By Erin Walsh
College of Mount Saint Vincent biology majors Winnie Tema ’12 and Vanie Mangal ’12 got a head start on their medical careers this summer, as interns for renowned pediatric neurosurgeon and Mount alumna Dr. Catherine Ruebenacker Mazzola ’90’s medical practice, the New Jersey Pediatric Neurosurgery Associates, in Morristown, N.J.
Chair of the Division of Natural Sciences Dr. James Fabrizio arranged for the future medical practitioners to intern with Dr. Mazzola, who was honored by the College in 2010 with the Ad Laudem Dei Award, for her contributions to her field and to the betterment of society overall.
Winnie (right) and Vanie (left) make the rounds with Dr. Mazzola.
During the eight-week internship, the interns got an inside glimpse into what a typical day is like working in the field of medicine.
“My favorite part of the internship is observing the surgeries,” says Vanie, who aspires to work as a physician’s assistant after graduation. “Not only do I watch, but Dr. Mazzola (and her colleagues) usually talk us through the surgery to teach us what procedures are and why they are performing them. I can also ask questions, so it is very interactive. I lean so much more than I would from a textbook.”
As for Winnie, who plans to become a physician, the internship with Dr. Mazzola allowed her to see if she could handle working with sick children.
“So far, seeing children who are sick and are in need has only encouraged me even more to want to make a difference. Also, the internship has allowed me to see everything that goes on behind-the-scenes—business meetings, consults and the paperwork.