A Day in the Life of an Intern at the DMC

30 November 2023
Everybody has the same clear goal: To help make healthcare just a little bit better, one day at a time.

Hi everyone! I’ll quickly introduce myself. My name is Leo, I’m a final-year medical student at the Leiden University Hospital. For my master's thesis, I wanted to broaden my horizon, and so I decided to apply for an internship at the Decision Modeling Centre (DMC), where I am currently finishing my thesis. I am working on a study where we do qualitative research to get insight into the clinical follow-up experiences of colorectal cancer patients after resection of their primary tumor. To give a quick summary of how I am experiencing my internships at the department of DMC: ‘It’s just great!’.

Let me take you along for a day at the DMC: I wake up, have some breakfast, and catch the train just in time. After a short transit and having had my morning walk to the AMC or VU campus, I arrive at our office. I enter and immediately look for a nice flex-working place. I walk past the room where a few of my colleagues are sitting, I decide to join them, and after our morning small talk, I get going with my research. I never imagined I would really like doing research, but the enthusiasm and devotion everybody at the office shows for their and for their colleagues' research has made me really enjoy it. Everybody has the same clear goal: To help make healthcare just a little bit better, one day at a time.

My work consists of a variety of different tasks, like setting up my research, contacting study participants, setting up interviews, performing interviews, analyzing data, discussing data with my colleague, interpreting data, etc. Basically everything that is part of performing scientific research. After about an hour of work, I get up and walk to my first meeting of the day. I sit down in one of our conference rooms and am joined by my supervisor and her supervisor. I give a short update on how my project is going and ask if they have any further input. They both take their time and give some great in-depth tips for my research, which makes me even more excited to get on with the next step of my project.

After our meeting, it’s lunchtime. I’m lucky; it’s time for our monthly ‘potluck’ lunch, which means that every member of our research group has made and brought a signature dish. (Even better when you take into account the diverse and multicultural background of our research group.) After we have eaten delicacies from all over the globe, we get back to work. I start planning the next part of my project and dive right into it. I still struggle with some of the more advanced scientific stuff, but luckily, everybody at the office is always ready to help me get a better understanding of any topic.

I finish my work for the day and get asked by one of my colleagues if I want to catch the same train as her. I nod my head, turn off my computer, and join her. It’s a strange feeling every afternoon. It feels like time has flown by so quickly, even though I've gotten a lot of work done. I guess that is a good thing, right?