Jacobi Medical Center, Pediatric Ambulatory Clinic, Bronx, NY
This past summer, I worked in the Pediatrics Clinic at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx. Not only was this a very interesting opportunity for me, as I am currently on the pre-med track and aspire to be a doctor one day, but it was an opportunity to work in my own community.
A lot of the families coming into the clinic are from low-income and under-resourced backgrounds, which means that they might need assistance with things like food or housing. To help them navigate these challenges, the clinic refers these families to community resources that address different areas of need. As part of my job, I administered a questionnaire that would screen families coming to the clinic for food insecurity, health care or legal needs, housing, and childcare needs. If a family screened positive for one of the categories, I would provide verified community resources that would be able to assist them. To gain these resources, I researched organizations such as food pantries, community centers, free legal aid, and more that would be easily accessible and beneficial to the families. Then, my co-intern Samir Ahmed ’24 and I compiled the resources we had verified into a document that families and doctors could easily access. We created posters with QR codes containing the information and put them in the clinic’s waiting rooms for families to access prior to their appointments.
This was really rewarding because I felt I actively helped families with pressing needs. I was also able to learn more about the issues affecting my community, as well as the resources available; and it opened my eyes to how difficult it is to navigate some of these resources.
I also helped with the Reach Out and Read Program by providing free books to children coming in for appointments. To supplement this rewarding work, I also had the opportunity to shadow some of the residents in the clinic, as well as spend some time in the NICU shadowing and learning more about the work that happens there. This was exciting for me as I got to see several interesting NICU patients—including a 24-week-old baby!
This internship helped me think more deeply about the current medical path I am on, and cemented that I enjoy medicine and helping people. Visits to the NICU made me realize that I would probably like working in a specialty more than being a general pediatrician because it would allow me to foster relationships with the patients and their families. I left this internship feeling fulfilled, which was a sign for me that this kind of work and environment is something I should work towards being involved in. I’m very grateful for this experience and am thankful for the support of Dr. Beth Worley ’90 and the ’68 Center for Career Exploration for creating this opportunity and allowing me to pursue it.