Intern Stories

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New Jersey Pediatric Neuroscience Institute

I interned at NJPNI in Morristown, NJ the summer of 2018. Each day brought new opportunities giving me a wide variety of exposure to the medical field. Dr. Mazzola was an outstanding influence and mentor, even after the program had ended. The atmosphere in the office was extremely supportive, and the staff welcomed any questions I had. My experience shadowing Dr. Mazzola during patient appointments and surgeries only confirmed my passion for pursuing a career in medicine. After leaving the internship, I felt I had gained a comprehensive understanding of pediatric neurology, neurosurgery, and patient care. During my time at NJPNI, I was responsible for researching topics such as; Neuroblastoma, Hydrocephalus, and Down Syndrome. After extensive research and the aid of Dr. Mazzola, I wrote and published a paper on a unique case of Neuroblastoma (Waldron MA, Halpern SL, Sikorskyj T, Mazzola CA (2019) Stage IV neuroblastoma with metastatic spread to the mandible in an infant: case report and review of the literature. World Neurosurgery.129: 349-353). I encourage others to be a part of this program, as it opened my eyes to an abundance of possibilities for my future while also introducing me to an incredible female role model. Since NJPNI, I have obtained an MS degree and will begin a Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota in Fall 2021

My time as an intern at NJPNI was very rewarding, not only in realizing my passion for medicine but also through witnessing such compassionate and genuine people that deeply care for their patients. With Dr. Mazzola’s guidance, I had the invaluable opportunity to conduct research, and authoring papers on topics within neurology and neurosurgery that deepened my interest in the field. This experience provided me with the confidence and skills to pursue a career in medicine and appreciate the value of research in a clinical setting.

My time at NJPNI has been very impactful in confirming my interest in medicine. The mentorship provided by Dr. Mazzola introduced me to many interesting areas of neurosurgery and neurology. Also, from shadowing to writing case reports and reviewing literature, I gained a broad understanding of how to recognize and present important clinical information. I am confident that the knowledge and skills I gained through this internship experience will help me in my future studies.

The time I spent as an intern at NJPNI during the summer of 2019 was both enriching and rewarding for my professional and personal development. Prior to this experience, I was uncertain about my future in medicine. The guidance from Dr. Mazzola and her staff at NJPNI along with their dedication to providing best care possible for patients motivated me to pursue a career in medicine. I was able to learn a lot about the research side of medicine from reviewing case studies related to neurology and neurosurgery. I also learned proper bedside manner and which signs and symptoms to look for during shadowed appointments. The knowledge gained during this experience along with the dedication of the NJPNI staff has created a sense of certainty in my future along with an appreciation for neurosurgical care.

Chloe Phillips did a summer internship with us in 2013 while she was still completing her undergraduate studies at The Pennsylvania State University. She graduated from Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and decided to specialize in OB/GYN. She is currently training as an OBGYN resident in the Rutgers Health Saint Barnabas Medical Center residency program in Livingston and Newark, New Jersey.

Elena Baldwin is currently at third year student at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. She grew up in New Jersey and graduated from Duke University in 2017. She majored in neuroscience with minors in global Health and dance. Her time at NJPNI convinced her to switch her career path from neuroscience research to medicine. After graduating from college, she moved to New York City to work in neuroscience research labs, while attending the Columbia Post- Baccalaureate premedical program to prepare for medical school. She worked in research labs at Columbia University and Mount Sinai with a focus on neurobiological markers of autism spectrum disorders and neurogenerative disease. She started medical school in 2019 and is currently working on gynecologic oncology research. She is excited to start her clinical years and find her future specialty!

She is incredibly thankful to Dr. Mazzola and everyone at NJPNI for exposing her to clinical medicine and starting her on this incredibly rewarding and fulfilling career path!

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NOTICE: This website is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice or as a substitute for a patient/physician relationship.

NJPNI is committed to creating a culturally diverse, inclusive and collaborative community for patients and their families, employees and associates where each person is celebrated and has a sense of equal belonging. See our DEI Statement Page for more information.

NJPNI does not exclude, deny benefits to, or otherwise discriminate against any person on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, or on the basis of disability or age in admission to, participation in, or receipt of the services and benefits of any of its programs and activities or in employment therein. This statement is in accordance with the provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and Regulations of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued pursuant to the Acts, Title 45 Code of Federal Regulations part 80, 84, and 91.

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