Internship Chronicles, Chapter 35: Caitlyn Weirich

One summer day, a Student Prince decided to go on a little adventure. “It won’t be long before I have a career,” the Prince said, “so I’d better start preparing now.” So with some ’Berg education under their hat, and some connections in their back pocket, the Student Prince began forging their way through an internship.

We continue our web series, Internship Chronicles.

Chapter 35: Take It All In and Just Breathe

Caitlyn Weirich is a health science major with a biology minor from Oregon, Ohio. She is working to complete her degree, then earn her Masters and attend medical school after Heidelberg. Through her personal experiences, Caitlyn grew passionate about pulmonary medicine. After her schooling, she wants to be able to create lasting relationships with her future patients, so she can be an advocate for their health and help understand their individual needs. This summer, Caitlyn interned with the ProMedica Physicians Pediatric Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine and Cystic Fibrosis, located in Toledo, Ohio.

How did you find your internship, or how did the internship find you?

I was able to find my internship through my own doctor's office! I have been a patient with ProMedica for over six years now and it has helped having a doctor that cares about me and understands my concerns. I have had nothing but positive interactions with the whole office and I felt confident about coming to a ProMedica facility to complete my internship.

What did you expect from your internship initially?

I was not too nervous about starting, but initially I was curious to see what I was going to be able to do or experience. Being at a hospital and doctor's office, I knew I could not really be hands-on. I had to take in what was going on observantly during office visits and procedures, then ask questions or clarify what was going on to understand why a specific treatment or procedure was being done.

What really happens in your day-to-day work?

For the majority of the time, days would consist of new patients and follow-up visits where I would sit in with the doctor and families to hear their conversations about treatments and next steps. Many of these visits ranged from patients who were being seen with asthma and sleep apnea to cystic fibrosis. Then on days where the doctor I was with was on service, we would be over at the children's hospital between the NICU, PACU, and PICU floors seeing patients. On some of the days, I had been able to watch bronchoscopies either in the operating room or in the pediatric sedation unit which was one of my favorite parts to experience.

What connections have you made?

The connection I have made with the doctor I have been with will forever be meaningful to me as he allowed me to tag along with him during my time at ProMedica. Even the nurses and staff who work in the office have helped shape my experience as well from having previous interactions with them when I come in for my own follow-up visits! Everyone has been so welcoming and I will cherish my time at having a glimpse of what it is like in a day of being a doctor outside of going there as a patient! Having connections prior to interning here has definitely helped ease myself to becoming comfortable while being there. 

What is the most valuable thing you’ll bring back to the classroom after this experience?

The most valuable thing I will be bringing back to the classroom is the will to keep driving forward. Within my previous year of undergraduate, I unfortunately hit a point where the drive within me somewhat fell apart due to the rigor I faced throughout the year from all different kinds of situations. After having the opportunity to experience this internship this summer, it has brought that spark back inside of me to keep pushing forward regardless of the rigor. While it will not be easy, the potential ending in the future is truthfully the one I am looking forward to greatly.

If your internship was a book or a chapter in a book, what should it be titled?

“Take It All In and Just Breathe”

To keep up with Caitlyn, find her on LinkedIn.

For more information about ProMedica, check out their website.


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