Lenox Hill Hospital, Division of Cardiac Electrophysiology, New York, NY
This summer, I returned for a second year 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 met through a summer shadowing program in high school. The cardiologists in Dr. Skipitaris’ office specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the heart’s electrical system. They identify arrhythmias using electrocardiograms and provide medical and interventional therapies such as antiarrhythmic pharmacological agents, implantable devices that monitor and correct arrhythmias, and ablation procedures in which the malfunctioning tissues that drive arrhythmias are eliminated using high-tech ablation catheters.
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. In my internship, I reported directly to the department’s clinical research coordinator, Kristie Coleman, who manages the day-to-day business of overseeing these studies. Whereas last summer I primarily assisted Kristie with administrative tasks and some data entry, this year I was completely focused on a project being led by another electrophysiologist in the practice, Dr. Mountantonakis. The goal was to review the charts of the thousands of patients who have undergone atrial fibrillation ablations at Northwell (the health system that runs Lenox Hill) and extract data about their baseline characteristics, medications and recurrence of arrhythmias.
At the beginning of the summer, I worked on developing an efficient and relevant data entry workflow, which I then taught to several medical students joining in the project. After onboarding my new coworkers, I got started on manual chart review, which is how I spent the majority of my summer both in-person and remotely. Though at times tedious, I am confident that the data collection will yield multiple publishable manuscripts, a great boon to my career.
Overall, this internship experience was extremely enjoyable and rewarding and helped me hone my professional interests. I learned useful skills in navigating electronic medical records and collaborating with other researchers and gained a unique window into the practice of cardiology research at a metropolitan hospital. Given my profound interest in a career in medicine—and particularly cardiac medicine—the experience managing clinical research and the medical knowledge I have gained throughout this internship are invaluable. I would like to thank the Class of 1951 for making this opportunity possible, as well as Dawn Dellea and everyone in the ’68 Center for Career Exploration for facilitating my experience this summer.