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Ever since she was a child, Tiffany Harris '04 enjoyed visits to her family doctor for checkups and minor illnesses. She decided early on that she'd like to be a physician herself–maybe even a surgeon. In January, she switched from patient to observer in a five-day externship with Dr. Greg Bahtiarian '87, a family physician with Bayside Health Association in Lewes, Del.

“It really gave me a good range of what I might do,” says Harris, a biology major, explaining that most recently, she's been thinking about becoming a forensic pathologist. “I'm definitely planning to go to medical school.”

Bahtiarian, who graduated with a B.S. degree in chemical engineering, says Harris showed initiative in asking questions and offering to help in any way she could.

“She was great overall,” he says. “And she was very flexible. She got up early when we had to get up early.”

Harris is the third Lafayette student to extern with Bahtiarian. Two other students spent time with him during his stints as chief resident and resident instructor at Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Harris says her first day included morning hospital rounds with Bahtiarian and routine appointments for the rest of the day.

“I got to see how hectic his schedule could be,” she says. During the rest of the week, Harris observed several other doctors in Bahtiarian's practice and spent time in the pathology, maternity, and radiology departments at Beebe Medical Center in Lewes.

Harris says that because Bahtiarian's practice includes a variety of specialties, she was able to watch both an ear-nose-throat specialist and an obstetrician/gynecologist with their patients. At the hospital, Bahtiarian's wife, Ellen, a radiologist, allowed Harris to observe a CAT scan, an MRI, and a mammogram. And in the maternity ward, nurse-midwives from the practice invited her into the delivery rooms, where she watched two births.

While Harris says she was most fascinated by watching the pathologist, she's now more open to other areas.

“It was really exciting to see the births,” she says. “I was up close, right there. I was pushing with them. I liked radiology a lot too.”

Harris says she's grateful that Lafayette's career services department offers the externship program. A member of Lafayette's women's soccer team, she has also volunteered at Easton Hospital's Short Procedures Unit and Brandywine Hospital.

Categorized in: Alumni Profiles