Children’s National Health System - Jonah Donnenfield

Children’s National Health System

Office presentation iconView Presentation (PPT)

Early one evening in late July, I gathered my belongings to leave the hospital for the day. However, as I was walking out a familiar voice on hospital intercom announced an emergency trauma arriving in the emergency bay. I quickly rushed to the room to see a young boy covered in blood due to a gunshot wound. Up until this point in my internship, I had seen many severe injuries, but this was by far the most heart-wrenching. The experience of watching the resuscitation team methodically and intelligently care for this child doubles as my best and most difficult experience. This moment reaffirmed my understanding that emergency medical care is not only difficult to perform due to its complexity but it is also challenging due its emotional severity.

I had to learn something new almost everyday of my internship and not just in the traditional sense of being an observer in a new environment. In order to conduct the analysis required of me, I had to learn a lot of statistics, which necessitated self-study of multiple textbooks, software packages, and internet forums. I performed statistical analysis on error data regarding upper spinal care in the trauma bay. This has resulted in a paper that is now being written and will hopefully be published in the near future. I also assisted with a number of mathematical projects that involved ranking and incomplete data matrices which are still ongoing.

In terms of social change, the nature of my research was oriented on giving patients better trauma care and identifying areas in the metropolitan district where children are more predisposed to abuse.

A week from my internship’s end, my mentor required all of the PICS interns to present their findings/research to a broad audience of postdoctoral researchers, physicians, and surgeons. As I stood at the head of the auditorium during my presentation, I had a moment of clarity. I saw so many professionals and successful people that wanted nothing more than to have me and my peers succeed. The academic and honest environment of the Children’s Hospital crystallized in that moment for me, and I truly felt grateful for all the opportunities I had been given.