October 04, 2021
Interns Return to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute for Year-round Job Experiences
Abigail Williams is a senior at the John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Sciences and an aspiring physician assistant. As the eldest child, Abigail always works hard to be a role model to her four younger siblings. So she jumped at the chance to push herself to grow and develop herself personally and professionally by interning at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) through the PIC Summer Internship Program.
Abigail first started interning at DFCI – in the Purchasing Department the summer before her sophomore year. That summer, she called vendors, updated information in the purchasing database system, and learned the importance of customer service, teamwork, and the behind-the-scenes operations of a hospital system.
In the summer of 2020, Abigail reapplied to DFCI, where she was accepted into an all-virtual college and career readiness program. Along with 59 other Boston Public Schools students, Abigail attended professional development seminars, colleges tours, and life readiness workshops, including a series of well-being activities. Abigail’s confidence grew from her ability to self-motivate and learn from those around her. For a group presentation, she researched and presented on the topic “The Importance of Effective Communication Amongst Providers.” Abigail thrived in the Zoom space, was not afraid to ask questions, and always led by example.
During the 2020-2021 academic year, Abigail interned part-time in the Pediatric Oncology Jimmy Fund Clinic, where she was responsible for all aspects of patient scheduling, including performing front desk check-ins, serving as a liaison between the patient, family, and provider, and preparing patient documents and consents. Under the guidance and mentorship of her supervisor, Chris Washington, Abigail had the opportunity to shadow and interview several clinicians, which confirmed her interest in becoming a physician assistant. Chris also helped Abigail, a first-generation college-bound student, explore opportunities as to careers and schools she would not otherwise have known.
“At DFCI, I always felt like there was a place for me. Although I was an intern, I was always included as part of the team, no matter what department I was in. I learned valuable life skills, experiences, and knowledge. Dana-Farber is a place that allows people to grow with many opportunities. I shadowed health professionals as they worked with patients, went on college tours, and received financial advice from experts. I now have mentors I can come to for advice and assistance if needed,” said Abigail.
Dana-Farber’s Workforce Development Student Training Program will welcome Abigail back this coming school year. DFCI is confident that she will continue to grow and improve as she trains to become a successful healthcare professional.
Thank you to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute for submitting this write-up on Abigail's internship experiences! To submit your PIC intern's story, email Chase Richardson, Communications and Development Specialist, at [email protected].