Class of 2006 Students Share Their Summer Experiences
This document is composed of vignettes written by Class of 2006 B.U. medical students about their summer 2003 experiences. These students have graduated from BUSM, but the information continues to be useful for first-year students exploring summer experiences.
List of Experiences:
- AMSA Washington Health Policy Fellowship Progam
- Anatomy Prosector/TA & Shadowing Experience
- Coler-Goldwater Externship
- Family Medicine Externship
- Gross Anatomy Prosection
- Medical Mission to Arequipa, Peru
- Research: Cancer Research Training Award
AMSA Washington Health Policy Fellowship Progam by Matt Russell
AMSA Washington Health Policy Fellowship Progam was a fantastic, politically-educational experience. The fellowship consists of working in Washington D.C. for 10 weeks on any aspect of Health Policy. Placements include NGO’s, Regulatory Agencies like the FDA, Congressional offices, etc. There is also a weekly seminar series coordinated by AMSA to educate the fellows on a various policy topics, which ended up being a great way to meet the other fellows and network. AMSA is very flexible with where in D.C. you work and what aspect of Health Policy you focus on. I chose to coordinate my own placement and split my time between a Congressional Office and a non-profit lobbying group, RESULTS, so that I could specifcally work on International Health Policy with regards to Tuberculosis and HIV. If anyone has any questions about WHPFP, please feel free to contact me. You receive $2500 to do anything (political) you want in D.C. for 10 weeks (not bad!)
I worked for 6 weeks as a prosector/TA of the summer anatomy course held at BUSM. It was a great experience. I loved teaching the students and got an excellent review of anatomy. Basically, you do the dissections the day before the students, present the dissections to them, help them in lab, teach all the bone sessions, and set up practice practicals and actual practical exams. It sounds like a lot, but there are usually many prosectors so you can get as involved as you like. If you liked anatomy and enjoy teaching, I strongly recommend this summer experience. It doesn’t pay, but I found it extremely rewarding anyway. Working with Dr. Hoagland and Dr. Nandy was also great! Both Dr. Hoagland or Dr. Nandy can be contacted for more information. They will send out an e-mail in the spring. I also shadowed an internal medicine doctor (private practice) and Dr. Lana Habash in BU Family Medicine once a week, which were both great experiences. I would recommend shadowing in a primary care office to anyone who wants to brush up on their interviewing skills and get a head start on learning the physical exam.
Coler-Goldwater Externship, Roosevelt Island, New York City by David Cheng
Coler-Goldwater is a rehabilitation/nursing care hospital, and students will be able to practice and develop their skills in interacting with the patient as well as performing detailed physical examinations. Most of the doctors that I worked with were extremely enthusiastic about teaching me the ropes; I found, however, that the most worthwhile experience was reviewing patients’ charts and learning to present these cases. I’d say that the externship was probably a good preparation for ICM-2. The work days are 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., Monday – Friday. Internet access and library access are available. Food (on weekdays) and accommodations are modest, but free.
For about 30 hours a week for four weeks, I shadowed a family physician in a private group practice in East Granby, CT. During this time, I learned and practiced parts of the physical exam, took patient histories and presented them to my preceptor, and wrote SOAP notes in charts. There was also an on-line component of this course, in which all of the participating students journaled about their experiences, posted written projects, and discussed the required book (The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down). The Family Medicine externship is an outstanding summer experience that allows you to practice your interviewing skills, start to learn the physical exam, and explore the field of family medicine. I would highly recommend it to anyone! There is a stipend awarded: $1,000 (given in two $500 payments). Click here for contact info, applying, etc.
Many physicians would argue that gross antomy is the fundamental basis of the medical profession. A strong mastery of the human anatomy is almost essential in making an accurate assessment of most, if not all, pathological processes. With that in mind, this opportunity is a chance to revisit the intense brain frappe you experienced in the fall on your own terms, with your own way of learning (that you invariably stumbled upon while studying for the class the first time around) and explaining the material to students who will be as overwhelmed as you may have been. Responsibilities include prosecting the bodies, teaching bone review sessions, helping in the examination set up, and clearing your sinuses with substances other than air. Remember, you can always review other subjects from a book, but gross is best reviewed the gross way. There is no stipend.
Medical Mission to Arequipa, Peru with Medical Ministry International by Eva Chou
I participated in a two-week short-term medical mission to Peru. I worked with a team of volunteer medical professionals and staff from the US, Canada, and UK to bring healthcare to the squatter communities (pueblos jovenes) of Arequipa. We set up makeshift medical and dental clinics in their neighborhoods to address the immediate health needs and to provide health education (e.g. hygiene, water treatment, good diet) to patients who have limited access to healthcare. I personally had the chance to assist in a few surgeries at the surgical site as well. Please note that this experience was through a faith-based organization with worldwide opportunities. If you want to see pictures, please e-mail me and I will send you a link. There is no stipend; you must raise own funds to go, but my experience was life-changing.
Research: Cancer Research Training Award (CRTA) by Luqman Dad
(National Cancer Institute (NIH), Bethesda, Maryland)
The title of my research project was Clinical utility of bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) in the diagnosis of filamentous fungal pneumonia. For eight weeks at the NCI I focused my efforts on a clinical research question aimed at assessing the utility of BAL in diagnosing invasive fungal pneumonia. Invasive fungal pneumonia, particularly of Aspergillus, accounts for a significant source of morbidity and mortality in the immunocomprimised host. I conducted a retrospective review (1990-2001), through post-mortem studies, clinical microbiology, and cytologic reports of all patients who expired at the NCI with invasive fungal pneumonia as the immediate cause of death. My work is currently under review for publication. In addition to my research activities, I attended Summer Research NCI Lecture Series for students, Grand Rounds, and weekly Tumor Board. I received a stipend.