IU School of Medicine radiation oncology resident to intern with ABC News' Dr. Richard Besser
By Mary Hardin
But she's not one to shirk a challenge, so Dr. Gullett jumped at the chance to intern with the ABC News national health desk after ABC extended a unique offer to medical residents nationwide. She will complete a medical journalism elective in October developing health stories for Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News’ chief health and medical editor, and other broadcasts including “World News With Diane Sawyer,” “Good Morning America” and “Yahoo.”
“Cancer patients often arrive in our clinic, overwhelmed by their diagnosis, having searched the Internet for information on the latest cancer treatment,” said Dr. Gullett, who accepted the offer as a way to improve herself as a physician. “My elective at ABC News will help me understand how medical data gets communicated to the public by the national media. I want to ensure that my patients receive the most up-to-date and accurate information about their treatment, not just the first hit on Google or what they heard on TV the night before.”
While at ABC, Dr. Gullett will assist the news staff in reviewing dozens of scientific studies, including the most recent scientific breakthroughs. She will work with national and international experts to analyze this data, and assess the scientific and clinical relevance. She will also have access to the set and the opportunity to observe news casts and Dr. Besser from behind the camera.
Medicine is a second career for Dr. Gullett. She has a B.A. in English and French but started working in information technology right out of college, coinciding with the tech boom of the 1990s. A majority of her career was spent in management consulting with Ernst &Young, working with both domestic and foreign clients to implement technology to improve efficiency and cut costs. She specialized in system integration and data management.
Her desire to learn medicine was an extension of her work with large complex systems, only this time the system is the human body, arguably the most challenging of all. At the age of 30, she enrolled in Johns Hopkins University's post-baccalaureate pre-medical program and was then admitted to Emory University School of Medicine. The rest, as they say, is history. She hopes to complete her radiation oncology residency at IU next year.
The opportunity to work at ABC was a “right place, right time” situation. The Office of Public and Media Relations at IU School of Medicine has had a relationship for more than a dozen years with the ABC News national health desk and during that time has connected many faculty specialists with a national network database of physicians. ABC relies on experts from that database to help steer health coverage in a practical direction that would benefit viewers. Earlier this year, ABC used its expert database with connections to medical schools to offer a news internship to residents, including Dr. Gullett.
And ABC’s database of physician experts will be one of the tools at her disposal, so IU School of Medicine physicians shouldn’t be surprised if they receive an email from her asking their opinion on the latest medical research.
To follow on Dr. Gullett’s experiences at ABC, visit her on Twitter at @NPGullettMD.