Dec 07, 2022 / Sports Medicine
Get to Know our Staff: Cassidy Schultz, Sports Medicine
Each year, our team seeks out college students interested in pursuing a career in medicine. Clinical Orthopedic Research Assistants (CORA) are hired at Scottish Rite for Children to assist our experts in performing clinical research tasks and collaborating on research projects. CORA staff are also mentored by our experts and given valuable advice and guidance for their future. Each CORA staff member specializes in a specific area of study and works with the experts in that department, receiving a well-rounded experience in their field of interest.
What inspired you to apply for the clinical orthopedic research assistant (CORA) position?
I began to visit the Dallas-Fort Worth area around five years ago after my aunt and uncle relocated. It was easy to fall in love with Texas. Since visiting, I had always wanted to move here at some point in my life. With that in mind, medical school has always been the plan, but one experience I was missing was research. When I stumbled upon the CORA position on LinkedIn, I knew I had to apply.
Have you always been interested in medicine and/or research?
Medicine has always been the career path I have desired to pursue. As a little girl, I can remember walking through St. Francis Children’s Hospital with my mother as she showed me around the place where she worked. Since that day, I knew I wanted to help make a difference in someone’s life, and medicine seemed to be the best fit for me.
What is it like working at Scottish Rite for Children?
Working at Scottish Rite for Children is a very fruitful experience. The atmosphere created by the staff, the patients and the patients’ families is nothing but encouraging, supportive and impactful. Every day I am presented with new opportunities to challenge my thinking and grow as a person.
Can you share a few sentences about someone at Scottish Rite who has been a mentor to you and how they have impacted your experience? What project are you working on with that mentor?
Dr. Shane Miller has been an amazing mentor to me. When in clinic, he is always willing to take an extra minute to answer my questions and better my understanding. In addition to working with Dr. Miller on the nonoperative sports medicine projects, he also has helped to develop my own project on pediatric rhabdomyolysis.
How do you think this experience will impact your career path?
This experience will undoubtedly have a significant impact on my career path. The orthopedic experience has increased my medical knowledge of pediatric orthopedic pathology. The vast amount of shadowing experience will help me understand better the pathophysiology that I will learn in medical school. I would say this experience is invaluable and will continue to have a profound impact on my ability to understand and appreciate pediatric orthopedic problems in my practice. It has also created so many connections with fellow colleagues and mentors that will be a network for me through my journey.
What progress have you made toward your career goal since beginning the program?
Since beginning this program in June, I have developed a better understanding of how important research is to the advancements in medicine. I have also increased my knowledge by shadowing in the various specialty clinical experiences and in the operating room.
What is your favorite project that you are currently working on or have worked on at Scottish Rite?
My favorite project that I am currently working on is Dr. Jacob C. Jones’ Lateral Ankle Ultrasound study. I was able to take over the project just as enrollment began, so I am excited to be able to see the study through. With this study, I am also developing a better understanding of musculoskeletal ultrasound.
What advice do you have for future CORA participants?
My advice would be to exhaust every opportunity to learn and expand your current knowledge while at Scottish Rite. Shadow when able, take the time to create relationships amongst the staff and challenge yourself by developing your own research project. The providers genuinely want to help make the most out of the CORA experience.
What is one thing most people do not know about you?
One thing that most people do not know about me is that I enjoy dipping a peanut butter sandwich in my chili ... it’s an Illinois tradition!
Anything else you would like to add?
I cannot thank the physicians and staff at Scottish Rite enough. I am so greatly appreciative of everyone’s willingness to give their knowledge and invest in my future. This place is amazing, and I encourage every one of you to seek opportunities like this because it is going to have such an enormous impact on your future.
If you are interested in a career in medicine and plan to take a year or two after college before applying to medical school, learn more about becoming a clinical orthopedic research assistant (CORA) on our careers page. Applications for June 2023 positions are being accepted through spring of 2023.
If you are in medical school and are interested in a research opportunity, learn more about becoming a medical student research fellow (MSRF) on our careers page.