University of Vermont

College of Medicine

Vermont Medicine Magazine

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Volume 50, Issue 1

PEP Student Reflections
  • "I think when I imagined any situation concerning hospital healthcare, I always saw the doctor as the chief and pivotal component, but never really saw past the role of the physician in the healthcare delivery system. While I still know that the physician’s knowledge and expertise are of course critical in delivering the most effective health care treatment, seeing the various surgical operations has made me realize that the physician is only one job in the complex collaborating network of nurses, scrub-tech team, and administrative staff that allow the surgical operations to go smoothly and efficiently…Overall, I think this unprecedented “behind the scenes” action I was allowed to see has really made me start seeing the scope and complexity of the hospital as a network of workers trying to deliver an effective and efficient health care. I’m really thankful to be a part of the PEP program and will do my best to learn as much as I can."
    Alan Chu ‘14

  • "I thought everything would be so serious and sad at the Breast Care Center, but Dr. Sowden, with her gift of humor, skillfully managed to make the topic of breast cancer funny to her patients and made them laugh and smile. Out of all the experiences I had with her and the patients that’s what I’ve come away with and that’s what has really made an impression on me – the smiles that she put on her patients’ faces…Dr. Sowden often said that she was both a psychiatrist and a surgeon. She had to pick up on the personalities of her patients very quickly, to explain a painful topic to them, to offer them support and reassurance, and to perform the surgery. This gave her a close relationship with her patients, one that any good doctor would want. Most of the patients I saw were already aware of their disease and were either going into surgery very soon or had already been through surgery. However, I remember one woman in particular who was waiting to hear for the first time from Dr. Sowden about her disease. It was very emotional for both her and her husband. Dr. Sowden’s entire body language changed. She sat close to the patient and leaned in as if to let her know that she’s not alone. I saw the incredibly serious and truly caring side of Dr. Sowden. It was a reminder of the most basic part of being a doctor – being a supportive caretaker. Thank you for giving me the chance to witness the special relationships that Dr. Sowden had with all her patients. She is truly an inspiration."
    - Inessa Manuelyan ‘14

  • "I loved the diversity of family practice because it is simply not just “family practice” but so much more. It demands an enormous wealth of knowledge and problem solving skills. It seemed to me that diagnosing a patient was often like solving a puzzle by piecing details together. Yet, a family practice physician may not always know the answer, like anyone may not know. Dr. Goering told me that when choosing a specialty, you must know if you are able to say “I don’t know”. She went on to mention that a benefit of family practice is that you can always refer to specialty doctors. This seems to be a comfort to me because many medical complaints come with the variety of patients and not all symptoms may be immediately understood…Overall, I had an enlightening experience shadowing Dr. Goering. Knowing that we are in such shortage of family physicians makes this specialty even more attractive, although it is still contending with pediatrics and obstetrics, two specialties I am also interested in pursuing."
    - Kirsten Meisterling ‘14

  • "I spent the past four months shadowing Dr. Garrick Applebee, a pediatrician by training who, after further fellowship training, now specializes in sleep medicine. Over the course of my shadowing experience, I began to understand the complexity and necessity of treating people who have extraordinary difficulty getting a good night’s sleep… I had a great semester with Dr. Applebee, and was introduced to a new realm of medicine in which I previously had no experience with. Like the previous PEP doctors I have shadowed, Dr. Applebee is a fantastic teacher; we were frequently accompanied by medical students, residents, and a sleep fellow working in the clinic. As I get closer to medical school and to medicine in general, I greatly appreciate time with doctors who are not only incredibly knowledgeable and skilled in their trade, but are also great at working with others, and helping others to learn as much as they can about their specialty. Dr. Applebee, like Dr. Goering and Dr. Stanley will serve as a role model for how I would like to practice medicine one day."
    Rob Rudy ‘13

Last modified April 23 2013 11:41 AM