5 REFLECTIONS FROM INTERNS ON WEEK 3

1. Medical education started out as purely an apprenticeship...

This is what one of my mentors, Dr. Bernard told Alexa and I as we were discussing our research projects yesterday. He was telling us not to look at research and fall into the trap of thinking a study should hold less weight because it's a "just a case report" and not a randomized control study. He said that yes good data is important, but sometimes you become a better surgeon by being shown something new by an expert in your field. It really struck me when he said that because that's exactly what this summer is about for all of us! We are all apprentices at each of our sites learning from the best physicians about their fields. Maybe we won't remember specific techniques or techniques will have advanced so much by the time we train and practice, but we are learning how to think like orthopedic surgeons, radiologists and physical therapists. - Taylor

2. Patience

The word that comes to mind first for me this week is patience. In the clinic we see so many patients who are frustrated with their early progress because they are not back to their normal day to day lives after traumatic injuries. It is important to remind them that through hard work with their physical therapist and patience they will reach their goals. It's also important for us as medical students to remember that through hard work and patience we too will reach our goal of becoming orthopedic surgeons. - Adam

3. Stand Up, Be Humble

After reflecting and wanting to reset my goals, I asked Dr. Gantt to give me feedback on Monday about things to work on. This spurred a great fireside chat, in which I learned exponentially more about her story than I’m ever able to extract during busy clinic and surgery days. Her key feedback to me was to figure out how to incorporate myself more into the surgical team. I was not in the least surprised because this is something I had already been thinking about a lot. I thought about times in the OR where I was extremely timid because I didn’t want to do anything wrong. I thought about times in clinic with other attendings that acted as if I wasn’t even there and how I felt rather powerless because I hadn’t found away to change that. I concluded that while there are plenty of times to stay out of the way and be quiet, this is my experience, and I have to do a better job of owning it. I decided that I must master a humble confidence. -Taylor

4. Learn What NOT to Do

Week three was a heavy research week. One of my two projects progressed while one halted. With one of my projects regarding mice, I am learning that when even following the animal protocol completely word for word, something can still go wrong. Even after so much progress was made with our tumors in mice, there are some instructions that you have to change within the Electroporation study. When research does not give the intended results, sometimes you wanna feel as if your time was wasted. But my preceptor Dr. West is teaching me that learning what NOT to do is just as important as learning what to do. Even though some tumors maybe wasted, we aware perfectly able to establish controls and understand what instructions need to be altered. Additionally, so much research change and improvement this week came at the collaboration between Dr. West, a PhD, and myself. It felt very empowering to be a part of such a decision making team and to contribute towards scientific advancement. -Ramzy

5. No Clinic = No New Patients

This week has been AMAZING!!! I accomplished one of the goals that I set for this week and that was to get to know my preceptor better. I would say I learned so much about the side of medicine that you do not get to learn in a book. Through our discussions I have learned about paying back loans, negotiating contracts after residency, study strategies, and just about learning to enjoy the journey. We had three days of clinic this week as well and I realized how important having clinic is. No clinic= No new patients/surgeries. -Chantel

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