SALISBURY, MD---Salisbury resident Sarah Blondeaux worked in finance for four years. While she was successful in the field, it eventually became clear that was not what she wanted to do with her life.
She left the business world to return to college in hopes of entering the medical field. This time, thanks to Salisbury University’s Health Professions Advisory Program (HPAP) and Dr. Joseph Kim of Nanticoke Physician Network, she knows that’s exactly what she wants to do.
Blondeaux is one of several SU students participating in the HPAP’s physician shadowing program, volunteering with several physicians in the lower Delaware area.
This program is the brainchild of Kim, a 1998 alumnus of Salisbury University and family practice physician in Laurel, DE. He facilitated a network of area physicians from Nanticoke Memorial Hospital’s medical staff who are willing to assist SU students hoping to enter the medical field.
As an undergraduate preparing for his eventual admission into the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Kim found out that he needed to demonstrate job shadowing experience.
“The reason I pursued this venture was to provide pre-medical students an opportunity to shadow physicians in different areas of medicine,” said Kim. “It reduces the stress of trying to obtain shadowing experience. The physicians involved are excited to have students and are eager to teach various aspects of medicine.”
“In these days of heightened awareness of patient confidentiality, it’s difficult for a student to knock on a physician’s door and say, ‘Hey, can I come work with you for a little while?’” said Dr. Diane Davis, HPAP director.
At the same time, more graduate schools are requiring field experience for applicants. “Admissions committees want to see service in healthcare, nursing homes, anything that shows the students have some kind of hands-on knowledge about the field,” Davis said. “They want to know you’re committed.”
Davis also noted the support of Nanticoke Memorial Hospital and several physician groups that crafted and gained approval the program.
“Without support from Nanticoke Vice President Tom Brown, the Nanticoke Hospitalist team, Nanticoke Cardiology, Dr. Harry Lehman and Nanticoke Surgical Associates, the program may never have happened,” she said. “In so many ways, community and alumni support of SU in this nature makes a vital difference to the current students.”
For Blondeaux, a junior biological sciences major planning to advance to medical school, the program has made a difference.
“I’ve gotten a realistic perspective working with Dr. Kim,” she said, noting she had learned about time management, patient types and administrative requirements during her ongoing shadowing opportunity. “The more I’ve immersed myself in it, the more I know this is what I want to spend the rest of my life doing.”
For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.