20 Feb A Student’s Experience at the Center for Innovation
On the first week of my summer 2013 research experience at Mayo Clinic, I walked into the Center for Innovation thinking I had walked straight into Google headquarters. I was immediately in awe of the sleek office design (which hardly looked like an office) and the productivity of everyone hard at work. Having done a research mentorship in high school, and this being my second year as an undergraduate researcher at Mayo Clinic, I wondered why I had never discovered this hidden gem.
To provide a little context, I was working as an intern in the Mayo Clinic Breast Clinic where Sandhya Pruthi, M.D. was my mentor. Dr. Pruthi had combined her passion for quality care and scholarly inquiry as a Principal Investigator in a Video Visit study through the Center for Innovation and graciously allowed me to be a part of it.
In a nutshell, a Video Visit is a video-based appointment, similar to Skype, between the patient and provider. The goal of this pilot study is to better understand the requirements, feasibility, and patient satisfaction elements of Video Visits so that Mayo Clinic can eventually offer this service to patients from their home. The study includes patients in Urology who are being seen for a postoperative follow-up appointment.
Because it is a randomized trial, some patients were chosen to have an appointment from their home over webcam, while the rest would come in for a traditional in-clinic visit. My job included calling patients with upcoming re-check appointments in Urology and asking if they would be interested in being a participant. I also helped with timing video and in-clinic appointments, sending post-visit surveys to providers, and doing basic data analysis of the post-visit patient surveys.
Starting out, I had several moments in which I felt that I had no idea what I was doing. As an undergraduate student working with physicians, statisticians and graduate students, I felt entirely out of my league. After asking many questions that were graciously answered by the highly knowledgeable staff, I began to feel more competent. It was exceedingly rewarding to have a glimpse into the incorporation of this new method of clinical care delivery, which has great potential to help many patients in the future. I am extraordinarily grateful to the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation and Dr. Sandhya Pruthi for providing me with this enriching experience.