Over the summer, I worked at with a neurosurgeon at G. Kuppuswamy Naidu Memorial Hospital in Tamil Nadu, India. I was able to observe surgery, accompany the doctors and nurses on rounds, and complete a data analytics study of the surgeon’s craniotomy results.
In the morning, I would spend about 2 hours compiling data and doing research for my study. Another two hours would be devoted to rounds with Dr. BSK (as we call him), where we assessed and talked to all the patients and looked at CT scans and MRIs. The last two hours would be spent seeing out-patients, patients who had been discharged but were coming back for check-ups. I would also take advantage of this time to ask Dr. BSK any questions I had had during rounds or my data-gathering. I learned about many exams and processes that are used to assess and treat the neurological conditions of patients. I observed surgeries and procedures, such as craniotomies and shunt placements. For obvious reasons, I was not allowed to touch or treat patients, but I had a front-row seat to all of these procedures. I have also acquired the skill of reading doctors’ handwriting, a result of reading over 75 medical case sheets. This experience was completely new to me, and it came with a lot of surprises and shocks (particularly culture shock!). Working in a different country in a hospital full of patients who don’t speak English is very different. I didn’t anticipate how much I would enjoy watching surgery, and I feel as though that could be something I pursue.