FORWARD NM rotates approximately 60 learners per year from various disciplines including Family Medicine Residency, medical students, dental students, nurse practitioner students, and physician’s assistant students. For more information or to request an internship, shadowing experience or rotation, contact Baudelia “Bala” Salgado at 575-534-0101 extension 2114 or FNM@swchi.org.
Program staff work with higher education institutions to coordinate graduate level rural rotation experiences to complete clinical hours needed. In addition to the training goals identified in the affiliation agreements, program staff develops a rotation schedule that will meet specific clinical priorities in terms of the types of disciplines the student desires.
The opportunities for enriched clinical experience expand once the student is age 18 (a legal adult). According to HIPAA requirements, volunteers and students may not participate in direct patient services and certain types of observations until they are 18 years old. Other opportunities in non-direct service areas for participants under the age of 18 can range from shadowing a dietician in a community health center to volunteering at a health fair or assisting medical personnel in disseminating information and immunizations to the general population.
This type of experience is an effective way to provide clinical shadowing experience for college credit instead of paying a stipend. An example of this in New Mexico is the University of New Mexico’s BA to MD program that offers a summer practicum course that places the student(s) in a community health care setting. As part of course requirements, students perform 8-20 hours a week of clinical shadowing and develop their knowledge of important community health issues through a community project.
These experiences can range from one-time visits to semester-long internships. Examples include summer intern positions with a local community health center, focused on integrated primary care. Qualified students should be seeking enrollment or already be enrolled in a degree program leading to a health career. These types of positions are most desirable when a stipend is provided to the student so that they may fully engage in the experience without scheduling conflicts due to other employment responsibilities.