Luther senior Conway interns at Gundersen Health Clinic

Luther College senior James Conway of Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, spent January Term 2019 shadowing at Gundersen Health Clinic in Decorah, Iowa.

Conway, son of Pat and Deb Conway of Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, is a 2015 graduate of Mount Horeb High School. He plans to graduate from Luther in 2019 with a degree in neuroscience.

During his time at the Gundersen Health Clinic, Conway observed a variety of different healthcare professionals. "Some of my prominent shadowing experiences were in the Childhood and Adolescent Psychiatry, Orthopedics, Family Practice, and Podiatry departments. As a fly on the wall I got to witness how great providers interacted with their patients and were able to approach difficult medical problems with a sense of confidence that they could appropriately assist the person." In addition to observing professionals, he followed the patients' journeys through the medical system. "In one instance I got a chance to be in the pre-op and post-op appointment along with also being present for their surgery. Getting to see a patient go through all steps of their medical care really shed light on how important every member of the healthcare team is," says Conway.

Through this internship, Conway learned that being in the medical profession included continuing to challenge yourself every day. "Providers operate on a hectic schedule and it seems they need to always be in two places at once. However, the best are still able to make a meaningful connection with each patient they work with," reflects Conway. He now intends to focus on "remaining above the stress with eyes set on the important part of medicine, the patient." 

Spending time in different medical fields through his internship has directly influenced Conway's career goals. "There were many settings I enjoyed being a part of and while my future career plans are not set in stone, I learned during this experience that finding a position surrounded by a strong interdisciplinary team is the way I would like to practice medicine in the future."

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 2,005, 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.