Motion Analysis of Daily Activities in Patients with varying Spinal Pathologies

Christina and another student presenting research

Students

2021
College Wharton

Faculty

Assistant Professor Of Orthopaedic Surgery (spine Surgery)

Project Summary

Through PURM, I was able to work directly with a spine surgeon and I learned more than I ever thought was possible. I worked in several settings on many projects that all required careful planning and special skills that I developed throughout my time with my mentor. I worked in the clinic at Pennsylvania Hospital shadowing my mentor as he evaluated patients and talked about spine surgery with them. I also spoke to patients about participating in a study revolving around human motion and preoperative functional testing. I communicated with patients outside of the clinic to schedule appointments to participate in our study as well as conducting the actual study itself. The hands-on experience is incomparable to that which can be obtained solely in a classroom. Shadowing in the clinic and speaking to patients directly about participating in our study, I developed professional and interpersonal conversation skills that I never would have been exposed to or be able to practice. Watching spine surgery from 5 feet away and being in the operating room allowed me to get up close and personal with an experience I have never been a part of before, but have always dreamed of. Writing manuscripts using data from a national database and receiving feedback on my writing allowed me to develop and practice a specific style that may be useful in the future. Three of my major accomplishments resulting from this position include authoring a scientific paper which is to be published by The Spine Journal, creating a scientific poster for the CURF Research Expo, and developing a colloquial and professional relationship with surgeon and mentor, Dr Saifi, with Perelman School of Medicine medical student Alex Beschloss, and with my co-researcher Dan Rodriguez. The relationships I have developed and the lessons I have learned will surely serve me well as I continue my education. I will strive to sharpen and further develop them through future research opportunities, and I hope to pass along what I have learned to undergraduate students whom I may have an opportunity to mentor at some point in the future.