Since 1998, Jeffery Corbett, Senior Program Officer for the Stillwater Medical Foundation, has helped 67 students write incredible answers to that age old question, “What did you do this summer?” Since that time, Corbett has coordinated the Foundation’s summer internship program for high school students.
1 What is the Medical Center Foundation’s internship program?
The program started in 1984 as a way to give area high school students a “behind-the-scenes” look at possible careers in healthcare. It is the brainchild of the late Dr. Orville Rippy, a pioneer physician in Stillwater. At his retirement, Dr. Rippy asked that funds be given to create what became the Rippy Fellowship. This program is truly unique, not only to Stillwater, but even to Oklahoma, and maybe the nation. We’ve yet to find anything similar.
2 How many students are involved in the program each summer?
We have three internships. In 1996, Dr. Robert Breedlove approached the Foundation and wanted to provide funding for another student, thus the Breedlove Externship was born. At that same time, Dr. Glen Henry (the 1987 Rippy Fellow) and his mother, Glenna Franklin Cramer, wanted to honor the late Bill Franklin and so they created the Franklin Fellowship.
3 What are you looking for in a potential intern?
These students have a strong desire to have a career in the healthcare field. Most of them are interested in medical school when they apply, but that’s not a requirement. Applicants have a strong academic history and are usually very involved in academic, civic, and social activities. Students from schools within Stillwater Medical’s primary service are eligible to apply.
4 What happens during the internship?
The interns spend six weeks shadowing physicians, nurses, therapists and other allied health professionals within the hospital and local clinics. They observe surgeries, births, and other clinical procedures. They also visit specialized treatment facilities such as Dean McGee Eye Institute and Oklahoma Cancer Specialists & Research Institute. We also tour the OSU and OU colleges of medicine, the OK Blood Institute, OMRF, and the Pharmacy College at OU.
5 What else would you like to share?
To date, the program has helped inspire 25 physicians and medical school students. While not every intern becomes a doctor, about 75% work in healthcare or a related field. Over the next several weeks, we’re going to give the community an opportunity to shadow our interns. Each week of the program, News Press readers will hear from at least one of the interns about their experiences.