With funding from the Ralph C. Sheldon and the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, eight pre-medical students recently began an eight-week summer Chautauqua Works Workforce Development Board's Healthcare Career Advantage Talent Pipeline Development Program, gaining valuable insight into the medical field. Based at UPMC Chautauqua WCA and other area health care agencies, pre-med students Brad Brown, Santana France, Haylie Birt, Tessa Alianell, Ashley Moulton, Jon Scroxton, Zachary Eklum and Nick Carlson rotated through both clinical and non-clinical areas of the local hospitals and physician medical office practices. Each participant was eligible for a six to eight week paid internship.
Both the Sheldon Foundation and the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation have supported this program since inception in 2010. Since then the program has served more than 400 aspiring health care students from six different Chautauqua County school districts by introducing them to health care career possibilities through interactive workshops, career fairs as well as paid internships in the health care field.
During the eight week orientation, the eight premed students observed in the cardiology/catherization lab, emergency, respiratory, obstetrics and gynecology, radiology, general and orthopaedic surgery, anesthesiology, and bariatric care departments as well as in physician's medical specialty practices in the area. The purpose of the program is to "grow our own" physicians with the goal of enticing program alumni, who have successfully completed medical school and residency to come home to practice.