MDisability Summer Internship Program

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.

Meet our 2024 Summer Interns and our MDisability Internship Alumni.

Sam Grewe
Kaila Helm
Kate Panzer, a young white woman with brown hair, stands behind a table that has many face masks with a clear window stacked on it.

Intern Testimonials

“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.”

Sam Grewe, 2020 Intern

“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."

Lydia Smeltz, 2021 intern

“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.”

Michael Casden, 2020 Intern

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.”

Hiwot Abate, 2021 Intern

Please contact Dawn Michael, MDisability Program Coordinator, at [email protected]