Cathryn Nelson, cont'd.

Mayo Internship... January 2010

Dr. Bergquist had me write a paper for him on any topic related to neuropsychology. This assignment taught me that Mayo clinic really has a great treasure trove of resources; nearly every article I wanted to use I could find online in a magazine Mayo subscribed to. They really want to make sure that their students and professionals have access to resources so they can learn as much as possible. It was cool to study what I did, Traumatic Brain Injuries and sleep disorders that accompany them. While I was researching I often went off on tangents and found articles on other disorders or conditions that I paused to read up on. There are so many interesting cases out there if one would just look!

One of the coolest opportunities I had was to interview different professionals to learn more about their careers. Everyone I met with was so willing to share their knowledge with me and encourage me to be open to any job that may come my way. I learned what jobs I may be interested in and what jobs I definitely am not interested in. Whether or not I think the job is for me, it was great to have the opportunity to learn more about professions. I never knew how many different populations a physical therapist works with or how many things social workers actually do. Anyone who gets the chance to interview people should do so; it is a great learning experience!

I sat in on a staff meeting every Friday afternoon and also random other meetings between Dr. Bergquist and other professionals in the hospital. These were some of my favorite times because I got to hear them discuss patient care. It was so cool how they all work together to make sure their patients get the rehabilitation they need. If one person finds a successful rehabilitation tool they can all use it or make adjustments to their own therapy so the patient can understand and learn from what is going on. These professionals really care about their patients and working together to heal them is one way they show it.

My class work at Gustavus really set me up to succeed at Mayo. I am constantly using my knowledge from my Medical Terminology class to try and decipher medical terms I hear in talks. Much of my neuroscience information has come into use here, especially the section of sleep because it relates to my paper. Often Dr. Bergquist will bring up a therapy type or model that I can say I know about from my psychology classes. Although much of what I learn and hear about here is over my head, it is nice to have some background information that can help me keep up with all these learning opportunities.

This experience did not help me decide what career I want to do for my future as I hoped it would. It did, however, give me a new set of questions to ask myself and more knowledge of how I should go about choosing a career. Keeping a daily journal and writing notes in my notebook on every session or interview I attended will allow me to look back at these experiences years from now and still continue learning from it. I am so grateful that I had this opportunity to explore careers and medical knowledge.