Research Intern Blog: Week Five

Blog week fiveWeek Five has finished, and we are on our way to completing half of our internship. This week, interns continued to work on research projects while visiting the clinic for observations, they also had a wonderful opportunity to visit Medtronic and engage in a variety of observations and hands-on activities.

Dr. Harris was the featured speaker in this week’s lunch and learn, giving a presentation on sudden cardiac death in triathlons. Intern Matt Dulas explains that “having participated in high school athletics, I did often hear about individuals that died due to cardiac events, and so it was enlightening to hear more about them, and possible ways, such as screening, to prevent them.” Intern Claudia See recounts that it was surprising to learn that “most deaths occurred in the swim portion, that the death rate was twice as high in triathlon as they were in marathons, and that the victims were usually 10+ years older than the average age of participants.” Intern Whitney Johnson admired Dr. Harris’s work because his “research might not be as ‘focused’ as some other researchers because he studies and investigates what sparks his curiosity.”

As observations continued through Week Five, interns were able to continue observing procedures and physician – patient interactions in the OR and in the clinic respectively. Many interns have now had the opportunity to observe procedures that are different than their research area. Intern Matt Dulas had no prior experience of electrophysiology, but “was most impressed by the technology used for the operation. One of the nurses constructed a model of the left atrium and used a catheter to detect and map the inside of the atrium.”

Now…to the big highlight! We were extremely lucky to have the opportunity to visit a facility at Medtronic, one of the largest biomedical device companies in the world, accompanied by two of MHIF’s research nurses, Kelly and Kate. At Medtronic, we engaged in various activities and workshops, learning more about the company’s extensive history as well as some of the medical devices they manufacture. Overall, the interns had a wonderful experience!

Intern Sarah noted, “We started out the day with the history of Medtronic; it was incredible to see how medical devices have evolved over the past few decades. While I’m not working specifically with any medical devices this summer, a lot of the interns who are had the opportunity to ask questions about their devices.” This was a much-needed change of pace for all of the interns, and we can collectively say that everyone left with a smile. Thank you Medtronic for being such great hosts!