Lee Schneider’14 had the opportunity to intern at the Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, shadowing Dr. Barry W. Jaffin ’77 this summer. Jaffin is a gastroenterologist at both the hospital and West Side Gastroenterology, a private practice.
“It was very generous of Dr. Jaffin to take Lee on as a mentee. It is wonderful when an alum helps the next generation of graduates,” explains Health Professions Counselor Scott MacPhail.
Schneider was grateful for the experience. “Dr. Jaffin taught me about rare and common diseases that deal with the gastrointestinal tract. We talked about what the diseases do to a patient, symptoms, treatments, the history of the disease, and more,” she says. “He also allowed me to take the history of his more familiar patients as practice for me. Dr. Jaffin taught me that most of the time it’s not in the physical where you discover the problem, but in the person’s history. I’m so thankful for this opportunity.”
In addition to the knowledge and advice shared by Jaffin, Schneider benefited from access to the clinical setting and contact with other physicians.
“On the average day, I was responsible for many tasks including helping with Esophagogastroduodenoscopies and colonoscopies. As they went through the process, the doctors explained the medical run-down. The doctors were really helpful in teaching me how to do procedures: how to diagnose and medicate, and how to talk to patients in the recovery room.”
Describing what she learned over the summer, Schneider says the medical profession is “more like being a detective then being a doctor. It’s a puzzle; every patient is different and challenging and as a doctor you need to dig deep and really listen to the patient in order to determine the problem. In the field, all information is fresh and current. I love how each day is different and there is a change of pace each day.”
A Spanish major and environmental studies minor, Schneider is part of the premed program at HWS that prepares students for medical school. She is also a member of the cross country team and volunteers in the America Reads program.
“My education at HWS definitely prepared me for working with Dr. Jaffin: every patient has different interests, a different past,” explains Schneider. “Since HWS encouraged me to step outside my boundaries and study a broad range of subjects, I can more easily communicate with patients and understand their experiences.”
At William Smith, Jaffin earned a bachelor of science in biology and was a member of Phi Sigma Kappa.