Elliot Wolf ’23

Lenox Hill Hospital, Division of Cardiac Electrophysiology, New York, NY

I spent this summer working as a clinical research intern in the Division of Cardiac Electrophysiology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. The department is led by Dr. Nicholas Skipitaris, who was my supervisor for this internship and whom I had previously shadowed through a summer program in high school. Dr. Skipitaris and his colleagues specialize in studying and treating disorders of the heart’s electrical system. They identify arrhythmias through diagnostic tools such as electrocardiograms and provide medical and interventional therapies such as anti-arrhythmic pharmacological agents, implantable devices that monitor and correct arrhythmias, and ablation procedures in which the malfunctioning tissues that drive arrythmias are eliminated using advanced catheters.

Dressed in sterile equipment for the electrophysiology procedure room.

In addition to maintaining a large clinical practice and providing in-patient consultations, the department engages in a number of long-term research projects, such as clinical trials of novel therapeutic techniques in collaboration with biomedical technology corporations. My primary role was to assist the clinical research coordinator, Kristie Coleman, in the day-to-day business of overseeing these studies. Working through a combination of in-person and remote formats, I took on a growing responsibility in the management of the department’s research projects. Some of my tasks included collecting data from medical records, entering and validating information in online data capture software, and keeping track of medical devices.

I also took on an independent project to research outcomes in the use of a technology that facilitates detailed mapping of a patient’s cardiac electrical system using over two hundred body-surface electrodes. Specifically, the goal was to determine how this tool contributes to the treatment of atrial fibrillation, the most common arrhythmia. I conducted in-depth chart reviews of patient records from the last several years, updated the department’s atrial fibrillation database in software called REDCap, and wrote drafts for a manuscript to eventually be submitted to medical journals. Throughout the process, I kept in contact with Kristie and Dr. Skipitaris, as well as other hospital personnel. Although this project was not finished this summer, I plan to continue working on it remotely in the fall and in-person when I am back in New York, in the hopes of bringing it to fruition and having my research published. I am also listed as a co-author on a different research paper which has been submitted to numerous peer-reviewed journals.

Overall, this internship experience has been extremely enjoyable and rewarding, and has helped me as I hone my professional interests. I have learned useful skills in navigating electronic medical records and working within a team of researchers, and have gotten a window into the process of clinical research at a metropolitan hospital. Given my profound interest in a career in medicine, and particularly cardiac medicine with a focus on research, the insight into managing clinical trials and the medical knowledge I have gained throughout this internship are invaluable. I would like to thank David Pesikoff ’90, as well as Dawn Dellea and everyone in the ’68 Center for Career Exploration for facilitating my experience this summer.