This summer I interned with Dr. Jennifer Wolf and Dr. Jason Strelzow, both renowned trauma surgeons, and professors, at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. My work has involved researching the manifestation of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, in gunshot wound patients, and my manuscript, under the guidance of Dr. Wolf and Dr. Strelzow, will become published research in the near future.
This experience was not only very relevant to my field of study but also has presented a wonderful opportunity to obtain meaningful research experience, with a top medical school, in undergraduate years and during a time when intern experience was challenging to secure.
An average day for me would vary between reading articles and studies, taking notes and converting the research findings into a draft manuscript, which I would review and discuss with both Dr. Wolf and Dr. Strelzow on a regular basis via email or video calls. Not only did they provide valuable insight and guidance but also they coached me on medical research methods and writing.
It was interesting to learn that although medical research may be published and conclusions drawn from the research, it is not always the case that they are factually reliable and therefore 100% true. Research bias exists in the medical field just as it does elsewhere. It was also useful to learn more about the life of a surgeon and medical school professor, and in particular, all the demands and responsibilities that these roles include both inside and outside the operating theatre.
I think what surprised me the most about my experience was how much more able I was for the position than I thought I was. At first, I was extremely intimidated by the opportunity because it was with two very highly respected surgeons, as well as the fact that it is usually resident students in medical school who work with surgeons on these research papers. However, once I started the project and the actual research itself, I realized that this is what I have been preparing to do through the multiple courses which I have taken at Wheaton. It reassured me that the hard work I do on a daily basis will pay off in the future and has given me the knowledge and skills necessary to work towards accomplishing my career goals.