Charging into medicine: Students explore medical opportunities


Bailey Niles

Students experiencing new fields of interest through internships and research.

Shivaali Vibarajan, Staff Reporter

The opportunity to learn and gain experience can be an eye-opening experience for students. Many students interested in a profession in the medical field have had the opportunity to attend their own internships and volunteering opportunities. The exposure to various specialties can allow students to explore their preferences and gain knowledge on their current interests. 

Some current seniors are involved in internships that have given them an advantage in their studies. Seniors Anjana Reddy, Mckenna Cardwell and Riya Yarlagadda have provided their own insight into their jobs and what their experience has been like.  

“When I first applied, I thought it would be cool to see how it is in the psych ward from a doctor’s or nurse’s perspective,” Reddy said. “The stories I’ve heard about the patients all the time makes me think about all the life circumstances they went through to be there.”

Reddy has volunteered at the Shoal Creek Psych Ward and currently at Seton Ascension Medical Center. She hopes to pursue a career in psychiatry, which she has been striving for quite some time.   

“I have wanted to do psychiatry since I was in middle school,” Reddy said. “I still have my heart set on that. I know in my soul that this is what I want to do and that’s why I chose to physically volunteer in a psych ward.”

Similarly, Cardwell works at her parent’s private clinic as her practicum daily during the school day. She hoped to gain experience in the pediatrics field during her time at the clinic. 

“I basically measure heart rate, blood pressure, that kind of stuff for patients and record them in charts,” Cardwell said. “I also print out their growth chart like overtime and then I give it to the doctor. Sometimes, I’ll do eye tests or hearing tests.”

These inclusive opportunities not only provide students with experience and knowledge, but also a chance to see if they truly want to pursue a field they are interested in. 

“I was thinking I want to be a doctor, specifically a pediatrician,” Cardwell said. “But, now that I’ve worked for like half a year, I don’t think I want to be a pediatrician. It’s just that the work setting could be for some people, but it’s just not for me. Maybe, I still want to be a doctor, but that’s something for me to determine in college.”

Yarlagadda had taken a different route instead in the medical field: cancer research. She works with a professor at Texas Christian University on various research projects about the main keypoint of her research: oncolytic viruses. 

“My professor’s project was to find out how much of the oncolytic viruses we need in order to cure cancer without a lot of chemotherapy,” Yarlagadda said. “We were just kind of measuring which characteristics would be more helpful in curing the cancer. So, I think the big thing I wanted to gain from this is the research skills and experience that would be beneficial for the future.”

With her own experience in searching for an opportunity, Yarlagadda provides some advice for people who are interested in a commitment such as her own. 

“I will say that these opportunities, they’re not going to land at your door,” Yarlagadda said. “I would say that patience and determination would be the two key takeaways. It took me a while to find this position. So, just be encouraged and feel motivated to create your own opportunities for yourself.”