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FARIL Diary

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Jack Woodrow

November 30, 2023

This past summer, I was given the opportunity to travel to Weston, MA to complete my research rotation at FARIL. What impressed me the most was how dedicated all of the researchers at FARIL were to both advancing the current understanding of medicine and sharing their knowledge about the clinical practice of medicine. From learning how to perform a bunion correction surgery to coding in a new programing language, all it took was a question and the staff at FARIL were ready to teach. Over the summer, my research projects involved analyzing x-rays of ankle syndesmosis injuries, uncovering socioeconomic disparities in ankle osteochondral lesions, and evaluating the proficiency of artificial intelligence in scientific writing. I’m deeply thankful for FARIL’s support and allowing me to continue my work virtually during the academic year, and I eagerly anticipate the many new projects that lie ahead.

Mani Eftekhari

November 29, 2023

At FARIL, I greatly enjoy collaborating with and learning from the surgeons, whether in cadaveric labs, clinics, or while conducting research on foot or ankle surgery. I work on surgical review papers regarding minimally invasive procedures and long-term projects such as FIXUS AI for fifth metatarsal fractures.

Tyler Shin

November 21, 2023

During my academic career, I had a chance to create a sensor-based device that detects elbow rigidity, one of the early symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, using MATLAB code and a triaxial accelerometer as part of the project. To broaden my knowledge in the medical field, I enrolled in a Clinical Observation Design Experience class at Georgia Tech last semester, attending approximately eight hours of shifts per week in area emergency departments (ED), including those at Emory Healthcare sites and Grady Memorial Hospital, to identify and solve problems in ED. My work experience includes a role as a research intern at a biomedical engineering start-up, where I developed an algorithm using MATLAB for gait analysis and golf swings and researched Gait Analysis/Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) by analyzing preceding research. This experience deepened my interest in biomedical research on gait analysis, human movement, and orthopaedic surgery. Additionally, as I have had some research and project experiences related to human movement and gait, I wanted to conduct numerous medical research projects to improve human welfare. I felt FARIL’s mission and specialty closely aligned with my experiences and aspirations. Therefore, I aimed to expand my knowledge and perspective in the medical field in a hospital setting, desiring to use my medical knowledge to advance foot and ankle care for related patients, believing that FARIL was the ideal place to start this journey towards my ultimate goal.

This Summer, I contributed to various types of studies, including clinical trials, systematic reviews, retrospective studies, and case reports in orthopaedic surgery and rehabilitation medicine. Although my primary role involved data analysis and cleaning using MATLAB, I engaged in diverse roles across different studies to familiarize myself with this research field and understand how research is conducted. Other roles included managing the risk of bias assessments for systematic review papers and creating tables and figures after data analysis and collection from each paper. These diverse roles and tasks enabled me to understand how research is conducted in the clinical field and fueled my interest in being involved in medical research in the future. Now, I am considering applying for a Master’s degree in biomedical informatics, so I can conduct more advanced data analysis and potentially use AI or Machine Learning for multidisciplinary research to improve patient outcomes after treatment. Lastly, every member of FARIL was incredibly kind, helpful, and warm. Their countless support at FARIL on-site allowed me to immerse myself in research, sparking an eagerness to learn. I can’t wait to return to FARIL on-site during Winter to continue learning and researching with this amazing team.

Jack Wolf

November 20, 2023

I am so grateful for having the opportunity to work with the FARIL family. I had a great experience during the summer between my first and second years of medical school and have been fortunate to be included in ongoing projects. Besides offering high-quality, innovative research, FARIL welcomes great minds from all over the planet! This gives FARIL a diverse collection of experiences and makes for an abundance of unique research pursuits. It was such a pleasure getting to know our lab mates and their stories. I was lucky enough to get to work with one of my best friends and create a project for which we can be really proud.  

Riley Baker

November 20, 2023

I feel incredibly fortunate to have spent time working with the wonderful individuals at FARIL. This lab is more than just a research powerhouse, it is a collaborative team where everyone is made to feel like family. I am beyond thankful for the work we did, the life long connections I have formed, and the personal growth I experienced. The future is bright with this group, and I look forward to changing the world of orthopaedics with them. 

Mustafa Hashmi

November 7, 2023

I wanted to further pursue my interests in both the field of orthopaedic surgery and research in general. Instead of writing articles remotely, I wanted an in-person experience to truly feel like I was an important part of the lab I was working with. FARIL provided the perfect opportunity for me, as it allowed me to gain both clinical and research experience simultaneously.

This summer, I was engaged in a diverse array of projects, including a book chapter, case series, systematic review, segmentation study, and retrospective scopic review. These novel research avenues have provided an amazing opportunity for me to develop a comprehensive understanding of the various subjects of orthopedic surgery. Moreover, my involvement with cadaver labs, facilitated by FARIL, offers a distinct and captivating experience. I have also gained lots of clinical experience by shadowing multiple orthopaedic physicians once a week. My summer experience could not have been better and has further cemented my desire and passion to pursue this field as a career.

Daniel Acevedo

November 7, 2023

FARIL is a wonderful place/experience where the only limitation to your productivity is how much work you chose to take on. I have loved my time there and only wish I had joined sooner. It is a unique place in that they have some how inexplicably managed to only affiliate with people who are brilliant, kind, and willing to teach.

Raia Schluter

August 23, 2023

This summer, I wanted to learn more about orthopedics because of my interest in sports medicine and rehabilitation and conduct research in a healthcare setting. I could not be more grateful to have been able to connect all my passions and join the FARIL team.

At FARIL, I studied Osteochondral Lesions of the Talus regarding treatment, recovery, and social determinants of health. I also spent time analyzing the effect of Deep Learning diagnostics on weight-bearing CTs for detecting Lisfranc injuries in earlier stages. FARIL allowed me to grow as an enthusiastic student with hands-on learning, such as cadaver studies, advanced technologies, such as 3D printers and medical imaging, and an infinite amount of resources. Also at FARIL, we shadowed amazing Mass General foot and ankle surgeons and observed the applications of our research as well as their exceptional care for their patients. My experience has ignited a deeper interest in advancing research and innovation within the foot and ankle orthopedic field, driven by a desire to enhance the care of future patients.

The best part of FARIL was its inclusive environment and its unmatched mentorship. Every day, there was a sense of excitement and a generation of innovative research ideas, where everyone, including undergraduates, was encouraged to collaborate. The FARIL team was comprised of brilliant researchers, but more importantly, they were extraordinary human beings with a team-first mentality. I cannot be more grateful for my summer experience at FARIL, which allowed me to excel as a researcher. Also, FARIL fueled my passion to explore research and pursue my dream of becoming a medical physician. I will continue to work with FARIL, studying the application of electrical bone stimulators on bone union complications.

Adarsh Aratikatla

August 23, 2023

I wanted to further pursue my interests in both the field of orthopaedic surgery and research in general. Instead of writing articles remotely, I wanted an in-person experience to truly feel like I was an important part of the lab I was working with. FARIL provided the perfect opportunity for me, as it allowed me to gain both clinical and research experience simultaneously.

This summer, I was engaged in a diverse array of projects, including a book chapter, case series, systematic review, segmentation study, and retrospective scopic review. These novel research avenues have provided an amazing opportunity for me to develop a comprehensive understanding of the various subjects of orthopedic surgery. Moreover, my involvement with cadaver labs, facilitated by FARIL, offers a distinct and captivating experience. I have also gained lots of clinical experience by shadowing multiple orthopaedic physicians once a week. My summer experience could not have been better and has further cemented my desire and passion to pursue this field as a career.

George Casey

August 23, 2023

I have a keen interest in embarking on a path within Orthopedic surgery and recognize the profound significance research has in the realm of medicine. Research plays a vital role in enabling healthcare professionals to determine the most effective approaches for treating patients in specific scenarios. For example, in one of the research projects I am working on, we are trying to develop an AI system that is capable of diagnosing lateral process fractures of the talus using plain X-ray images. This project will be extremely beneficial as lateral process fractures are very uncommon and are easily misdiagnosed as ankle sprains. A system that can easily detect these fractures will help prevent long-term patient complications. 

This coming summer I will be participating in clinical research at Mass General Hospital’s Research Institute working under Dr. Soheil Ashkani-Esfahani and his team of researchers. I will be working in the Foot & Ankle Research and Innovation Laboratory (FARIL). The research conducted in this lab is focused on improving medicine, specifically in areas of artificial intelligence, bioengineering, diagnostic imaging, mesenchymal stem cells, and Orthopedic surgery. Dr. Ashkani’s lab is a perfect example of how research improves the treatments and procedures for actual patients. Most of my time will be spent focusing on a few clinical research projects, working to collect and analyze data and draft manuscripts. I will be tasked with doing background reading after weekly meetings to determine if new project ideas are feasible. I will also be offered exposure in the clinic and operating room, shadowing various MGH Orthopedic surgeons. I am interested in pursuing a career in Orthopedic surgery and understand how beneficial and impactful research is in the medical field. It allows healthcare providers to decide how best to treat their patients in certain situations and is responsible for new medicines, techniques, and tools that are applied in the medical field.