July 22, 2013
After being at the Mayo Clinic for over nine weeks now, I have gotten into a routine. This is what a typical day in the lab looks like:
My day begins by walking from my apartment to work through the skyway/subway system at Mayo. The picture to the left is the lobby of the Gonda building, in which I work in. This is one of the main patient buildings at Mayo and it is gorgeous! There are marble floors and walls, large open windows, and many paintings and sculptures by famous artists. Many times there is someone playing the piano or singing, which is nice to hear first thing in the morning.
After making my way to the 17th floor of Gonda, I met my lab in our office. Here we discuss any updates on our current projects and decide on the agenda for the day. Unfortunately the office is tiny, so the other student interns and I work in a different area. It’s a little hard to cram six or more people in an office meant for two. The picture to the right is the reading room where we spend most of our time. Here we work on our scorings and have group meetings with Dr. St. Louis.
At least three times a week, we have grand rounds or a sub-speciaility conference during lunch. These are great opportunities to learn about medicine as well as get some free food! On days that we do not have grand rounds or a conference, my lab and I eat lunch together in our office. We usually relax during our lunch break by watching a couple episodes of a television show. I am so thankful that I have a great group of people to work with everyday!
Nothing particularly exciting happened this week, however, I continued to work on my RSWA and CAP scoring. I have now passed the Gold Standard for both RSWA and CAP, so I can work on my projects independently as well as help out with projects lead by the research assistants in my lab. One of the medical students in our lab is working on a project which studies the correlation between RSWA and patients with multiple system atrophy (MSA). MSA is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder which causes problems with movement and balance. So far, this study has shown that MSA patients have a lot more tonic muscle tone, which is muscle tone that is at least 15 seconds in duration. The tonic muscle tone, however, makes the scoring much more difficult, so it takes more time to score these records.
Dr. St. Louis presented some of the work our lab has done regarding REM sleep behavioral disorder at Friday’s sub-speciality conference. It was nice to see some of the results of the work I’ve done this summer. Also, it was the first conference I’ve been to at the Mayo Clinic where I understood everything that was said. It’s amazing how much I’ve learned about sleep medicine and neurology this summer.
“It is a great thing to make scientific discoveries of rare value, but it is even greater to be willing to share these discoveries and to encourage other workers in the same field of scientific research.” – Dr. Will Mayo
Major: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. Hometown:White Bear Lake, Minnesota.