Intern Benefits from Knowledge in Multiple Academic Disciplines
INTERN BENEFITS FROM KNOWLEDGE IN MULTIPLE ACADEMIC DISCIPLINES
By Stuart Esrock, Ph.D.
In most internships, students typically focus on applying what they have learned in their academic major. But a UofL Public Health major used her recent internship to also apply foreign language skills she picked up from her Spanish minor.
Charmi Shah from Louisville will be graduating soon, having greatly benefited from her internship with the Family Community Clinic, a non-profit organization in Butchertown that opened in 2011 with a mission to improve the health of the medically uninsured in the area. Shah saw her responsibilities expand over the course of the semester including scribing notes for the doctor and calling in prescriptions to pharmacies, acting as a Spanish interpreter, helping with triage, scheduling new appointments, taking essential vitals for patients, and charting their data.
Shah’s internship initially involved both in-person and online communication; she worked directly with staff in the clinic offices, but patient contact was virtual. “By March things were running fully in-person as all the volunteers and staff were able to get vaccinated. Getting to see patients in-person is definitely a better experience for them, and for us. We get to take their vitals and truly assess them as a whole rather than make decisions off of blood lab results. While I'm grateful we could care for our community via telehealth during the pandemic, I loved when our clinic started operating fully in person again and we could see our patients face-to-face and provide them with a higher quality of care.”
Shah said the best thing about her internship was the people she worked with. “Everyone that volunteers at the clinic is so welcoming and friendly, and always challenged me to do and learn more as I was comfortable with it. I gained valuable experience that will be useful in my future, learned more about the Hispanic and medically uninsured population in Louisville, built connections and networked with the doctors, nurses, and other volunteers, and made a real difference in my community.”
She also found it highly rewarding to apply what she learned in her minor. “I'm excited to use my Spanish to be able to communicate independently with Hispanic patients and help them feel comfortable without the need for a translator.”
Charmi Shah continues to volunteer with the Family Community Clinic and will be attending the UofL School of Medicine this fall with plans to be a pediatrician. She hopes to eventually spend time practicing medicine globally and serving those who need it the most in developing countries.
Find out how you can benefit from an internship or co-op experience:
- The recent virtual workshop, Interning 101, provides basic information about internships and how to move forward.
- The Internship Student Panel is a virtual session with a group of UofL students talking about their internships and providing advice about how to make the most out of the experiences.
- The University Career Center website has a variety of resources available about internships.
- If you want academic credit for an internship or co-op, be sure to reach out to the coordinator/director in your UofL academic program.