By: Roshini Balasubramanian
This summer, I interned at the clinically integrated network of Children’s National Health System. I really enjoyed my time in Washington, D.C (loved the city!) and the opportunity to explore public health work in a clinical environment. My experiences over the 10 weeks opened my eyes to new fields and careers that I had never considered before.
The team I worked with brings together community-based physicians and pediatric specialists to manage the rising costs associated with health services and provide high quality care to children in the area. One of the ways they do so is through Quality Improvement Initiatives. These are long-term projects, and I was involved with an assessment of pediatric providers, which provided a better understanding of current practices regarding the management of constipation in the primary care setting.
One of the most meaningful experiences I had this summer was observing patient visits at the IMPACT DC Asthma Clinic, which has a focus on helping children from impoverished areas in D.C. Working at an institution that takes a holistic approach to medicine to address inequities in health care highlighted the importance of the social determinants of health and the difficulties socioeconomic disparities pose to medicine.
Additionally, I learned a lot about what work environments are most productive for me and how to effectively communicate with others on my team. I am so thankful for this experience and the amazing people I was able to meet over the summer. I now better understand the rewarding nature of a career in medicine and have a much deeper interest in population health.
Children’s National has a trademark saying that you’ll hear every so often and see on posters around the hospital: “only in pediatrics can you save a lifetime.”