The Department of Family Medicine’s MDisability Summer Internship Program, a unique academic program designed for upper-class level college or graduate/professional students, specializes in providing education and research opportunities in disability health. Interns gain experience and connections that put them on track to shape the healthcare landscape and provide access and equity to people with disabilities. With gratitude, the continuation of the MDisability Internship program is made possible through the generous support of the Philip Zazove, M.D. Disability Health Endowment Fund and the Robert J. Fisher, M.D. Family Medicine Fund.
“As someone with a disability, I’ve experienced firsthand many of the challenges and barriers that my colleagues and I set out to tackle through this internship. Having the opportunity to work with these issues and implement real, tangible changes proved to be incredibly rewarding. The lessons I’ve learned, both academically and emotionally, will undoubtedly help inform my future decisions as I pursue a career in medicine.”
“I am excited to bring the skills and expertise I have gained to Penn State College of Medicine. I have gained confidence in my knowledge and ability to effectively collaborate with others to critically examine the ways things are done and brainstorm how we can improve accessibility and inclusion."
“The MDisability Summer Internship Program helped me establish a foundation to identify and address disability-related issues throughout my career. I plan to build upon this experience and continue to advocate for people with disabilities as a medical student and ultimately as a physician.”
“Being a part of the MDisability Internship Program has demonstrated to me the need for and impact of scientific research. I now have a deeper appreciation for the power of scientific research in improving the health of patients by providing guidelines for patient care and changing health care policy.”
MDisability Internship News
The unique training program educates undergrad, as well as rising and current medical students, to work as future disability health researchers and advocates.
Former MDisability Interns Reflect on how their Internship Experiences Influenced their Future as Health Researchers and Doctors
The innovative program instills confidence, fosters professional networks, and fuels medical students’ enthusiasm for helping individuals with disabilities.
Students Dana Chung, Sydney Kessler, and Sanjana Ratakonda learn about conducting disability health research; interact with family medicine departmental faculty; and work on special projects aimed at providing resources for people with disabilities.
Students will learn how to conduct disability health research and how to care for those with disabilities, among other subjects
Kate Panzer, a second-year student with the University of Michigan Medical School, writes about how she collaborated with members of the Department of Family Medicine, MDisability and others to create the first-ever American Sign Language course for first-year medical students.
Three more students learn about conducting research related to those with disabilities and engage in community and educational disability projects, among other activities.
Meet the 2020 cohort of MDisability Program summer interns. They are current undergraduates, rising medical students, and recent graduates interested in disability research and advocacy in medicine.