Students get hands-on medical experience
CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. – Before you spend the next several years of your life studying to become a doctor, wouldn’t it be helpful to know if this was the right career for you?
Eight undergraduate and post-graduate students had that opportunity this summer through Summit Health’s Summer Work Experience program.
The students spent four weeks shadowing staff at Chambersburg Hospital, Waynesboro Hospital, and other Summit Health affiliates.
“The students spent their time with everyone in the hospital, from nurses and doctors to administrative staff,” said Nicole Butts, coordinator of the program for Summit Health. “We want to give the students the full healthcare experience.”
“This experience not only showed me what I like about medicine, but it also showed me how an entire hospital runs,” said Adam Wetzel, of Chambersburg.
Wetzel graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in chemistry and neuroscience. His future plans include going to medical school. At this time, his interests are neurology, gastroenterology and cardiology.
Gregory Boyer of Greencastle also had an educational experience in the program.
“This program enlightened me to the need for physicians in our area,” Boyer said.
He is currently a sophomore at Liberty University in the Biology/Pre-Medicine program. His future plans include medical school, and his current interests are family medicine and emergency medicine.
Samuel Ruiz-Bermejo of Guadalajara, Mexico, just completed his third year in medical school at the University of Guadalajara. His experiences in the program have led him to think about continuing his studies in the United States.
“I hadn’t considered doing my residency in the US before this program,” Ruiz-Bermejo said. “I’m definitely considering it now. There are a lot of different procedures, techniques, and technologies here that are not available in Mexico.”
Kristen Mazzei, of Waynesboro, is a junior at Penn State studying biology. Her experience in Summit Health’s program has removed any doubt of her future plans.
“I want to go to medical school,” Mazzei said. “This program also gave me a better idea of how to get into medical school.”
Mazzei has many interests in the medical field, but at this time, she has a special interest in radiology and oncology.
Caleb Lougheed, of Greencastle, is currently a senior at Shippensburg University. This chemistry major is planning to join the Peace Corps for two years before going on to medical school. His experiences in the program answered a lot of questions for him.
“I learned a lot about the medical school process,” Lougheed said.
His future plans include medical school, and his current interest is in pediatrics or hospital-based medicine.
Kaci Hardsock, of Chambersburg, is also planning to take a year away from formal education after her graduation from Virginia Tech University. Hardsock is a senior at the university majoring in Human Nutrition, Food, and Exercise. After graduation next year she plans to develop a community health program in Chambersburg.
She does plan to continue her education in medical school. After her experience this summer, the decision on which specialty she would like to focus on has become more difficult.
“If I had to pick a specialty area today, I would pick obstetrics and gynecology,” Hardsock said.
Shahroz Fatima of Waynesboro is a sophomore at Penn State. She is majoring in biology and plans to attend medical school.
“I definitely want to go to med school,” Fatima said. “Right now I’m interested in radiology or pediatrics. I still have some time to figure it out.”
James Kent of Mercersburg is a graduate of Penn State University.
Kent said he enjoyed the program, especially the group’s visit to a rural health clinic. “I have an interest in rural medicine, so I really enjoyed the time we spent at the Parochial Clinic in Shippensburg.”
According to the Summer Work Experience selection committee, students wishing to apply for the program must have an interest in pursuing a career in the medical field as a doctor. The student must have made progress toward that goal. Those with an interest in applying for next year's program may call Chambersburg Hospital's provider resources department at (717) 267-7180.
Summit Health, a non-profit organization, is dedicated to building a healthier community through leading-edge medical technology, skilled physicians, caring staff, and convenient locations. Summit Health’s comprehensive selection of services and providers includes family physicians, surgeons, specialists, diagnostic services, a women’s health center, a fitness center, and two award-winning hospitals.