Student Intern: James Roberts
Hometown: Flintstone, GA
Extracurricular Activities: I played varsity baseball my freshman and sophomore years. I worked at Covenant for three summers, and at Fed Ex for one summer. I am the historian of the Psi Tau chapter of Beta Beta Beta National Biological Honor Society at Covenant, of which I have been a member for three years. I shadowed a family physician for two months during my junior year. I have volunteered with Widows Harvest ministry and the Chattanooga Nature Center. I am currently working at Fed Ex.
Internship: The internship was named Medical Explorations. It was run by the University of Tennessee College of Medicine (UTCOM) operating at Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga, TN. UTCOM has a branch of their medical school in Chattanooga, TN, at Erlanger Hospital. The school serves third and fourth year medical students. During the third and fourth year of med school, students participate in clinical rotations. This makes Erlanger Hospital a teaching hospital, where students are discovering the practical side of medicine.
My internship was in June of 2010 (the summer after my junior year) and lasted for three weeks. Each day from 8:00 am to noon, I shadowed a different doctor in the hospital according to my fields of interest. I shadowed a pediatric orthopedic surgeon, hospitalists, cardio-thoracic surgeons, and family medicine residents. I basically followed doctors around the hospital and observed them as they did their rounds.
I was able to help several technicians with some of their work. For example, I helped process X-rays. I learned much about myself and my desires for medicine during my internship. I learned that I enjoy patient interaction, which contributes to my current desire to pursue family medicine. Cutting on people is fun, but talking to them aligns more with my personality.
Why an internship? I did the internship to better understand my desire to be a physician. I had a growing interest in medicine, and the internship allowed me to broaden my knowledge of medical careers. I was also in the process of applying to med school (it never hurts to have a great internship on your application).
I would most definitely encourage students to pursue internships. Be as involved in as many things as possible, especially if you are intending to attend graduate school. Internships allow for self-discovery, and if you are not sure of what you want to do in life, internships will help direct your steps.
How did you get the internship? I attended a networking event hosted by Covenant College's Center for Calling & Career where I met the associate dean of UTCOM Chattanooga. He introduced me to the program and directed me to its application on UTCOM Chattanooga's website.
What are your plans/goals for the future? I was recently accepted as a member of the Class of 2015 at Mercer University School of Medicine (MUSM). So, my short-term plans include getting married in May of 2011 and attending med school. My long-term goal is to become a doctor. Hopefully, I will be able to serve those in great need (maybe through medical missions).
How does your internship relate to your career plans? In my acceptance letter to MUSM, they said they really liked my participation in the Medical Explorations Program. The rest of the letter seemed very generic, but I thought it was crazy how they pointed out that internship as the thing that made me stand out. That made me smile.