July 30, 2013

SLU AT Student Gets Experience "Behind the scenes at your doctor’s office" in Summer Internship

The Orthopedic Center of St. Louis Summer Internship
By: Emily Grace (MAT Class of 2014) and Kevin Templin OPA-C, ATC

This summer I spent 12 weeks at The Orthopedic Center of St. Louis in Chesterfield, MO as an athletic training intern under Dr. Mark D. Miller, sports medicine specialist, and his first assistant and certified athletic trainer Kevin Templin.

SLU AT Student Emily Grace and Kevin Templin OPA-C, ATC
Dr. Miller’s orthopedic practice focuses on the treatment of injuries specific to the shoulder and knee. During my time with him and his team I was able to observe arthroscopic surgeries in the treatment of ACL reconstruction, labral repairs, rotator cuff repairs, shoulder reconstruction, shoulder arthroscopy, knee arthroscopy, cartilage restoration procedures, and frozen shoulder manipulations. Observing these surgical procedures has provided me with a better understanding of orthopedic anatomy, why the patient is experiencing discomfort, and what rehabilitation is needed to allow a patient to return to their optimal level of functioning. As a future athletic trainer, I can draw from these experiences to make me a more compassionate and well-rounded practitioner.

As an athletic training intern, I learned how effective my skills could be in assisting Dr. Miller and his staff “behind the scenes.” A large part of my responsibility was to make sure an athlete or patient’s visit occurred seamlessly and pleasantly. Calling back the patient, obtaining a medical history, finding out their story, ordering imagining, and briefing the doctor all take place before the patient has any interaction with the physician. Kevin commonly referred to us as “Dr. Miller’s opening act,” which always put a smile on a patient’s face and helped ease their nerves about their visit. During clinical examinations I documented pertinent notes, prepared injections, and assisted with home exercise programs as directed by Dr. Miller. Outside the patient’s room I wrote and updated physical therapy and patient medications scripts for the physician to sign, communicated with his Work Compensation coordinator and Medical Assistant, and entered coding to bill for office and surgical procedures. I recognize the value of these responsibilities and enjoyed acting as the communication link between the patients and staff.

This summer has provided me with a unique experience of how my skills can be applied in a clinical setting. I am thankful to Dr. Miller, Kevin, and the rest of the staff at TOC for their kindness, patience, and willingness to help me learn. I am excited to use the principles and techniques I have learned in my final year as an athletic training student and in my future professional career.

Students in the Saint Louis University Athletic Training Program have a required internship in the summer between their two professional years in the program.  This blog post details a student's reflection on their internship experience.

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