Emergency Medicine Project Healthcare Summer Volunteer Program
Founded in 1981 by Lewis R. Goldfrank, MD, the Project Healthcare Summer Volunteer Program is an immersive clinical and educational program available to U.S. and international undergraduate students who are not enrolled in medical school.
Offered through NYU Langone’s Ronald O. Perelman Department of Emergency Medicine, we aim to inspire participants to become more interested and engaged in the field of healthcare and emergency medicine.
We seek mature, committed, and motivated applicants who fully embrace the demands of Project Healthcare and enthusiastically participate in all aspects of the program. We encourage applications not only from students with a strong interest in healthcare (aspiring doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, clinical psychologists and psychiatrists, and clinical social workers, for example), but also from students who are uncertain about whether they wish to pursue a career in healthcare.
Project Healthcare at Bellevue
Project Healthcare at Bellevue is an intensive summer volunteer program for enthusiastic, inspired, and dedicated students. Our program at Bellevue offers a comprehensive overview of emergency medicine, providing participants with a unique and authentic healthcare experience that helps them make informed career choices.
Participants rotate through various clinical areas of Bellevue’s emergency department, including adult, pediatric, and psychiatric emergency rooms; the emergency ward–trauma intensive care unit; urgent care; social work offices; operating rooms; and the cardiac catheterization lab. They also participate in a New York Fire Department ambulance ride-along.
At the start of the program, participants are paired with a resident mentor, whom they shadow and rely on for professional guidance throughout the summer. Participants engage with the greater Bellevue and New York City communities by organizing a community health fair; presenting end-of-summer projects to NYU Langone and Bellevue faculty and staff; and volunteering for optional programs, such as Children of Bellevue’s Reach Out and Read (ROAR).
Weekly meetings and lectures that are modeled on a current medical school curriculum are a staple of Project Healthcare. Weekly meetings have five components: guest speaker, objective, activity, reading materials, and discussion. Meetings bridge the distance between classroom learning and current emergency medicine practice. They also provide opportunities to discuss medical issues in the community, reflect on shift experiences, and hear from accomplished speakers.
Speakers include NYU Langone and Bellevue faculty and staff, authors, administrators, residents, and medical students who speak on topics within an extensive curriculum. Participants also attend a social medicine course taught by an attending physician.
Project Healthcare at Bellevue is a very demanding summer program that requires serious commitment from participants. We welcome applications from U.S. and international students who have completed at least one year of college. International students must have a current I-20 form or be sponsored by their institution.
The 2020 program lasts for 10 weeks, beginning on Monday, June 1, and ending on Friday, August 7. Participants must be present for the duration of the program.
Shifts are not flexible. Participants are permitted to enroll in other courses or programs, but any other schedule must not interfere with Project Healthcare shifts.
The first week is an extensive five-day orientation that includes an introduction to the Bellevue emergency department and additional rotation areas, informational lectures from the chiefs and other representatives from each department, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification, and other mandatory trainings and courses.
For the remaining 9 weeks, participants can expect to work an average of 25 hours a week in scheduled shifts. Special accommodations cannot be made, and students are expected to commit to their assigned shift schedule for the entire summer.
Participants receive their shift schedule during orientation week. Project Healthcare at Bellevue mimics the intensity of a career in healthcare, and participants are required to work nights, weekends, and holidays. Clinical rotations are divided into 5-hour shifts: 8:00AM to 1:00PM, 1:00PM to 6:00PM, and 6:00PM to 11:00PM.
During shifts, participants perform structured tasks to assist doctors, nurses, social workers, patients, and administrators. These tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting with electrocardiograms (EKGs), changing linens on stretchers, stocking supplies, and transporting patients.
Most important, volunteers act as patient advocates, carrying out such tasks as talking with patients, supporting them, making phone calls on their behalf, monitoring their length of stay, and helping with interpretation. Participants simultaneously provide an invaluable service to Bellevue and receive an unparalleled opportunity to observe and assist with clinical care.
Participants should plan on working additional hours to prepare for the Bellevue Health Fair and complete end-of-summer projects. Volunteers are also required to attend the weekly meeting.
If the Project Healthcare at Bellevue schedule is too demanding, please consider our Project Healthcare at NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn program.
Project Healthcare at NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn
Launched in the summer of 2018, Project Healthcare at NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn is directly modeled after Project Healthcare at Bellevue but with a few key differences. The most notable difference is that most of the program activities take place at NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn (formerly Lutheran Medical Center) in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
Additionally, Project Healthcare at NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn maintains a set schedule and a significantly smaller class size of no more than 15 students. It parallels Project Healthcare at Bellevue in intensity and extent of immersion, and provides participants with an equally comprehensive and enlightening healthcare experience.
Project Healthcare at NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn is specifically designed for those who demonstrate a keen interest in the experiences afforded by the program and would benefit from learning in a smaller, more intimate group setting. Participants have a fixed shift schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 10:00AM to 3:00PM.
Participants rotate through many clinical areas in the emergency department at NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn, including adult, pediatric, and psychiatric emergency rooms; triage; social work; community health worker offices; operating rooms; the catheterization lab and interventional radiology suite; and emergency medical services, where they have the chance to join NYU Langone emergency medical technicians (EMTs) on ambulance ride-alongs.
Participants perform the same structured tasks as those at Bellevue, which include changing linens on stretchers, stocking supplies, and serving as patient advocates. As patient advocates, participants speak to patients, support them, make phone calls on their behalf, monitor their length of stay, and help with interpretation. They provide an invaluable service to NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn while receiving a vast range of clinical experiences as they assist doctors, nurses, social workers, community health workers, patients, and administrators.
Although participants spend much of their time at NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn, they have chances to engage with the greater New York City community. Volunteers are paired with a resident mentor, whom they shadow at NYU Langone’s Tisch Hospital and rely on for professional guidance throughout their summer and beyond. They also help organize the annual Bellevue Health Fair and present end-of-summer projects to Tisch Hospital, Bellevue, and NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn staff.
Project Healthcare at NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn participants attend weekly meetings organized for Project Healthcare at Bellevue. They have the opportunity to discuss medical issues pertaining to each site, reflect on what they experience during their shifts, and hear from accomplished speakers. Participants also attend the social medicine course taught by an attending physician.
Housing and Compensation
We are happy to offer Project Healthcare at Bellevue and Project Healthcare at NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn participants housing at a reduced rate in selected NYU dormitories. For 2020, the rate is expected to be approximately $279 per week, although rates are subject to change.
Unfortunately, we are currently unable to provide any stipends or travel reimbursement. Participants receive a meal voucher at each shift that can be presented to hospital food vendors.
We strongly encourage you to research possible grants, funding, and scholarships at your university or college. If your institution offers credit or a stipend for your participation, we are happy to provide any paperwork you may require. Applicability is decided on a case by case basis.
How to Apply
Applications for summer 2021 will be accepted for the Project Healthcare at Bellevue and Project Healthcare at NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn programs starting in early 2021. The application form and requirements are the same for both programs.
Complete application packages include the online application, a CV, an essay, and two letters of recommendation. The recommendation letters must be uploaded by recommenders to the online application portal. Please inform recommenders that our portal is similar to those used for medical school applications, in that they will receive an email and be asked to securely upload their letter of recommendation. The recommendations are confidential, and all applicants waive their right to view them.
When both letters are uploaded and the online application is complete, participants submit the application along with the accompanying documents and the $10 application fee. Only complete and submitted applications will be reviewed.
Historically, we receive a large number of nationwide applications per application cycle. The program offers interviews to 120 applicants and accepts 50 to 65 summer participants to the Bellevue and Brooklyn programs combined. Interviews for both programs are held in March and take place at Bellevue. All interviews are conducted in person. Interviewees are invited to choose their interview date from four options.
For questions regarding Project Healthcare at Bellevue or Project Healthcare at NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn, please contact Anthony Orneta, program manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.