Week 9:
Friends Friends Friends

Dimensions Fellow in Orthopedic Research

Children's Hospital Colorado | Aurora, Colorado

August 11, 2019

This week, the most important thing is to code the data for Patrick, our statistician, to analyze and finalize the presentation. 

I was very confused about what to explain since orthopedic surgeons are definitely familiar with the background information. After talking to Anastasiya and reviewing the PowerPoint together, I have a better idea of what I should explain to the audience. I also started to practice speaking and found it was better than I thought since I usually fumbled a lot the first couple of times and needed a lot of time to get used to pronouncing the terminology. Maybe it is because I know the project really well and have discussed it with my RA so frequently that is came much more easily. 

On Thursday, we had one of our interns, Jack, present his PowerPoint and we all helped him critique. I really like the atmosphere that we all came together and were willing to help each other. I also practiced my presentation with Alicia in her office and we gave each other ideas to improve.

Throughout this summer, I have been friends with the other interns and have had a great time together such as going to the Children’s Hospital BBQ event and watching a movie after work.

I recreated a Grey’s Anatomy casting picture with the other interns. We have planned this for so long and we’re very happy that we finally made it!

Before this internship, I only came across Alicia a couple of times at Cornell and we didn’t know each other very well. We have become good friends throughout this internship. I really enjoy driving to and from work together each day. We share with each other our plan for the day, what we did, what we saw and how we feel at the end of the day. It is really nice to have a familiar face and someone to talk to when we are feeling down or tired. She has been introducing so many interesting places and food in Colorado since she is originally from the state. 

I also became close with my RA Anastasiya this summer. I appreciate that she patiently answered so many questions and shared her previous research as well as application experience with me. We always make fun of each other in the office when we are taking a break from work. We also encourage each other when we felt tired or stressed. She has been my great colleague as well as a great friend this summer. 

An example of inappropriate use of an RA: I sat on Anastasiya’s legs after the volleyball game.

I shadowed Dr. Susan Koh’s epilepsy clinic on Wednesday. She is the medical director of the department so she only sees a few patients who have very complicated conditions. During a half an hour break waiting for a patient to show up, she also gave a tour to the inpatient monitoring unit and the sleep lab for epilepsy. 

She explained to me Tuberous Sclerosis (TS)which is a rare genetic mutation that causes tumors in the brain and other organs. These growths can also occur in the skin, kidneys, eyes, heart, or lungs and lead to related conditions such as seizures, light-colored patches of the skin, cognitive delayed, mental health disorders such as autism, and shortness of breath.

She told me there is also a multidisciplinary clinic for TS patient at children’ which is the one out of five in the nation. However, the clinic was only run once a month compared to the weekly busy muscle clinic. This is because the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance does not have enough funding for running the TS clinic while TS is less common than muscular dystrophy. One of the patients she saw today has to wait for 9 months to see doctors in the TS clinic. 

I was surprised how difficult it is for the patients to get help from the multidisciplinary clinic and how heavily they rely on the funding. I hope the public could be more aware of this disease and support the kids who deserve a better life.

A picture with other summer interns in the hospital.

Penny (Yin) Peng '21

Penny is a biochemistry and molecular biology major with minors in chemistry and psychology from Guangzhou, China.