Opportunity Knocks Adversity leads to opportunity for curtin

“You’ve torn your ACL.”

Those words are ones that athletes never want to hear. Not only is the season, but surgery, months of rehab and a long road to recovery is ahead.

In 2016, those words led Riley Curtin of the University of Delaware women’s soccer team to discover her passion.

Two years later, Curtin finds herself spending her summer as a radiology intern at Nemours Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del.

“Tearing my ACL led me down a path to this incredible opportunity. My athletic experiences and my education studies at Delaware have really given me some really cool internship opportunities over the past few years,” Curtin said.

After tearing her ACL in 2016, Curtin was inspired to join a research project team on UD’s STAR Campus that used MRI technologies to evaluate patients longitudinally post-ACL reconstruction surgery.

“Having the chance to learn on the STAR campus and be a part of the research team was not only an awesome experience, but it allowed me to be a top candidate for other opportunities, such as my work this summer at A.I.,” Curtin said.

As a radiology intern this summer, Curtin is assisting with research projects that are created by the doctors and brought to her, which she then does a bulk of the work to help expedite the data collection and analysis process.

Alongside three radiologists, Dr. Pat Harty, Dr. Sharon Gould and Dr. H. Theodore Harke, Curtin is studying the effects and accuracy of medical imaging techniques, such as CT scans and MRIs in forensic pathology.

“I’m not only learning the medical side of research, but also the administrative and publishing efforts, with an end goal of completing an article that will be published in a reputable journal of medicine,” Curtin said.

The Hershey, Pa. native has found herself relying on several of the lessons she’s learned as a student-athlete here at Delaware.

“Being part of a team environment on a daily basis with the soccer program has really helped me here at the hospital because each patient is exposed to a team of physicians that are all working together to create the best treatment plan possible and to communicate and work together is something that we do every day with our soccer team,” Curtin said.

Curtin and her teammates will report back to camp in early August to prep for the 2018 season, but for now, she’s soaking up a first-class work experience.

“Being at Delaware has led me to see some incredible places and experience so many unique opportunities,” Curtin said. “It’s only been a few weeks, but I’m excited to see where this internship takes me.”

Summer Series will be a weekly feature on BlueHens.com throughout the summer that will focus on the experiences that Delaware student-athletes are having during the summer months.

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