As part of her preparation for a career as a doctor, LVC Neuroscience major Laicie Terry ’26 spent three weeks shadowing doctors and observing medical procedures in one of Europe’s largest and most renowned hospitals through the Atlantis Program. Atlantis, an international organization, offers college students pursuing medicine an immersive pre-professional opportunity in the United States or abroad.

“I knew I wanted to do this program even before my senior year of high school since I could learn more about my future health profession, see surgeries up close and personal, practice another language in a foreign country, and work on my cultural competence,” said Terry, one of the College’s prestigious Allwein Scholars. Named after Dr. John “Jack” Bowman Allwein ’56, this full-tuition scholarship includes three $2,500 stipends students may use for expenses related to study abroad, internships, and/or collaborative research.

Through Terry’s more than 60 hours in an Italian hospital, she rotated between neurosurgery, urology, and neonatology. She observed four neurosurgeries and several urology procedures using the DaVinci, a robotic, minimally invasive surgical system.

“I came in worried about being in the way, accidentally touching anything, and making it unsterile, and I was scared to ask the surgeons questions while they were operating because I didn’t want to distract them. To my surprise, the surgeons, especially neurosurgeons, told me to come closer, allowed me to get better views or angles, talked through the procedure, explained scans, and welcomed many questions,” she said.

During Terry’s week with neonatology, she witnessed an emergency C-section and newborn exams and shadowed doctors in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

“My encounter with the emergency C-section made me visualize my future in emergency/trauma medicine from the adrenaline rush and organized chaos, but I am still open to other specialties as I go throughout my training,” said Terry.

Terry’s Atlantis experience marked her first time abroad and included three flights through three different airports before arriving in Italy. She stayed in Genoa, but visited Boccadasse, Portofino, Nervi, Camogli, Santa Margherita Ligure, and Cinque Terre.

Stipends from Terry’s Allwein Scholarship helped to make her trip a reality and add to her growing list of immersive college experiences.

“I believe your time at LVC is what you make it—be sure to jump on all the opportunities available,” said Terry, a member of Dutchmen First, LVC’s program for first-generation college students.

“Volunteering, joining the Honors Program, and conducting research with Dr. [Valbona] Hoxha have helped me grow as a student and prepare for medical school. I’m also becoming a member of the local volunteer fire department to administer Basic Life Support (BLS) and CPR and train to become an EMT.”