Research Intern Blog: Week Eight

Blog week eightThis was certainly a week to remember! Week eight was filled with memorable observations, significant strides in research and a very special field trip to Boston Scientific. We now have less than a third of the summer left, which definitely came up on us faster than we expected!

To start things off, intern Brandon reflected on a more peculiar case he heard about during a Grand Rounds presentation on a patient with an infection within the spine. “This patient visits Africa often and tends to live off of unpasteurized camel milk. He had a culture done to test if his back pain originated from this infection, and not some type of muscular/skeletal problem. They talked through the progression what to test for first, and if something like infection is even on the table for possible causes, start them on antibiotics before the test results are back.” Other interns continued to have opportunities in the Cath/EP labs, the ICU and the OR watching complex surgery cases.

Lunch & Learns this week were equally memorable, as our featured speakers were Dr. Rino Orlandi presenting on the effects of mental stress on cardiovascular physiology and Dr. Jay Traverse on stem cell therapy in cardiovascular medicine. Intern Whitney said that she “really enjoyed (Dr. Orlandi’s) presentation on Mental Stress and Cardiac Events. I knew previously that stress, when prolonged, can be a major health issue, but I didn’t realize the measurable physiological effects it can have, even acutely. As pre-medical students, I know we have all been under lots of stress so his presentation definitely made me want to prioritize de-stressing and relaxing activities thrown into my weeks!”

On Thursday, we took a field trip to Boston Scientific’s headquarters in Maple Grove, Minn. We had a great time touring the facility and speaking to prominent business executives and engineers. Intern Ben found this trip especially memorable as he wrote, “We had a great day learning about the concepts, the research and development, the manufacturing, and the sales of their industry-leading products. The capabilities and uses of their 3-D technologies was fascinating, and I can only imagine the advances they have been able to make and will make in the future with it.” Thank you so much to the folks at Boston Scientific for making our experience both fun and informative! We really appreciate you taking the time to showcase your products and your facility.

We want to introduce a new section of the weekly blog post where we follow up with intern alumni and share what they have done since their time at MHIF. The inaugural intern for this section is Alex Rodriguez who was a research intern in the summer of 2014. After his internship, Alex spent a year working as a Community HealthCorps member at the Sixteenth Street Community Health Center in Milwaukee, WI. Currently, Alex is a second year medical student at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, where he is also involved with heart failure research.

Alex says that his most memorable experience as an intern was when he had the opportunity to travel to San Diego for the American College of Cardiology Conference. He enjoyed being able to “see [his] research counted for something and that it was publishable for the larger cardiology community.” Looking back at his time at MHIF, Alex says, “this internship was invaluable in getting me into the medical school of my choice. The breadth and depth of clinical experience is second to none – and more than many medical students get in their preclinical years.” Lastly, Alex is thankful for the lasting relationships he made with his mentors and the other students as well as the opportunity to publish multiple papers.

Again, we’d like to thank all of our readers and the staff at MHIF for ensuring this blog keeps up on a weekly basis! We hope you enjoyed reading about our week.