Jeffrey Sanborn, a biochemistry major and studio art minor, spent last summer as a Wheaton Fellow interning at Tufts Medical Center’s Floating Hospital for Children in Boston. Now he knows for sure how he wants to combine his passion for science and helping people: he plans to go to medical school to become a surgeon.
Examining procedures: “My professors have encouraged me to pursue my passion for medicine, and have given me opportunities to explore different career paths. During my internship, I spent many hours interacting with patients at the clinic. It was a great opportunity for me to witness doctor-patient relationships develop. I found it intriguing to be able to see the perspective of the doctor, already knowing from past experience what it is like to be in the patient’s shoes. I also observed a broad spectrum of specialized surgeries, mainly in the pediatric urology and adult urology departments. I loved observing surgeries. Being in the operating room felt very natural to me. It was here that I developed a very inspirational and motivating friendship with the chairman and chief of adult urology.”
Noting significance: “On several very early mornings, I remember having a feeling of disbelief when I took the time to think about everything that was happening around me: exactly how much work was being done, how many lives were being saved, and how many individuals and families were being helped. All this and it was just 7:30 a.m. The day had only just begun.”
Gaining insight: “I learned that the years of preparation and dedication demanded by this profession are well worth the investment. Nothing could possibly compare to the reward of seeing a patient’s life improved. My internship reinforced my passion to become a surgeon and provided me with invaluable insight as to which medical field I wish to pursue.”
Making connections: “I didn’t look forward to seeing it come to an end, as I’d made many new friendships and loved working in the medical environment. But what made my departure easier was that it wasn’t a ’goodbye,’ but a ’see you in December, Jeff.’ An invitation was extended to me to return and volunteer over winter break. I’ve also been invited to accompany the doctor whom I was working with as his primary surgeon assistant on a medical mission overseas next year.”