Sarasota Memorial’s Cancer Institute team recognized six high school students from Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) who helped pilot a new oncology internship program at the hospital this year.
The SMH-SMA community partnership allowed the six cadets to spend two hours each week at the hospital observing and learning during a pilot program that started with three students last fall and concluded with a second trio that completed the program in May.
The students spent four months during the school’s fall and spring semester rotating through different areas of the hospital, shadowing physicians, pathologists, oncology navigators, nurses, clinical educators and other cancer care specialists, as they learned about topics ranging from diagnostic testing and genetic counseling to advanced cancer treatments and clinical trials.
“Our goal was to give students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the care that takes place at our hospital and to provide a unique and insightful experience that helps them discover and shape individual career goals,” said Sarasota Memorial Hospital Chief Medical Officer and Gynecological Oncologist James Fiorica, MD, who helped spearhead the high-school training program.
Initially, the program was limited to just three students per semester so that SMH’s oncology team could make each student’s experience focused and meaningful. The students were selected by SMA based on academic performance and their deep interest in the medical field.
“The feedback from the first high school internship was overwhelmingly positive,” said Tamela Fonseca, MSN, clinical manager of oncology at SMH. “We look forward to sharing and inspiring more students each semester.”
The SMH-SMA Oncology Internship Program team and students for the Fall 2017 semester included SMH Oncology Nursing Leaders Tamela Fonseca and Barbara Poropat; SMA cadets Courtney Parks, Kendra Hall and Anjolie Berninger; and SMH Chief Medical Officer James Fiorica, MD.
The SMH-SMA Oncology Internship Program team and students for the Spring 2018 semester included SMH Oncology Nursing Leaders Tamela Fonseca, Barbara Poropat and Shari Feinberg; SMA cadets Kori Milhorn, Hannah Phillips and Nicole Fic; SMH Chief Medical Officer James Fiorica, MD; and SMH Genetic Counselor Nicole Wood.