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Westfield Students Participate in Overlook Medical Center's Elite Summer Internship

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During the month of June, 17 college students from northern and central New Jersey hometowns are participating in a highly selective summer medical internship led by Overlook Medical Center vascular surgeon, Clifford Sales, M.D.   In its seventh year, only three per cent of applicants are accepted to the unique program. 

The Overlook Summer Internship Program (OSIP) is a comprehensive four-week program developed to expose undergraduate college students to the health care field. It is designed to give students a close-up perspective of life as a physician in a wide range of specialties. 

“The goal of this program is to help students make an informed decision about possibly entering one of the many exciting fields of medicine,” said Dr. Sales who is also president of the Overlook Medical Staff. “We want to give students the opportunity to learn about the human aspects of a career in medicine—something that is not typically available in most settings”.

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During daily rotations, the students shadow a medical professional - mostly physicians, but also therapists, administrators, nurses and social workers - who is committed to teaching and sharing their experiences. This gives the student an opportunity to see what life is like in each particular field. Rotations include experience in the operating room, emergency department, hospital floors, physician offices or meetings. Each student has the opportunity to interact on a personal basis with the health care professionals.

Each day, Monday through Thursday, begins with a one-hour breakfast discussion led by a professional who discusses his or her field. The focus of this group is on the lifestyle and the pros and cons of each medical specialty. Thereafter, each student reports to an assigned mentor in the setting thought to be most appropriate for the student’s experience. The day is structured by the mentor and each day is very different.

Fridays conclude with a lunch session designed to exchange ideas with fellow students about current experiences and discussion topics of interest to the group.

“Experiences from the program may be valuable throughout the medical school application process,” added Dr. Sales. “Each year, we have students who are surprised to discover an area of medicine they never thought they would be drawn to, and we have others who decide being a doctor is not for them,” says Dr. Sales.  “That’s what it’s all about.”

Students must have completed at least one year of college to apply to the Overlook Summer Internship Program (OSIP). Consideration will be given to class level and academic standing.  All participants are provided with a letter of recommendation for future career and education use. 

Students in the 2016 class are: Audrey Bangs, of Westfield, and a graduate of Westfield High School and a sophomore at Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vt.; Ben Caplan, of Millburn, and a graduate of Millburn High School and a sophomore at University of Miami, Carol Gables, Fla.; Cesar Clarke, of Franklin, and a graduate of Munro College in Jamaica and a sophomore at Raritan Valley Community College, Somerville; Isabel Gibson, of Maplewood, and a graduate of Columbia High School and a junior at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio; Alex Guevara, of Short Hills, and a graduate of Millburn High School and a sophomore at Duke University, Durham, N.C.; Darius Hunt, of Basking Ridge, and a graduate of Ridge High School and a sophomore at Rutgers University; Kevin Innella of Mendham, and a graduate of Oratory Preparatory School and a sophomore at Villanova University, Pa.; Josh Katz, of Warren, and a graduate of Watchung Hills Regional High School and a sophomore at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md.; Magdalena Knysz, of Newfoundland, and a graduate of Jefferson Township High School and a junior at Syracuse University, N.Y.; Ivana Kohut, of West Orange, and a graduate of Kent Place High School and a sophomore at University of Pennsylvania, Pa.; Emily Lubas, of Linden, and a graduate of Mother Seton Regional High School and a senior at Lafayette College, Easton, Pa.; Carl Palad, of Saddle Brook, and a graduate of Don Bosco Preparatory High School and a junior at Northeastern University, Boston, Mass.; Candace Pallitto, of Chatham, and a graduate of Villa Walsh Academy and a junior at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.; Gabriella Quinn, of Chester, and a graduate of West Morris Mendham High School and a junior at Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., Amir Taree, of Short Hills, and a graduate of Millburn High School and a junior at Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H.; David Weinberg, of Livingston, and a graduate of Livingston High School and a junior at the College of New Jersey, Ewing Township; and Kelly Zochowski, of Chatham, and a graduate of The Lawrenceville School and a junior at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

For information about applying to the program in 2017, call 908-522-5926, or go to the Overlook Summer Internship Program information on the Atlantic Health System website.

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