Health sciences junior Olivia Auster knew she wanted to study medicine since her sophomore year of high school, and her experience this summer in the new Clinical Shadowing Abroad program helped affirm that career path. Auster spent one week at Ernest Lluch Martin Hospital in Spain shadowing healthcare professionals in the emergency room and dermatology department, and three weeks in Italy at the National Cancer Institute of Milan.
“This experience really solidified my passion and love for medicine,” says Auster, who aspires to become a physician assistant. “What really meant the most to me was working with a provider who was excited to teach me about what they do. For example, OB-GYN; I never thought that would be something I was interested in, but working with those doctors in that hospital and seeing how excited they were and how passionate they were in their career really got me on board and engaged, and it made me feel comfortable to ask them questions.”
Auster shares her experience on the latest episode of Knight Life @UCFCHPS, a video series filmed from the student’s point of view; transporting audiences inside life at the College of Health Professions and Sciences (CHPS) through internships, research, study abroad, specialized courses, student organizations and other high impact practices in place to help students succeed.
Auster is one of 29 students to participate in the Clinical Shadowing Abroad program this summer. Students can select one-, three- or six-week sessions designed to expose them to international healthcare systems and directly observe patient treatment. Students engage in weekly reflections during their shadowing experience and culminate the program by writing their personal statement in preparation for graduate school applications.
A separate study abroad program offers students the chance to take health-related courses with a CHPS instructor in Barcelona, Spain. Both programs offer participants new skills in an international setting while receiving credit toward their degree and experiencing new cultures.
“The clinical shadowing abroad program is a unique and multifaceted learning experience for pre-health professions students that is focused on graduate school and career readiness,” explains Suha Saleh, assistant dean of Undergraduate Affairs. “All aspects of this program are built to ensure the highest standards of student experiential learning. While students engage in clinical shadowing, they also learn about international healthcare systems and cultures. This immersive and high impact learning experience improves students’ competence in cultural and interdisciplinary awareness and collaboration.”
Students interested in participating in Summer 2024 international studies programs can find out more and apply on the Study Abroad and Clinical Shadowing Abroad Programs website.