Joe Herba

Joe on far left & Alec on far right

Joe Herba is a junior BCMB major with a minor in Neuroscience and a concentration in Leadership. He is also the Facilities and Technologies Senator at Drake.

This summer I, along with fellow Drake student Alec Wieker, had an amazing opportunity to shadow the chief of neurosurgery at Boston University Medical Center. This included watching rounds at 6 a.m., seeing how clinic works, and scrubbing in on surgeries. We also conducted electrophysiological research on rat brains and looked at the effects of a ketogenic diet on an ischemic stroke brain. One of my favorite parts was being able to take a medical school grade neuroanatomy class with Dr. Jarret Rushmore, who is an absolutely amazing Medical School professor and all around person!

I also loved clinic where we shadowed both Dr. Keith Davies and Dr. James Holsapple. In clinic, people come in when they were having problems or are sent there from other doctors. From there, Alec and I got to watch these two surgeons not only figure out what the patient’s problems were, but also figure out the solution! What I thought was so intriguing was that there was no formula – seeing the way a doctor diagnoses and then helps the patient understand what they have and how to beat it is both heartbreaking and encouraging at the same time. It’s hard to put into words, but that’s why it was one of my favorite experiences!

Alec and I were able to have this wonderful opportunity thanks to Dr. James Holsapple, who is also a Drake alum! He contacted our research professor, Dr. Brian Sanders, and that’s how the opportunity got set up. Dr. Holsapple got us a public transit pass, Boston Red Sox hats and journals to log our time and things we learned. Not to mention, he also setup this entire experience from scratch! He of course helped us at the hospital, too, and set us up on all the surgeries and clinical based aspects.

It was really neat to reminisce about the Drake days with Dr. Holsapple! He talked about the different areas and restaurants he loved, and, of course, the most important topic among Drake students; hall pride. We got to talk about how GK and Stalnaker halls were great (but we may have been a bit biased – I was former Hall President of Stalnaker and he was an RA)! But regardless, we talked about everything Drake and then progressed further into things like family and home life. This whole opportunity really instilled into a deeper bond between us and Dr. Holsapple, as well as our studies, where Drake was definitely at the core of it all.

Stay tuned – there are plenty more Pawprints blogs to come!

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