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When 16-year-old David Brown began his summer internship this month at BWH, he had no idea that he would become chief technologist of Neurology/Electromyography (EMG) in just two weeks.
The junior at John D. O’Bryant High School of Math and Science so impressed his supervisor that he was named chief technologist for the day last Thursday, donning a BWH tie and lab coat. Brown not only looked the part, but performed all the duties of a chief, including distributing the daily workload, leading patients into exam rooms and answering and transferring incoming calls. “Upon meeting David, I could tell how passionate he was about working in the medical field,” said Essa Kayd, chief neurodiagnostic specialist and Brown’s supervisor, who appointed him chief for the day. “He undoubtedly will become a dedicated, caring professional one day.”
Brown is among 70 high school students learning about various health care careers and improving their interpersonal skills this summer through six-week internships offered by the Human Resources Summer Youth Program. Students are recruited through the Boston Private Industry Council from Boston high schools and several community agencies to work in 39 departments at BWH. The program is successful thanks to supportive and dedicated managers who host students in their departments.
“Each year, the program is enhanced so that students learn as much as they can from their summer experience,” Beverley Sobers, manager of Workforce Development, said. “This year, Workforce Development collaborated with Organizational Development and Learning to develop and deliver the Young Professionals Workshop, which focused on customer service skills and professionalism. The workshop was a great success and will definitely be offered to future students.”
Such customer service skills and professionalism are an important part of Brown’s daily work in the Department of Neurology/EMG/EEG, where he greets patients at the front desk, calls patients to remind them of upcoming appointments and shadows Kayd. Kayd plans to teach Brown more about the department as the summer continues by increasing his interaction with patients, familiarizing him with the basics of medical procedures and terminology and introducing him to physicians and nurses.
“Although I never thought about becoming a doctor, being here has made it a possibility. This program gives me the chance to experience something I recently began to wonder about, and now I have the chance to find answers,” said Brown, who plans on sharing his experience with classmates when he returns to school this fall.