When I first arrived at Stony Brook Hospital, I was taken to get my ID. Dr. Denoya was in the OR for her first case of the day. I was then told I would be joining her in the OR for the second case of the day, which started around noon. On my first day at SBH, I was able to observe an open colon resection. My second day consisted of following Dr. Denoya to a full day of clinic. On clinic days, I found myself learning the most. I was exposed to a variety of patient complaints – from a simple post-operation follow-up to a new patient consult. From my time with Dr. Denoya, my knowledge on colorectal surgery has expanded tremendously.
The unimaginable things that could happen to your body were plentiful. I never knew that your rectum could prolapse, as a result of weak pelvic floor muscles. I never knew that hemorrhoids were classified by grade I-IV, and that there were internal vs. external hemorrhoids. I never knew that sitting on the toilet for too long could lead to hemorrhoid problems. Valuable lesson to be learned – Eat your fiber! A popular treatment for some problems that Dr. Denoya sees in the clinic seems to be to increase fiber intake.
I have decided that I want to attend medical school and become a physician. This was not always the case. When I first went into this experience, I was leaning towards PA school. I knew I wanted to work in healthcare but I was not sure whether medical school was right for me. After learning more about medical school and residency from Dr. Denoya and her residents, I realized that becoming a physician was a dream I wanted to make a reality. Although the application process for medical school, residency, and fellowship will be time-consuming and challenging, I have gained the motivation and confidence to start the process of becoming a physician.
My experience shadowing Dr. Denoya has definitely changed my plans for after graduation. Per her suggestion, I will try to get more involved in the field of research before applying to medical school. I would also like to get more clinical experience by working in a hospital as a scribe or a CNA. I’m not 100% sure how my day-to-day would look like after graduation. But it’s okay. I realized that everyone’s journey to medical school is different. I’m thinking about taking some time off to work before I apply to medical school.
I would like to end this blog post by saying thanks. Thank you to Dr. Denoya for your hospitality. Thank you to the pre-health department for allowing me to have this opportunity. This experience was truly eye-opening.