Houda Bouchouari ’22: Massachusetts General Hospital

Name: Houda Bouchouari
Class Year: 2022
Major: Biology
Hometown: Boston

Internship Organization: Massachusetts General Hospital
Job Title: Research Intern
Location: Boston

What’s happening at your internship?

When I first started, I spent the first 2-3 weeks shadowing an oncologic orthopedic surgeon in his clinic and surgeries, and it was so eye opening. With a bunch of shows on TV like Grey’s Anatomy and House it’s very easy to come up with an idea about doctors. These shows often depict doctors as mean or straightforward and if I’m being completely honest. I thought the same. However, when I first started, I couldn’t have been more wrong, I have met so many kind surgeons, fellows, and residents. Since I started, I have gone from being really nervous to excited about coming into the office every day. On the fourth week I officially began research and that has been really cool. I had to do a bunch of training that will be beneficial for future internships.

Right now I am doing a little bit of everything before I officially start a project with the other research interns. I worked on a chemotherapy, Paget’s disease and a sarcoma project where I basically had to fill out the patient’s information into a spreadsheet that would then go onto other researchers. For example, this past Wednesday I finished a project that was sent to Johns Hopkins for the next step.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I applied to this internship because I plan on pursuing an MD/PhD and I have experience in research in the Biology Department at Bryn Mawr; however, I had no idea what it was like being a doctor. At times, especially during midterms or finals, I felt like my dream of being a doctor was out of reach for me, and don’t get me wrong, I still feel that way at times, but for some reason this goal feels more realistic after I started this internship. I’m getting closer to figuring out what I want to do with my life and that is because this internship has allowed me to see and experience what it means to have an MD/PhD.

Can you talk about the skills you are learning and why they are important to you?

I don’t know how to explain but I kind of learned how to learn independently, if that makes sense. The research coordinator often throws us something we don’t know how to do and wants us to think about what the goal of the project is in order to clear any confusion. This is probably the biggest and most important skill that I have learned so far. It will definitely be a skill that I carry on to my classes and future endeavors.

Can you give us three adjectives and three nouns that describe your internship experience?

Nouns: Hope, clarity, and surprise
Adjectives: Amazing, informative, and motivating