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A Day in the Life of an Orthopedic Surgeon

Rohit Aloor College Park Scholars ­ Earth, Life, and Time

Site Supervisor: Dr. Michael A. Jacobs Service Site Good Samaritan Hospital 5601 Loch Raven Boulevard Baltimore, MD 21239 443.444.8000

Major: Mathematics and PreMedicine Email: [email protected] May 1, 2009

Impact & Reflections

This experience was without a doubt the most memorable I have had at a hospital. I have learned so much just from shadowing and observing Dr Jacobs. He is an excellent physician and handles each of his patients with the utmost respect, truly wanting to make a positive difference in their lives. Many of his patients are elderly, who struggle with basic motility and want to be able to walk without pain. His surgeries are elective, but drastically improve their quality of life in terms of pain-free movement. The effect of his operations did not really leave a mark on me until I started seeing the same patients after their surgeries. They showered Dr. Jacobs with praise on how grateful they were to him. One memory that stands out for me was when one patient was moved to tears, thanking Dr. Jacobs for giving her the ability to walk again after a minimally invasive hip surgery. How powerful a statement that was; it was Dr. Jacobs who had given her the ability to walk pain-free. The scene was very touching and I will never forget the pride that swelled up on Dr. Jacobs face. That experience left a deep impression on me in two ways. The first was the look of pride in Dr. Jacobs face. It was able to capture the look that all those years of intensive training to get to where he was were worth it to make such a positive difference in someone's life. The second was the nature of the doctor-patient relationship. The patient divulges all the ailments that he or she has, which is probably difficult to discuss even with his or her friends. Yet the patient confides all of that information to the doctor, who seeks to help the patient recover. This experience not only added more reason for my wanting to become a physician, but also left me hungry for more. It has encouraged me to keep exploring different avenues of medicine. At this point, it is all about learning about what career choices are out there and figuring out which path suits me best.

Introduction

For my practicum project, I enjoyed the great fortune of shadowing the well ­ renowned orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Michael. A. Jacobs of Good Samaritan Hospital, located in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Jacobs specializes in knee replacement and minimally-invasive hip surgeries. He performs a myriad of other surgeries that are not as rigorous as the previous two, but the knee replacement and hip surgeries were the ones I was exposed to the most. As my lifelong goal and dream is to become a physician, I try to expose myself to as many fields of medicine as possible. I have already worked in a Wound Care Center, as well as two surgical floors. However, I have not had the opportunity to see exactly how a doctor interacts with the patient. This is what I have been longing to see: learning how the doctorpatient bond is formed and how they are able to go from there. I also have never been in an operating room before and was eager to have the opportunity. Following a surgeon in particular was very exciting for me because although I am certain in following the path of medicine, I am unsure whether I want to become a general doctor or a surgeon.

Medical students assisting in a minimally-invasive hip surgery

Tasks & Responsibilities

When I volunteered at a hospital in the past, I was involved in both patient and non-patient care. The patient care was fairly restricted due to my minimal experience at the time, while the non-patient care was essentially office work. When thinking about how to approach my practicum project, I decided that what I really wanted to do at this stage of my academic career was to learn. I wanted to observe carefully how a physician went about his rigorous work day to get a feel of how my life, hopefully, will be in the upcoming years. That being said, my tasks and responsibilities were: - Observing Dr. Jacobs perform basic clinical procedures - Observing Dr. Jacobs operate on his patients -Observing Dr. Jacobs interact with his patient, both pre-op and post-op - Observing Dr. Jacobs assist medical students during operation - Observing how Dr. Jacobs assessed and diagnosed his patients - Observing how a relationship was formed between doctor and patient

Acknowledgments

- I would like to thanks Dr. Jacobs for graciously giving me the opportunity to observe him for my practicum. - I would like to thank all the nurses, doctors, and general staff at Good Samaritan Hospital that made working there such a pleasurable experience. - Last, but certainly not least, I would like to thank Dr. Holtz and Dr. Merck, for their continuing efforts to better their students through active community service.

Dr. Jacobs and I

Dr. Jacobs performing arthroscopic surgery

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