Status and Respect

The biostatistical epidemiologists are mostly working from home right now with data. Throughout this internship my time working has been entirely virtual, as well as with my teammates and our boss. Mithat Gonen is the Chief of Epidemiology, which, as you can imagine, is a large responsibility at the moment. I am working with two other interns on similar types of projects. We speak directly to Mithat each week to get our assignments for the week. We speak to his assistant if we need help otherwise, specifically with anything logistical. There is a lot of freedom in terms of how we want to get the work done. I like this part of the learning experience a lot. Mithat does not tell us how to do or how to think. He gives us a project and wants us to figure out how to go about it. He does not get frustrated if we do not complete the work properly or inefficiently, but rather wants to see how we think. Mithat Gonen oversees the department, but there are many, many micro level decisions he is not involved with. People who are not in formal leadership roles most definitely have a say in the projects. I love working at MSK because they respect how every human thinks. Mithat treats us as if we are as smart as he is. He is closest to his assistant, Samantha, who does everything. I think the hospital would fall apart without her. The strengths in the leader follower dynamics is definitely the amount of respect each has for one another. The environment is very hardworking and intense, but I have not had any experiences or observations of leaders being condescending. The weaknesses in the leader follower dynamics has to be the means of communication during the pandemic. There is not much one can do but zoom, email, and use microsoft teams. I think it would have been a lot easier knowing the people I work with and then corresponding virtually as opposed to meeting and trying to work as a unit via internet. It definitely shows me how important it is for the people you work with to know one another well.