During the Rider Hospital Intern Program, students shadow physicians, nurses, paramedics, and other health care professionals at various Capital Health locations.
Meaghan Haugh

Michelle Figueiredo ’13 shadows respiratory therapist Pradip Kalola.

As part of the two-week BIO 210: Rider Hospital Intern Program, during the January term, 12 undergraduate students have a chance to shadow physicians, nurses and paramedics during daily rotations at various Capital Health locations.

Department rotations range from the Mobile Intensive Care Unit and Pediatrics to Radiation Oncology and Physical Therapy. Dr. Bryan Spiegelberg, assistant professor of Chemistry, who chairs the Premedical Studies Committee and runs the intern program, said the rotations are designed to help students learn more about various careers in health care.

“The students that are applying to professional programs - medical and nursing schools - are often required to show field experience,” Spiegelberg explained. “The diversity of experience they get from these rotations is certainly invaluable.”

This year, Spiegelberg decided to extend the program to non-science majors. He reached out to Dr. Hope Corman, director of the Health Administration Program, to identify business students who would be interested in participating.

Spiegelberg said the class has already benefited from the business perspectives of Stephanie Greene ’15, a Business Administration major and Health Administration minor, and Katelyn Magyar ’13, Marketing and Business Economics dual major, and Health Administration minor.

As part of the course, students are asked to write a brief summary of their day in a discussion board on Blackboard in order to allow their classmates to learn about a specific rotation before they begin. They also describe one or two of the day’s memorable experiences and reflect on their feelings.

"I’ve already seen it on the discussion board how Stephanie and Katelyn have brought in different perspectives about their experiences. For example, they have commented on how a department is organized or the roles of the managers,” Spiegelberg said. “They have really brought to the table some different angles.”

The other student participants included Stephen Brand ’15, Nicole Colossi ’15, Shelly Djoufack ’13, Oleksandra Dorosheva ’14, Brandon Enalls ’14, Michelle Figueiredo ’13, Samantha Hanciles ’14, Edgar Lopez ’14, Roland Malfitano ’13 and Christina Petrillo ’14.

On the day that Figueiredo, a Behavioral Neuroscience and Dance dual major, was shadowing a respiratory therapist, she learned how to operate a SERVO ventilator.

“After school, I plan to continue my education and go into the healthcare field,” she said. “I’ve learned a lot from the experience. I learned more about pursuing areas of the hospital that I never thought of pursuing.”

Meanwhile, Lopez, a Biology major, was shadowing staff in the Pediatrics Emergency/Pediatrics department.

“I wanted to get the experience before I apply to medical school,” he said. “I’m interested in pediatrics and psychiatrics and could see myself going into those fields, or maybe I will find something else I love. That’s why I did this internship program.”

The Rider Hospital Intern Program dates back to the late 1960s when Dr. Thomas C. Mayer, professor emeritus of Biology, started the program at Helene Fuld Medical Center (now Capital Health Regional Medical Center) and at St. Francis Medical Center.

The program has been sponsored through generous support of two New Jersey corporations, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Becton-Dickinson, whose funding is provided through the ICFNJ (The Independent College Fund of New Jersey) of which Rider University is a member.