Research Intern Blog: Week Seven

Blog week seven 1Blog week seven 2With Week Seven complete, the interns are more than halfway done with their internships. There is just over a month until our final presentations, as well as a poster session for MHIF faculty, our physician mentors and our peers.

The interns are continuing to have wonderful experiences in shadowing and lunch and learns. While we did not go on any excursions this week, we’re excited to visit Boston Scientific next week.

This week’s lunch and learn was given by Dr. Mike Miedema, who focused on public health and cardiovascular epidemiology. Intern Sajya Singh said that the “majority of his talk focused on cholesterol levels as a marker for risk and the use and effects of statins, which are drugs made to lower cholesterol levels. I really appreciated Dr. Miedema’s public health background and perspective on this because cardiovascular disease has become something that needs to be treated on a societal level.” Interns were amazed to see the power that epidemiological research has on health care, but also appreciated many of Dr. Miedema’s points that helped clarify popular misconceptions – for example, intervention is most appropriate on a patient with a high absolute risk of heart attack, not high levels of cholesterol. Therefore, it is critical for us to distinguish between biomarkers and surrogate end points.

Interns had various opportunities to shadow in clinic as well as in the ICU. Intern Claire had this to say about her time spent in the cardiac ICU: “I had the opportunity to shadow Kris, a RN in the cardiac ICU. She was awesome to work with, she took her time explaining the procedures to me and answered all of my questions. Our patient was in end-stage renal failure and on CRRT dialysis. During our downtime showed me around the ICU and we were able to stop in and see a Cool-It patient being rewarmed.”

Some interns even had the opportunity to sit in on Abbott Northwestern Hospital Grand Rounds, which are held a few times during the summer. Intern Jonathan highlighted his unique experience: “On Wednesday I attended Grand Rounds with some of the other interns. It was actually a really interesting case! The physician leading the discussion -presented the case of a 22-year-old man who came in with numbness in his hands and feet. They initially thought he had multiple sclerosis, but it turned out that the patient was suffering from a B12 deficiency caused by nitrous oxide inhalation.”

This week’s photos feature interns hard at work! On the left is Sarah making phone calls as part of her OPTIMIST project. On the right is Brandon charting away as part of his project on the Mitral Halo effect.