Hands-on In the Emergency Room

TouroCOM Harlem Students Experience ER Life in Staten Island Hospital Internship During Summer Break

September 20, 2019
Ten students from TouroCOM Harlem spent a week learning about emergency medicine through the Staten Island Hospital's Emergency Medicine Internship.

Ten TouroCOM Harlem students received a first-hand look at the lives of ER physicians through Staten Island Hospital’s Emergency Medicine Internship during their summer break between first and second year. The week-long intensive paired the students with ER residents and doctors, while teaching them in basic ER procedures.

 “It was a really immersive experience,” said TouroCOM Harlem student Evelyn Rajan. “We were able to learn more about the specialty and shadow residents working in the ER.”

“I was a scribe in Urgent Care before medical school and I liked the pace, but I was never in the emergency room,” said student Shelby Cadet. “As part of the internship, we were able to do rotations and see how nurses and doctors worked in the ER. It was intense and I loved it.”

As part of the internship, students practiced putting in IV’s, along with suturing and intubation procedures. Each day, students also listened to lectures about life in the ER. The program was run by Dr. Shorok Hassan, an ER physician at the hospital and an alumnus of TouroCOM Harlem.

“In a way, it was life-changing for me,” said student Sundus Aziz. “Emergency medicine was something I was considering, but I had never been in an ER before. This really showed me the pros and cons of the field.”

“It was a chance to see if you liked the day-to-day life of the specialty,” added Rajan. “I was able to enjoy the experience and it made me think about pursuing emergency medicine as a specialty. As former first-year students, we’re in the book a lot and this was a week we got to spend in the hospital. It was nice being able to talk to doctors about what we both went through.”

Each day, students also listened to lectures about life in the ER. Lecturers included the hospital CEO and the chairwoman.

“The CEO spoke about what qualities he looks for in people and how management works,” said Aziz. “He spoke about his own transition from physician to management. I see myself possibly making that transition in the future so I found that fascinating.”

Cadet said that the visit changed her perception of the specialty.

“The residents made you feel that emergency medicine is a specialty that encompasses everything,” said Cadet. “You need to be familiar with every branch of medicine. I like seeing the whole picture and that’s what really draws me to the specialty.”

One day, the group visited the Staten Island Zoo to learn about wilderness medicine, including treating snake bites with antivenom.  The final day of the program featured a panel composed of residents who discussed why they chose the specialty.

“Each of the residents came from a different background and had different takes on why they liked working in the ER,” said Aziz. “If you didn’t relate to one resident, there was another you could talk to. It was a really valuable experience.”

“I want to keep an open mind and I could really end up in the ER,” concluded Rajan “It was nice being able have this experience.”