Student Spotlight: Nicole P. Steinhardt

Nichole is a junior at Indiana University who majoring in Biology. She is also minoring in Chemistry and Spanish. She took some time to talk about her intern experience this past summer as a Clinical Research Intern at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health.

Career Time Travel: What did you want to do when you were growing up?

From the time that I was six years old, I wanted to be a physician. I have always felt called to the medical profession. As I have taken science courses and spent time shadowing in hospitals, my desire to be a doctor has only grown.

How did you find the position?

I knew I was interested in Radiology at the beginning of my freshman year of college. So, I looked for opportunities to shadow a Radiologist at the IU Health hospitals in my hometown. During a shadowing opportunity in the Radiology Department at Riley Hospital for Children last July, I met my mentor, Dr. Brandon Brown. After hearing about his research, I asked him if he was 

looking for an intern to help him the following summer (this year) , and from there we planned out my clinical research internship.

What does a typical day look like for you/what is your favorite thing you are working on right now?

During my internship, I usually arrived at work at Riley around 8AM and left around 4:30-5PM. One of the things I loved about interning there this summer is that no two days were the same. Each day we were doing something different, and that was very exciting for me. I was fortunate enough to have an internship where I got to shadow while also doing research, so I attended many conferences, lectures, meetings and other events around the hospital. 

My favorite thing that I am working on now is preparing manuscripts to submit to journals and conferences for the research that I worked on this summer. I specifically investigated the appearance of Cystic Renal Disease on Fetal MRI and correlated imaging findings to patient outcomes. I’m excited to do further research in placental volumes and imaging to look for factors that may contribute to the broad spectrum of congenital anomalies that are discovered on pre-natal MRI and Ultrasound.

Was there any training for this position, and if so, what was it like?

I was trained on how to access the multiple computer applications necessary for reading scans, analyzing data and making volumetric measurements of placentae and other bodily organs using MRI. Additionally, I was trained on how to utilize Microsoft Excel for research purposes and write scientific abstracts and manuscripts.

Tell us something new you have learned about the industry.

The medical world truly is its own world. When you enter the hospital, it is like stepping into a bubble; an incredibly exciting, fascinating bubble. I do not know how many other professions build such strong communities as the medical field, but the opportunity to be a part o

f something greater than myself, taking part in the care of others, is a unique gift that I am so excited for.

What do you wish someone would have told you before this position that can serve as advice to others?

It is okay not to know everything when you first start. Internships are wonderful learning experiences. I was so worried about not knowing all about how to read MRIs when I started at Riley in May, but I learned so much along the way and did just fine with the limited knowledge I started with.

By Courtney Stapleton
Courtney Stapleton Courtney Stapleton