GRIP, Internships Abroad A Global Health Perspective

September 14, 2021
By Meghan Wenzinger, NURSING '22

World Medical Association - France

While reflecting on the impact of my internship experience on my professional and personal goals, I remembered a question that I was asked in my interview: “You’re studying nursing, which is about as personal as you can get to people. Yet you’re also interested in global health. How do you see both of those fields existing in your career, applicable to one another?” I answered by saying how I think having experience as a health care provider, working directly with patients and in different settings, would serve me in a future career in global health. I would have a point of reference from which I could think what kinds of policies or initiatives may be positive, and which may still need changes. I would also have a knowledge base of patients’ experiences, having worked directly with patients. I have not yet found my specific passion among the myriad of pertinent issues in the naturally vast field of global health yet. My goal has always been to positively, profoundly impact as many lives as possible. While I do not know what that would look like exactly, I think global health is an appropriate place to start.

I was drawn to this internship at the World Medical Association (WMA) because I would be able to get an overview of current issues in global health and insight into how global health organizations function. And I did. In addition to those of the WMA, I was able to sit in on meetings with the World Health Organization, International Labour Organization, and United Nations, to name a few. Although this experience was not in person, the context of the pandemic brought a sense of urgency to each meeting, and I feel even luckier to have had the opportunity to be included during such a time.

I have also cherished my involvement in a joint study with the International Hospital Federation, International Council of Nurses, and International Committee of the Red Cross on violence against healthcare, which is a growing issue. I have been able to witness firsthand the collaboration that goes on in the global health sphere. In addition to having gotten exposure to the field, I have also developed my skills in communication, research, teamwork, professionalism, and time management.

I feel a similar, yet stronger, confidence and in my future as I finish this internship as I did when I started. While I interned for an association of and for physicians, the insight I have gained reassures me in my current career trajectory. I am thankful for the valuable experiences and connections I have gained, and I am excited to join the workforce of nurses, and later, the field of global health.

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The Global Research and Internship Program (GRIP) provides outstanding undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to intern or conduct research abroad for 8 to 12 weeks over the summer. Participants gain career-enhancing experience and global exposure that is essential in a global workforce.