News at Medicine - June 2015 - Medical student awarded prestigious thoracic surgery internship

Medical student awarded prestigious thoracic surgery internship
June 29, 2015
A Memorial student is the first medical student from the institution to receive the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS) Summer Intern Scholarship.
The prestigious scholarship is awarded to first- and second-year medical students in both the United States and Canada. Of the 30 scholarships awarded annually, only one to two Canadian students are selected each year, making John Hennessey’s selection a major achievement. 
Due to its competitive nature, Mr. Hennessey says he was surprised to receive the award, but says he is honoured to represent Memorial’s Faculty of Medicine, as well as Newfoundland and Labrador. 
"I think it is important that Newfoundland and Labrador is represented considering that our province has among the highest instance of cardiac disease in Canada," he said.
The scholarship funds an eight-week internship at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Ont., where Mr. Hennessey will be participating in cardiothoracic surgery procedures under the direction of Dr. Glen Van Arsdell, as well as lab research under the supervision of Dr. Christopher Caldarone.
Mr. Hennessey has been fostering his particular interest in cardiothoracic surgery by shadowing heart and lung surgeons at the Health Sciences Centre and St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital in St. John’s. The capital city does not have a congenital cardiac postgraduate program, so when given the opportunity to complete his internship at a hospital of his choice, he chose Sick Kids for its leadership in congenital cardiac surgery in Canada. 
"I wanted to be at the interface of research and clinical medicine during my internship to best fulfill the guidelines of my scholarship," said Mr. Hennessey on his selection.
He also chose Sick Kids for its geographical location.
"I wanted to stay in Canada to become more familiar with our health-care structure and to better prepare myself for clerkship starting later in 2015."
Clerkship takes place during a medical student’s final two years of the MD program when they receive extensive hands-on experience in clinics and hospitals. 
The AATS Summer Intern Scholarship offers a number of great opportunities for Mr. Hennessey’s future medical studies. One of his main goals going into the internship will be to familiarize himself with typical pediatric cardiac procedures. He also hopes that the experience of being a clerk and a researcher will help decide if he wants to pursue a career in cardiothoracic surgery.
"I want to have a reciprocal surgical learning experience by contributing my current vascular skills to Dr. Caldarone’s research project and learning basic human surgical techniques that I can put into practice during clerkship."