Year: Class of 2020 (Rising Senior)
Internship Provider: University of California, San Francisco
Title: Visiting Scholar
Location: San Francisco, CA
What are you doing for your internship? What are some of your responsibilities?
I am conducting research in the orthopedic department of UCSF Benioff’s Children’s Hospital in San Francisco and Oakland campuses. I am researching how to improve patient portal “MyChart” which is the electronic hub for all patient information regarding their health care including appointment information, medication lists, and send non-urgent messages to their provider. I am administering surveys to teen patients (11-17 yrs) and their parents to understand what functions of the portal they appreciate and think need improvement. The patient populations I am studying are adolescent idiopathic scoliosis patients and ACL tear patients.
What do you like most about your internship so far? What has been your favorite part of the experience?
It is a multidimensional experience. I am able to both shadow Dr. Diab and collect data at his clinics each week. I love the hospital environment and working at a world-renowned facility that is full of resources and amazing professionals. You are learning at every turn and observe how doctors work with nurses, patients, and their students. An added perk is that San Francisco city is full of activities and nature/parks all at your fingertips.
Which skills have you learned or strengthened during your internship that you think will help when applying for jobs/graduate schools?
I have refined how to interact with patients and other health care professionals. It can be difficult to collaborate in such a large institution so finding the resources you need is a skill that you learn. Along with this, you learn to ask questions and reach out for help and working closely with the research coordinator. You are shadowing yes, but you are also independent because the doctor or PI will mention something that they think you should look into and it is up to you to take initiative and research if it is feasible.
How has your time and experience at Denison prepared you for this internship? How have you used your liberal arts education during your internship?
Networking through Denison helped me land this internship. Also, I was a summer researcher and Denison last summer that helped me prepare for a summer of research anywhere in the world. Although I was doing lab work at Denison with Dr. Caldari, the attention to detail that I learned is really important, especially for surgery. I am able to write about what I am doing/researching eloquently and clearly which I learned with my poster presentation at Denison.