Today is my first day in Rome, Italy! I am here on a summer shadowing program and working in the Hospital Campus Bio Medica while here.

So far we have been getting set up for success here by getting oriented into the hospital and taking our weekly covid test. The Covid Testing is much more chaotic here than in the U.S.. A clear indication of the pandemic here and the difficulties remaining in the area. After three and a half hours, we finally received our negative test results and were able to have a tour of the hospital, receive our badges, and navigate where the scrubs and lockers are.

Following this we headed back towards our hotel and quickly rested in hopes of mediating our jet lag!

In the afternoon, my friend and I headed to the trevi fountain to walk around, eat lunch, have a cocktail and explore. My friend Sabina is fluent in Italian and this was incredibly helpful!

For dinner we are heading as a group to a restaurant in the beautiful area called Trastevere. This is a very cute area with lots of cute restaurants and young people. It is shocking how many nice beautiful travelers there are! Everyone is willing to help out each other and I have met people from all over the globe!

Of course I finished up the first day with some authentic Italian Gelato at Come Il Latte. This was AMAZING.

Via Álvaro del Portillo, 200, 00128 Roma RM, Italy

Today is the first real day of Shadowing in Campus Bio Medicá Roma! In the morning we took the train to the hospital, had some time for coffee at the hospital cafe and changed into our scrubs. The kind man at the hospital cafe always draws smiles on my cappuccino in the morning and helps me to get the only food that is gluten free at the hospital— rice crackers. It is always fun having friends within the hospital.

After this we received our assignments for the day and I was assigned to Anesthesia with my tutor Gaspare. Here in Rome, we have mentors that we follow around and learn about surgery from. Gaspare was a great tutor and I also loved meeting his Attending, Fransesca.

In Anesthesia, I watched thoracic surgeries for the day. In this department I watched many lung surgeries, learned how to cut, saw a thyroidectomy of a patient with a huge tumor and even got to hold the thyroid.

I am unsure if you all want to see the gross medical photos, so I have blurred the gruesome aspects, however if you are interested let me know!

After this amazing day, I went straight from work to dinner and then fell right to sleep. This was my first ever 14 hour day in the hospital and so afterwards I went immediately to bed! It was a really amazing day and I was very glad that I did not pass out during the surgeries. Hah.

Super giant thyroid.

Blurred image of the giant thyroid tumor.

For July 28 and 29 I was assigned to Orthopedic Surgery. It was AWESOME. \240

I was really nervous for this assignment due to my tendency to break bones and the fear that it would be gross to me, but it was actually very very fascinating. Within these two days the morning would begin the same way each day starting with my morning cappuccino and rice cracker, changing into scrubs and receiving my assignment. From there I started my day in the Operating Room for Orthopedic Surgery. During these two days I was able to watch hip replacements, ACL surgery, knee replacements, shoulder reconstruction, MCL and PCL surgeries as well as fracture repairs using screws and rods as well as dislocation repair. This was such an incredible experience. The staff was incredibly kind to me and I even quickly became a mentee of the Chief of Orthopedic Surgery who took me under his wing and allowed me to extend my day from the programs leaving time of 2 until 8:30 pm. I also met his lovely family and daughters who are interested in attending school in the States!

The language barrier is definitely a large part of the shadowing experience, and the younger surgeons are often vocal about the young American girl that is shadowing all day. However, with my history taking Spanish, I am able to understand half of what is said and when I speak in Spanish it is easier for them to understand me. When I told the young resident surgeons that I speak Spanish and could understand them well, they turned bright red and we all laughed in the OR.

The OR is unlike any other place on earth and is such an exciting environment. It is a very active example of problem solving and takes a large group effort in order to fix the patient while keeping them out of pain.

Again— I am not so sure what to do about the more gruesome photos, such as the photos of femoral heads and tendons out of the body, so instead I will post photos that are not gross and if you want to see the cool stuff let me know.

In this photo you can see the chief, Dr. Papalea, hard at work alongside surgeons Dr. Campi, Dr. Alessando, and the scrub tech.

Campus Bio-Medico University Hospital Emergency Room


This was my second day on orthopedics and included many of the same surgeries that I was able to watch the day prior.

Because I was asked to stay and watch more surgeries the day before, I made friends with the Orthopedic Surgeons who were working in the Emergency Department for the day. Therefore, I got to leave my group and go to watch emergency cases. There were many many cases that were semi- emergent but only a few that required our immediate attention. This was very nice because I was instead able to learn about the different types of surgeries I saw the day before and ask the questions I did not have the chance to in the OR chaos. It was another amazing day and the last day of my first week due to our schedule of Friday’s off!

Now off to plan a wonderful weekend…

This is a Fitmore Hip Stem System and provides the patient an ability to move with increased normalcy following an injury to their hip. In this case the ball (femoral head) and the stem portion were fixed together, because the patient was a bit older with a more sedentary lifestyle.

Super terrible femor break.

Knee replacement

July 30, 2021 Friday

What an amazing day! This was an incredibly spontaneous and fun day, because I woke up and planned my weekend in 20 minutes. It was crazy! As you all know, I am a notorious preplanner and highly prefer to make plans well in advance. This is sadly not very possible, or normal, here in Italy due to the hectic schedule at the hospital and fluctuating desires of my peers! After a week of what if’s, I decided on Friday morning to head out of town Solo and go to Tuscany for a beautiful weekend of relaxation! Boy— I am so glad that I decided to do this!

I quickly searched for something fabulous and twenty minutes later I was packed and headed to the train station to get onto my train to Tuscany.

After a quick 1 hour and a half train to Capalbio, I was very close on my way to the hotel in Saturnia. Little did I know, Capalbio is TINY and does not have any English speakers or taxi services. However, my lack of Italian was compensated for using a bit of Spanish and accessing WiFi. Hah.

From here I was able to take a car with the nicest driver named Giacomo and ride one hour to the hotel. It was a beautiful drive overlooking the Tuscan trees and vineyards. It was also close to the shore for the majority of the beginning and the weather was just gorgeous.

After arriving I was greeted by a very kind staff member who explained the “healing benefits” of the water in terme di Saturnia. The waters are said to improve skin texture, respiratory problems, muscle relaxation and more. I thought it was a bunch of voodoo science until I actually got in and it felt like a topical muscle relaxer. It was incredible. The locals recommend you take 15 - 20 minutes at a time in the spa and then get out. I didn’t understand this until I felt the muscle relaxer effect of the water. I could understand how someone might want to fall asleep in the water. Hah!

Following the time in thermal water, I had a cocktail by the pool and enjoyed the gorgeous weather. After this it was time to wash the algae out of my hair and get ready for dinner at the restaurant called 1919. This was the PERFECT meal to start the weekend and was such a treat following a long week! The Chef, Chef Riamo, was increidbly kind to me and made sure to note my allergy to gluten and prepare foods that would be safe!

At dinner the meal began with welcome champagne from the area and an appetizer of salmon and mango. Following this I ordered a vegatable starter and an entree of gluten free pasta with pesto and baked ricotta. For dessert the chef recommended the homemade gelato in the flavors of Catalan Creme and Chocolate.

After this I went straight up to bed and slept amazingly in the beautiful room. It was so incredible to be here and provided the relaxation I was looking for after multiple 14 hour days in the hospital the week prior. I am in LOVE with Italy and never want to leave! I love the mix of working hard during the week and as the Italians say going to “seaside” for the weekend.

Looking forward to tomorrow!

The bar at the hotel.

The thermal waters

A cocktail by the pool

Drinking welcome champagne at dinner

The Salmon and mango appetizer

Vegatable Starter

Local wine.

Gluten Free pasta.


A photo relaxing in the thermal water.

Day 2 at Termi de Saturnia

This was a wonderful day full of relaxation and incredible opportunities.

I began with Breakfast by the thermal waters and gluten free Croissants. I didn’t even know that these existed and it was such a treat to have a real breakfast in comparison to the rice cake I have been eating all week. Haha. Everyone here has espressos in the morning and says, “Do you take espresso” as a test on how American you are. If you say you want a latte then you are less Italian and it is a clear indication that you are one of the overly American tourists. I learned this during the week and now I always first order an espresso and then a cappuccino in order to be more Italian.

Following breakfast I went to the spa and had a classic European Massage with thermal mud. This is a very famous part of the area and is supposed to help with the skins texture and get rid of acne due to the sulfur in the mud. The massage was wonderful and very European. They massage your stomach and your butt which is an obvious no-no in the US.

Following the massage I went straight back to the thermal waters and explored all the waterfalls and pools. The day prior I had posted a photo of myself in the pool on my social media and the hotel saw it and asked to take more photos of me and post the first one! It was so fun and I felt very special! After they posted their photo all of the staff new my name and would always ensure everything was perfect, I think because they thought I was going to post about them, but I am not sure. It was awesome.

For dinner I went to the other restaurant on property and was introduced to chef massimo. The hotel had already said that I was gluten free and he had prepared a special pasta for me! It was so nice and delicious. For dinner I had a caprese salad, the gluten free pasta, and a giant slab of meat. The exact name and kind of the meat was lost in translation, but it was freaking delicious.

Of course, I followed it all up with some gelato. When in Italy!

The thermal mask

My photo on their Instagram. I am a One hit wonder.

Travel day back to Rome

Today is sadly my time to leave beautiful Saturnia and head back to Rome to get ready for work early tomorrow morning!

I had to leave the hotel fairly early in order to get to the train back to Termini. Once in Rome I headed to get my Covid 19 Test which is required weekly of hospital employees. This is due to our close proximity with vulnerable patients and also to ensure that we do not contaminate the important staff members who treat patients daily!