Local Students Learn About Life as a Physician Through Overlook Summer Internship Program
Sunday, June 24, 2012 • 10:17pm
SUMMIT, NJ - In a 19-day program at Overlook Medical Center, 17 local college students participated in a summer internship led by vascular surgeon Clifford Sales, M.D. Students gained valuable insight about potential careers by interacting with medical professionals, providing them with the rare opportunity of exploring the field first-hand before enrolling in medical school.
About the Overlook Summer Internship Program, Sales said “there’s nothing like it around.” Students involved in the program are completely immersed into the field of medicine, not only by speaking to seasoned physicians but by shadowing them on daily basis as well.
“The only opportunity for kids wanting to go to medical is school is research, which is nothing like clinical medicine,” Dr. Sales explained.
By participating in this program, students were able to see what practicing medicine in the real world was really like. Each day, a medical professional joined the students for breakfast and spoke to them about the lifestyle pros and cons of their specific medical field.
After, students were paired with a medical professional who served as their mentor for the day. Rotations took place in any field of medicine or area of the hospital, depending on the students’ personal interests.
At the end of the week, students would come together to share the variety of experiences they gained at Overlook Medical Center.
Marisa Karchin of Short Hills shared her experiences from the delivery room. “I saw a C-section one day,” Karchin told The Alternative Press. “I can definitely see myself delivering babies,” she added, calling the birth “one of the most uplifting things [she] had ever seen.”
James Chu of Westfield also shared his favorite part of the Overlook Summer Internship Program. “I was in the Emergency Room and there was a patient that came in in critical condition. He was an 84-year-old man who looked like he was going to die and they had a whole team going. Within about 15 minutes he was stable. I stood with him.. . it was the first time I was in a room alone with a patient.”
Other students shared what they would take away from this program and apply to their studies. Tracy Borsinger of Chatham Township said that she is now able to “see the goal at the end.” “When you’re sitting in rigorous science classes it’s easy to forget,” Borsinger explained, “but it’s attainable and something to really look forward to.”
Dr. Sales said something on a similar note. “When they’re sitting in the library at 3 a.m., now they will understand why they are learning it.”
But most importantly, this internship program seeks to help students decide whether or not medicine is the appropriate field for their future careers. When asked if this internship helped her decide on her future in medicine, Jordyn Feingold of Livingston said, “I came in really unsure if it was something I could handle, but now I just smile at the thought of going into medicine.”
Though not every student plans on attending medical school after this internship, Dr. Sales said “I’m much happier when people do this program and see that [medicine] is not for them. . . that’s the more important thing.”
Feingold, who has chosen to go into medicine, is incredibly grateful of her experiences in the Overlook Summer Internship Program which ended this Friday. “It’s really important to have those mentors in the future,” Feingold said, “and I’ve achieved 19 in the process.”