This summer, I feel fortunate to work as a research intern in a child psychiatry lab at the Yale School of Medicine Child Study Center. I am currently researching Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in school children. I am researching how ADHD impacts a child’s behavior in a school setting. With the assistance of Yale Medical Residents, we are also studying possible therapies for school refusal and tracking mindfulness. Along with my mentor Dr. Michael Bloch, Assistant Professor in the Child Study Center, I also meet with children and their families to explore and possibly diagnose Tourette syndrome, Trichotillomania, OCD, ADHD, and other anxiety disorders. I then document these clinic visits summarizing the patient’s history as well as any diagnoses for submission to my mentor and his medical team for review.
I look most forward to case study days when I am able to meet with the patients and their families. During my first case interactions, I merely observed and took copious notes to help with the post interview documentation. However, I now have been asked to fully participate: I have the ability to ask questions of the patient and their family in order to help discover behaviors that might help diagnose a patient’s disorder. Through my participation, I feel that I am helping the patient by making it easier for them to understand their sometimes confusing behavior and the anxiety that it may cause, which will hopefully put them and their loved ones at ease.
I am fortunate enough to be working for a doctor who trusts his lab with responsibility. When I initially started, I did not think that I would be offered so many opportunities for face-to-face patient exposure and the responsibility to complete research on the most intriguing behavioral topics. Dr. Bloch continuously challenges us. He believes that we are capable of tasks that I hadn’t even imagined when I began my internship! I am humbled to be working not only for him, but with him.