Advanced Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, San Francisco, CA
This summer, I interned at Advanced Orthopedics and Sports Medicine (AOSM), a private orthopedic practice in San Francisco. I had the opportunity to work under Dr. James Chen, who aims to serve patients with the best quality orthopedic care so patients may return to safe engagement with various sports and day-to-day physical activities.
My time at AOSM was a healthy mixture of clinic days and surgery days. Both required different skills and were unique in their own ways. On clinic days, I was responsible for taking patients’ histories and briefing Dr. Chen on a patient’s case before he entered the room. This required that I pay close attention to the needs of the patient while asking medically pertinent questions that would allow Dr. Chen to have a complete picture of each individual case. At first, interacting with patients on my own and briefing the attending physician was a bit overwhelming. However, over time, I learned how to speak with patients and how to properly deliver a brief comprised of all the medically necessary information. Being present in the room while Dr. Chen diagnosed the patient and explained the etiology of different conditions, all the while attentive to the patients’ concerns, was a highlight of clinic days. Furthermore, learning about various conditions and associated orthopedic anatomy was extremely interesting as well as instructional. Following a patient’s visit, I would write a clinical note that would be checked by the head medical assistant and Dr. Chen. These notes further consolidated my understanding of orthopedics. In these ways, clinic days gave me the opportunity to engage firsthand with patients while simultaneously being introduced to medicine.
On surgery days, I was responsible for preparing short presentations that included the extent of the patient’s injury and a history of the sustained injury. This would ensure that the entire surgical team was on the same page. I then spent the day in the operating room with Dr. Chen and the fellows, asking questions and learning about various surgical techniques. Importantly, being present during surgeries taught me that a procedure takes an entire team and increased my appreciation for the various medical personnel who work hard to ensure that an operation is successful.
Throughout my internship, I also had the opportunity to collaborate with others on research projects. These projects expanded my understanding of the medical field and introduced me to another crucial facet of medicine.
In many ways, my internship this summer reaffirmed my passion for pursuing a career in medicine. Through all my patient interactions and conversations with my colleagues, I had a glimpse of the medical field in a truly rewarding and immersive way. Overall, this summer has given me the opportunity to evaluate and reflect on my career aspirations meaningfully. I am extremely appreciative to all those who have made this unique and wonderful opportunity possible. I would have been unable to explore my career interests this summer without this support.