This past week I had the opportunity to shadow a pediatrician who works for the Hersey Medical Center Outpatient pediatric office in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania. I started my trip on Sunday night when I drove about three hours from my hometown Manasquan, NJ to Hersey, PA. I arrived at Dr. Telford-Wren’s home at 8 pm. The next morning Dr. Telford-Wren and I left for the office to begin work at 8 am. I was able to meet a lot of the staff including medical students and pediatric residents. It was great to finally get their point of view on applying to medical school; it has really changed my mind about what I plan to do in my future. In the morning, I was able to shadow about 4 patients for a well visit along with 4 patients for a sick visit. In the afternoon it was a similar schedule, and the workday ended at 5. On my first day I was able to interact with some of the residents and I really enjoyed getting to know them!
Day 2 was even more exciting. In the morning, Dr. Telford-Wren had to attend a lecture at the Hersey Medical Center about Orthopedic pediatrics. I learned so much about identifying clubfoot in infants. After the lecture, I was given a tour of the hospital and saw the new children’s hospital. In the afternoon, Dr. Telford-Wren and I went back to the office and saw a few more patients similar to Mondays schedule. I learned more about strep tests and saw how the nurses do the tests.
On the third day, I went to the office with Dr. Wren, Dr. Telford-Wren’s husband, who practices family medicine. I was able to gain more insight about medical school from a Penn State student who is in her third year at Hersey Medical center. It was very interesting to see the difference between pediatrics and family medicine. I thought that there would only be a slight difference but they are actually very different. In family medicine, I was able to see a biopsy of a mole that was going to be sent to the labs to be tested. As much as I enjoyed family medicine, I was happy to go back to pediatrics in the afternoon. In the afternoon I worked with Dr. Brittany Massare who was a great help. I got to see an infant today and see what its like working with the newborns.
My fourth and final day, I went to the office again with Dr. Telford-Wren and shadowed both herself and Dr. Massare. I saw a few patients with both and it was great to see how the doctors interact with their patients. As this week came to an end, I was able to reflect on the experience. Before this externship, I wasn’t sure if I would want to go to Medical school. However, talking to the students and practitioners I was able to really get a good idea about the whole process. Though I’m not sure exactly what I want to do yet in the future, I’m really considering going to medical school and maybe pursuing pediatrics. Overall, my externship experience has been great. I’m excited to take what I have learned this week to Gettysburg College.