It was not the typical start of a workweek for a Lake County judge, two attorneys, a university business development manager and three insurance company employees.
Instead of being in a courtroom or in an office, they spent the morning at Vista Medical Center East in Waukegan dressed in hospital scrubs while observing surgical procedures such as a colonoscopy, gastric bypass, cesarean section and more.
The Sept. 9 visit was part of the annual Mini Internship Program that has been coordinated by the Lake County Medical Society since 1989. The program provides legislators, public officials, educators, business leaders, insurance company executives, health care reporters and the legal community with an opportunity to observe the practice of medicine in today's ever-changing health care environment.
The experience is designed to give participants a greater appreciation for the medical field. Vista Health System supports the program by allowing participants to closely observe physicians, nurses and other clinical care providers.
"Vista Health System is proud to join with the Lake County Medical Society to bring this unique program to our community," said Barbara Martin, president & CEO of Vista Health System.
Watching the way surgeons and surgical staffs work together was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, according to James Nakis, a professional liability analyst at ISMIE Mutual Insurance Company, a liability insurer for physicians.
"I was impressed by the level of expertise and efficiency displayed at this hospital. I have a better appreciation of what goes on in a surgery," he said.
Edmund Ramsay, business development manager of nursing and health care at DePaul University, also was left with a lasting impression.
"It was an eye-opening experience in many ways for me -- observing how technology has made patient surgeries safe and efficient," Ramsay said.
Dr. Raghu Thunga, an anesthesiologist on staff at Vista and Mini-Internship co-chairman, thanked Vista for its support of the program.
"It gives the legal and insurance professionals an opportunity to see firsthand what happens in surgery," Thunga said. "The mini interns leave the program with an enhanced awareness of the practice of medicine."