Ever since I was little, I’ve loved science. I love discovering ingenious explanations for seemingly simple aspects of life, or realizing that scientists have already tackled what I thought was impossible. But I truly found my passion in biology freshman year, and further explored it in AP Biology this past junior year. In this class, I learned about evolution, genetics, humans, plants, animals, and so much more. That passion is one of the main factors that encouraged me into considering a career as a doctor, another factor being the sense of self-fulfillment that comes along with helping others. I’m incredibly excited to be taking Neuroscience and Anatomy next year, and both might help me specify what kind of doctor I’d like to be. But this summer, I wanted to experience a doctor’s in-clinic job firsthand so that I could gauge whether I was thinking down the right path, and that’s how I began interning at Myers Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center.
Each day, I learn so many new things. Some of these are about anatomy, surgeries, or procedures; others are about how a doctor’s office works and the paperwork that goes on behind the scenes. Regarding the medical aspect, I had no idea that there could be so many possible injuries in a single shoulder or knee! Through shadowing Dr. Myers, we’ve encountered tears in the meniscus, ACL, labrum, rotator cuff, and so many more. Before this internship, I hadn’t heard even heard of most of these body parts, but I’m sure they will come up often in my Anatomy class this year. Patients come in suffering from injuries from tennis, to crossfit, to baseball, to practically every sport, along with old age as well. The procedures to deal with these injuries range from surgeries to more conservative approaches. Some courses of action that Dr. Myers has recommended include physical therapy, cortisone injections, PRP (platelet rich plasma) injections, stem cell treatment, and surgery.
The stem cell treatment grabbed my attention, primarily because this year in biology we had discussed stem cells and their potential in healing injuries. However, this procedure is still fairly new and in its experimental stage. Stem cells are cells that can differentiate into many different types of body cells, creating new tissue for growth or repair. There are two main types of stem cells: embryonic cells, which come from human embryos, and mesenchymal cells, which come from living adults and thus are most commonly used in orthopaedics. Specifically, bone marrow stromal cells are mesenchymal cells that can differentiate into tendons, bones, cartilage, ligaments, and other parts of the musculoskeletal system. Once these stem cells are obtained from the iliac crest through a needle, they can potentially be used to stimulate bone growth and heal bone fractures, stimulate cartilage to help arthritis, or stimulate healing of tendon and ligament injuries. The experiments that have been done thus using stem cells have shown a high potential for future use, which I find fascinating and would love to pursue further.
Another thing that I learned through this internship was the importance of attention. I really admire how Dr. Myers takes the time to fully focus on the patient he is with at the moment. He makes sure that he completely explains everything and answers any questions so that patients aren’t left with any doubt. He also gets to know patients outside of their injuries and I think this creates a more friendly, personal, and trusting relationship between doctor and patient. It makes a difference knowing that a doctor truly wants to help and isn’t just trying to get through the day.
Overall, I’ve had an incredible experience interning at Myers Sports Medicine. All of the people working here have been so kind and welcoming, and are always willing to teach me something new or answer a question I have. I’ve gained important insight into a career I’m considering, and I’ve realized the valuable benefits of being a doctor – pursuing an interesting passion, helping others, and perhaps greatest, a sense of self-fulfillment. Of course, I have also come to understand the negatives – balancing a packed schedule with needy patients, and injuries that don’t have a treatment guaranteed to work. However, now that I see the reasons behind these cons, I am definitely more understanding as a patient! I have also learned so much about anatomy and treatments in general. My internship has definitely provided me with so many valuable lessons for my future, and I’m so grateful for this experience. Thank you so much Dr. Myers and everyone else!