Renowned Northwestern Medicine Summer Pre-Med Internship Program Provides Knowledge and Insight for Students and Physicians Alike
Chicago, IL --Since 2019, Micah J. Eimer, MD, cardiologist and medical director of the Northwestern Medicine Glenview, Evanston and Deerfield Outpatient Centers, has turned a local summer internship program into an international destination for college students interested in pursuing a career in healthcare.
And while the program has grown three-fold since its inception, now attracting students from across the country as well as in Puerto Rico and Canada, he is proud of what the program offers students—but what he didn’t anticipate was how much of a difference it would make to the physician mentors as well.
“We strive to provide a blend of both academic work and observation, and we are pleased to offer these dedicated students who have already shown a passion for medicine an 8-week, paid opportunity to work with some of the leading experts in medicine,” said Dr. Eimer. “What I’m realizing now is how impactful it also is for the physicians, who are provided a moment to ‘step back’ from their packed schedules and work demands, and take some time to provide individual guidance and inspiration to a younger adult who has shown a passion for the study of medicine.”
Each student receives their assigned clinical department, where they work with and report to both a physician lead as well as a program administrator. Then, once a week, they rotate to observe a different specialty.
Student academics and a commitment to community service were considerations during the acceptance process, as well as ensuring the class would include a mix of students from different backgrounds, locations and life experiences. Due to the strong surge in applicants in 2022, only 4% of students were accepted to the program, welcoming students from 21 schools, including:
· Brown University
· College of William and Mary
· Cornell University
· Emory University
· Fisk University
· Florida A&M University
· Howard University
· Johns Hopkins University
· Loyola University
· Northern Illinois University
· Northwestern University
· Nova Southeastern University
· Oberlin College
· St. Louis University
· Tulane University
· University of Chicago
In addition to the direct work experience the students receive, the program also provides a weekly lecture series. The students recently met and had lunch with John Bluford from South Carolina, who spoke about his lessons learned as a health system CEO, and provided advice on leadership and equity.
· Other programs have covered the following topics:
· Why Diversity Matters in Healthcare
· Paths to Medicine
· Call Center Shadowing
· Physician Wellness
· Future of Healthcare Technology
· Healthcare Is A Team Effort
· Women in Medicine
· Med School Experience
· Life as a Physician
· Navigating Med School Admissions
· Partnering with Communities
Jyoti Patel, MD, oncology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, has enjoyed mentoring Shreyas Menon, a rising junior at Northwestern University and Mason Hewlett, a rising junior at University of Kentucky.
“Mentoring Shreyas and Mason has offered me an opportunity to not only teach what I have learned, but it has given me a new appreciation for what I do,” said Dr. Patel. “The program is excellent and so rejuvenating to me personally. Seeing the students' curiosity and wonder at the intersection of patient care and science reminds us why we love our profession so much."
Currently, 143 pre-med students have completed the program, with many now in medical school. The current class has 51 students, who have the opportunity to shadow and learn from more than 45 leading physicians at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, in the northern suburbs at Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital and the Northwestern Medicine Outpatient Centers in Glenview and Gurnee; Northwestern Medicine Palos Hospital in Palos Heights and Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield.
For more information, please go to https://www.nm.org/for-medical-professionals/i-am-a-student/northwestern-medicine-pre-med-internship-program.