Internships provide a mechanism for students to function as a professional within a healthcare organization for a limited time in order to gain experience. All Health Policy and Management students must complete a 400 hour internship or field practicum prior to receiving their degree. More specific details are available in the class syllabus and Blackboard website in the quarter in which you enroll.
The Department of Health Policy and Management does not currently guarentee an internship slot and stipend for every student. The School of Public Health does have a central clearing house for known jobs and internships, available to registered students in the SPH Community on Blackboard. Faculty may also assist in finding opportunities. Opportunities increase each year as more alumni assume managerial roles and many students find internships at the nearby Loma Linda University Medical Center or the Loma Linda Veterans Affairs Medical Center. However, the School is also located close to the administrative offices for many agencies / departments for both Riverside and San Bernardino County. There are also many medical and dental groups, hospitals, and other private healthcare-related organizations in the Inland Empire.
Normally students register for this class just prior to graduation. However, DON’T WAIT UNTIL THE LAST QUARTER to think about this class. The most important aspect of the internship is the opportunity to apply newly learned knowledge to a real-world setting. However, in order to receive academic credit, students must write a class paper along with an executive summary and give an oral report to their peers. The final paper is retained by the Department and may be reviewed during an accreditation site visit.
Many students will need to spend at least 2 quarters of part-time effort to accumulate the necessary hours. It is recommended that early into your coursework you talk with your advisor to determine which internship may be most appropriate. Consider your career goals, areas of interest, professional strengths and weaknesses, skills you wish to develop, preference for organization or agency, geographical location, and educational needs. If already employed at an organization, a specific project at that job may be used to satisfy the internship requirements.
Sometimes there are formal internships offered by organizations, sometimes students “make” their own internship. Keep in mind that when applying for an internship, you may be asked to provide a resume and go through an interview. While in the negotiation stage, it is helpful to use the INTERN Agreement form. In order to complete that form, you will need signatures and a brief description of the internship in order to clarify expectations, tasks, and timelines. The initial defining of the internship is typically done through the preceptor, who is an individual at the organization, often at the senior management level, with expertise in the assigned project areas, recognized management effectiveness, and an interest as well as competence in mentoring. The preceptor guides the intern's professional development and integration into the organization. The preceptor and intern are encouraged to schedule regular meetings for mentoring, professional guidance, project supervision, and special instruction. Both the student and preceptor must complete a final evaluation form at the end of the internship. Faculty advisors are available to students and preceptors for guidance, support, consultation, technical assistance, and problem solving.
Forms to be completed: