Neurology Student Summer Internship
Diving into the world of Penn truly has been a remarkable experience specifically a remarkable learning experience. Because this experience was focused on educating, my overall goal was to learn about the components of the medical world that cannot be taught in a classroom or learned in a textbook. No amount of studying or reading can amount to real life experiences. In observing the neurology department and Penn as a whole, I have found one common theme that spreads throughout. This theme is ingrained in the faculty and displayed through every decision made by the individuals who make up Penn. This theme is the Penn Patient Experience. From this experience, I wanted to learn what sets Penn apart with the intention of developing some of those same attributes to assist me through my education and career. In my time at Penn, I was fortunate enough to converse and share ideas with a variety of different health care professionals stemming from the clinical setting as well as administrative professionals. From this, I have learned there are three major factors that make up the Penn Patient Experience: Patient Relationships, Quality of Care, and TeamWork.
Through observation of the physicians, nurses, etc, it becomes evident the level of care these health care professionals give to their patients. In all of the patient interactions, patients are listened to and cared for with their best interest always in mind. After observing Dr. Baltuch and Dr. Markowitz, I feel that I was really able to develop a stronger understanding of what it means to have a strong relationship with your patients. Dr. Baltuch mastered the art of his relaxed nature allowing his patients to feel at ease even if their condition was very severe. As for Dr.Markowitz, this concept was demonstrated just by discussing a commonality that he shared with his patient such as the type of music they like to listen to. The demonstration have great patient relationships as well as meaningful patient interactions is not only demonstrated by these two physicians, this level of care can be seen starting from the medical assistants at the front desk eager to help and direct me where to go to the nurses explaining what the patients’ conditions were while helping me to understand an idea that may have not been that clear. In each of these scenarios, respect, efficiency, and strategy were all prioritized and demonstrated.
The next contributing factor that goes into the Penn Patient Experience trifecta, is quality of care. Quality of care is not limited to just making sure a patient is not waiting for a significant amount of time in a room, although that is a portion of the concept. Quality of care can be defined by having the patient's best interest always in mind. At Penn, medical professionals went above and beyond to care for each and every patient regardless of how complex the treatment may have been, and for a student such as myself, it was truly inspirational. An example of this is when Dr. Marcotte opted for a patient not to have surgery even though it was a potential option knowing it could potentially compromise that patient’s quality of life being that they were very young. Tp further that, with each patient condition, a variety of treatment options are presented to them despite difficulty level, complexity, or the impact it had on the original schedule of the physician. Not only that, both researchers and clinicians strive for new ways to make procedures minimally invasive. An example of this would be the ultrasound focused technology used to suppress essential tremor. Now, rather than receiving an invasive procedure that requires a craniotomy, some patients are eligible for receiving the ultrasound procedure, which eventually, will be made available for even more patients suffering from essential tremor. All of these advancements and successful treatments have been made possible with quality of care consistently being the number one priority both clinically and administratively.
This next factor places itself on the top of the list when it comes to solidifying the Penn Patient Experience, and that is teamwork. Teamwork can be found on all levels, positions, and departments at Penn both clinically and administratively. I had the privilege of watching physicians, nurses, and technicians work together to create the best possible approach to treatment for their patients as possible. This was demonstrated by scheduling patients appropriately, working to diagnose patients, discussing treatment options, analysing imaging, and attending to patients in rooms effectively and efficiently. Administratively, teamwork is the primary focus. I was bale to learn about how the administration at Penn works together to coordinate a seamless experience for patients in what is known as a service line. I was able to sit down with Jessica Cooper and discuss the meaning behind a service line at Penn and how impactful it can be when trying to create ease as patients try and find their way through their medical journey. This could mean someone with a brain tumor trying to navigate their way though neurosurgery, radiology, oncology, etc. Administration has worked together with the constant pursuit of perfection these service lines to make patients at Penn truly satisfied with their care. As a rising senior in highschool, I have been very exposed to the concept of teamwork from playing sports on both the high school and club level to working with a team of people to complete a project. While I may have had some experience with the concept of teamwork, spending time at Penn has truly harnessed my understanding of what it means to be apart of a team. This means keeping a strong and consistent communication with a variety of people, collaborating on a variety of ideas, coordinating events, and maintaining a respectful and positive attitude. For Penn, teamwork is what allows them to become a community rather than a hospital system, which has been such a beneficial concept to learn.