Student Information

Student Name

Matthew Lee




Internship Information

Company/Organization: Hackensack University Medical Center

Mentor(s):Dr. Gary Munk

Topic of Internship

Clinical Virolgoy

Background Information

Nominated for “Best National Hospitals” by US News, the hospital started out in 1885 with just 12 beds. HUMC was the first hospital in Bergen County. Since then it has grown immensely as one of the largest medical institutions in the New Jersey. It currently houses 900 beds and is a non-profit, research organization that is only 7 miles from NYC. It serves as a hub for nearly all medical research and advances. The facilities are top of the line and provide comfort and proper care for the patient. It is considered the fourth busiest hospital in the nation based on the patient count per year. The institution is partnered with the medical school of Rutgers University and also has plans to open a new medical school partnered with Seton Hall University in 2017. The hospital is a research hospital, which means that not only patient care is being taken care of. Many pressing issues involving a ranging number of fields, which are trying to be solved by many young and elderly scholars in the research wings of the hospital. HUMC has 1400 physicians including the subdivisions like the dental offices. Since February of 2011 Becker’s Hospital Review has considered the hospital in the top 50 best medical institutions in the country

Summary of Internship

As an intern at the Department of Clinical Virology at Hackensack University Medical Center, I had the opportunity to actively learn about what the field of virology entails from Dr. Gary Munk, who is an esteemed virologist known throughout the tri-state region. He was part of the discovery of HIV, and his insight and knowledge has made every Thursday an enlightening and interesting experience. On a typical Thursday, I arrive to the lab and I immediately assist the medical technologists with tasks such as patient surveillance and inventory. They will also often take the time to show me how to perform tests on patient specimen to detect for certain viral diseases. For example, some of the viruses and biological agents that are handled in the lab include HIV, Influenza, VZV, and Chlamydia. Following my work with the medical technicians, Dr. Munk comes to meet me in the lab with interesting tutorials. The discussions provide insight into how viruses are affecting both the international and local community. For example, Zika virus is becoming a hot media topic internationally due to the effect it is having on pregnant women; however, to date there are cases of Zika presenting itself in New Jersey. After these discussions, Dr. Munk will often send us to the hospital library to learn more about specific viruses such as Norovirus or Avian Influenza, or he will take us to meetings like the monthly Bioethics Committee. These activities are often informative and provide a different perspective of interdisciplinary topics. I also enjoyed these meetings because they were opportunities to hear opinions from esteemed physicians, administrators, and medical students of HUMC. Interning in clinical virology at the medical center has exceeded my original expectations. It has allowed me to learn about an interesting discipline of science I was unfamiliar with, while garnering a different perspective of medicine. I highly recommend this internship to someone who is searching for an interactive learning experience, and who has a desire to learn about viruses and its role in our lives and future.

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