Incredible people have spent time at BHC as interns, pre-med students, and clinical research coordinators as a way point in their educational journeys. As a part of our mission, we hire and train upcoming researchers and medical professionals to help be a product of change in the scientific and medical fields surrounding these illnesses. Dr. Nicole Baldwin reflects on her time at BHC.
Hello! My name is Nicole Baldwin, and I spent two summers at BHC in 2013 and 2014. To be honest, this time was a foundational experience not only for applying to medical school but also for shaping my career interests and what kind of doctor I want to be.
I had the flexibility to spend time in a way that was most educational and meaningful to me, with a wide variety of experiences, from the valuable time spent with patients, to creating my own research projects that I then presented at the International IACFS/ME Conference, to providing educational sessions for patients and their family members.
BHC taught me to listen deeply to patients, care for the whole person, approach complex conditions with wisdom and persistence, educate and empower patients, and be flexible and creative in finding solutions. These lessons have still been foundational for me as a neurology resident. I had chosen neurology as a field that also involves often chronic and/or complex diseases that require a similar thorough diagnostic approach and dedication to the patient-doctor relationship for the long-haul, to be there in struggles and celebrate successes, no matter how big or small. I am currently interested in doing a fellowship in neuroimmunology, in order to better understand the interplay between the nervous and immune systems and to build my toolbox in evidence-based approaches to neuroimmune conditions. This interest is in a large part derived from my experience at BHC, which fosters a sincere commitment to a comprehensive, scientific approach to complex conditions such as ME/CFS for the sake of quality patient care.
As I saw many patients at BHC with objective evidence of neuroimmune dysfunction and have learned about the growing body of evidence of chronic neuroinflammation in these conditions, I gained a desire to see the neuroimmune components of these devastating conditions elucidated, recognized, and ultimately treated. I have since seen how the field of neuroimmunology is growing rapidly in the ability to detect and treat neuroimmune dysfunction even in diseases not previously thought to be neuroimmune, and I hope to one day to see ME/CFS and similar conditions included in these breakthroughs.
I am incredibly grateful for the ability to spend time at BHC, and would encourage anyone else to come who is interested in caring and advocating for those with ME/CFS (and similar conditions), or in learning how to be a compassionate clinician/researcher who is committed to making a difference for people who need those willing to care for the whole person when there are no easy answers.
Our work with Dr. Baldwin and others like her are made possible by donations. Help us continue this vital work and donate to BHC.