Feinberg Faculty Help Northwestern Undergrads Learn About Medical Profession
Richard Lee, MD, MBA, associate professor of surgery at Feinberg, gives undergraduate students Liang Cui, Namrata Patel, Molly Forster, Annie Liu and Joseph Dadabo real-world insights into the medical profession.
Richard Lee, MD, MBA, associate professor of surgery, and Michael Yensel, fellowship coordinator, both at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and Susan Fox, director of the Northwestern University Academic Advising Center, have developed a program that gives Northwestern University undergraduates the opportunity to shadow a physician and gain real-world insights into the medical profession. The program is open to undergraduates of all majors.
Participating students observe doctors during their daily routines — visiting with patients and even performing surgery — in a variety of specialties from allergy-immunology to cardiac surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
Lee says that although it may take extra time and planning, physicians look forward to the mentoring opportunity.
“Physicians believe it is not only their mission to help patients, but also to educate the doctors of the future,” Lee said. “It starts with the decision to enter the field.”
The shadowing program helped Caroline Raak, an aspiring doctor who majors in French and communication sciences and disorders, decide which specialty to pursue. She shadowed Mark Eskandari, MD, associate professor of surgery with adjunct appointments in radiology and vascular surgery at Feinberg.
“The experience raised my interest in the surgical aspect of medicine,” Raak said. “I witnessed vascular surgery, and it was fascinating.”
In addition to helping her choose a specialty, Raak’s observations taught her another important lesson about her potential profession.
“Even though it was very rewarding, I’ve learned it is a long day’s work,” Raak said.