WorldCare International, Boston, MA
This summer I worked as a clinical operations intern at WorldCare International Inc., a company that provides expert second medical opinions to those who have been diagnosed with a critical illness, often one that is a complex and rare disease. For the past 26 years, WorldCare has established a consortium of top research hospitals by forming relationships with organizations such as Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Mayo Clinic and UCLA. This consortium contains expert physicians, whose knowledge of disease cases can supplement or even change first opinions. WorldCare streamlines the process of obtaining a detailed second opinion, first with a team of nurse case managers and global medical directors that spends hours speaking with the patient. After collecting information, WorldCare triages each case to a team of experts in their healthcare consortium that recommends a treatment plan based on their own interpretation of the disease’s history and pathology.
Over the summer I was involved in three projects. The first project was the development of a product providing better access to high-quality cancer care, in which WorldCare partnered with other insurance providers as well as healthcare companies that specialize in matching patients to high-quality yet cost-effective treatment centers. I was able to gain a strong understanding of the process of product development, as well as the process of negotiation among companies that have both common and competing interests. I was able to use skills learned in my statistics and computer science classes to help build models. The second project involved converting WorldCare’s unstructured data into a more structured form. We worked on gaining access to natural language process (NLP) vendors to learn about how machine learning can provide structure and organized data from natural language data. In addition, we took reports of existing unstructured data and produced an overall framework and system for organization. The third project, which I held sole responsibility for, was the development of a database for the incidence and prevalence of complex diseases. In building this database, I was able to gain a better understanding of epidemiology, as well as the nuances of epidemiological data when stratifying disease data across varying subgroups and time periods.
This internship reaffirmed my passion for statistics and opened my eyes to epidemiology as an interesting intersection between healthcare and statistics. In addition, for my post-graduate work, it has oriented my focus toward data science and a career in which I can leverage statistical model building as well as artificial intelligence to solve problems. I would like to extend my thanks to the ’68 Center for Career Exploration as I wouldn’t have been able to accept this opportunity without your support. This internship has allowed me to explore my interests and pursue my career goals. I would also like to thank everybody on the WorldCare team, including Ed Wiggers ’90, Marguerite Dresser, Corinne Chapman and Dr. Hassan Sharif, for their invaluable guidance, insights and expertise.