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I have really good internship offers for the medical field, but Im really only interested in the Mental Health field, does anyone have any recommendations to what I should do?

Hi,

Currently I am a highschool student who is also minoring in psychology at community college and plans to double major in psychology and sociology, then earn a masters in social work, recently I was presented the opportunity to be inscribed with the Congress of Future Medical Leaders Award of Excellence, which is a two day national academy of future physicians congress meeting that will also allow me to be featured on local TV stations and newspapers. The problem being that I'm not interested in the medical field as a future career path. If I were able to pass this over to someone else, I would but I can't.

This would be a really big opportunity to put myself out there, and it would look really good on college applications, and on my academic profile, but it doesn't have anything that I inherently want for my future career path, and it also might look weird on my college applications.

Thank you comment icon Opportunity open up for those who least expect it. Be thankful, grateful and run with this once in a lifetime journey that you were chosen to fill.. Good Luck... Maribel Diaz
Thank you comment icon You are most welcome ! Bhavna Phulwani

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Subject: Career question for you

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Michelle’s Answer

Congratulations, Summer !

I am so happy that you have been awarded such an honor as an Award of Excellence ! Wow ! I definitely can give you some advice and I think you may be happy to hear what I am about to say.

The award you received most definitely will fit in with your future college applications and plans to become a social worker. You are still in high school. Did the award involve a scholarship and was said that it must be put towards a pre-med degree ? If not, by all means accept the award as a great accomplishment and guess what, it is not too far removed from your future plans as a social worker even though social workers aren't medical people. As a social worker, you will be providing services to people with both mental and physical disabilities and understanding their medical issues will be just as important as their mental health. My advice is to accept the award. Even if you received an award for basketball in high school, it doesn't mean that you must become a professional basketball player.

You left out some details that would guide my advice so I am wondering if this award was applied for by you or were you randomly chosen and based on what ? Accept the award and the experience of the conference as something in the here and now. You will become very, very familiar with many aspects of the medical field as a social worker, so you will be enriched by this experience. So, yes, you are correct - this is an awesome opportunity, one of many more to come. Now for a little story.

In college as a Theatre major, I produced and acted in a play I wrote for a student conference, encouraging high school students about attending college. Two thousand high school students showed up for that conference and my play was part of the activities. Now, you can probably realize that not all 2,000 students ended up going to college. It's perfectly acceptable to change ones' mind. So, you see, attending a conference doesn't commit you to becoming a doctor. Neither does the internship. Enjoy the honor and follow through with your college plans. You deserve it ! (Just between you and me, there are many medical leaders who are not medical doctors). Absolutely nothing to worry about.

As for the Internship, I don't know if it's an obligation of the award, but my advice is still to have the experience and you will see in the future how it will benefit you as a clinical social worker. You will get lots of Social Work experience in undergrad school.

I hope that this has helped and once again, you're doing such a great job and I wish you further success with everything !
Thank you comment icon Thankyou once again Michell, this advice was very valuable, I will be taking this into account and will be taking the award. :) Summer
Thank you comment icon You are very welcome, Summer ! I am very happy to know your decision and I support you all the way ! Michelle M.
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Cheryl’s Answer

It would be helpful to learn what physicians learn especially if you're interested in medical Social Work. It would be a positive addition to your resume/application and maybe give you insight into how best to work with doctors, which can be challenging. You'd be working in the medical mental health field which sounds like what you're looking for.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the advice, Cheryl. Summer
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Kate’s Answer

Hi there,

You have been given a lot of good advice as it is, so I'll keep mine brief. :) I'll echo Michelle in saying that the medical field and social work field are not so far apart. Many hospitals have psychiatric units staffed with social workers, nurses, techs, etc. Mental health and wellness are a huge part of the medical field--and unfortunately, sometimes overlooked. It could be great for your resumes, cover letters, etc. to mention your interest in bringing greater psychological awareness to those in more clinical, physiological medical professions (of course, only if that is of interest to you). Good luck and congratulations on your achievements thus far!
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James’s Answer

Hello,
You should look up "Donal Super's" career theory. You are in the stage of life where you need to find every skill that you can potentially be good at. You are not going to get to your career goal overnight, so while you are in pursuit, find out every skill you have. Personally speaking, I would trust a person in a mental health position who also has medical know-how. My best piece of advice is to be patient and be willing to learn.
Thank you comment icon This was super helpful, thank you! Summer
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Oladimeji’s Answer

If you're keen on pursuing a career in mental health and have received internship offers in the medical field that don't match your interests, here are some suggestions:

Discover Internship Opportunities in Mental Health: Search for internships that are specifically targeted towards the mental health field. Many mental health clinics, counseling centers, psychiatric hospitals, and nonprofit organizations provide internships for students with interests in psychology, counseling, social work, and related fields.

Connect with Mental Health Professionals: Reach out to mental health professionals in your vicinity and ask about internship or shadowing opportunities. Building connections with psychologists, counselors, therapists, and psychiatrists can give you a deeper understanding of the field and help you discover potential internship options.

Look at University Counseling Centers: A lot of universities and colleges have counseling centers that offer internships or volunteer opportunities for students interested in mental health. These centers provide counseling services, workshops, and outreach programs to support students' emotional and psychological health.

Consider Online Internships or Remote Opportunities: If you can't find local internship options or prefer to work from home, consider virtual internships or remote opportunities in the mental health field. These could involve teletherapy, online counseling, research projects, or administrative tasks related to mental health organizations.

Volunteer at Mental Health Organizations: Think about volunteering at mental health organizations or community agencies to gain experience and exposure in the field. Volunteer roles could include providing peer support, assisting with advocacy efforts, participating in outreach events, or helping with administrative tasks.

Seek Advice and Guidance: Get in touch with mentors, professors, or academic advisors who are experts in mental health and ask for their guidance in finding internship opportunities and planning your career path. They can offer valuable advice, connect you with resources, and provide support as you explore your interests in the mental health field.

Stay Updated and Involved: Keep yourself updated about the latest developments and trends in the mental health field by attending workshops, seminars, and conferences, reading professional journals, and participating in online forums and discussion groups. Staying involved with the mental health community can help you stay connected and informed about internship opportunities and career paths.

By actively looking for internship opportunities in the mental health field and remaining dedicated to your interests and goals, you can gain valuable experience, broaden your professional network, and make significant progress towards building a career in mental health.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the advice. Summer
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Bhavna’s Answer

It would not harm to get a little experience in the medical field .Cognitive and behavioral therapy proves really beneficial in a lot of illnesses .Sometimes the right mindset helps the patient more than actual therapy .You never know you might find your passion helpful in areas where you did not think it would work .Hope this helps .Never harms to make a start at least !
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! Summer
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