Linden Woman Participates In Rider University Hospital Intern Program

LAWRENCEVILLE — As part of the two-week Rider Hospital Intern Program, from Jan. 9-20, sophomore Sarah Harris of Linden was one of the 11 undergraduate students who had a chance to shadow physicians, nurses and paramedics during daily rotations at various Capital Health locations, including the new, state-of-the-art Capital Health Medical Center – Hopewell. The program is designed to help students learn more about careers in health care to determine whether to apply to medical school.

During the two-week program, students are asked to write a brief summary of their day in a discussion board to allow their classmates to learn about a specific rotation before they begin. They also describe one or two of the day’s memorable experiences and reflect on their feelings. At the end of the course, students are required to write a thesis about a pressing problem facing health care based on readings and their field experience.

“Our hope is that the students use this as a stepping stone in order to get more experience during the rest of their studies at Rider through other field experiences and internships,” said Dr. Bryan Spiegelberg, assistant professor of chemistry and chair of the Premedical Studies Committee, who runs the Rider Hospital Intern Program.”Shadowing is a big part of medical school. The students can use this field experience on their résumés and applications.”

This year, the students’ experience was enhanced with the much anticipated addition of the 223-bed Capital Health Medical Center – Hopewell, which features high-level specialized medical services, such as neurosciences, digestive health, advanced orthopedic services, oncology, Cyberknife radiosurgery, daVinci robotic surgery, reconstructive surgery and specialized pediatric emergency care. Describing the soothing colors and hotel-like interior of the new facility, Nancy Schlitter, the director of volunteer services at Capital Health, said the hospital was designed to enhance “healing with ambiance,” because studies have shown people heal faster when they are calm.

“The employees were looking forward to the Rider students being here and seeing our top notch equipment. They are proud of the new hospital,” Schlitter said. “I think the hospital program gives a really good glimpse into where medicine is and where it’s going.”

The Rider Hospital Intern Program dates back to the late 1960s when Dr. Thomas C. Mayer, professor emeritus of Biology, started the program at Helene Fuld Medical Center (now Capital Health Regional Medical Center) and at St. Francis Medical Center. Dr. Bryan Spiegelberg, assistant professor of Chemistry and chair of the Premedical Studies Committee, currently runs the program.

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