Let me catch you up to speed before I share my pre-residency internship experience. Prior to match and graduation, I took an interim year to pursue some of my passions in other areas such as healthcare administration, policy, advocacy, marketing, PR, & more.
Until April, I was not only pursuing a Master’s in Health Care Administration (MHA) with emphasis on executive-level leadership full-time, but I also spent time working as the Marketing & Media Manager for Mississippi State Medical Association and as a credentialing coordinator for a physician credentialing company in the state of Mississippi while learning best business practices from an incredibly talented CEO and friend of mine. And if you know me, more is more because I function best at 100 mph. I was a participant of the American Medical Association Foundation Leadership Development Institute during this time and still am serving on the JAMA Medical Student Leadership Group and AMA Ambassador Steering Committee.
It only took a year in the making, but it finally meant I was going to move to Chicago for an internship opportunity with American Medical Association Improving Health Outcomes (AMA IHO). Well, COVID-19 changed my moving plans; however, I was fortunate to continue forward with this internship working remotely from home in Mississippi. Little did I know I would make lifetime friends and learn much more than I imagined with AMA IHO.
This internship experience was different from medical school. Medical school training is a unique experience; in fact, pursuing a career to become a physician is a unique experience altogether. With this internship, I had goals of strengthening my talents and learning skills. I wanted to have projects that were my own. I wanted to contribute in a way that is meaningful. My internship gave me all of those opportunities and then some.
I was able to accomplish more in three months than I could have ever imagined. But that didn’t happen because of “just me.” It happened because I worked with a team of people who were all warm and welcoming. They were open and receptive to my feedback. They trusted me to create first drafts, summarize papers, determine what is vital to the project, and even author and/or edit written works.
I was fortunate to lead two projects of my own. One revolved around marketing and amplifying the message and work of AMA IHO. The other project was a heartfelt one about acknowledging and shining a light on taking care of our mental and emotional health. This project was the one I was most proud of as I was able to author the series and brought in two collaborators within AMA to brainstorm with me along with edit and add any missing content. It was truly a labor of love and one I am very proud of as mental health isn’t always the easiest topic to share about.
Overall, I’m still in disbelief of what I was able to pursue in 3 months, but one thing is for sure—this internship experience was unforgettable. Thank you, AMA IHO, for affording me this opportunity! Stay tuned for part two where I share about what I learned from my internship experience!