In a normal year, Padua MedTrack sophomores prepare for and obtain their “Externship” experience. An Externship is defined as 40 hours of clinical observation in a healthcare field of the student’s choosing during the summer prior to junior year. Unfortunately, the Class of 2022’s essential MedTrack experience was cancelled, due to the COVID pandemic. The MedTrack Advisory Board met remotely to strategize about how the students – both the Class of 2022 and 2023 – could gain similar experiences while preparing for the possibility of another summer without any observation permitted by the major healthcare facilities. Thus, the ExternSHOP™ was born.
Rather than sending students out to gain experience with clinicians, an ExternSHOP (Externship Workshop) brings the clinicians to the students for a conference in career exploration held at Padua. Though limited on-site observations were ultimately permitted for this summer, the ExternSHOP was a huge success by allowing students to gain a variety of hands-on experiences. This year’s inaugural event for 33 students was assisted by 30 volunteers in 10 areas: surgery, forensic psychiatry, biomedical engineering, neurology, oncology, nursing, pediatrics, emergency medicine, physician assistant skills, and physical therapy.
MedTrack leadership and students were extremely grateful for the support of all volunteers, particularly Padua alumni Dr. Katie Cerny ’93, Dr. Joe Hanna ’79, Katie DeAngelo ’08, Elaine Heinzerling ’86, Brenna Heinzerling ’22, and Lynn (Keco) Moran ’89; as well as MedTrack alumni Kaitlyn Helal ’21 and John Niezgoda ’21 (logistics support); Alicia Cristino ’15, Brianna Oehlstrom ’15 and Hannah Lowe ’16 (nursing); Dr. Cameron Marcus ’13 (emergency medicine); Annmarie Rosa ’15 and Mary Ellen Wasco ’16 (physician assistant skills); and Katie Miller DPT ’13 (physical therapy).
MedTrack is an award-winning, four-year advanced science track focused on helping students explore and prepare for careers in healthcare. The comprehensive program combines advanced coursework, enrichment opportunities, and practical experiences, while integrating the distinctive Franciscan approach to healthcare, which only Padua Franciscan can provide.