This summer, I did an internship in the rheumatology department at NYU. During this month-long period, I observed clinical work, filed papers, and shadowed doctors during patient visits in a professional setting. This experience was very new to me – in the previous years I had only participated in volunteer work involving teaching students in a more casual setting. I found great interest in reading about research being done as well as the process of adding patients to certain research projects. Consent was something consistently brought up; it’s something vital to both patient security and comfort. Consent was discussed personally between doctor and patient.
Clinical trials were quite different from one-on-one scheduled patient meetings. The clinic was open for a few hours a day in which patients in a sense “waited” to be seen in the order in which they arrived. The meetings were much shorter – multiple fellows reported information from tests to a more experienced and trained doctor. After a summarization of the condition of the patient, the patient is visited briefly by the experienced doctor to insure that proper medication is assigned. Overall, a very interesting and valuable experience.