Robi Tesema is 20 years old and a third-year student at Oregon State University. She was born in Ethiopia and moved to the US in 2010 along with her parents.
I spent the week of July 5th with Dr. Ropp and Dr. Hotchkiss. When I initially read the email that I was going to be shadowing anesthesiologists, I thought to myself, don’t they just put patients to sleep? I clearly had a lot more to learn about them and I definitely did. Throughout my five days at Legacy Emanuel, I saw various procedures such as C-Sections, eye and ortho surgeries. I was intrigued by how the whole team comes together by performing their individual jobs which ensures that it’s as smooth a procedure as possible.
Ruben Sanchez is a senior at the University of Oregon majoring in Biochemistry and Biology. After undergrad, he hopes to attend medical school to serve underrepresented communities during a time of vulnerability and use his skills to help them reach a better state. He also wants to educate and advocate for underrepresented communities and become a resource for future POC students who wish to pursue medicine as a career.
Jennie Link is a recent graduate from Oregon State University where she received a B.S. in BioHealth Sciences and a minor in Studio Art. She is currently pursuing employment in the medical field to obtain first hand experience before returning to school for an advanced degree.
The Clinical Experience Scholarship was the perfect opportunity to get a glimpse into life inside the operating room. During my time shadowing anesthesiology and surgery, I saw a variety of surgery cases ranging from burn treatments to laparoscopies. One question I had coming into the scholarship was how would I react to seeing an operation done on a live person, and while I was fine with this aspect, I got to see first-hand how emotionally difficult some of these operations can be. That said, there was something in each case that was fascinating to me. A few of my favorites were open heart surgery, scoliosis correction, burn treatment, and electrocautery for endometriosis. This opportunity has confirmed for me that the operating room is a place I’d want to be and has shown me the hidden gem of anesthesiology.
Besides anesthetizing and the surgeries themselves, it was also helpful to observe the dynamics of a healthcare team. As someone who is still deciding where in healthcare I want to be, it was very useful to see each team members' role, personality traits, and responsibilities. The scholarship also presented the opportunity to have short, informal conversations about the work people do. I got to hear people's perspectives and reflections on their specialties and about healthcare work in general, both of which are extremely valuable.
I am extremely grateful to Dr. Ropp and all the wonderful people I met at Legacy Emanuel. It was a wonderful opportunity and provided valuable perspectives, hands-on experience, and many memories.
Sophia Garcia is an Oregon native from Roseburg, Oregon, and a graduate of Umpqua Community College prior to her transfer to Oregon State University. At OSU, she is pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Biology with an option in pre-medicine, and she also represents the Minority Association of Pre-Medicine Students (MAPS) club as vice-president.
Going into my shadowing week I had never really considered anesthesiology as a specialty, but I have to say it definitely grew on me. I really cherished the opportunity to get a taste of what a career in medicine looks like day to day, and it helped to give me more confidence in my choice to pursue medicine and to continue to diversify my experiences. I also want to add that I am incredibly grateful to the sponsors from the Oregon Society of Anesthesiologists that provide experiences like this to pre-med students. It means a lot to see people so invested in lifting up folks early in their journeys, and it's humbling to have been chosen for an opportunity like the one I was given. I'm excited to continue to explore!
Ricardo Mendoza Escobedo
Ricardo Mendoza Escobedo is a Kinesiology student with a premed option at Oregon State University. He is from the small town of Boardman, Oregon. His goal is to become a practicing physician and serve the medical needs of the underserved rural populations of Oregon.
My time with the MedStaircase program was definitely an incredible experience! From the first minute to the last, everyone I encountered was very welcoming and did not hesitate to answer any questions I had and explain what was happening during the operations. Seeing the interaction between the anesthesiologists and patients was something that I found to be truly inspiring.
When working with the pediatric patients, it was heartwarming to see them put the worry of the children and their parents at ease and reassure them that they were in good hands.
The highlight of the experience was getting the opportunity to be in the operating room to observe a coronary artery bypass graft! Seeing the amount of preparation that an anesthesiologist must do before an operation like this really showed me the breadth and depth of the specialty. It was also really cool to see patients get intubated through the view of the laryngoscope.
Prior to this experience, my knowledge of what an anesthesiologist does was very vague, but I now possess a much better understanding of their role in a patient's care. Thank you to all of the wonderful doctors that I had the privilege of meeting, the Oregon Society of Anesthesiologists, and MedStaircase for providing me with this incredible opportunity!