OUWB summer internships benefit students, community alike
Lucas Nelson internship presentation, summer 2019.
From left, Amy Halder, M2, Lucas Nelson, M2, and Tracey Taylor, Ph.D., associate professor of microbiology, OUWB. Nelson interviewed polio survivors in conjunction with the Southeast Michigan Post-Polio Support Group, and as part of an Embark research study.

Thirty-five OUWB students heading into their second year of medical school recently participated in the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine/Beaumont Health Systems summer internship program.

The four-week program is held every summer and available for OUWB students who have completed their first year of medical school.

The internships are designed to foster personal and professional development. They focus on clinical/patient care, clinical research, basic research, medical education and community-based research.

Tracy Wunderlich-Barillas, director of research training, OUWB, said there are many benefits for the students who participate in the program.

“Students gain experience with scholarly activity (all students have to create an academic poster — typically based on a case study, research project, or community program), the students are also able to network with other physicians/residents/community partners they will come in contact with during third-year rotations, and they also get a better understanding of clinical and/or community operations,” Wunderlich-Barillas said.

Students were awarded internships based on their respective areas of interest, as well as applications and CVs/resumes. (The application deadline for the summer internship program typically is near, or at the end of February.)

Of the interns, 26 worked side-by-side with clinical faculty at Beaumont, Royal Oak or Beaumont, Troy. Nine others were based on campus, and/or working with community partners such as the Auburn Hills Public Library and Camp Midicha.

The four weeks are jam-packed.

By example, the cardiothoracic vascular surgery internships at Beaumont consisted of, among other things, interns making surgical ICU rounds of patients who have undergone recent surgery, and observing evaluation of patients for cardiac catheterization and post cardiac catherization care and medical optimization.

“The internship exposed me to many different aspects and specialties within the cardiology field,” said Stephanie Wong, M2, who was awarded one of the cardiothoracic vascular surgery internships. “I was able to observe and learn about cardiac surgery, interventional cardiology, and non-interventional cardiology. This internship helped me to envision myself in a field of cardiology.”

Noah Garber, M2, interned in family medicine. Garber said one of the most enjoyable parts of the experience was interacting with the newborn babies and performing newborn exams.

“This internship has certainly helped solidify my interest in primary care,” he said. “I want to keep an open mind to my future in medicine until I have gone through clerkships third and fourth year, but family medicine is definitely high on my radar.”

Not all of the internships were in a hospital setting.

Lucas Nelson, M2, interviewed polio survivors in conjunction with the Southeast Michigan Post-Polio Support Group, and as part of an Embark research study.

“I selected this particular internship because I am interested in the intersection of the science and humanism inherent in medicine,” Nelson said. “Getting to discuss the illness experiences of polio survivors was a great opportunity for me to understand the various ways that patients wrestle with their disease. In the future, we might not get a large amount of time to discuss illness experiences with our patients, so this internship was a good opportunity for me to get a sense of what all my future patients will be experiencing.”

Stephanie Swanberg, associate professor information literacy and eLearning librarian, said this was the first year that the OUWB Medical Library took on an intern.

“This is the perfect time for OUWB to host summer internships as our M1 students have made it through their first year and have the foundational knowledge and skills to now apply to their internship work,” Swanberg said.

Emily Yuen, M2, helped develop a set of ready-made health education toolkits as part of a grant the library recently received through the National Network of Libraries of Medicine All of Us Public Library Partnership. The toolkits will be used by the Auburn Hills Public Library as part of its programming in 2019-20.

“As a future pediatrician, Emily enthusiastically delved into developing two toolkits on bone health and the heart for kids and was so excited to learn about how libraries and health professionals can work together to promote healthy lifestyles and health literacy,” Swanberg said.

Swanberg said Yuen’s previous experience, knowledge, work ethic, and outgoing personality made her the ideal intern.

“This truly was a collaborative internship where Emily worked with experts from many different areas of OUWB and the community: the medical library, the public library, medical school faculty, and medical education staff,” Swanberg said.

The following is a roster of students not already identified and were accepted to the program, as well as their internship location.

  • Omar Abbas, pathology
  • Sara Ama, radiation oncology
  • Marian Aoun, pulmonary medicine (Troy)
  • Nafisa Bhuiyan, Ob/Gyn (Troy)
  • Varneet Brar, physical medicine and rehabilitation
  • Jnana Challa, orthopedic surgery
  • Amy Cox, interventional radiology
  • Nina Diklich, surgery-general
  • Edward Ford, emergency medicine-cardiac care
  • Christopher Gilbert, ambulatory internal medicine
  • Alyssa Heintschel, Camp Midicha
  • Aimee Hite, clinical anatomy
  • Helen Huetteman, orthopedic surgery
  • Anna Jahshan, radiation oncology
  • Rachel Kalthoff, clinical anatomy
  • Michael Moussa, inpatient internal medicine
  • Thu Nguyen, epidemiology
  • Tiffany Nguyen, infectious disease (Troy)
  • Krupa Patel, emergency medicine-research (Troy)
  • Ian Penvose, orthopedic surgery
  • Nathan Perry, surgery-general
  • Grace Peterson, orthopedic surgery (Troy)
  • Duyen Quach, surgery-breast
  • Olivia Ray, clinical anatomy
  • Kevin Roby, cardiovascular surgery
  • Ryan Rogers, Camp Midicha
  • Jeremy Santamaria, ambulatory internal medicine
  • Benjamin Travers, clinical anatomy
  • Omid Vadpey, inpatient internal medicine
  • Joshua Volin urology
  • Michelle Wu, radiation oncology