Over the past two summers, health care leaders and organizations from the Coachella Valley have stepped up efforts to  ‘Mentor the Future’ by providing local college students with job shadow opportunities and paid internships to support their passion to becoming health care professionals.

Interns Tour Desert Regional Medical Center

Interns Tour Desert Regional Medical Center

Through two innovative programs, more than sixty local students studying for medical, nursing, public health and health care leadership professions have worked in local organizations gaining valuable hands-on experience on how hospitals, community clinics, emergency rooms, and public health programs, operate.  The students are aligned with physicians, nurses, and other leaders to develop an understanding of the health needs and services of our community.

Through the CVEP/Health Career Connections summer internship program, twenty local students have been hired as full time, paid interns to complete ten week internships in multiple industry sites since 2009. These paid internships are critical in providing an economic path to success in higher level health professions.

Among the sponsoring and/or hosting industry sites are: Desert Regional Medical Center, Eisenhower Medical Center, Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo, CVEP Healthcare Workforce Excellence, UCR School of Medicine, Coachella Valley Healthcare Initiative, Riverside County Public Health, Borrego Community Clinics, City of Coachella, Angel View Foundation, Health Assessment Resource Center, FIND Food Bank, Raices Cultura and Pueblo Unido Community Development Corporation.

Through UCR School of Medicine’s Future Physician Leaders Program, more than 40 students have completed six week sessions shadowing local physicians in a variety of health care settings to foster mentorship relationships with local physicians and to experience the various options of physician leadership. The physician mentors came from the following organizations: Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo, Coachella Valley Healthcare Initiative, Desert Regional Medical Center, Eisenhower Medical Center, Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, UCR School of Medicine, and Volunteers In Medicine.

These two programs are excellent examples of how local health care leaders and organizations are helping to grow our valley’s next generation of health professionals.

For more information on these internship programs contact Traci Rees at  www.cvep.com (Health Career  Connections Summer Internship Program-www.healthcareers.org/program-overview/​internship) and Natassia Valenzuela at nastassia.valenzuela@ucr.edu (Future Physician Leaders Mentor Program-medschool.ucr.edu/futureleader.html)

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