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Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:32 am by Admin

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Advice & Experience

Post  Admin on Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:32 am

"Hey Everyone,

At tonight's meeting, Adaeze and Tome touched upon possible summer internships/opportunities. It's very important that you spend winter break starting to think about, if not applying to, summer programs. Deadlines are approaching quickly and there's not a lot of time to think about them during the semester. Like Tome said, the Pre-Health Committee is going to be sending out a list of summer internships in a few weeks, but I want to start this thread for people to post about what they have done in the past summers. This is for anyone to post personal experiences whether you're a sophomore and participated in something interesting during your one summer of college, or you're a senior and have done something exciting each's important to share these opportunities with everyone else. This way, when finals are over (IN LESS THAN THREE WEEKS!) and you start panicking about what you're going to do over the summer, you can come and read this, and hopefully have quite a few options!!

Have a great end to your semester!!

1) The summer between freshman and sophomore year, I was an intern in the Health Career Opportunity Program at the Rusk Institute for Rehabilitation Medicine at NYU Medical Center. You can read the description and apply at the link: You spend 4 weeks shadowing a professional from one specific department (when you apply, you rank which departments you're interested in.) They range from plastic surgery and radiation oncology to nursing and horticultural therapy (a field I didn't even know existed before that summer). You spend about 5-7 hours shadowing each day, and then all of the interns from the different departments come together for a lecture in some lecture hall at NYU Medical School (which I thought was pretty cool). Each day, a professional from a different field spoke to us about what they do, so someone interning in the anesthesiology department got to hear about the day in the life of a speech pathologist (and as a health-professional, it's important to know the focuses of other fields.) I personally shadowed physical therapists (specifically, vestibular physical therapists....which, again, I didn't know anything about until that summer). If you have any questions, feel free to ask me!

2)Although what I did between sophomore and junior year wasn't necessarily related to the medical field, it's definitely something you should consider if you don't know what else to do (or if you're genuinely interested!) I was an Orientation Advisor (see job description here: and it was surprisingly one of the best summer of my lives, if not the best. I was in Binghamton all summer (the weather is BEAUTIFUL!) and met a fresh group of 20 students. We all lived together in Susquehanna (housing was paid for). During the first half of the summer, we had 3 weeks of training for a few hours each day, but we were allowed to take summer classes, so I was able to get a class for my major out of the way. You can also spend some of that time doing research, or whatever else you may have to do up here during the summer. Once Orientations began, we weren't allowed to do anything else but be an OA, but being an OA gives you skills that can be transferred into any aspect of life i.e. public speaking, advising, etc. Plus, because I was one of two pre-health OAs, I often got placed in the pre-health advising meetings... that's a great way for Dr. Langhorne to get to know you (I mean, hey, the day he said to me "Helaina, would you mind getting me some water?" I knew I had made it far....). Ha, but seriously, you also get experience being an RA and a DA, and it's a great way to represent the University. (I have a lot more to say about the summer and would love it if some of you applied, so feel free to ask me any questions!)

Ok, I really hope other people post things that they've done over the summer!!"

"I know Ilya, Melissa, Jason, and Tome were part of the Harpur Physician Mentorship Program last summer. They accepted about 16 students, and so yes 1/3 of the program was repped by PhiDE. The program connects you with a Bing alumni who's now in practice for several years, and you spend a minimum of 8 weeks with your physician While it's mainly for the NYC area, and your experience may vary due to whoever/wherever they assign you. I was with an internal medicine specialist at Bellevue hospital, and I had a great deal of exposure and fun throughout the 11 so weeks I went (practically my entire summer). Look for the announcements on B-Line next semester when they open applications up.

Also, while Helaine was an OA over the summer, I am a DA (Discovery Advisor) this year! While it may seem non-medically related, you do A LOT of client-based interaction, which is probably what you want to do as a physician. Or a nurse (it's not too late to switch sophomores XD). I'm not buttering this experience up in any way - I really enjoyed meeting with a huge variety of freshmen, and it's nice hearing lots of stories and understanding several different perspectives, even if it's academic oriented. If you think you're a kickass student and you want to be a role model during college, applications start early next semester! Also, 3 rec letters, so be prepared."

"I think this is a great idea. And I really hope people look to this thread for advice. Similar to Joe and Helaine, I am a pre-health committee advisor, and hold office hours. If you guys ever need to come in, and Langhorne's booked, then let me know and I can try to help you out.

To add, my experiences:

The summer between my freshmen and sophomore year I volunteered at Columbia Presbyterian. I figured since I was born there, I should give back, right? Just kidding. Most people think of volunteering as a shitty experience where you basically do the bitch work for physicians, nurses, and aides. While you do do the small things like stock on latex gloves, get ice, change the bed sheets and so on, you get plenty of exposure as well. As corny as it sounds, you as a volunteer do what doctors preach about all the time: help/empathize with patients on a personal level. I've held conversations with patients who have had some of the most eye-opening experiences, and you can bet those are conversation starters with your interviewers. Plus, physicians eventually learn your face, strike up conversations with you, and dig deeper to find out why you're there. One doctor really admired my traveling two hours a day, everyday, and taught me how to manually take blood pressure and read charts. That's a big deal considering I'm not an EMT, and am easily intrigued with even the simplest practices. I highly recommend you do this. I've heard plenty of rumors that med schools care more about how you've given back, and this is a great way to show you care.

During the summer between my sophomore and junior year I felt a bit more ambitious and wanted to take full advantage of various programs. As Joe mentioned, both Jason and I did the physician mentor program. I too was paired with someone at NYU's Bellevue hospital. My physician was located in the pediatrics emergency department of the hospital. I had an amazing experience, seriously. I came home every day telling my parents how I aspire to one day be the type of doctor she is. I saw some crazy stuff. My very first hour there a kid who was shot in the head was rushed in, and another boy who was unfortunately run over by a bus made the whole "ER" tv show seem real.

For the month of July, I also had an internship at NSLIJ Franklin hospital. You know how people always say downstate medical school is in a shitty neighborhood? While the area might not be the greatest, they say the school is amazing for the amount of clinical exposure and experience you get at Brookdale hospital. Same deal with this place. It's a community one located in a low-income area. This internship is modeled after your third and fourth year in medical school (clinicals). I rotated around every department, and saw some of the coolest stuff here too. I don't come from a family of doctors, so finding doctors to shadow is a real pain in the ass. The physicians here treat you as if you've gone through the amount of training they've gone through...awesome. They ask you about your opinions, and let you interact with their patients as if you had any say in their treatments. Plus, many of the physicians who participate in the program are actually on Hofstra School of Medicine's board, so you can ask them a bunch of questions about that too. You spend a whole week in the OR (crazy, I touched a necrotic gall bladder and colon, DO IT), another one in the ER, radiology, pathology (i got to cradle (jk, hold) what used to be someone lungs, i saw the alveoli!), PT, etc. Thorughout the program you're supposed to keep an eye out for an exceptionally interesting case. My partner (oops didn't mention that, you're partnered with a total random person...twas fun) and i got to see a women get a femoral aneurysm removed. You're allowed to look up their information, any imagining they had taken, etc. You present a powerpoint in front of everyone at a lunch conference held toward the end. I loved it! I won't lie, it's a competitive program, but they do love bing kids and typically take 2 of us every summer. There are 14 kids in each group. One group is around during the month of june, the other during july.

Last but not least, i'm going on a mobile clinic around Peru in January. Disclaimer: these mobile clinics cost a ton of money, but totally worth it. Look into them and such. I'll keep y'all posted about my experience there!

I know I rambled, and I know there are typos/grammatical errors, but I figured if you guys see how excited I am about these programs, it'll spark some interest. Last thing, if any of you are from LI, then reach out to the NSLIJ system. They LOVE students. City kids, you too...make the 30 min travel. The hospitals in the city are way too chaotic and busy, so you're not going to get the experience someone in a more suburban area would."

"Hey guys...

So I want to start this off by saying that right up until last semester, I was on the pre-med track. (Now I'm on the PA track, for any of you that care to know.) I feel that this is important to know because some of you that might be debating PA vs. Med school, my experiences show how it may be beneficial to both "life paths", if you will.

The summer between my freshmen and sophomore years, I worked in retail (ohhhh yes, DIck's Sporting Goods is apparently my calling). While like some of the experiences above by other members, in that it is not medically-related, it taught me really important lessons with how to deal with people. It was during that summer that I got promoted from cashier to "Customer Service Specialist", which is basically a fancy term for head cashier. The manager apparently thought that my intelligence mixed with my customer skills were good enough for this promotion. While I didn't know it at the time, this promotion taught me traits that I would need to be a successful physician and/or physician's assistant. Patience, courteousness, listening skills, ability to make quick decisions, successfully handling stress, and the ability to handle rather "difficult" customers all would come into play in my medical career. The point? Don't take those lame "first jobs" for granted. I promise, you can learn something from them!

That same summer, I took an EMT-B course through an ambulance agency back home (in Syracuse). Not only did I love the course, but the patient experience was awesome. This was an imperative step for me in solidifying my medical field career, especially when I chose to switch to PA. (PA schools need patient experience hours (usually between 200-700), and many only accept hours where you had your OWN patients!) Obviously, this kind of certification could be advantageous in either the pre-med or PA track. I am a part of Harpur's Ferry on campus, and all of those calls help with racking up hours as well as that patient experience.

That same summer, and then the summer between my sophomore and junior years, I worked at Upstate Medical University. My title was "Project Assistant" and I basically did volunteer-like work. Sometimes I filed, sometimes I shadowed (doctors, pharmacists and PAs) and many times, because of my EMT-B cert, I vitaled and got patient histories. I worked in the Hematology/Oncology/Rheumatology Department, and there I learned a great deal about that specific field. One of my projects I was assigned was to update patient information packets, for which I had to do book and online research for. Needless to say, I learned a lot about new treatments for those patients. One major reason why I got paid that summer was because I had volunteered on that floor throughout my high school career and they really liked my help. My point here is that it is IMPORTANT TO BUILD A REALLY GOOD RAPPORT with the people in the department/floor you're working on. One of the PAs liked me so much, because I asked so many questions when I shadowed her, that she told me that she would love to write a recommendation letter for me. This is all good stuff to keep in mind when you're shadowing. ASK QUESTIONS! You're there to learn! Plus, it's totally boring if you're just a wallflower all day."

"Here is the list of internship/research opportunities for you to apply for over winter break:

1) List Internship Opportunities found on google:

2) Another List of Summer Internships:

3) Summer Opportunities for Disadvantaged and Minorities:

4) Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU):

5) HHMI in Binghamton:
^ Davis and Sam did this in the summer and currently as an Independent Study credit.

6) AHEC locations that offer Summer Internships (least competitive internships because no one knows about them):
^ I did the one in the Bronx the summer of freshman year. Their application process open in February and close in April. Their stipend was like $1,000 with a free student metrocard so traveling wasn't a hassle . But I also applied to the competitive ones up top because their stipend is like $3,000 and up, but their application process close in February.

Also in the summer of sophomore year (while I was taking physics), I did research with LSAMP, a program I've been in since entering binghamton:

Junior year I became part of CSTEP so I did a winter internship at SUNY Optometry (now they offer spring internships in addition to winter internships):

I recently applied to the winter internship at NYCPM (hopefully I get it!*cross fingers*):"

"Wow you guys have done amazing stuff! It is great to do well known organized programs, but some are tough to get into. If you do not get in do not panic. Just call up local doctors or even your own doctor and they will prob let you shadow them. Also volunteer, they are always looking for volunteers at hospitals. The doctors you meet will probably write you letters in the future. I shadowed a lot of local dentists and they all wrote me letters. One program I applied to was called the Gateway program at UMDNJ. If you are interested in dentistry here is the link."

"I'll try to make this brief.

Like Tome, I started off my first college summer as a regular volunteer at Columbia University's hospital. Though volunteering is generally easy to get, you still have to apply and get yourself medically can be a real pain in the ass so make sure you do it at least a month in advance (especially for the PPD shots). I agree that a lot of the time it was tedious and you get treated like second help, BUT you have to make the best of it and reach out to the patients. You actually have time to listen to them and help them unlike the physicians and nurses, so they really appreciate that. Also, you learn a lot from them because they tend to be elderly patients, and the discussions you have with them can easily be used for med school application essays and interviews (I used a lot of stories from my time that summer). For instance, in just 8 weeks I managed to meet an 85-year old stroke victim who was paralyzed on her entire left side and just happened to be a Holocaust of my other guys was an ex-Peruvian professional soccer player. There were many more and I managed to write an entire application essay for Upstate about it.

The next summer I did the Harpur Physician Mentor Program and got paired with a neurosurgeon at Mount Sinai Hospital who graduated from UPenn med...unreal to think someone from bing went to UPenn, but he did and he was really inspiring. He does the program every year so if you apply and live in the NY/NJ area, you just might get him. If you don't live in the downstate metropolitan area (their cutoff is pretty much Westchester) then I highly recommend speaking to Michelle Jones or Ashley Serbonich (they're the two Harpur advisors who organize this) and see if there's a bing alum by your area that you can shadow, especially for those who live around Upstate/Buffalo. Meet with them asap though because they'll be busy organizing the program early next semester.

The same summer I did the Northshore-LIJ Summer Scientific Work Program. According to Langhorne, it's actually a pretty well-known, competitive internship so it's highly recommended for anyone again who lives downstate. It's 4 weeks straight 9-5 days where you rotate through diff departments and like Tome said get an entire week at the OR. I managed to see about 12 surgeries which was pretty fucking fantastic and hard to come by in NYC because they're so much more stricter in those hospitals. It was really rewarding and I got to meet some awesome kids from all over and heard daily lectures about different specialties.

Now both of these internships require at least 2 letters of rec. For some, that's the hardest part of the app because it's difficult to get to know professors at bing. Make sure you start getting close to some, especially the science ones, but usually it doesn't matter. I got one from my geography prof and my writ 111 prof...and as I mentioned at the meeting, if they don't require faculty, hit up your RDs, bosses, coaches, etc people who can talk about how responsible, motivated, driven, etc you are.

Also, it's too late for next semester, but definitely pursue the internships offered by the CDC. I did one as a second semester soph and got to shadow 2 gastroenterologists for an entire semester (and then got a letter of rec from one of them). You get 4 credits of upper level coursework and it's always either a W or O (there might be a Composition too) because you meet once a week in a small class to discuss your internship, and it's super easy and everyone gets an A. They typically hold their GIMs very early in the semester for the following year. A bunch of PhiDE members have done in the past or are doing it now/will. I know Katie volunteers at the recovery room at Wilson currently and Helaine will be shadowing physical therapists next semester, so as you can see they have some diverse, great opportunities."


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