It has been an incredible opportunity to learn more about the medical profession. I would like to start off by thanking everyone who has made this experience possible, especially the Brandeis pre-health department, Dr. Sheth, and all of the staff at CHA. I am grateful that so many people have been willing to help me out and teach me about their lives.
During my experience, I have been able to observe surgeries up close, shadow diverse specialties such as podiatry and vascular, observe patient care in the clinic and emergency room setting, and interact with surgeons, nurses, PAs, surgical techs, medical students, residents, and patients.
My main goal for this experience was to help decide my future career goals. Although I still do not know for certain which career I want to pursue, I think that I have definitely made progress in making a decision. While I’m still interested in being a doctor, I’ve learned about other paths that I could pursue, and have gained a better view of the different healthcare actors and how they contribute to providing care. For example, I had previously had very little knowledge about PAs, but now have a much better understanding of how PAs and doctors interact to provide patient care. In addition, going into the experience, I was most interested in general surgery. However, by shadowing other specialties such as opthamology, I realized that there are other fields that interest me, even those which I had previously dismissed. This experience has helped me to discover new possibilities in terms of fields that I could pursue, and helped me gain a more realistic understanding of the medical profession.
This experience has helped me to gain confidence in the hospital setting, understand the organization of the OR and clinic settings, and learn the difference between various types of hospitals. All of this will help me if I work in the hospital setting in the future. While I still have more time to decide on my future career goals, I am now much more equipped to ask the right questions and make an informed decision.