I have played several roles during my two-semester internship at the Minnesota Epilepsy Group. First, I helped collect data from clinic patients for a study on the links between epilepsy and dietary habits. More recently I was a neuropsychology intern, helping researcher Elizabeth Adams maintain her database of pediatric epilepsy patients, and Wenbo Zhang with her work in the functional neuro-imaging lab, working on analyses of brain scans. This is important because it may clarify the epileptogenic focus of patients’ seizures, i.e., what area of the patient’s brain is responsible for the activity that leads to seizures.
I’m majoring in psychology and neuroscience studies and this internship covers aspects of both since the clinic does clinical and research work. I have long planned to do neuroscience research in an academic setting, but my work here has made me consider pursuing clinical work or perhaps combining the two.
I found my internship through a Mac alum I played volleyball with during my first year of college. I asked her in the Leonard Center one day if the Minnesota Epilepsy Group needed any interns, and it turned out they did.
I received some advice at the clinic that I try to keep in mind: You can't know everything, but you should strive to. In all areas of life, people often get too comfortable with what they know and will fiercely attack all evidence to the contrary. We all need to have an open mind and keep learning.