A Sports Medicine Internship Nets Meaningful Experience (By Laura Duggan, Director of Marketing & Communications)

Working with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Elenz and April, his PA, at Austin Sports Medicine afforded senior Caroline B the time and opportunity to explore the etiology of her grandmother’s MCL (medial collateral ligament) tear – a condition Caroline was able to study up close and in depth during her internship.
 
The MCL is a band of tissue on the inside of the knee that connects the thighbone to the bone of the lower leg. Caroline was particularly interested in who can heal without surgery (swimmers, golfers) and who is best served by having surgery (skiers, soccer players). This investigation was a running theme of her work and research, but she also enjoyed seeing patients.
 
“My favorite part of the clinic was observing the aspirations that Dr. Elenz does. Aspiration is performed when there is excess fluid in a place in the body that causes the patient pain, which Dr. Elenz has to remove with a needle. It is a very meticulous process,” wrote Caroline in her journal.
 
She also investigated rotator cuff injuries and learned about X-ray technology. Her hope is to  work as an X-ray technician at Austin Sports Medicine during the summer.
 
“Not only will I learn how to do X-rays of all types, but I can see the pictures and learn to diagnose things on my own.”
 
Caroline went on to say in her final journal entry that, “It has been very cool to see the healing process and recognize some of the patients.”
 
On her last day, Caroline, Dr. Elenz, and April had a long talk about this field of medicine and the potential career paths. “I am so thankful for them and this opportunity,” she wrote.
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    • Caroline B (center) at Austin Sports Medicine

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