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Preprofessional Opportunities

New York University - Project Health Care


Category: Summer
Type: Clinical
Location: New York New York
Deadline: Early February


PHC is a very demanding summer program, requiring a great deal of commitment from the participants, for a total of ten weeks. The first week of the program provides an extensive five-day orientation that includes an introduction to the Bellevue Hospital Emergency Department and additional rotation areas, informational lectures from the chiefs and/or other representatives from each department, CPR certification and other trainings and courses necessary to work at Bellevue Hospital. For the remaining nine weeks of the program, participants can expect to work on average 25 hours a week in scheduled shifts, and should plan on working additional hours to prepare health fair and end-of-summer projects. Participants are also required to attend the weekly meetings/lectures. Participants receive their shift schedule for the entire summer during orientation week. Project Healthcare mimics the intensity of a life in healthcare; participants are required to work nights, weekends, and holidays. Clinical rotations are divided into three 5-hour shifts: morning (8:00 AM – 1:00 PM), afternoon (1:00 PM – 6:00 PM), and evening (6:00 PM – 11:00 PM). Participants should expect to work at least 4 to 5 randomly assigned shifts per week. Special accommodations cannot be made for any participants whatsoever. During shifts, participants perform structured tasks to assist doctors, nurses, social workers, patients, and administrators. These tasks include, but are not limited to, making up stretchers, stocking supplies, and transporting patients. But most importantly, volunteers act as patient advocates, performing duties such as talking with patients, supporting patients, making phone calls on behalf of patients, monitoring patients’ length of stays, and interpreting. All of these tasks provide an invaluable service to Bellevue Hospital, while simultaneously offering participants the unparalleled opportunity to observe and assist with clinical care.


We have expanded our program to include NYU Langone Hospital – Brooklyn, in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Thus, students have an option of working at our Manhattan (Bellevue Hospital Center) or Brooklyn (NYU Langone Hospital – Brooklyn) locations.

As a member of Project Healthcare students are given the unique opportunity to play an active role in patient care in one of NYU’s active emergency departments. Through hands on experience, in one of New York City’s active emergency departments, our volunteers are able to explore a diverse array of interests and are exposed to the reality of a career in medicine.  The volunteers learn to function as patient advocates, and are also exposed to numerous aspects of patient care while working closely with the clinical staff. Our 9-week or 10-week intensive summer program is one of the most competitive and attractive programs in the nation offered to collegiate students.

In addition to the Emergency Department, which includes adult and pediatric emergency rooms (including trauma) as well as the Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program, all participants rotate through the Operating Room and Cardiac Catheterization Lab to observe and help facilitate care.  They ride along with FDNY EMTs, and spend time with the Social Work staff where they learn about the social needs of patients suffering with issues such as domestic violence, sexual assault, substance abuse, and/or homelessness. Add to that, community engagement events, a topical and appropriate NYU medical curriculum and a social medicine course our program is one of the most immersive of its kind.

The main function of our volunteers is patient advocacy. This directly translates to providing food and water to patients, providing blankets and clothing and, above all, emotional comfort by way of conversation and interaction. Volunteer participants also engage in concrete tasks such as making up stretchers, transporting patients, providing patient support during procedures, interpreting, assisting with undressing patients, and the stocking and preparation of equipment.  In the clinical area, they are afforded the opportunity to observe procedures, assist with custodial care, and interact with patients of varied cultural, social and economic backgrounds.  While intermingling, at our teaching hospital, with all levels of clinical staff, they may also engage in active networking with RNs, residents, attending physicians, social workers, PCTs and ancillary personnel.  In short, our program offers each participant an opportunity to further develop the skills of flexibility, compassion, and creativity, while addressing the demands of spontaneous situations.

Quantitative research has shown that a large majority of our alumni continue their education in the healthcare field. With many past participants gaining acceptance into some of the most prestigious medical institutions in the nation, citing their experiences in Project Healthcare as pivotal to fostering the motivation and dedication that helped them to achieve success. For our volunteers, it is often the individual patient interactions that are most impactful. Our volunteers appreciate the stories, the experiences and the trust that patients share with them.

More information and, more specifically, the application for Project Healthcare can be accessed through this link. The application requires the submission of a personal statement, an updated resume and two letters of recommendation. Please note that no particular previous experiences are required. Each year, in selecting our volunteers, we look for a diverse group of students with equally diverse interests and experiences. We welcome any questions, should you have them.