HPP Students Begin 10-week Preceptorship Program at UPMC Hospitals-Health Professions Program - Carnegie Mellon University

Monday, August 30, 2010

HPP Students Begin 10-week Preceptorship Program at UPMC Hospitals

On August 25, eighteen HPP students walked in to UPMC Shadyside Hospital and began a 10-week journey to experience first-hand what it’s like to be a medical resident. As volunteers with the competitive UPMC Shadyside/Carnegie Mellon University Preceptorship Program, the students will be assigned to two residents and will shadow each for a 5-week period.

“This is an opportunity to explore the career of medicine,” said former HPP Director Justin Crowley when he addressed students at the program’s orientation session. “Medicine is a complex field, and there is a lot to learn. It is our hope that this program will help you decide whether medicine is the right career path for you.”

During the 10-week program, students will actively observe how physicians function in a hospital setting, and how they interact with patients. But the student volunteers will see much more than patient care. They will go to meetings with their residents, go to grand rounds and have the opportunity to join their resident during an on-call at night.

Stephen Tsaur, a junior biomedical engineering and chemical engineering major, is still deciding whether to pursue a career in medicine so he applied for the Preceptorship Program to get more experience in a hospital. “The main reason I did this was to see what being a physician entails. I think it’s going to be really cool. A lot of it is in our hands. We get to decide what we want to see.”

One of the goals of the program is for students to get a better understanding of what the different areas of medicine are and where they might fit in. Student volunteers are encouraged to ask to observe a surgical procedure if surgery interests them, or to ask to visit a community clinic if they have an interest in family practice.

“I’m a member of Carnegie Mellon’s Emergency Medical Service team,” said David Morse, a junior biomedical engineering and chemical engineering major interested in pursuing an M.D./Ph.D. “I see a lot of the emergency, pre-hospital care. I’m hoping that this program will give me a good sense of what it means to be a doctor, of actually treating patients.

The Preceptorship Program was established in 1981 with Shadyside Hospital. This year, the program was extended to include residents working at UPMC Presbyterian. Students participating in the program may also accompnany their residents to other facilities, including the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC, and various clinics in the Pittsburgh area.

For more information about the UPMC Shadyside/Carnegie Mellon University Preceptorship Program, visit: …../enhance_credentials/mentor/shadyside-preceptorship-program.html