So, if you missed part one, please go check it out here! Otherwise, let me give you a quick recap. Over the last 3 months, I was fortunate to work remotely and engage in an internship experience with American Medical Association Improving Health Outcomes (AMA IHO).
This internship experience was different from my experience throughout medical school. In fact, this internship allowed me to learn more than I ever thought I would but maybe not in the ways you assume. So, let me share with you what I learned during my time with AMA IHO.
- Professional Development: This internship taught me “real-life, hands-on” experience navigating the working world—something that I will carry with me for a lifetime. I know I will be a better physician for it. It also taught me that there are more opportunities for a career in medicine outside of practicing medicine. If you open your mind to what is possible, then the sky’s the limit. It allowed me to expand my comfort zone, and that is powerful.
- Professional Communication: Learning how to communicate with others is key. Medical school training is very niche and stepwise, and we all speak the same language. The working world can be quite different, and you must be aware of your verbal presence and diplomacy as you share your thoughts and feedback. I also learned much about the culture of the organization and learning how to navigate the organization as it was new territory for me. I spent so many years as a member that I did not know what to expect on the other side as a staff member.
- Growth and Independence: As a medical student, we are often given much guidance on how exactly to do something. Rightfully so because you are handling someone’s life! That’s a big deal! But with this internship experience, I was given the opportunity to make my own decisions and pursue projects on my own. In fact, I led two projects that I shared about in part one. It’s a very liberating feeling. The process of earning trust, leading a project, and seeing the finish line can be so fulfilling and allowed me to grow as a person and professional.
- Knowledge: I don’t mean clinical knowledge; I have medical school to thank for that part. What I mean is that I learned about the work of the AMA from a more high-level view outside of the hospital. If you choose to pursue a career outside of practicing medicine, it’s important to understand different lenses and perspectives. Gaining knowledge from a different point of view helped me to further develop my strengths and learn new skills.
- Professional Connections: Positive references are always a great thing! This experience also opened doors for future collaboration whether it be a project or even a job opportunity. But for me personally, the most important gain was making lifetime friends and mentors—the best part!
When I said I learned a lot, I wasn’t kidding. This internship experience was unforgettable. Thank you, AMA IHO, for affording me this opportunity! I assure you I will make waves in the field of medicine and work my hardest to make a positive difference.