Diary of an MSTAR Student
Diary of an MSTAR Student

The MSTAR Program encourages medical students to consider a career in academic geriatrics by providing summer research and training opportunities. Follow these students as they journey through new experiences in the lab, classroom, and clinic.  Click here to read entries from previous years.

Diary of an MSTAR Student: Justin Shortell, Part 2

Aug 1
10:19 am

Diary of an MSTAR Student: Justin Shortell, Part 2 View MoreBACK

Posted by Gemma Martinelli

Justin Shortell

Home Institution: University of Hawaii - John A. Burns School of Medicine

MSTAR Site: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Diary Entry #2: Research Grind and Team Work in Medicine

After finishing my 6th week here at UNC Chapel Hill I am both excited for the two weeks to come and at the same time sad that I am already 3/4th of the way done with my stay here. The first month was a great time, but there was a myriad of new experiences just in these last two weeks in both my research and my clinical experiences that keep me extremely interested in my project and the field of medicine.

The first month consisted of a lot of set up with my research project, but these last two weeks have consisted of me putting a lot of individual effort into my project. This has given me a sense of accomplishment in the fact that I am playing a huge part in making a paper that has the potential to contribute to our medical community. Although getting through the massive amount of chart reviews was a lot of work, it was an interesting journey through my research project that bettered my understanding of the disease (Graves’ Disease) and bettered my understanding of navigating electronic medical records, both in which will help me with my future endeavors as a physician.

Amidst my busy time conducting research, I was still able to get amazing clinical experiences yet again. I was able to do rounds with a geriatrician and a team of 9 other people, consisting of medical students, residents, a nurse practitioner, and a guest physician from China. This was truly a unique experience for me because it was the first time I got to see teamwork in the field of medicine actually in play, and it thoroughly impressed me. The team unit was able to synergistically tackle complex problems with efficiency. This experience was also special to me because it presented me with my first experience of a patient death, which actually occurred amidst discussing each patient’s history. Although this was a grim experience, it showcased the sad side of medicine that every physician has to face. I was glad that my first experience was with such a great team knew exactly how to approach the situation and set a great example for future events that I unfortunately know I will have to encounter in the future. Therefore, the sense of team in medicine is a concept that greatly intrigues me and I look forward towards playing a more integral part in the team in the future of my educational journey through the medical field.

Read Justin Shortell's first diary entry, "Modern Medicine Causing ‘New’ Problems in our Aging Population" here.