Neurology internship offers insight

Elizabeth Ramah ’19 shadows medical professionals over winter break

Internship supported by: Nancy Lyon Porter ’43 Community Service Fellowship
Majors: Neuroscience

Found passion: “I have always been fascinated with the brain, particularly neurological conditions such as strokes, and also in pharmacology. I came to Wheaton as a psychology major and fell in love with neuroscience during my ‘Introductory Psychology’ course. I have always wanted to help others, and I feel that going into neuroscience and healthcare I will be able to do so.”

Practical experience: “I decided to seek this internship since I am planning on attending school to become a physician’s assistant and wanted to experience what it is like to practice in an inpatient neurology setting. I knew that Baystate Medical Center would be a great fit, as it has an stroke care team that cares for most stroke patients in Western Massachusetts.”

Inside look: “I shadowed advanced practitioners in the Neurology Department at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Mass. I observed the practitioners perform various types of neurological exams and take imaging such as CT scans to determine what further treatment is needed.”

Patient focus: “The most valuable lessons I have learned are around the importance of compassion and efficiency in caring for patients. Through my observations, I learned the importance of fully understanding a patient’s medical history and how this may impact their current condition, and showing kindness in a situation that can often be overwhelming to both patients and families.”

Speaking the language: “The courses I have taken at Wheaton that have been the most beneficial to my experience have been ‘Physiology,’ ‘Drugs and Behavior’ and ‘Brain, Mind and Behavior.’ These courses have given me a solid foundation in neuroscience and processes of the human body. The information I learned in these courses allowed me to follow much of the medical jargon utilized by the practitioners and also to understand the physiological processes of many different conditions. It also helped me to better understand treatments given to patients, as I know how many common drugs work in the brain and body.”

Grad school prep: “I plan to attend graduate school after Wheaton to become a physician’s assistant (PA). My main interest at the moment is to become a neurology PA; however, I also am interested in pediatrics. This opportunity at Baystate Medical Center allowed me to obtain shadowing hours for my application to graduate school, and to have the best possible direct experience to see what it is really like to work as a PA.”

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