Biomedical Externship

This semester I am taking part in a special class that Lehigh offers in conjunction with two other local colleges Muhlenberg and Moravian. These universities have partnered with the local hospital St. Luke’s to offer an intensive observer program for pre-medicine students. In the program we rotate through different areas of medicine like Pediatrics, Orthopedics, General Surgery, Internal Medicine, and  Emergency Medicine. I have already completed my rotations in Pediatrics and OB/GYN, and have already learned so much!! I am now able to read a machine that measures fetal heart rate and tell if the baby is on the placenta or umbilical cord. I can also tell  if the women is having a contraction or not, and how far a part they are. I also learned about different diseases and how to give physical in pediatrics.

In between shadowing inpatient then outpatient I was able to attend the orthopedic grand rounds about neuromodulation with Dr. Falowski. One of the things he addressed is that chronic pain is a major issue in the United States. Currently we treat chronic pain with pain medication, which has led to an opioid addiction problem. Neuromodulation provides hope for these chronic patients because it can lessen the feelings of the pain. It does this by over stimulating the nerves so that the pain receptors can only pick one signal. He compared it to if you hit your shin and then rub it the pain starts to go away because the nerves are “distracted” by the new rubbing sensation. It is currently being tested on patients with back pain and the sensors are hooked up to the spine. In the future they hope to use the technology for shoulder pain and even Parkinson’s disease. I was curious to see if it could be used for diabetic neuropathy. It is great to see technology helping patients in so many ways. It is really making me appreciate my bioengineering degree even more! I would highly recommend signing up for this externship if you are able to fit it in your schedule.

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