Internship: Quality & Operations Support (QOS), Kaiser Permanente
Home country/state: California
Pre-SOM Role: Health & Benefits Consulting, Mercer
Favorite Courses: Global Macroeconomy; Competitor; and Healthcare Policy, Finance, and Economics
Clubs & Affiliations: Heathcare Club, Hockey Club, Career Coach, Admissions Interviewer
Having grown up in the Bay Area and studied public health as an undergraduate, I had studied Kaiser from afar and it was always held up as an example of a truly integrated healthcare system. Even President Obama once said that “if we could actually get our healthcare system across the board to hit the efficiency levels of a Kaiser Permanente…we actually would have solved our problems.” So when the opportunity presented itself to intern with Kaiser Permanente this summer, I jumped at the chance. I figured it was time to take a look inside and understand it from within.
As part of QOS, an internal consulting unit that provides performance-improvement expertise to the physicians of northern California, I had the opportunity to work with fellow consultants, clinical partners, and executive leadership.
Just a couple days into the internship, one of my coworkers mentioned that he was building a forecasting model, and I kid you not, I pulled out Professor Sang Kim’s notes from Operations Engines as a reference!
My internship experience gave me a clear understanding of the value non-clinicians can bring to the table and what role they can play in improving a healthcare system.
As for my own project work, this summer I had the opportunity to work on three projects that each required different skillsets and approaches. My work ranged in nature from cancer surveillance and maternal health to a chronic care management project. I found my summer internship to be extremely rewarding because all the work within the department was ultimately driven by the question: “What is best for the patient?”
Aside from the rewarding project work, I also loved being back in the Bay and hanging out with my fellow interns during social events like the Giants game, happy hours, and even welcoming the Warriors back to Oakland after their big win!
My internship experience gave me a clear understanding of the value non-clinicians can bring to the table and what role they can play in improving a healthcare system. Coming into SOM, I knew that I wanted to stay in healthcare but wanted to try pivoting into the provider space. My internship this summer confirmed that I want to devote my career to improving healthcare delivery systems.