Holding her certificate, senior Shimin Zhang poses for a picture with Grace Yang, CEO of the Qingdao Women and Children's Hospital, International branch. (Photo courtesy of Zhang)

Cavs around the world: senior interns in hometown hospitals

 In the “Cavs around the World” series, students discuss their summer internships, jobs, volunteer work, and classes. 

Senior Shimin Zhang returned to her hometown, Qingdao, China, to intern at Qingdao Women and Children’s Hospital, International Division, and Qingdao United Family Hospital for two weeks.

Q: How did you learn about the internship?

A: My mother works at one of the hospitals (Qingdao Women and Children’s Hospital, International Division), and a lot of her foreign colleagues work at the other hospital (Qingdao United Family Hospital). This allowed me to do an internship at both of the hospitals.

Q: What were your responsibilities?

A: I did a lot of translating, such as translating certain documents. Also, I helped translate during meetings for foreign patients at the hospitals. 

Q: Did this internship increase your interest in medicine?

A: I do have an interest in going into medicine, so I thought it would be a great experience to see how things work in a hospital. I’m not 100% sure what medical field I want to go into, but I think surgery is an interesting option.

Q: What was your favorite part?

A: It was really interesting to see how the medical system worked in China compared to how it works in the United States. 

One thing that is very different is the way doctors meet patients. For example, my hometown is a lot more populated than Sacramento, so the doctors tend to be a lot busier than the doctors over here. 

Sometimes there is even a designated time limit they can spend with each patient. Most doctors that I helped usually get around 60 to 100 patients each day, so it’s definitely an extremely busy job in China. 

Q: Did any of the patients stand out to you?

A: There was this one girl who was only 7 and really sweet, but she had an autoimmune disease, and she had had it pretty much since she was born. It’s just really hard to see someone like her suffering. Her mother has been taking her all over the world to try and cure her, and she is only making some progress. She was unfortunately afraid of needles. 

There was one other patient that was memorable, but he was in the psychology department, so I can’t really say the details.

Q: Do you plan on interning again at these hospitals?

A: Yeah, I’m definitely going to do this again next summer.

By Dylan Margolis

Excerpt originally published in the Sept. 17 edition of the Octagon.

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