My name is Allie Seracuse and I am a rising Junior majoring in biochemistry biophysics and molecular biology and minoring in Spanish. This summer I have been lucky enough to be interning at Dr. Ivashchenko’s Adult Family Medicine Clinic and Weight Loss in Lone Tree Colorado.
My internship has already taught me so much in such a short time. From the moment I walked in on my first day it was go go go. I started accompanying the nurse with patients, but my responsibilities quickly grew. After the first day I was given an assignment and have had a condition or ailment to research every day, a few of which include asthma, COPD, and diabetes. My assignment now is to make a handout for patients on magnesium, potassium, folic acid, and B-12 supplements. I have attached a picture of my handout for patients. At the clinic now I put these supplements into bottles for the patients.
When a new patient walks in I take them back to a room (independently now) and take their vitals, which includes their weight, temperature, height, oxygen levels, heart rate, and blood pressure. I love this part because you get to build a relationship with the patient. Since I am the first one to see them, they tell me what is bringing them in and I get to learn a little bit about each person. It is really amazing how fast the people open up to you seeking help for their issue. Then I tell the doctor the patient is ready and a little bit about what the patient and I talked about. I then follow the doctor in with the patient and scribe for the doctor. If further tests, such as ECG or spirometry are required I run them on the patient. The picture is me preforming an ECG on a patient to look at his heart, something I do for every physical and wellness exam we have.
The doctor is a solo family practitioner so she sees many different issues and has so much knowledge that she is able to pass on to me. She is also from Russia and got her PHD and MD in Russia then came here and restarted at med school to get her MD, so she is a wealth of knowledge. She is a great teacher!
At the end of a day with patients, I call the labs to check on where the blood work for patients is and let them know if they need to pick up any specimens. I also scan everything into our electronic medical record keeping system. I also get to tag along to drug rep dinners and lunches which are very interesting and an industry I didn’t fully understand before. It is fascinating the sales pitches that goes on behind the scene with doctors and drug companies. I can’t wait to learn even more and be trusted with even more responsibilities!
Experiences like Allie’s are made possible by the Whitman Internship Grant, which provides funding for students to participate in unpaid internships at both for-profit and non-profit organizations. To learn how you could secure a Whitman Internship Grant or host a Whitman intern at your organization, click here or contact Assistant Director for Internship Programs Victoria Wolff