Christina Hom ’12 is spending her summer getting an in-depth look at the medical field as she shadows gastroenterologist Dr. Barry W. Jaffin ’77. Through this experience, Hom will learn about gastroenterology, which includes consultations and procedures such as endoscopies and colonoscopies; she will also learn about what goes into running a private practice. Through her association with Jaffin, she has also spent time with other specialists and, in the upcoming weeks, she plans to attend conferences at the Mount Sinai Medical Center.
“I have always been interested in going into the medical field,” says Hom. “I want to help people and make a difference in their lives by treating them.”
HWS Health Adviser Scott MacPhail was instrumental in helping Hom to find the opportunity. In the spring, Hom contacted Jaffin about shadowing him for part of the summer and is now considering gastroenterology as a potential field of medicine that she would like to pursue.
“He has really gone beyond what I expected a shadowing experience entails. He encourages me to think critically about some of the cases that are presented, to ask questions, and to continue to learn new things,” she says.
While this is the first time that Jaffin has had a pre-med student come into the office to shadow him, he enjoys working with Hom.
“Christina has been very responsible, mature and empathetic as she listens to a patient’s chief complaint and other health issues that are brought up during the initial history taking. In addition, she has been given mini assignments on the various medical conditions that we see in the office; she diligently looks up terms that are new to her,” says Jaffin.
Hom has had other internship experiences in the medical field. Hom started out volunteering at the Putnam Hospital Center, where she helped with transporting patients. During the spring of her sophomore year she interned in the ER department at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hospital in Penn Yan. The following fall, she interned with Dr. Dmitry Chuprun of Geneva General Cardiology Associates. Last summer, she returned to Putnam Hospital Center as an intern, where she did rotations in a multitude of departments, including ER, physical therapy, and radiology.
Hom is a biochemistry major with a double minor in child advocacy and sociology. On campus, she is a member of the William Smith swimming and diving team, Learn 2 Lead, the Laurel Society, and a participant of Days of Service and Relay for Life. She is also Lieutenant of Personnel and Scheduling and member of HWS Emergency Medical Services. Hom works as a lifeguard at Bristol gymnasium and is a student worker at the Student Activities Office.