Luther senior Kjerstin Nelson of Apple Valley, Minnesota, spent the past few months in Alicante, Spain, working as a medical intern at El Centro Médico Estación, a private medical clinic.
Nelson, daughter of Denise and Torre Nelson, graduated from Apple Valley Senior High School in 2014. She plans to graduate from Luther in 2018 with Spanish and biology majors.
El Centro Médico Estación, a clinic for patients with private insurance, offers many options for consult and treatment. The clinic provides a variety of medical services including dental care, annual employment health checks for business, health classes, validation for driver's licenses, gun licenses and evaluations of dangerous animals. The doctors on staff are specialists in a plethora of areas, from Gynecology to Traumatology.
As a medical intern, Nelson shadowed doctors, nurses, administrators, lab technicians and receptionists, while being constantly immersed in Spanish medical terminology. Fellow employees explained lab results and ailments with warm support. Nelson felt "able to ask questions without any feelings of embarrassment and learn about all aspects of the clinic including the paperwork and organizational dynamics that occur outside of the medical exam."
By observing many areas of medicine, Nelson feels equipped to continue on her path towards medical school and residency. She says studying medicine in Spain has "reaffirmed my passion to work with medicine in a multilingual context." Through her interactions with a diverse group of medical personnel and patients, she is thankful for the relationships she forged.
Approximately 10 percent of Luther students take an internship for academic credit each academic year. The Luther College Career Center assists students with their internship search through resume preparation, networking, online internship searches, career fairs, on-campus interviewing, and connecting the student to alumni through the college's Alumni Internship Program.
Students also meet with a faculty adviser prior to the internship to create an internship learning plan that includes learning goals and assessment benchmarks. An internship work supervisor assists in the process by writing an evaluation of the student at the end of the internship. Students also complete a self-reflection form to help finalize the learning experience.
A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,050, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: http://www.luther.edu.