While some students spent the past summer soaking up the South Florida sun, Natalie Negron and Nishant Patel spent six weeks observing and assisting surgeons overseas in Graz, Austria.
Biology majors at the NSU Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences, Negron and Patel earned the extraordinary opportunity through the Summer Biology Student Internship Program. The program provides practical, hands-on experience to help students prepare for successful careers as medical professionals.
While in Austria, Negron and Patel worked in the transplant ward at the Medical University of Graz. Daily tasks included administering medication and IVs to patients, drawing blood, and assisting surgeons with suturing. To perfect their suturing skills prior to surgery, Negron said the pair practiced stitching gauze of different shapes and sizes.
Scrubbing-in for surgery was an involved process in itself, one that included washing and sterilizing three times before donning heavy scrubs. “It’s not like Grey’s Anatomy,” Patel quipped. “The need for sterilization was really stressed to us because you want to be sure not to contaminate anything. You’re consistently aware of your surroundings.”
Negron and Patel assisted with a variety of procedures, such as kidney and liver transplants, ACL reconstruction, hernia repair, and even the removal of a patient’s cancerous gallbladder. Despite a schedule consisting of eight-hour surgeries and being on call throughout the weekend, the students said the internship provided a wealth of priceless lessons, both personal and professional.
“People want to know if the internship was a life-changing experience,” Patel said. “For me, it was a life-assuring experience. I woke up every morning knowing that this is what I want to do.”
Apply Now for Summer 2014 Biology Student Internship Program
The NSU Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences is currently accepting applications for next summer’s program. Three internships are available for current undergraduate students: two at the Medical University of Graz in Austria and one at Harvard Medical School in Boston, where students will aid in performing HIV research at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
To apply, complete and submit the respective application by Friday, Jan. 21
For more information, contact Mark Jaffe, D.P.M., associate professor at the Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences, at (954) 262-8083.