One crucial aspect of a shadowing opportunity in both the medical and veterinary world, is that it is unpaid. As previously mentioned, I have a good amount of experience interning in veterinary clinics from summers past. While extremely beneficial and informative, this sort of internship can be incredibly time consuming, and allows for very little opportunity to work a part-time paying job. In the past, I have had to spend less time in hospital due to monetary demands resulting in less clocked hours. Since this past summer was the last before entering my senior year, I found it imperative to dedicate as much time to the internship at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center as possible. This internship was going to be the deciding factor in what path (and test) to take following graduation.
In light of the time constraints, I figured my summer experience would be more fulfilling if I could completely commit myself to the shadowing opportunity I had been granted under Dr. Warner. Additionally, I was anticipating returning from a semester abroad in London with very little funds to support myself living in Massachusetts. Receiving funding meant I could fully immerse myself in the hospital, and gain a greater sense of what a full time job would look and feel like. And, while working 8:30 am to 4:30 pm comes nowhere close to a doctor’s hours, it does in fact mimic a nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant day to day career; something I learned during my time shadowing.
As a result of the Summer Experience Fund, I was able to work full-time at Lahey, guilt free. The money awarded to me went towards groceries, transit fare, and day to day expenses, and made my internship possible. Without it, it is likely I would not have been exposed to as many different people, specialties, and procedures as I was for the duration of my time in Burlington. Furthermore, the internship award granted me the freedom to fully commit to spending each day at the hospital, and really get to know the people I was shadowing. If 4:30 pm came around and I was in the middle of a procedure, appointment, or even conversation, the ease of not having a later commitment allowed me to seize every moment of this valuable opportunity.
Being awarded the scholarship was a great honor and by no means was I expecting to be endowed with such a generous amount of money, especially due to the nature of my internship. Upon receiving this award, I felt as though I was granted a world of possibility. I was offered the privilege of determining what it is I really want to pursue in life and career. Moving forward, this internship has helped determine my future goals for a career in medicine. After speaking with many doctors, I have decided to not go directly to medical school following graduation. Rather, I am planning on taking a gap year post-grad and gaining more experience in the field, to fully contemplate whether this is the life I wish to pursue. I am inestimably grateful for the opportunity the Summer Experience Fund granted me.