Testimonails for the Program


I didn’t really know what to expect entering into the program, as it was the first time I was volunteering in a hospital, and it was truly an amazing experience! The interaction that we had with patients was not easy at first, but after getting a feel for it, it became much easier. I am sure that will be helpful in the future. The shadowing, and sessions made this summer into a true learning experience. It became more than just filling out surveys. Being introduced to all this important knowledge at such an early stage could only be beneficial.

-Sammy Gelnick, Yeshiva University ‘14

The most valuable part of my time in the Emergency Department was watching the medical process. When a trauma victim came in, the doctors assessed the victim quickly, sometimes debating the best way to proceed. After they took care of the trauma, the doctors and nurses would happily explain to me what was wrong with the patient and how they planned to treat him or her. The doctors took time not only to explain medical information to me, but also to explain why they enjoy their profession.
I also had to face death a few times, which was not easy but an important thing to see. I learned so much about medicine, about the dynamics of a hospital, about the value of a friendly face in a tough situation, about the daily minutiae of being a doctor and the excitingness of meeting new people daily. It was an incredible experience!!

-Melissa Goldstein, University of Pennsylvania ‘13

This past semester as an Academic Associate was a one-of-a-kind, eye-opening experience for me. Like many of the other associates, I came to the program as a pre-med student hoping to acquire more familiarity in clinical research and the medical environment, but I gained far more than I had originally expected. Learning to approach and communicate professionally with different types of patients, shadowing and receiving valuable advice from the resident doctors, and, with luck, having the chance to observe a few awesome trauma cases, spending time in the ER imparted me with knowledge and practical skills that improved me both as an aspiring doctor and simply as a person.

Moreover, the program’s hands-on training sessions that taught common ER procedures such as suturing and using ultrasound sonograms were a fascinating learning experience. The program chiefs were incredibly helpful, always being available to answer questions, providing frequent updates, and constantly encouraging everyone to give their ideas and input in order to make the program as enriching as possible. Ultimately, the quality of your experience at the program depends on how well you assert yourself and utilize the numerous opportunities provided to you. Once I got to know the residents who I was too shy at first to approach, I found that they were among the friendliest, coolest people I’ve ever met. Befriending and talking with my shift partners and other associates gave me new perspectives (medically and non-medically related) and many laughs. Helping conduct research and screening patients for studies does demand effort and hard work, but it was definitely worth it.

-Diann Woo, Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education ‘16

The academic associates program was a great experience. The clinical research provides students with a great opportunity to not only participate in research studies but also have access to parts of the Emergency Department that many other students do not have. I have learned a tremendous amount about the ED and how it operates while interacting with residents, doctors, nurses, and patients. Shadowing shifts and training session are extremely educational, but more importantly interesting and fun! All associates should take advantage of them.

-Kelianne Cummings, New York University ‘14

The experience I’ve gained as an Academic Associate at both St. Luke’s and Roosevelt Hospital have shown me what it really means to be an ER doctor in a way that no textbook ever could. Shadowing ER residents as part of the Academic Associate’s program has been by far been one of the most fun and educational experiences I’ve had as a pre-med student. In shadowing residents I’ve had the opportunity to see numerous medical procedures first hand, and learned a great deal in both talking to the doctors and watching them interact with patients. The Academic Associates program offers a invaluable clinical experience for pre-health students and would be a truly wonderful learning experience for any student considering a career in healthcare.

-Taleen MacArthur, Columbia University ‘13

I feel like I got an opportunity not only to see medicine being practiced, but to actually help out from time to time. I loved meeting patients from all backgrounds, from all over New York and even other parts of the world. Being in the trauma room was intense, but it’s amazing to see ER doctors at the top of their game.

-Zack Miller, Columbia University Post Baccalaureate ’13

My experience as an Academic Associates during the summer of 2012 was truly fantastic and invaluable. It provided me with numerous opportunities to see first-hand what it is like to be in an Emergency Room and to witness doctors and other medical providers interact with patients. In addition, the other aspects of the program, such as the training sessions, shadowing opportunities and the chance to communicate with patients, were equally rewarding and enlightening. I feel that my time spent in the program was very personally enriching for me and has genuinely played a part in strengthening my conviction to pursue a career in medicine. I look forward to returning again for another incredible semester.

-Karen Gambina, Columbia University ‘14

I highly recommend taking advantage of every aspect of the Academic Associates Program. In addition to the regular shifts, the ambulance rides, shadowing, and training sessions helped me get a sense of what goes on in the emergency room, from start to finish.

While riding in the ambulance, I learned what happens as soon as EMS is called. We picked up patients, examined and processed them, and waited as they were triaged at the hospital. Waiting between calls provded a unique opportunity to hear from the EMTs. They told me crazy stories from their two decades of riding, including trips to the Empire State Building and beneath subway tunnels, and I was able to ask all sorts of questions about their work and about EMS in general. It was a great way to learn about what happens even before patients are admitted to the emergency room.

- Y. Dana Neugut, Columbia University ‘14


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