Thursday, November 3, 2011

Abdi Ali worked this summer as an intern in the Mass General Hospital OR. Read his story.

MGH Summer Alumni Program



Every year for the past two decades Massachusetts General Hospital has inspired hundreds of Boston youth who are interested in health and science careers with activities and employment opportunities. MGH is committed to expanding the horizons of these young people as a health improvement strategy as well as a workforce development strategy. We know that educational attainment is highly correlated with economic status the largest predictor of health status.

MGH Center for Community Health Improvement provides 420 youth (grades 3 through college) with academic, life, and career skills that expand and enhance their educational and career options through activities related to science, technology, engineering and math. These activities enable exploration and skill development through experiences and relationships related to health and science subjects and careers. The Center also engages families across all programs.

Meet Abdi Ali, an alumnus of East Boston High School and a student at Denison University. Ali participated in the MGH Youth Scholar Alumni Summer Program. Students applied to this new program that provided alumni/graduates of the MGH High School Program with employment and networking opportunities as part of their continued learning and professional development. Ali is pursuing an undergraduate degree in History and Psychology double major with Pre-medicine concentration.

What was your MGH internship this summer?

This summer, I interned at the MGH main Operating Room as an Operating Room Data Coordinator. My role required me to participate in the Operating Room Department’s quality improvement effort and workflow efficiency for the Orthopedic Innovative Initiative in Surgery.  I worked closely with the Nursing Manager of Orthopedics, Orthopedics Nursing staff, Orthopedic Surgical Team, and Anesthesia, and I was responsible for monitoring and collecting data on quality improvement initiative. I met with these multi disciplinary teams on a daily basis and debriefed them on quality improvement process initiative.

How did this experience differ from your MGH High School Program internship?

As a high school student, I carried out minor projects and mainly worked under the supervision of my colleagues, it was a great stepping stone for me. This summer internship allowed me to work more independently on concrete assignments. This internship challenged and pushed me in different ways and allowed me to further develop my communication and time management skills as I had project deadlines to achieve while working in a fast paced clinical setting.

Why are you studying history and psychology?

When I went off to college, I became interested in writing analytically and critiquing why historical events happen and why people behave the way they do. So, these two different disciplines provide me the opportunity to explore and dive into these issues.

What are some of the important lessons you will take back to your studies this fall?

I hope to apply some skill sets that I gained from this experience to the work I am doing on campus.

What advice would you give to students in the MGH Youth Scholar Program as they consider a health or science course of study in college?

I suggest that they explore the different avenues of health and science studies and they try to meet and network with people from their field of interest. Most importantly, I advise them to be flexible in their thinking when the time for change comes.

What is your favorite part of the internship/and or /Alumni Program and why? 

My favorite part of the internship was being in the OR room and observing interesting clinical surgery cases throughout the day. Most importantly, I enjoyed working closely with the OR team, specifically with my supervisor Jim Barone, who exposed me to the different leadership roles in the OR department. I also enjoyed interacting with the OR staff and getting to know them in person. I just wanted to thank everyone for their support.

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