Health Care Exploration: A Summer of Volunteering and Shadowing by Rahul Joseph
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Health Care Exploration: A Summer of Volunteering and Shadowing by Rahul Joseph

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Health Care Exploration: A Summer of Volunteering and Shadowing by Rahul Joseph Health Care Exploration: A Summer of Volunteering and Shadowing by Rahul Joseph Presentation Transcript

  • Health Care Exploration: A Summer of Volunteering and Shadowing Rahul Joseph, Centre College ’14 Brown Fellows Summer Enrichment Project 2013 ABSTRACT PERSONAL OBJECTIVE This summer, I engaged in a two-part health care enrichment experience. The first component consisted of career-oriented shadowing with general surgeon Dr. Paul DeLuca at two inpatient and two outpatient locations: Central Kentucky Surgeons PSC, Central Kentucky Surgery Center, Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center, and James B. Haggin Memorial Hospital. The second component focused on volunteer service with Mission Lexington Medical Clinic, a free clinic serving uninsured working adults in Fayette County, Kentucky. Through this two-part summer enrichment experience, I developed a greater awareness of the social, economic, and political factors that drive healthcare policy and programs as well as rounded off my medical summer experiences, with clinical, research-oriented, and finally observational and policy-oriented enrichment experiences. To engage in a two-fold health care experience—career-oriented shadowing with a local general surgeon and volunteer service with a local public/community-oriented health organization—focused on gaining first-hand knowledge of the effects of healthcare policy, medical procedure, and/or community-based medical practices on medical professionals and their organizations. Each experience was chosen to allow me to observe and participate in the inner workings of health care organizations as well as to provide close interactions with patients and medical professionals in my local community. SHADOWING I shadowed Dr. Paul DeLuca, general surgeon, Centre alumnus, and trauma medical director at Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center, over the course of several weeks. I observed several surgical procedures for the first time while shadowing, including thyroid lobectomy, laparoscopic colectomy, laparoscopic cholecystectomy, hernia repair, portacath placement, colonoscopy and colonic polypectomy, and ultrasound-guided biopsy and aspiration. I shadowed him at four different (two outpatient and two inpatient) medical facilities: Central Kentucky Surgeons PSC (his private practice clinic), Central Kentucky Surgery Center, Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center, and James B. Haggin Memorial Hospital. Through my interactions with patients and medical professionals across these four Central Kentucky medical facilities, I developed personal and professional networks and learned more about the general surgery specialty. I was also able to gain the perspectives of surgeons and nurses regarding current health care practices and policies, such as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. VOLUNTEERING When not shadowing, I volunteered with Mission Lexington Medical Clinic, a free clinic serving uninsured working adults in Fayette County, Kentucky. As a volunteer, I made patient appointments, answered and returned phone calls, faxed and filed medical records, maintained examination rooms, provided computer assistance, and shadowed physicians and nurse practitioners when available. Through this experience, I interacted regularly with patients, learned how health policy affects healthcare providers like Mission Lexington, and observed the daily management of a small primary care clinic. I also developed personal connections with medical professionals and local volunteers, and I was particularly glad to help facilitate an important health care service for my community. BACKGROUND Summer 2010: International trip to Vietnam and Cambodia with the Brown Fellows Class of 2014, focused on learning about Vietnamese history and culture as well as gaining travel experience abroad. Summer 2011: 5-week health internship with Cross-Cultural Solutions in Guatemala City, Guatemala. I primarily volunteered in a local government health clinic, assisting nurses with recording patient weight, height, temperature, and blood pressure; recording prescription information and handling drugs in the clinic pharmacy; administering vitamins and vaccines; and shadowing physicians in the clinic and in the surrounding community. I also researched and presented to my fellow CCS interns on the topic of leading causes of child mortality in Guatemala. Summer 2012: 10-week intensive research experience through the Mechanisms of Behavior Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Working under the supervision of Dr. Staci Bilbo, I experienced every aspect of behavioral laboratory research, including animal care, surgery, behavioral tests, microscopy, and analytical molecular techniques, in addition to participating in innovative research in a highlyspecified area. Over the course of the summer, I networked with other healthand science-inclined undergraduates from around the country, lived and worked with greater independence than ever before, and focused my healthrelated interests on a specific developmental and behavioral phenomenon, fetal programming. PERSONAL CONCLUSIONS Through this enrichment experience I have: Gained a greater awareness of the social, economic, and political factors that drive healthcare policy Networked with medical professionals and staff in the Central Kentucky community Observed several major surgical procedures for the first time Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center (top), James B. Haggin Memorial Hospital (middle), and Mission Lexington Medical Clinic, located in Danville, Harrodsburg, and Lexington, KY, respectively. Followed patient cases from pre-surgery consultation to the operating room to post-surgery follow up Fulfilled my goal of more direct involvement with local medical practice and patient interactions in my final summer enrichment experience Deepened my commitment to pursuing a medical education and serving my community as a physician