Blog #3 A New Experience

I was invited to sit and participate on the Tumor Board of the Mayo Clinic, in order to represent my lab. The meeting was at 5am in the morning and it lasted for a few hours. It was a meeting I will never forget. I sat there in awe, literally a fly on the wall (I was seated at the edge of the room), and the surgeons surrounded a round table in the center. Up on the screen MRI’s flashed by as the surgeons discussed possible treatment options for some of their more difficult cases. I was familiar with most of what they were saying, because a lot of my research involved analyzing MRIs and collecting data from them. I was able to keep up when they were talking about the tumor, edema, and most of the treatment. I was fascinated as the doctors really holistically considered each individual patient. They took into account how nervous the patient was, what their family was like, how knowledgable the patient was, and their overall disposition. I never thought to consider things like this when treating a patient and it really made me realize how important it is to observe everything about your patient. Even though I had little to no participation in this meeting, I felt honored to have been there. This was by far one of my favorite experiences during my internship.

After the meeting I had to report back to my lab and give them a brief overview of what was discussed. I realized how I lacked the lingo and fancy medical language, but I did my best and the more I practice this type of talk the better I’ll get. My lab was pleased with my report and I’m looking forward to going to another meeting in the future.

Tatum D

I am a rising Senior at the University of Michigan working at The Mayo Clinic as a research assistant in a mathematical neuro-oncology lab.

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