Honors student Christy Lewis describes summer internship with Dartmouth Medicine Magazine

by   |  07.14.11  |  Honors Student Achievements, Uncategorized

As I begin to write my article on the over-diagnosis of pulmonary embolism (and yes, I had to look that term up before I could even begin going over the background research), I still can’t believe the enormous opportunity I have been afforded this summer. My internship at Dartmouth Medicine magazine is giving me a wonderful glimpse of what my dream career – science writing – could be like. These past two weeks I have been challenged to look past the jargon associated with medical research while maintaining an unwavering focus on the important information.

My time as an editorial intern in the magazine’s office has been a refreshing contrast to my role as a staff writer at ACU’s student newspaper the Optimist. Rather than the exciting pace induced by the ever-present deadlines of a twice weekly newspaper, the magazine editors have  happily allowed me to spend much of my first two weeks  researching my subjects and scheduling  interviews. While my newspaper articles were all reviewed before being published, every step of the writing process has been reviewed during my internship – from my letter of introduction to my interviewees, to my interview questions, to my article outline. Everything is checked to make sure my voice is in tune with Dartmouth Medicine’s voice.

I have also had the opportunity to get a taste of Dartmouth’s culture. My editor gave me a tour of Dartmouth hospital – a sprawling, sophisticated, shopping mall of a hospital with its own internal bank and gift shop. I was invited to attend a session of Dartmouth’s medical rounds, at which I learned of an instrument Dartmouth is developing to instantly and noninvasively test the oxygen levels in tumors to help doctors decide when to treat the cancer. It was a lot for me to swallow, too!

The town of Hanover, where Dartmouth is situated, is a charming, closely knit community with many “shoppes” and cafes that I am systematically patronizing. The only damper on the place is the weather. I imagined New England as cool in the summer, but I didn’t anticipate a week of drizzling 55 degree weather. There’s nothing like spending a June day watching children in their hoodies playing in the cold, wet grass under a cold, wet sky.

But the chilly state has many warm, welcoming people. I have been consistently humbled by the friendliness and kindness shown to me by the Dartmouth staff and church goers of New Hampshire. It is they that are making this internship worthwhile, and I look forward to spending another eight weeks getting to know them.