The Summer Student Scholar Program at Ventura County Medical Center (VCMC), supported by a past grant from VCMRF, provided undergraduate students considering careers in medicine, biomed engineering, and other health care professions with an opportunity to spend eight weeks during the summer with the medical faculty and the physicians in training. The scholars observed a variety of environments including trauma in the emergency room, surgical procedures in the operating room, special care for patients in ICU, outpatient care in the satellite clinic system, and postmortem exams in the coroner’s office.
The students assisted in developing a research project in an area of their interest. They spent approximately one-half of their time in the clinical setting, and the other half of their time working on their research project. Several of the most important research projects were presented at nationally recognized medical conferences, at both the state and national level.
In 2015, the VCMC Summer Scholar Program completed its 34th year of offering undergraduate students an unparalleled exposure to clinical medicine and research. Twenty-two students applied and were interviewed for five positions. Three of the students who were chosen, at the time, were entering their senior year, one beginning junior year, and one who was a sophomore. The Summer Scholars thoroughly enjoyed their experiences and were unanimous in viewing this program as instrumental in helping clarify their career goals.
"I am writing to express my gratitude for the stipend you have provided for the Summer Scholars program at VCMC. If you did not sponsor this program, I would have had to make the difficult decision between earning money in order to support myself next year during school and having this amazing experience. I am truly grateful that I was able to participate in this program. It has provided me with the opportunity to meet many wonderful people and have some incredible experiences.
Meeting these people and having these experiences has inspired and motivated me. After this program I am confident that I want to be a physician and that I belong in the health care field. My experiences at the hospital have also inspired me to want to help the underserved. This program has allowed me to learn so much about myself, the health care field, and medicine, in general. The things I have learned and experienced are invaluable to me and will help me immensely as I go forward on my path to becoming a physician.
Again, I thank you for sponsoring this program and giving students like me the opportunity to have these amazing experiences."