Exploring Health Professions


Dinesh Rathakrishnan ’14

Magazine Cover
Published in Macalester Today

One of the chief questions college students must answer is this: What do I want to do after graduation? Each year a dozen Mac students get closer to their own post-college solutions thanks to a Taylor shadowing or public health fellowship.

The almost 50-year-old Ruth and Vernon Taylor Fellowship Program provides modest stipends for about a dozen students to spend the summer either shadowing health professionals such as physicians or working part time in public health jobs. Some of the fellows, including the two mentioned below, are doing concentrations in Mac’s popular Global and Community Health program.

Dinesh Rathakrishnan ’14 (Petaling Jaya, Malaysia), who shadowed doctors at four hospitals, realized—to his surprise— that he was most drawn to emergency room medicine. He spent time at the Mayo Clinic, the VA Hospital, Minneapolis Children’s Hospital, and Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC).

"The chance to live in the Twin Cities and access the working world here was a huge reason I applied early decision to Macalester.”
-Emma van Emmerik ’14

“Because of my interest in public health, I thought I’d become an infectious disease doctor,” he says. “But I loved shadowing in the ER at HCMC, a Level One Trauma Center. It was exciting and something I can see myself doing.” Although that realization threw a small wrench in his plans, the hospital shadowing did solidify the biology major’s intention to attend medical school.

Emma van Emmerik ’14 (Amherst, Mass.) was one of six students doing a public health fellowship over the summer. She spent her time at WellShare International, a Minneapolis nonprofit that designs and implements community-based health programs in the U.S. and abroad. She found the internship through Kate Lechner ’05, a program director at WellShare.

Although political science major van Emmerik thought she was most drawn to international work, she loved her job working in the Twin Cities with the local Karen community, an ethnic group from Burma. Together with program staff from WellShare, van Emmerik conducted interviews and focus groups around family planning. She’ll stay as an intern this fall to help analyze the data and develop programs.

“I had a great experience and great mentors,” she says. “I’m so grateful I had this opportunity to do something outside the college. Actually, the chance to live in the Twin Cities and access the working world here was a huge reason I applied early decision to Macalester.”

CATEGORY: Internships, Academics
TYPE: Articles

PUBLISHED: 10/02/2012