Maddie Smiley '23: Seeing the Benefits of A Summer Clinical Internship

I am a junior neurMaddie Smiley '23 - Research oscience major on the pre-med track, with a nutrition concentration.

During the summer of 2021, I did an internship in the neurology department at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pennsylvania. I completed over 150 hours of observation and research, including:

  • outpatient and inpatient clinics
  • observing neuro-spine surgeries
  • participating in rounds with residents and medical students
  • partaking in specialized clinics for ALS, epilepsy, and Botox for migraines.

I also assisted with research on neuromuscular disorders analyzed through genetic testing. My job in the research project was to sort through the past three years of neuromuscular patients who received genetic testing and analyze the number of positive, carrier, variant of unknown certainty (VUS), and negative results.

Used Data From Neuroscience Class

I was also able to analyze pre- and post-tests from Dr. Waldeck’s Functional Neuroanatomy (BIOL/NEUR 248) class. These were used to access the understanding and learning of University of Scranton students after participating in a podcast program with neurologists from Geisinger Neuroscience Institute.

I wrote two abstracts, sent them to the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), and received two acceptances to present at the poster presentation at the 2022 AAN conference in Seattle, Washington. 

The Benefits of Learning Outside the Classroom

This experience allowed me to further my public speaking abilities, learn about upcoming neurological advancements, and make connections with others in the field.

I recommend that everyone take any opportunities they can to learn outside the classroom. This kind of experience is a key benefit of the University's neuroscience program.

One of the most important things I learned was that education never ends. In the field of medicine, you will be a lifetime learner keeping up with new advancements.