As part of the BME Summer Immersion Program, I have spent my summer at Weill Cornell Medical College shadowing clinicians in the hospital and engaging in clinical research. Through the program I was matched with Dr. Jonathan Weinsaft, a cardiologist who specializes in cardiac MRI, through whom I was able to observe diagnostic imaging procedures (CT, MRI) and subsequent analysis, as well attend cardiac care unit rounds. I also shadowed Dr. Divya Gupta, a gynecologic oncologist with whom the Kirby lab is interested in collaborating, in the clinic to see gynecologic exams and understand how a patient goes from an initial visit to a treatment plan. Additionally, I have attended rounds in the pediatric ICU and emergency department.
What I have most greatly enjoy seeing is the practice of medicine–the interactions between patients and the medical team, the complications of language barriers and insurance issues, the difficulties in establishing courses of treatment with which patients will be compliant. What most surprised me (ironically) is that patients enter the hospital when sick, and that they rarely have only one health concern–a patient complaining of chest pain might also have high blood pressure, diabetes, lupus, etc. and the challenge is in managing all of these conditions simultaneously.
The Immersion Program also includes a small research project. For this, I am working with Dr. Weinsaft on developing a method of automatically detecting thrombus (blood clots) in long-axis, long T1 inversion time MR images.