On our first day at CHOP, we spent the day in clinic shadowing Dr. Howard Snyder ’65, a Senior Urologist in the Department of Urology. Everyone was really welcoming, and took time to accommodate our arrival. Dr. Snyder’s assistant, Ms. Brown, showed us around the urology department, and introduced us to all of the staff. Dr. Snyder had a full day lined up, and we were able to learn about the symptoms of common infections. Many of the cases were urinary tract infections. It was interesting to see how much Dr. Snyder relied on ultrasounds and other types of imaging in order to make a diagnosis. The nurse practitioner, Ms. Rudick, also took time to explain to us how to read the ultrasounds, and what abnormalities to look for. Throughout the day, Dr. Snyder also explained to us his work in lobbying Congress, and his role on different medical associations. It was eye opening to learn just how important government policy is to the day-to-day task of delivering medical care.
Today we spent the day in the operating rooms. This was very exciting for me, since I had never observed any surgeries before. Though Dr. Snyder himself doesn’t operate anymore, we shadowed his colleague Dr. Lambert and the residents. The surgeries lined up for the day included testicular realignment, and hernia repairs. We were told that these surgeries were very typical. Dr. Lambert and the residents were very welcoming in answering questions, and made sure we understood what was going on. She was also very accommodating in making sure we could see what was going on. The entire operating room was equipped with video screens, and she also let us stand up on stools so we could view the surgery directly. Throughout the day, I also had a chance to talk with the residents about medical school, and why they decided to choose urology.
On our last day at CHOP, we spent half the day in clinic and half the day in the operating room. The cases in clinic this morning were more varied; there were cases of blood in the urine, a bike accident, and kidney stones. In the operating room, the cases were fairly similar to the ones we saw the previous day. We shadowed a different doctor today, and it was interesting to see the different approaches different surgeons had to the same cases. Once again, we had the opportunity to talk to the residents, and learn not only about the case going on, but also about life as a doctor. Overall, this was an amazing experience. Dr. Snyder is a great teacher, and has an extensive knowledge in all aspects of medicine. I would highly recommend this opportunity to anyone else interested in medicine!