This experience has been amazing. I have learned so much about what I am interested in through reading literature and studies related to my research, and also from experiencing “real-world” scenarios, such as meetings. I try to spend at least 30 minutes a day reviewing information, searching for relevant literature, responding to emails or preparing for meetings, whether they are in person or over the phone. I communicate with my mentor over Google Docs, email, phone or, as of recently, in person. The distance is not a difficult factor because of all the other methods of communication I mentioned; in fact, I find it to be a benefit because I have a very busy schedule and as an attending physician in the ICU, my mentor does as well.
As for professional connections, I met three doctors during my first meeting and I hope to continue expanding this new network of people. I can’t explain how much I appreciated my mentor being my advocate in that meeting, even though it was also our first in-person interaction. She was constantly clarifying my role in the project, and I value her commitment.
I can’t emphasize enough how much I value people’s faith in me and commitment to helping me learn. I will do everything I can to prove myself worthy of learning under their expertise. At the moment my career goals are the same, but I am always open to new ideas.