My visit was unique in that there was more than one moment that was extra special because my shadowing experience consisted of 5 different days in a variety of fields with many different physicians. I spent the first 3 days with Dr. Benninger, the Harvard affiliate, and he orchestrated the remainder of the week where I shadowed several other doctors and surgeons. I spent Tuesday of my shadowing week in the OR and this was probably the highlight of my experience. I saw a free flap procedure where a middle-aged woman had a tumor on her chin bone. They had sliced her neck, and her face was peeled up, so that I was able to observe her jaw bone where they were going to put in bone from her leg (something I also witnessed being removed!). I also saw two procedures where a prosthesis was placed in the vocal cords and I saw a child in the OR who was having her ear worked on. There were so many unique experiences throughout the week that I was blown away by the breadth of things that I learned.
I loved meeting all of the patients and hearing the different life stories from each and everyone of them. I really enjoyed watching the friendly banter you had with the patients, and that rewarding physician-patient interaction has made me very eager to pursue a career in medicine. I also absolutely loved observing the surgeries performed. All four of the procedures were fascinating, and I especially enjoyed watching the reconstruction of a completely destroyed ACL with an autograph. I really enjoyed the friendly banter you[Dr. Krinsky] had with all of the other doctors and nurses in the operating room, and how everyone seemed to be truly enjoying their work.
I spent two days shadowing Stephen J. O’Brien, M.D., one day in the operating room and a full day of patient evaluations in the clinical setting. Observing an established physician at work is the ideal setting for a student-athlete like to evaluate the different skills and day-to-day intricacies found in the medical profession. It enabled me to envision the possibilities of my own career in medicine and how I might structure my own practice in the future. It was particularly fascinating to see the treatment of sports-related injuries and the benefits of effective treatment. I cannot say enough about the value of my shadowing experience; I will likely look back and remember it as a defining moment in my decision to pursue medicine.
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