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Gonzalez ’19 Examines Healthcare Systems Through Internships


Twenty rising sophomores are spending the summer completing career-related experiences through First-Year Forward, through Hamilton’s Career Center. At the beginning of the year these students committed to regular group meetings, career counseling session, and skill-building assignments. Their goals are to develop skills in communication, networking and interviewing, and to assess their own strengths and career interests. Internships this summer will help them determine career interests.

Daniela Gonzalez ’19 began her first year at Hamilton with a surprising amount of experience in the medical world. While attending South Texas High School for Health Professions, a high school that specializes in preparing its students for health careers, she volunteered at a hospital and shadowed both a cardiologist and gastroenterologist. One might think she’d take a well-deserved break over her first summer, but instead she is completing not one, but two internships.

about Daniela Gonzalez ’19

Hometown: McAllen, Texas

High School: South Texas High School for Health Professions ("Med High")

see more student internship stories

She is volunteering at the ER at the McAllen Medical Center Hospital and shadowing Dr. Keith Ramos, a nephrologist working with the Kidney Doctors of South Texas. Both experiences are helping her to learn about different possible career paths within the healthcare field. Her two internships are funded by the First Year Forward program.

Gonzalez chose to shadow Dr. Ramos so that she could gain hands-on experience in nephrology, a field she would otherwise only be able to read about. On a typical day, Gonzalez shadows Dr. Ramos as he consults with patients. She’s been able to learn about different treatment options available for renal failure, kidney stones, hyper tension, and renal transplant follow-up.

Gonzalez has also been able to observe his doctor-patient interactions, a skill she considers very important. She explained that “witnessing the progress of the patients and how the treatment really makes a difference in their well-being” has been the highlight of her experience. Before this summer, Gonzalez was primarily interested in becoming a gastroenterologist. As a result of her time shadowing, she is considering a future as a nephrologist.

As a volunteer in the ER, every day is different. Her duties include taking patients’ vital signs, helping to move patients around the department, sending specimens to the lab, and translating for patients who speak Spanish. She’s found translation to be the most rewarding part of her work, as she enables nurses and physician’s assistants to “conduct the patient’s physical exam and obtain their medical history to further diagnose and treat effectively.” Overall, she’s been able to learn a lot about how an ER works, including, she noted “staying calm in a very hectic work environment.”

As a result of her dual internships, Gonzalez is grateful to have more diverse experience in different hospital systems and in different fields of specialization. She’s also happy that she’s been able to make an impact on her community, something she hopes to continue doing in her future career.

Twenty rising sophomores are spending the summer completing career-related experiences through First-Year Forward, through Hamilton’s Career Center. At the beginning of the year these students committed to regular group meetings, career counseling session, and skill-building assignments. Their goals are to develop skills in communication, networking and interviewing, and to assess their own strengths and career interests. Internships this summer will help

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