Research Intern Blog: Week Six

Blog week sixWe have finished week six of our internship, and it is hard to believe that we are halfway done through this tremendous summer. Interns have been busy collecting data – some of whom have submitted preliminary data for analysis – as well as doing regular observations in the clinic, OR, or with their research mentors. This past week, interns had the opportunity to visit the pathology lab and understand biochemical and microbiology techniques that researchers and technicians use in order to analyze patient samples. Many interns were especially excited at seeing a live code blue simulation, where residents and nurses worked together to solve a medical problem on a dummy. The week concluded with a highly informative talk from Dr. Sharkey regarding Takotsubo cardiomyopathy.

Interns had a busy week of observations, procedures and time in the clinic. Intern Asad had “the opportunity to visit the Cardiovascular Diagnostic Services area to watch stress tests, nuclear imaging and echo procedures.” Asad had a great time getting to talk to the nurses and lab technicians who administer these tests and were willing to explain their work. Interns also went to Abbott/Allina’s in-house pathology lab to see the work that happens behind the scenes via basic science research tests. Intern Sarah reflected that the pathology lab does “a lot of the procedures that I have learned about in class like PCR, southern blotting, and gel electrophoresis. It amazes me how many different type of procedures can be done in the pathology lab and how large of an impact it has on how the doctors treat their patients.”

One of the highlights of the week was the interns’ trip to the Code Blue Simulation Lab in Abbott’s Education Building. There, new residents had the opportunity to perform life-saving, emergency procedures on a mannequin that responded to real life conditions. Intern Ben said, “This simulation technology is unbelievable. The way Dr. Tierney is able to manipulate the situation, the dummy patient, and the entire room from a computer on the other side was fascinating. The situation that he put them in largely resembled a Code Blue that had just happened the day before. It seemed way calmer and slower than I would have expected even as a simulation. The whole time I was thinking about how difficult it would be actually being a part of the simulation and then further how much more difficult it would be in a real hospital situation.”

Now, onto Lunch and Learns. First, we concluded the Research Academy series with a presentation by Dr. Pamela Mink on Experimental Studies/Clinical Trials. Once again, interns had the opportunity to listen to MHIF’s CMO Dr. Scott Sharkey’s presentation on Thursday on his area of expertise on stress-induced cardiomyopathy. Intern Claire highlights: “Dr. Sharkey gave a great presentation on Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, a condition that looks like a heart attack and is caused by stress. It was really interesting to see all the different instances that caused this event, from arguments to chemotherapy to public speaking.”

Overall, interns had a great week to mark the official halfway point of the internship!