Students participate in summer medical internship


Courtesy of Claire Easley

From left: Junior Pahul Ghumman, senior Daiyan Chowdhury, junior Chris Abdalla and sophomore Claire Easley were four of the students out of the 89 total that applied accepted into the internship.

Carlee George, Staff Writer

From awkward patient interactions, surgeries and even playing around with a $2.5 million Davinci robot, this past summer was filled with learning for four of the high school’s students. 

Over the summer, four students, senior Daiyan Chowdhury, juniors Chris Abdalla and Pahul Ghumman and sophomore Claire Easley participated in a six week medical internship program at Medical City Mckinney

“We all were assigned at orientation different departments we would be working in,” Easley said. “From there, your schedule varied a little bit due to different scheduling situations, but essentially it was decided where you were working. 

The students worked from 8 a.m.–12 p.m. three days a week shadowing physicians and completing tasks in various departments including labor and delivery, the kitchen ER and ICU. 

“Everybody essentially had the same role, except we were working in different departments at different times,” Easley said. “At most, we would be paired with another intern to work in a singular department.”

The students found out about the internship through the athletic trainer and medical terminology teacher, Susan Smiley. They were the four selected from the 22 that applied from the school, and the total 89 applicants from various schools. 

“I have worked with all four of these students, and I was proud of their efforts to get accepted, but not surprised they were chosen,” Smiley said. “All four of them are excellent students with a passion for medicine and great people skills.”

The internship allowed the students to explore different sides of the medical field. Being able to experience work in different departments helped expose the interns to the reality of the medical field.

“It’s kind of given me a different insight, to where now I’m starting to doubt whether I really want to do cardiology and more of like I should probably do more research on other fields,” Abdalla said. “There were a lot of different fields I was exposed to that kind of interested me as well, so I feel like its changed my perspective on what I might do.”

For Ghumman, her favorite role was not found in medical procedures but rather in the kitchen.

“I found it interesting that there’s so much that goes into what a patient eats every day and the amount of people it takes to supply all that,” Ghumman said. “I [went] in thinking that I was going to like shadowing surgeons and watching surgeries. After watching a vaginal hysterectomy, all the magic kind of goes away.”

All four students developed new skills, particularly in patient interaction. Although their overall experiences differed, dealing with patients remained a constant.

“I definitely learned how to word things in a specific way to make them more appealing to the ear of the patient as well as those who are superior to you,” Easley said. “It’s probably the most applicable skills I learned, because while it was at a hospital, we aren’t doctors or nurses so we couldn’t do medically driven activities that would improve our medical skills.”

Interacting with patients is a given in the medical field, but interacting with criminal patients was a learning curve for Abdalla. 

“Usually, there are some criminals who go to hospitals so they need police officers stationed outside when they use the bathroom, or something like that,” Abdalla said. “It’s kind of hard to deal with those kinds of people sometimes, so I learned how to do that.” 

For Chowdhury, patient interaction was more than a requirement. It was a factor in helping him determine his future career. 

“[The internship] definitely widened my horizon on what places I would like to pursue going forth in my medical career,” Chowdhury said. “Watching surgeries and interacting with patients was definitely a big factor in pushing me more into surgery than I was previously.”