Anthony Vincent Interns at Valley Hospital


Senior Anthony Vincent was always interested in the medical field. After seeing the way his mother helped him battle early illnesses, he developed an interest for the pediatric field. Anthony didn’t necessarily see himself working in a hospital in the future, but when he came across the opportunity to learn from distinguished pediatricians at the Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, NJ, he couldn’t turn it down.

Little did Anthony know, on only his second week of internship, that an unforgettable experience would confirm his uneasiness about hospitals, and continue to make him think carefully about what he wanted to do in the medical field. On the morning of October 11, 2012, Anthony arrived at the hospital and went about his weekly routine. He checked in with his mentor, Dr. Katie Maraventano, and began doing rounds to various patients with one of the hospital’s pediatricians.

Suddenly, Anthony heard Code Blue: an adult emergency. The doctor ran out of the room and Anthony followed behind him. They rushed into a room where other doctors had already gathered. A man was on a stretcher, struggling to breathe.

“He had just come into this room from the emergency room,” Anthony recalled. “The doctors frantically tried resuscitating him, but I could tell it wasn’t working.”

Time seemed to stop and for a minute the situation even felt unreal.

“It wasn’t until that moment that I realized what I see in the movies is accurate,” Anthony remembered. “One of the doctors put his hands to the patient’s chest and began performing chest compressions.”

When the doctors stood back from the patient, Anthony and everyone else in the room knew the man had not made it.

“The doctor I was with began walking out of the room, so I followed behind. I tried not to make eye contact with them, but I knew the family members were all there crying,” Anthony said. “It hurt me to see the man unable to breathe; even though I had no connection to him, I cried a little too.”

Anthony thinks of this experience with sadness. He wasn’t expecting to witness a death, especially since he was interning with pediatricians. He was nervous about working in a hospital, and this devastating experience confirmed that he would not work in a hospital in the future.

“I don’t like hospitals, so what? Not many teenagers do,” Anthony said. “What’s important is that these doctors are all great people who do great things. I’m just focused on learning as much as I can from them while I’m here.”