Internships at Tufts Medical Center Prepare Boston’s Future Healthcare Professionals
Boston has long been a leader in U.S. healthcare, with some of the nation’s best physicians and hospitals calling the city home. Ja’Karri Pierre and Jenny Wang, 2021 graduates of the Boston Latin School, hope to join the city’s dynamic healthcare workforce in the future. This summer, the pair have gained valuable experience in the field by interning at Tufts Medical Center.
“I’ve always been interested in working in healthcare because I’ve always been fascinated with science,” explains Jenny, who is interning in the Pediatric Orthopedics Department and Trauma Clinic. “I wanted to see what career options there were. In previous internships, I was able to work on research in a lab, so this summer I wanted to experience the clinical side.”
Soon, Jenny will be attending Boston University, majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. She says her internship experiences have provided her with a better picture of her career goals.
“This internship has really helped me realize that I want to be in healthcare. I enjoy the interaction with patients, and I think the field is very exciting,” explains Jenny. “I’ve learned to deal with difficult situations, how to be professional, and how to speak and handle patients who are going through a difficult time.”
Like Jenny, Ja’Karri says his two summers interning at Tufts have allowed him to learn and see which specialties he might like to pursue. In addition, the opportunity to experience and compare his internship last summer in Hematology/Oncology Services to his current experience in the Department of Dermatology this year has been invaluable, he says.
“From a very young age, we’re told that we need to figure out where we want to go, but there’s no real way to know for sure if that’s what you want to do unless you get exposure. My internships have helped me see different parts of medicine, both the administrative side and the clinical side. What parts I like and dislike, and what specialties interest me,” he explains.
This fall, Ja’Karri will begin studying at Harvard University, where he plans to major in History and Science (Medicine and Society Focus) and minor in Global Health and Health Policy. More than just an opportunity to compare areas within the field of healthcare, he believes his experience and the professional relationships he has built at Tufts will be an important stepping stone.
“Boston is a very competitive city when it comes to healthcare, so this internship has allowed me to get my foot through the door, especially as a person of color. When you look at people in higher-ranking positions, they mostly aren’t people of color,” he explains. “I’ve met, worked with, and established relationships with people who want to help and mentor me as I pursue a career in healthcare. It’s really comforting to know that I have people here at Tufts who are there to support me and who want to help me achieve my goals.”
Tufts Medical Center has been a long-standing partner of the PIC in providing career exploration opportunities for Boston Public School (BPS) high school students. Since 1995, Tufts has hosted over 600 BPS interns.