Learning the Ropes as a Medical Researcher

Chatham Hall
Over Spring Break, Senior Charlotte Jannach had the chance to intern with Spectrum Medical Clinic in Danville, Virginia.
While there, she worked as a clinical researcher, helping in the FDA approval process for phase three medicines. We sat down with Charlotte to get the full story.

So, what exactly were you doing over spring break? Give us an overview of the work you did, and who you were working with.
Over spring break I worked at Spectrum Medical, an orthopedic clinic in my town, with the Research Department doing clinical research. Clinical research is when certain drugs are trying to be approved by the FDA, but before they can be approved and go onto the market they have to go through four phases of testing. All of the clinical research I was involved with were phase three drugs meaning they had already been tested for safety and dosage amount, and are currently being tested to see the efficacy of the drugs. While I was there, I was recruiting for a knee injection study by speaking with people living with osteoarthritis and were interested in the research study. However, since it was a research study, I had to make sure they were eligible by asking certain medical questions and screen them to fit the criteria. Also, I would help with EKGs, making and filing charts, learning how to fill in the research database, taking the patients to x-ray, and much more.  

What was your favorite part of the experience?
My favorite part of this experience was being able to observe and help with a knee injection. I helped prep the patient but setting up the machine that circulates ice cold water around the knee to numb it before the actual medicine is injected into the joint. Since I want to go into sports medicine, I was super excited to see how a knee injection is prepared and executed.

What is one take away from the internship that you will never forget?
One thing I will never forget is the kindness and the patience from the ladies I worked with. They were so kind and showed me how to file charts and were open to me asking questions.

How do you plan on using what you've learned in the future?
I want to go into the sports medicine field, so this internship was valuable for me because I gained experience and learned more about orthopedics. I learned about the knee anatomy and how to read x-rays for arthritis. This will help me on my path to medical school, and my new knowledge will be useful again when I go back to work for them this summer!
An all girls boarding and day school in Southern Virginia, Chatham Hall prepares girls for college and for productive lives. Our innovative academic program offers Advanced Placement courses, global study and travel, as well as project based learning. Our athletic teams regularly compete at the State level and our exceptional riding program is nationally recognized. We foster the intellect and character of each student and, through our Honor Code, live in a community of trust. Grounded in its Episcopal heritage, the school welcomes students of all faiths and backgrounds.  
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