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  • Writer's pictureThe Rivers School

Jess Bargamian- Internship with Dr. Stein

This summer, I was lucky enough to still have my internship with Dr. Stein despite the ongoing pandemic. Dr. Stein, an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in hand surgery and works at Boston Medical Center, gladly allowed me to shadow him in the operating room for the selective surgeries that he performed. I am grateful for Dr. Stein and his medical team for allowing me to shadow him under such unprecedented circumstances.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I began the internship virtually. Every day, I attended Boston Medical Center’s Department of Orthpedic’s board rounds in which the various surgeons, residents, and medical students presented and discussed various patient cases. As a result, I learned so many new orthopedic terms and techniques. Being able to listen to patient cases, see their radiographs, and hear the treatment plans was an amazing opportunity. I also virtually attended the Boston Medical Center nightly lectures, during which various doctors and medical professionals spoke about their specialities, discussed surgical techniques, and presented information on certain procedures, like how to perform a COVID-19 test . Furthermore, I listened to many medical student presentations; one interesting presentation was about opioid addiction in America. He explained that some doctors are inadvertently overprescribing opioids, and he ultimately created a calculator that informs doctors on the proper doses of opioids to prescribe. Although learning virtually was a new experience, I still learned so much information.

While attending the virtual part of my internship, I also began assisting resident Dr. Dotterweich and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Toraldo on their Fall Prevention research project. The purpose of the study is to test whether a simple 30 chair stand exercise plays a role in fall prevention because many studies have shown that strength exercises are better at preventing falls than many of the drugs on the market. Each patient must do chairstands for thirty seconds, three times per day, for six months; throughout the six months, they must record the number of chairstands they successfully complete and any falls they have. In terms of my contribution to the study, I called over fifty patients, to whom I explained the study and asked various questions to see if they qualified to take part in it. From there, I reached out to the qualifying participants and passed along the resources and information needed to take part in the study. I will remain as the main person of contact for the patients, and I plan to follow up with the participating patients multiple times throughout the six month period. Furthermore, I will continue reaching out to new patients to see if they would be willing to participate in the study. Being able to work behind the scenes on a research study was an amazing experience. I am glad to contribute to the study and get a sense for how one facilitates a research study.

I was very fortunate to be able to shadow Dr. Stein in person during the COVID-19 pandemic. In mid-July, I went into Boston Medical Center for the first time. While in the OR, I was required to wear a face shield, face mask, scrubs, and surgical hat. The medical students, residents, and nurses working with Dr. Stein were all so welcoming and taught me invaluable information about orthopedic medicine. I watched a variety of surgeries, including a thumb amputation, carpal tunnel surgeries, an ulnar nerve compression surgery, an arthroplasty, a hip replacement, a nerve repair due to a stab wound, and a trigger finger release. I am so grateful that Dr. Stein, Eliza (resident), Will (resident), and Alex (medical student) were so willing to explain the surgeries to me and teach me unforgettable information about orthopedics and the human anatomy. Shadowing Dr. Stein was an unforgettable opportunity that gave me so much insight into what it is like to be an orthopedic surgeon.

I am grateful for the internship opportunity with Dr. Stein this summer. Between attending the early morning board rounds, working on the Fall Prevention Research study, and shadowing Dr. Stein in the operating room, I learned so much about orthopedics. As I head on my own path to become an orthopedic surgeon, I will never forget what I saw and learned during this internship. I am thankful for the welcoming Boston Medical surgeons, medical students, nurses, and staff who took the time out of their busy lives to welcome me into their daily routine and teach me invaluable information. I would also like to thank Mr. Schlenker for pairing me with this rewarding internship. This internship has further excited my own interest in medicine, specifically in orthopedics.


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