Sarah Schubert was the 2014 medical student recipient of the WTS Brigid Scanlan Traveling Mentorship Award. Sarah spent two weeks in St. Louis with Dr. Jennifer S. Lawton in April 2014. Here is how Sarah summarized her experience:
With the generous support of the Scanlan/Women in Thoracic Surgery Traveling Mentorship award, I was able to spend two weeks working with Dr. Jennifer Lawton at Barnes-Jewish Hospital of the Washington University in St. Louis. Throughout my time there, I was able spend all day, every day in the operating room. I scrubbed in on all of Dr. Lawton’s cases and was an active participant in everything from a chronic type A dissection repair to an aortic valve repair via mini sternotomy to several CABGs.
When Dr. Lawton was not operating, I was able to scrub with her colleagues on a variety of different cases, several of which I have not yet had the opportunity to experience yet in my training. I went on an organ procurement (where I actually got to lift the heart out of the chest with my own hands), watched a Maze procedure via mini thoracotomy, and participated in a lung transplant and a thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm repair.
Outside the operating room, I made daily patient rounds with Dr. Lawton, saw a few patients in Dr. Lawton’s clinic, and participated in the cardiothoracic fellow conferences.
Beyond just learning and working in the hospital, I was able to spend time outside the hospital with Dr. Lawton and her family, as well as with some of the cardiothoracic surgery fellows and their families. Spending that time with all of them outside the hospital definitely gave me a lot of insight into what it takes to have a family as a (female) cardiothoracic surgeon, but it also gave me hope that juggling both a family and a cardiothoracic surgical career can be done successfully. All in all, it was a fantastic experience, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with and learn from a leading lady of cardiothoracic surgery.
(PHOTO) Dr. Jennifer Lawton and 2014 Scanlan/WTS Traveling Medical Student Traveling Mentorship Award Recipient, Sarah Schubert. St. Louis, MO, April 2014