Maddie Smiley '23

My name is Maddie Smiley, I am a junior neuroscience major, interested in medical school or Physician Assistant school.

In the previous spring I had taken Functional Neuroanatomy (BIOL/NEUR 348) because it would prepare me for future courses in graduate schools.  Functional Neuroanatomy allowed me to make connections with local physicians in my area through a podcast program collaboration with Geisinger Neuroscience Institute. These podcasts were created by residents and physicians and used to apply classroom learning to medical scenarios.

I was then able to network and receive an internship in the Neurology Department at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, PA. Here, I was able to observe a variety of members in the medical field, participate in outpatient and inpatient clinics, went on rounds with residents and medical students, observed spinal surgeries, and assisted on research by a genetic counselor on neuromuscular disorders. My internship not only expanded my knowledge base about functional neuroanatomy, but how to be a health care professional. I learned how to effectively communicate with patients and other professionals.

My internship gave me a better understanding of what it is like to be a medical professional and re-excited my interest in the field.

I was able to meet and connect with many providers, develop mentorships, and receive advice from residents, medical students, physicians, and physician assistants. I learned how to respectfully speak up, ask questions, and took advantage of these opportunities to learn and gain further knowledge relevant to the classroom and my future endeavors.