By Grace Sims
This summer, biology major Meg Upperman (C’20) worked as an intern at the Yale Child Study Center in New Haven, CT. The program is directed by Dr. Linda Mayes (C’73), who works as a professor of child psychiatry, pediatrics, and psychology at Yale and is a visiting professor here at the University.
Upperman shared, “[Dr. Mayes] comes and gives a talk at Career Services every year, so I went to that talk and just kind of connected with her and applied.” She urged students with interests spanning all areas of medicine to apply for the internship, adding “I am not a psychology major, and a lot of psych majors are the people that do apply, but really they are so open to finding things that work for you and your interests. You just have to reach out to Dr. Mayes and if she knows someone that she feels would match up with your interests well, she will accommodate you.”
Upperman described how the internship offered a different view of the medical field. When asked what aspect of the internship she enjoyed the most, she said “getting to interact with a different healthcare system than I’ve been exposed to before” was a highlight. In previous years, Upperman worked at Partners for Healing in Tullahoma, TN.
Regarding her work at the smaller nonprofit clinic, she noted how “it was a very different environment there. I got to shadow the nurse practitioners and the nurses. I was shadowing more of the clinical side of things, but this summer I shadowed more of the operational side, so I feel like I really have a comprehensive picture of what actually goes on.”
Upperman recalled finding the more operational side of her internship a bit tedious at times, and commented, “It was a lot of really granular, nitty-gritty, detailed stuff, and that’s not really how my brain works. Because it was more centered on the operational side of healthcare, it was imputing data in Excel sheets and diagrams.” However, she maintained that understanding the field from several different perspectives will help her become a better doctor.
Upperman plans to attend medical school and study obstetrics and gynecology. “I’m passionate about women’s health in general—I’ve always been interested in women’s reproductive health,” said Upperman. She is currently considering taking time before medical school to earn her Master’s degree in public health. When asked what her target medical school is, she replies, “Probably Tulane, because it is close to home.”