Senior Sunday | Shelly Lin

I will start off by stating that my experience in this program was nothing short of incredible. Even before this program, I knew that working in healthcare was what I wanted to do with my life. After all my experiences this summer, that hasn’t changed; in fact, I think that this fellowship has made me even more excited and determined to pursue medicine as a career. 

One takeaway I got from this experience was that the medical field involves a huge amount of teamwork. Through this fellowship, I learned so much about facets of the medical field that I had never even considered before. Hospitals don’t just operate with doctors and nurses; there are PA’s, office workers, financial counselors, therapists, social workers, pharmacists, radiologists, dieticians, EMT’s, and so much more. Everyone has their own role to play and their own job to do, and I think that’s amazing. 

I’ll take a moment to mention which departments I enjoyed the most while shadowing this summer. Firstly, I enjoyed my time in every single department, especially in those I didn’t know much about previously, like orthopedics. To me, learning new things is exciting and eye-opening. It’s now really difficult for me to choose which part of medicine I want to go into now, because I love it all. If I had to choose a few things that really stood out to me, though, they would be emergency medicine and cardiology.

I shadowed in the ER for two full days. I didn’t think that I would like it very much, because I usually dislike stressful situations. However, I really enjoyed the fast pace of the ER and the problem-solving involved in it. It was amazing to watch the doctor stitch someone’s forehead up in five minutes, then splint someone else’s broken ankle in ten.

I also really enjoyed my time in the heart and vascular institute. It was fascinating to learn about stress tests and imaging, which were things I had no knowledge of before. Watching nurses conduct ultrasounds and EKGs was also interesting to me, and it made me think about how developments in technology have influenced the medical field over time. 

One funny moment I would like to share was when I was shadowing on the third floor. I was asking the nurse I was shadowing some questions when another nurse went over to me and asked which doctor I was (there happened to be a doctor on the floor that day that looked similar to me). I told her I was just a student, but on the inside, I was delighted. At that moment, my dream felt so within reach, and I became determined to make “Dr. Lin” a reality.

One heart-touching moment I experienced occurred that same day, after a patient with COPD was discharged. The nurse I was shadowing explained to me that “oftentimes you know that your patient won’t be able to live for much longer, but you still have to let them go”. I was reminded of the heartbreaking reality that so many healthcare workers experience every day – that they don’t always succeed.

I would like to end off by giving a huge thank you to everyone who made this experience possible. Thank you to Mr. Corbett for organizing our events and taking us on field trips; thank you to the Foundation for creating this opportunity for the next generation; and finally, thank you to every single doctor, nurse, PA, technician, and medical professional that was kind and patient enough to teach me. 

Without a doubt, this medical fellowship made my summer one that I will never forget. I am so grateful for the opportunity to experience what it’s really like to work in healthcare. Moreover, I now have so much respect and admiration for each and every person who works in medicine. Working in healthcare is my dream, and eventually I’m sure that it will be my reality.