Summer 2017 Intern
The Arnold Fenske Research Internship provided me the opportunity to expand my knowledge in the field of medicine. I gained meaningful experience through shadowing, research, and engaging with different medical professionals at Winona Health. I was able to complete over 170 hours of shadowing in a variety of different areas including surgery, anesthesiology, radiology, pathology, and dermatology. Not only does the experience look great on applications, but also it helped me to develop a deeper understanding of medicine.
The other part of the internship was to conduct clinical research on cancer for the ACS-Certified Cancer Committee at Winona Health. The projects were important for the requirements of the committee in order to keep it going. The Arnold Fenske Research Internship is an opportunity that I have not heard of anywhere else. It gave me the exposure I needed to medicine and allowed me the chance to deepen my understanding of the importance of patient care and research.
Summer 2016 Intern
My time spent as the Arnold W. Fenske Research Intern was a genuinely life-changing experience. Prior to the internship, a career in medicine was intriguing to me, but my knowledge of such a career was simply secondhand information: things I was told by other pre-med students or descriptions I read online. After the internship, I knew that a career in medicine was truly the path meant for me. The internship allowed me to be fully immersed in the field of medicine. Specifically, my experience was centered around oncology. I was able to experience cancer care from multiple professional perspectives, which gave me a very unique insight as to what patients deal with throughout their battle with cancer.
Throughout my shadowing experience, I was able to witness the conversations between patients and physicians when they first become worried about cancer, perhaps after a lump had been felt. I would find myself discussing the images taken of said lump with a radiologist just a few days later. I was able to observe the biopsies taken in circumstances like these and be a part of the conversation with the patient afterward. Shadowing in the operating room taught me about the procedures that patients endure after receiving the results of a positive biopsy, in addition to many other general surgery procedures. Another few days would go by, and I would find myself looking at a surgical specimen under the microscope with a pathologist. Finally, I was able to experience the follow-up care of these patients and observe their reactions when they were told they were now cancer free.
In addition to the shadowing experience, I spent about half of my time over the summer conducting clinical research projects. First, I gained experience by writing and presenting a protocol for a Chemotherapy-Induced Cognitive Impairment research project. I conducted a Colonoscopy/EGD cancelation research project, which subsequently lead to an A3, which is a document created to aid in systematic problem solving. Finally, my education surrounding cancer care continued from a research perspective as I conducted both annual cancer Quality Assurance (QA) projects Winona Health needed to complete to maintain the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer accreditation. This included research on Lynch Syndrome screening and DCIS/LCIS hormone therapy referral.
The experience as a whole was more than I ever imagined it to be. After completing the internship, I feel I have a solid and genuine understanding of the field of medicine. I’m beyond grateful for everything Winona Health has done and continues to do for me. Thanks to Winona Health and the physicians and staff, I have had so many experiences that have given me a unique and valuable perspective that I feel most pre-medical students do not get to experience.
Spencer Treu surrounded by new friends.