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Pella Christian student completes internship at Skiff

Published: Friday, Jan. 25, 2013 12:09 p.m. CST • Updated: Friday, Jan. 25, 2013 12:18 p.m. CST
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(Submitted photo)
Steve Long, Skiff Medical Center CEO, said it was a pleasure to have Allie Groenenboom, a senior at Pella Christian High School, intern at the hospital.

Every hospital looks ahead at the future of medicine; at Skiff Medical Center, they’re helping to shape it.

Allie Groenenboom, a senior at Pella Christian High School who plans to someday become a physician, recently concluded a rigorous internship at the Newton hospital, where she got to experience a wide variety of specialties and areas of medicine.

“I loved surgery,” she said. “I spent time in the OR with general surgeon Dr. Dominic Formaro, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Ron Charles and plastic surgeon Dr. Bryan Folkers.  It was fascinating to watch not only the procedures from beginning to end, but to see how each doctor runs his surgical service differently.”

Groenenboom also enjoyed her time in the Philips Imaging Center at Skiff, and described her shift in the Emergency Department as “intense.”  Rotations through the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation department, as well as on the Med-Surg floor, were also eye-opening.  “The people were so friendly and I admire what they do, but it helped me to see which areas I would or wouldn’t want to pursue for my own career.”

While she certainly has time to change her mind – after completing four years of undergrad as a biology major at the University of Iowa, she will then have four years of medical school and at least three years of residency ahead of her – Groenenboom currently is looking toward pediatrics as a potential field.

“I absolutely love working with children,” she said.

Oncology, the treatment of cancer, is another area of medicine that is near and dear to her heart; perhaps too near, in fact, to make it her future job.

“My mom died of cancer when I was in seventh grade,” Groenenboom said.  “I spent a lot of time in hospitals during that period and it showed me what a difference doctors and other health-care providers make in people’s lives.  That’s what put me on this path in the first place.  I am really interested in oncology, but I think it would be too hard emotionally.  It would be such a challenge to take care of people fighting cancer, because some of them won’t make it.”

Steve Long, Skiff CEO, said it was a pleasure to have Groenenboom on site.

“She is an incredibly bright and mature young woman who was seeking as broad an experience as possible for her ‘winterim’ term off school,” he said.  “When she couldn’t find that opportunity nearer to her home, she turned to us.  She was a Newton native until August of 2012, so she was familiar with Skiff and the great care we provide.  It was our privilege to help give her the medical internship she was looking for.  We were impressed by her and know that she has a great future ahead of her.”

He smiled as he added, “And we’d be happy to have her come back to practice medicine in Newton in 2024.”

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