St. Olaf Pre-Health Internships

St. Olaf has a range of pre-health internships from structured shadowing during interim to cohort summer internships at hospitals. We have collaborated with organizations from a small private business to a destination medical center (Mayo Clinic) to encourage students to explore a range of medical settings. Learn more about these opportunities below.


SUMMER

Health Scholars at the Mayo Clinic

  • St. Olaf alumni at Mayo Clinic have established a research internship program that provides current St. Olaf students an unparalleled hands-on experience at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.
  • Healthcare is undergoing transformative changes. Understanding how the healthcare team interacts and collaborates to serve the needs of the patient is critical in order to provide the best quality of care. Students will be exposed to how Mayo Clinic provides comprehensive integrated care through weekly seminars and exposure to healthcare innovation/administration. In addition, students will conduct directed research projects.
  • A unique aspect of this program includes the opportunity for selected participants to live together in the spirit of support and mutuality. Community living is intended to foster supportive relationships in an environment of reflection and intentionality. Students will work together to make decisions about grocery shopping, meals, upkeep of the living space, and social activities. As part of their commitment to learning from and with each other, participants will be expected to take part in a weekly community meal and community conversation.

See here for more information.

Research at the Blood and Marrow Transplant (BMT) Center at the University of Minnesota

  • This summer research position allows three St. Olaf students to work within a Blood and Marrow Transplant (BMT) Center lab at the University of Minnesota. This is an intensive 10-11 week summer research position that does not include opportunities to shadow on a regular basis. Students apply for this opportunity through Handshake and complete on-campus interviews to be selected as semi-finalists.  Dr. John Wagner, MD, who oversees the program, will make the final student selections for this program.

Rockswold Health Scholars

  • Dr. Gaylan Rockswold ’62 and his wife, Mary Garnaas Rockswold ’63, have established an endowment and created a clinical and research internship program that provides current St. Olaf students an unparalleled hands-on experience at the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, MN.
  • HCMC is known for its dedication to providing care to vulnerable, diverse, and underserved populations regardless of their ability to pay for medical services. According to Dr. Rockswold, “students would be exposed to the concept of health care as a service and as a calling to be a ‘healer’.” Students will expand their professional networks and improve their knowledge of potential paths within the health care field.
  • A unique aspect of this program includes the opportunity for selected participants to live in an apartment together in the spirit of support and mutuality.  Community living is intended to foster supportive relationships in an environment of reflection and intentionality.  Students will work together to make decisions about grocery shopping, meals, apartment upkeep, and social activities.  As part of their commitment to learning from and with each other, participants will be expected to take part in a weekly community meal and community conversation.

For more information, please see: https://wp.stolaf.edu/pipercenter/rockswold/

Biomedical Ethics Research at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, MO

  • In conjunction with St Olaf, Children’s Mercy Hospital Bioethics Center offers an paid 8-week internship for students interested in conducting mentored-research on a self-identified topic in medical ethics. The intern will spend 6 weeks (precise dates TBA) in Kansas City at CMH working on their project, under the supervision of nationally recognized physician and bioethicist Dr. John Lantos, as well as occasionally shadowing physicians in the hospital.  Students will also spend 2 weeks working under the supervision of Prof. Daniel Groll (the intern need not be in Northfield for this portion of the internship) or Prof. Jason Marsh.
  • The intern will produce a research paper between 2500 and 4000 words at the end of the time and present their findings as part of a bioethics session on campus in the Fall term. If appropriate, Profs Groll and Marsh will help prepare the paper for submission to a professional journal.

Consultative Health and Medicine

  • St. Olaf alumnus Dr. Chris Johnson ’76 offers a unique opportunity for two current pre-health students to witness a coordinated model of health care for seniors experiencing a variety of chronic physical and mental health conditions. Dr. Johnson founded Consultative Health and Medicine (http://consultativehealthandmedicine.com/) in 2011 to provide a collaborative physician and nurse practitioner approach to onsite medical care for seniors who reside in assisted living and skilled nursing facilities in the Twin Cities metro area.
  • Two interns will spend approximately 18-20 hours per week for 8 weeks shadowing Dr. Johnson and nurse practitioners as they consult with patients, their families and other health care providers. The internship will emphasize the opportunity to learn and practice skills in medical interviewing and physical examination. Readings and discussion of clinical topics pertinent to the causes, clinical manifestations, and treatment of common geriatric conditions will be part of the weekly schedule. The interns may also participate in a quality reporting project.

INTERIM

Center for Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation

  • This four-week internship experience for one student is designed to help the intern learn about health career options in rehabilitation, as well as the skills that different occupations require. The student intern will spend time with physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and athletic trainers in both general and specialty practices. Experiences will be planned according to Northfield Hospital & Clinic’s policy, which protects patients’ rights to privacy under HIPAA.
  • Program Goals
    • Observe the daily routines of rehabilitation professionals
    • Begin to identify career interests in rehabilitation
    • Gain awareness of the academic, technical and service standards required in healthcare professions in rehabilitation

Pathways to Healthcare

  • The Pathways to Healthcare program is a collaboration among St. Olaf’s Piper Center, the Northfield Retirement Center (NRC), and Three Links (assisted living, nursing home, senior living). The goal is to offer an opportunity for pre-health students to develop skills in an active healthcare environment, receive mentoring from healthcare professionals, obtain shadowing experiences, work as a cohort for reflection, and receive a letter of recommendation from a healthcare professional (for students who meet qualifications). 
  • Shadowing opportunities may include: Physicians (MD and DO, including psychiatrists), RNs and DNPs, social workers, dietitians, acupuncturists, therapeutic recreationists, an interprofessional patient care conference, and nursing home administration.
  • Students chosen for this selective program will be provided with a free NAR course (around a $650 value), an opportunity for meaningful work that will contribute to their vocational discernment, and a community of pre-health students with whom they will be able to reflect.

TRIA Orthopaedic

  • Two St. Olaf student interns will spend the month with TRIA Orthopeadic experiencing direct patient care, learning about delivering care to patients in a clinic, and observing procedures at the interventional procedural suite and operating room.  The student interns will primarily spend time with physicians (Marc Tompkins, MD and Peter Stiles, MD), but they will also learn from physician assistants, nurses, technicians, and clinic staff through their daily activities in pertinent and approved settings. Experiences will be planned according to TRIA’s educational policy, which protects patients’ rights to privacy under HIPAA.
  • Program Goals:
    • To provide pre-medical students with a dedicated and intimate experience in a modern medical practice and subspecialty care
    • To inform students about potential future careers in health care through extended, meaningful, and direct exposure
    • To ease students’ transition into further education/experiences through knowledge gained during the program

Wieber Physical Therapy

  • Through this four-week internship  at a private clinic in Faribault, one student will learn about health career options in rehab. The student will spend time with physical therapists, seeing a diverse group of patients. The intern may also spend time with Occupational Therapist and, if desired, with an Athletic Trainer in the high school during off-field hours. They will learn HIPAA guidelines and show discretion as directed.
  • Program Goals
    • Observe the daily routines of  rehabilitation professionals
    • Gain further understanding of the field of rehabilitation
    • Gain knowledge in the areas of prerequisites, paperwork, business ethics and strategies, and scope of practice involved in the healthcare profession.

Questions? Contact Katie Hughes, Associate Director, Career Development and Coaching (Pre-Health) in the Piper Center, Tomson 270.