Is it possible to convert a “win-win” to win-win-win”? Volunteers in Medicine’s new internship program is doing just that!
Interns enhance VIM’s winning health care services for patients while increasing their own knowledge and capability. The students have enriched the VIM experience for our clinical volunteers (and staff) who mentor and guide these young professionals.
VIM’s mission is already a clear “win-win” for everyone: individuals with limited resources who lack insurance get exceptional, comprehensive care; and, the volunteers who provide the care feel great satisfaction.
Some recent examples of internships include:
- Medical residents from Berkshire Health Systems
- Dental students from Tufts University
- Dental hygiene students from Springfield Technical Community College
- Nurse Practitioners from Elms College
- Medical assistants from various institutions
- Individuals who seek exposure to healthcare in advance of seeking professional degrees
Students gain insights into the challenges that undermine the health status of VIM patients, such as lack of access to community resources, education, housing and childcare. They gain credits toward their education and appreciate being able to practice their profession without the constraints often placed by insurance providers.
For VIM, the students bring new energy and extra hands to treat more patients. Several clinical volunteers have increased their own hours to engage with the students and share their knowledge and passion. Who knows…someday these students may decide to settle in the Berkshires and practice medicine. Truly a real win-win-win for the community!