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July 09, 2021

A Day in ACE Scholar's Life!

Whether you just graduated from a medical school and are looking for your first observership in the US have numerous experiences before applying for the Match, one thing is clear - no observership experience is ever the same, especially here at the UC San Diego Health Sciences International. Scholars from around the world flock to our world-famous institution to gain clinical experience, but also to see what our beautiful city has to offer.
Marina Santos De Sousa is a current ACE scholar from Brazil. She applied to participate in an 8-week program in Neurology. She has been working under the close supervision of Dr. David Lee, a faculty member in our neuroscience department. Halfway through the program, Marina requested to extend her stay for 4 more weeks based on her outstanding experience! Here is a snapshot of a day in her life being an ACE participant!
Generally, Marina's day begins at 6:45 AM. Dr. Lee, Marina, residents, and medical students gather for table rounds. In these rounds, they discuss current patients, gather imaging information, results, come up with a treatment plan based on a diagnosis and head out to see those patients (daily bedside rounds). Patients are in various locations, ranging from the Emergency Department at the Veteran's Affairs (VA) hospital to the neurocritical care unit at Jacob's Medical Center. The inpatient rounds are part of the daily task.
Under strict supervision, Marina participates in physical exams along with her mentor. She also can talk to patients and take notes that can be addressed later when they meet to go over the treatment plan. When morning rounds are complete, they head out to the Physician's Lounge for a quick snack/coffee break before reconnecting at the Residents' Lounge to collectively discuss each case. Later she writes notes which can be time-consuming, but it is critical to ensuring that no vital information has been omitted, especially after a very busy morning. Dr. Lee and Marina review various scans together including MRI, EEG, blood work, possible reactions. They reach out to other departments if they need an opinion/intervention from a different specialty. Once all of that is completed, everyone takes a lunch break. Marina likes to grab a bite at Jacob's cafeteria because the variety in cuisine offers something for every palate. Jacob's Medical Center offers numerous lounge spots, conveniently tucked in quiet corners for those who need a quick break from the demanding schedule
Depending on the day of the week, Marina finds herself participating in an array of exciting activities. For example, on Monday afternoons she finds herself at the Memory Disorder Clinic, on Tuesdays - Movement Disorder Clinic, on Wednesdays and Fridays she attends Dr. Lee's Epilepsy Clinic where they see many patients, and on Thursdays, she is at the Hillcrest Medical Center for the resident outpatient clinic. During the month of June Marina is following Dr. Patrick Delaney - Clinical Professor of Neurosciences and Chief of the Neurology Service at the VASDHS. She is also spending with hospitalized patients, staying in the afternoons to follow the consults, admissions, and stroke codes. Sometimes has even watched the residents perform lumbar punctures. On days that are "quiet" or there are only a few patients at either location, Marina spends her afternoons in clinics or attending one of our virtual didactics.
In her “down” time, Marina loves taking her dog Moqueca (named after a Brazilian dish) to a local dog beach. On a weekend you will find her catching a baseball game at the Petco park, and then grabbing a bite at Duke's restaurant in La Jolla (talk about the view!), followed by a walk by the beach! Marina already discovered a couple of local restaurants/eateries that she has added to her "go-to" list: Taco Stand and Katana.
Marina's experience is just a glimpse at what our program has to offer. If you would like to be part of our program, make sure to apply ASAP as the spots fill up fast!
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