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Real world training for health careers

Real world training for health careers

By Christopher Coyne

Most people know that before becoming a fully-licensed practicing physician, medical students must complete some form of internship or residency. Residency is a multi-year process that involves working in the real day-to-day medical environment and learning more about ones chosen field of specialty. It's on-the-job training for a career in medicine.

The same concept is behind the Externship Program at Elmira Business Institute. Although not a multi-year program, all students in EBI's Associates Degree programs must complete an externship to receive their degree. That means that students in the Medical Assistant program must complete what EBI calls, an externship, that includes real, hands-on work alongside area health care professionals.

If you've visited one of our area's healthcare providers in recent years, there's a good chance you've encountered an EBI student extern, as most area institutions have become sponsoring agencies for the externship practicum. For local healthcare providers such as Arnot Health, participating in the program is a win-win. They have access to a pool of highly motivated trainee-level talent, and can observe and evaluate a student's performance before making a commitment to full-time employment.

They can recruit new employees more cost-effectively and externship program participants have proven to have performance levels higher than other recent college graduates. The sponsoring agents, in return, cooperate with the college and the student to achieve learning objectives, and by providing a meaningful, challenging work experience. They also agree to evaluate the student's performance and progress at the end of the program.

For the students themselves, this externship program is also the best of both worlds. They get to experience and participate in real-world work environments in their chosen field, increasing their knowledge and honing their skills. And if they perform well, the students can put themselves in a better position to be hired full-time once the program is completed.

The EBI externship program is a unique opportunity for student and employer to work together toward mutual goals. And the program exists not only for EBI students in their healthcare related programs, but across all disciplines providing real world training for greater results!

Julie Fielding
Career Placement Coordinator
Elmira Business Institute
Elmira/Vestal, NY