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Internship profile: UnityPoint Health

January  31, 2014

Denis Lawlor got to see first-hand the advancements made in surgery and robotic instruments.

(Augustana Photo Bureau/Kristin Walden)

Denis Lawlor, a senior from Tinley Park, Ill., is majoring in biology, pre-medicine and neuroscience. His experience as as student observer allowed him to stand at an operating table and watch neurosurgeons at work.

At UnityPoint Health Trinity Hospital in Bettendorf, Iowa, Lawlor scrubbed in for surgeries to observe the procedures and also sat in on consultations and post-operation visits.

"Many of my biology courses prepared me for the surgical procedures and what was happening," he said.

"I enjoyed standing at the operating table for all of the surgeries I was able to see. Specifically, seeing the technological advancements made, allowing one of the surgeries to be performed by the doctor using robotic instruments.

He said the internship affirmed his desire to practice medicine as a surgeon.

"The ability that these physicians have is beyond belief," he said. "The instruments available to them are beyond anything I could have imagined. Medicine has a promising future."

He said he hadn't expected to see a neurosurgery, so that was a bonus. He would recommend such an internship. "It was a great experience to see an operating room and how surgeons work every day."