Felicia Ramírez didn’t mind spending part of her summer taking part in the Doctors Academy’s Senior Summer Clinical Internship program.
Ramírez, an incoming senior at Caruthers High School, wants to work in the medical field.
The 17-year-old student is one of the 73 seniors-to-be from Sunnyside, Selma and Caruthers high schools who participated in this year’s six-week summer program.
Ramírez had the opportunity to job-shadow Dr. Norma Figueroa, a Kaiser Permanente pediatrician at the Clovis Medical Offices, as part of the academy’s clinical internship program.
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Figueroa has been mentoring Doctors Academy students for a couple of years and has been with Kaiser for more than a decade bringing with her 17 years of experience in pediatrics.
Figueroa said she likes to be able to provide students with “helpful career advice.”
Figueroa said she is like an open book where interns can ask her anything from how to get into medical school to volunteer work.
But one thing Figueroa tells her interns is “stay in school and work hard.”
According to Shawna Rogers, Doctors Academy program coordinator for UCSF Latino Center, the students were placed at Valley Children’s Hospital, Kaiser Permanente Fresno, Community Regional Medical Center, Clínica Sierra Vista, Adventist Health and private clinical institutions in the area.
The interns job-shadowed medical professionals in different specialties including pediatrics, family medicine, radiology, oncology, emergency medicine, cardiology, physical therapy, orthopedics, OB/GYN, pharmacy, pathology, dermatology, anesthesiology and veterinary medicine.
Kerri Leedy, media relations specialist for Kaiser Permanente Fresno, said Doctors Academy students are interns either at Kaiser’s Clovis Medical Offices, Selma Medical Offices or at its Fresno Medical Center.
Ramírez said during the summer program she started her day around 7:25 a.m. to get ready to leave her house so her mother could drop her off at the Clovis Medical Offices by 9 a.m. to start her internship with Figueroa.
“This is my top choice,” Ramírez said of being in pediatrics. “I like it a lot. Love working with kids.”
There are two components to the program. The 180-hour internship provides DA interns with 90 hours of a clinical experience and 90 hours of secondary research where each intern works on a research project related to their clinical field of interest.
The interns presented their research projects to their mentors, families, and community supporters at the annual Doctors Academy Senior Research Symposium, which took place July 19 at the UCSF Fresno Medical Education and Research Center.
“It’s their time to shine, display all their hard work” Rogers said of the symposium.
The first cohort of DA seniors participated in the internship program in the summer of 2002.