From patient to resident: Lindsay Requa’s Penn State Hershey experience shapes career

August 12, 2015 at 9:24 am Leave a comment

Lindsay Requa knows first-hand what the patients she has treated as a resident at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital are going through. Fourteen years ago, she was where they are today, when she learned she needed surgery to repair a leaky valve in her heart.

Lindsay Requa when she was a patient of Dr. Myers

Lindsay Requa when she was a patient of Dr. Myers

As a 15-year-old high school softball, basketball and field hockey player, she worried about whether she could still participate in the sports she loved, and whether the surgery scar would look bad when she wore her prom dress.

It wasn’t the answers from Dr. John Myers, her pediatric heart surgeon, that she remembers most, but the way he responded to her questions and concerns.

“He talked with me at my level and was really good about making me feel heard,” she said. “He made me feel good, so I understood what was happening.”

In July, a week before Requa completed her three-year pediatric residency at Children’s Hospital, she visited Myers and showed him a photo of the two of them from that time.

Lindsay Requa and Dr. Myers

Lindsay Requa and Dr. Myers

She told him how her experiences at Penn State Hershey when she was younger — and the way he treated her before, during and after her surgery — played a part in her decision to become a pediatrician herself, and to come to Penn State Hershey for her residency.

“I think it’s very odd she never told me until now,” Myers said with a smile.

Requa had a good reason for that, respecting Myers’ time while they interacted professionally. One of the highlights of her residency was the opportunity to stand in on a surgery that Myers was doing on an adult to repair the same valve she had repaired.

“It was neat to be in there as a resident and watch him work.”

Requa’s father was a general practitioner, so she grew up with a familiarity of the medical field, and time spent coaching sports and babysitting showed her she was good with children. She recovered quickly from her heart valve surgery and went on to play Division III field hockey in college, playing in a national championship as an All-American.

“After my personal experience, I felt like I had been really lucky and I wanted to pass it on so I could help other kids,” she said.

Requa said her time as both a patient and resident at Penn State Hershey will guide how she interacts with her young patients in her medical career.

“When you work with kids, I think it’s important to remember that they are very impressionable and they are always listening,” she said. “You never know when you might be making a difference or changing the course of someone’s life.”

Myers said he doesn’t often get an opportunity to see former patients outside of hospital events, so he was glad Requa finally told him about the way her experience influenced her career:.

“It’s very rewarding,” he said.

  • Jennifer Vogelsong

ABOUT LINDSAY

Originally from: Oley Valley, PA
Age: 29
Family: Husband, Eric; daughter, Alyssa, 5 months
Education: Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Bachelor’s in biology from Ursinus College
Just finished: Three-year pediatric residency at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital
Soon starting: A job as a pediatric hospitalist at York Hospital
Hobbies/interests: Caring for and playing with her daught

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