It has been an amazing experience so far at Thomas Jefferson Hospital. So far, I have gotten to witness cool procedures in the operating room, colonoscopies, and office hours. Observing Dr. Isenberg has been such a cool opportunity as he makes difficult procedures look so seamless. My first day I observed Dr. Isenberg perform 10 colonoscopies back to back as he spotted hidden polyps in the colon with such ease. At first it was hard for me to follow, but as he explained certain landmarks, he looks for in the colon I started to be able to kind of keep track of where he was. For example, he explained to me that the transverse colon has more of a triangular shape compared to the ascending and descending colon. I also got to observe a couple of other doctors perform endoscopies, which was also very exciting as I got to see the inside of the esophagus and stomach all the way down to the pyloric sphincter.
In the operating room I have gotten to witness routine quick procedures like hemorrhoidectomies and also a longer surgery called an abdominoperineal resection, more commonly called an APR. The APR is often a last resort for patients who have rectal cancer or Crohn’s disease. It involves the complete resection of the patient’s anus and rectum and ultimately results in a colostomy. It was especially cool watching the surgeons interact during the surgery and decide which planes to dissect on the patient. Also, watching different type of surgeons collaborate during a single surgeon has been really amazing. Within a single surgeon I got to witness Dr. Isenberg, a colorectal surgeon, a plastic surgeon, and a urologist all discuss the best course of treatment for a single patient. In my remaining few weeks I hope to be able to witness more surgeries and try to learn as much about the hospital environment as possible.
I would to thank Dr. Isenberg, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, and the Brandeis Pre-health department especially Erika Tai for arranging this opportunity. Overall it was an amazing and eye-opening experience. My favorite and the most interesting part of the experience was definitely the opportunity to experience clinic with Dr. Isenberg just because of the number of different patients and cases I got to witness. Even though some of the cases I saw were extremely sad, watching Dr. Isenberg listen to the symptoms of the patients and then examine the affected area followed by a seemingly instant diagnosis of the problem was truly astounding. I also had the opportunity to hear a lot of personal stories from the Medical students and residents about their experiences in medical school and residency that were very informative and helped me decide my future in pursuing medicine. Although clinic was the most interesting part of my experience, watching surgeries and being in the operating room was definitely the coolest part of the experience. It was amazing watching the scrub nurses, anesthesiologist, and surgeons work in unison to accomplish a common goal.
Finally, I would like to thank Dr. Isenberg again and also wish good luck to the fourth-year medical students who I shadowed with as they apply to their residency programs. This site was truly amazing experience and I will be returning to Thomas Jefferson University hospital over winter break to shadow Dr. Isenberg again.