Sarah Teeman is an incoming junior at Stillwater High School and the recipient of the 2019 Breedlove Externship through the Stillwater Medical Foundation.
Teeman is enrolled in the Biomedical Sciences program at Meridian Technology Center and received the Barbara James Award for having completed over 100 hours of volunteer service in the healthcare field.
During her summer internship, Teeman had the opportunity to shadow her own physician, Dr. Krystal Voight. Dr. Voight was one of the Foundation’s high school interns, being awarded the Rippy Fellowship in 1998. Her practice is internal medicine/pediatrics, so her patients come to her at a wide variety of ages and diagnoses.
Teeman discovered a lump on the base of her neck at the age of 12. Following a visit to Dr. Voight, and a follow-up ultrasound, a cyst as discovered on Teeman’s thyroid. Finally, after consulting an endocrinologist, the benign cyst was removed.
“Thanks to Dr. Voight’s concern and quick referral, I was able to get treatment before the cyst grew into a worse problem,” Teeman said.
During their day together as part of Teeman’s internship, she and Dr. Voight discussed how the internship has impacted them. Teeman learned that Dr. Voight came into the program thinking she wanted to be a physical therapist, but her experiences during the program led her to consider medical school.
Teeman learned from watching her own doctor that pediatric patients require a special relationship with not only the young patient, but their family as well.
“Reassuring the family of a sick child and helping them understand a diagnosis requires a special personality,” Teeman said. “I remember, as a young child, being scared when going to the doctor. Today I watched Dr. Voight interact with a nine-month-old baby as if it were her own child, while at the same time talking to the mother to cover the check-up topics.”
Teeman watched as Dr. Voight visited for about 30 minutes when an elderly patient and her family presented concerns about the patient’s memory.
“Not everyone gets to watch their doctor interact with other patients. Today I saw Dr. Voight and her nurses not only keep up with patient histories, but they recognized both patients and their family by sight,” Teeman said. “This program has been so amazing, and there are still a few weeks to go! I’m enjoying watching and learning how the different specialties interact with their patients.”