Now in its third year, this unique program allows health professions students to job shadow Concordia alumni at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis.
For two weeks during the summer, two students selected for the Pre-Health Professions Co-Op learn what doctors, surgeons, residents and fellows go through and see on a day-to-day basis in the hospital. They follow different doctors and caregivers through different rotations for a truly immersive learning experience.
“We pair the students up with the alumni and they shadow whatever the faculty person is doing that day – they shadow people making medical rounds, working in various clinics, they come to the nursing home, administration, the operating room and the emergency department,” Meyers said.
The ten 10-hour days shadowing at the hospital are meant to be an intense and eye-opening experience for the students.
“At HCMC, you see patients coming from all different socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds,” said Peter Bueide ’19, a recent shadowing participant. “The doctors here have to take all of that into consideration for each patient’s care.”
As a Level I trauma center, HCMC acts as a safety net for people in the region that might not be able to receive care at another medical facility.
“This hospital has a deep sense of purpose. Rich or poor, patients from every county and community will receive care here,” said Megan Walsh, M.D., the hospital’s chief academic officer.
As a junior, Bueide appreciated the opportunity to be exposed to a wide variety of situations and disciplines within the healthcare field.
“This opportunity helps me to decide whether or not healthcare is something I want to do or figure out which discipline is most interesting to me,” he said. “I’m also gaining experience and in-hospital hours that are very necessary when applying for med school.”
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Video by Evan Balko
Laura Caroon '06 is a content strategist at Concordia College.