As the summer is approaching its end, I am very glad I decided to go through with the opportunity to work in the Colorectal Surgery Department at Mass General. Over the past two months, I have seen many different types of surgeries right in front of my eyes, gone rounding with doctors visiting the patients they’ve operated on, and worked on multiple projects led by nurses and doctors in the office.
Seeing surgeries up close is a very unique opportunity. After seeing many, I have realized the attention to detail, level of expertise, teaching aspect, and amount of care that is present in each and every operating room. These components are seen in every surgery on every level, from surgeons to nurses and to residents. Even medical students are incredibly helpful to have in the operating room as they are also usually eager to answer questions that we undergrads have. After the surgeons finish operating on their patients, the patients typically have a recovery window in which the surgeon visits and speaks with the patient. I also found this to be an eye-opening experience because it highlights how at the end of the day, it is also necessary to show personal care. It is important for the surgeon to assure the patient that they are recovering on the right track, and in the case that a complication arose, their next responsibility is to decide the right course of action.
Furthermore, being in this hospital environment has allowed me to learn about many different roles, not just the one of a doctor. I have tried to make the most of my time by speaking with scrub nurses, residents, and
medical students and I have found this incredibly useful for better understanding the field. The research component of my time this summer has showed me some of the less obvious aspects of improving the quality of surgeries and treatment. By studying and compiling pre-operative surveys of patients with bowel-related problems, we hope to gain insight into the effectiveness and results of surgeries on these patients. Additionally, I am helping on the beginning of a project looking at data of people around the world who have died from diverticulitis. These two projects are very exciting since they incorporate two ends of the research spectrum; one end where patients have not undergone surgery for their problems yet and another end where people have unfortunately already passed from their condition.
Once again, this summer has proven to be a great learning experience for me and has given me a lot of exposure to the surgical field as well as the medical research field. I am excited to continue this into the school
year with the aid of healthcare professionals like Lieba Savitt N.P., Dr. Ricciardi, Dr. Kunitake, and Dr. Bordeianou, and other undergrads in the office.