Although I am continuing my position at MGH through the fall semester, it very much does feel like a large chapter has ended in my experience. While I will still be working towards my research project throughout the semester (as described in my midway point post), I think my experience there will now be a very different one than it had been.
Throughout the semester I will be working at MGH on Tuesday evenings for around 5-6 hours, which obviously is a big transition from having been there practically full time throughout the past 6 weeks or so. What I had really liked about being at MGH every day was that at least once a week my day was dedicated to shadowing surgeries, which was integral to my ability to later talk to patients and analyze these specific procedures. In some senses, I had been shadowing the patients instead of the doctors in that I had contact with patients both before and after surgery and often observed their surgeries too. On top of that, I also would look at past medical records for such patients as part of the research parameters, and for surgeries performed in the past at later follow-ups. This complete experience was very eye opening in understanding how medical care works all around, much beyond the role of the operating surgeon in the OR. This fall my time at MGH will likely be dedicated to research only, due to time constraints, which naturally will be a different experience in that it will be less exploratory and more goal oriented than the summer had been.
I think being serious about studying medicine requires one to have a strong base to their interest, created by self-reflection and self-questioning. Before this summer I had a lot of doubt about perusing medical school, and this had been one of the main reasons I had wanted to push myself to engage in direct contact and observation with the field through some form of summer internship. I have always known I am interested in the medical field for a career one day, but the reality is that there are many other doors that can lead toward a career in medicine besides an MD/DO degree. Having so much interaction with doctors this summer at MGH, specifically with residents I had been working with, had really inspired me and shined light on the fact that if there is a will there will definitely be a way for me to pursue a medical degree post-Brandeis. Of course, it will be a long and difficult road to achieve this goal but having personal and honest conversations about this with the amazing mentors I have had the chance to get to know this summer had really changed my view and motivated me. The love and passion that the staff at MGH’s colorectal surgery department had towards medicine and helping others had was contagious, and this made me so eager to keep learning and experiencing new things. I am excited for what is to come in the future in regards to my position held and relationships formed at MGH, and for whatever the future holds for me with my passion for healthcare.