About CHMC: California Hospital Medical Center first opened its doors in 1887 to serve the residents of Los Angeles. More than 120 years later, our hospital continues to deliver compassionate, quality healthcare. Today we offer caring, expert staff and state-of-the-art equipment to meet the growing needs of our community.
Accepts: THV Returning Students
Length of commitment: 1 semester
Shifts Available: M-F during business hours only (shift times vary based on physician’s schedule)
TB Testing: Two-step TB test recent within 6 months
I am currently in the Physician Mentor Program at California Hospital Medical Center (CHMC). This program is a wonderful opportunity for students. It is for those who are returning to CHMC, so you must work your way up to admittance into this program (it is well worth it). For example, before I began the Physician Mentor Program at CHMC, I was in the meal mates program in the orthopedics department for one semester, and then I was a general volunteer in the emergency room for another semester. I found these initial experiences to be very valuable and good preparation for the interactions I would have with physicians and surgeries I would observe during the Physician Mentor Program. Since this program is for returning students, the clearance process is very simple. You will have previously provided the hospital with your medical records, so you will just need to make sure you have a recent TB test and resubmit a few forms. Tracy Nordbak is the volunteer coordinator for CHMC and she is outstanding. She is welcoming, prompt at answering emails, and she sincerely cares about the well-being of her volunteers. Her assistant is also nice and prompt at responding to emails.
Coming into the Physician Mentor Program, I knew I would be exposed to some exciting procedures, such as getting to observe surgeries, but I did have to adjust to not being a general volunteer anymore. When I was a general volunteer, my responsibilities were based in interacting with patients, because I served them their meals and other materials that would improve their stay in the hospital, and I took time to just have conservations with them. Being in the Physician Mentor Program is different. I have less patient interaction because I am observing the physicians as they speak with a patient or perform a surgical procedure. I am currently in the labor and delivery department, so I very much enjoy observing C-sections, vaginal deliveries, and other procedures. Seriously, this has been amazing!! Additionally, one of the most valuable
learning opportunities for me has been rounding on patients with the residents. I have learned a great deal about obstetrics and gynecology by listening to the physicians discuss the medical conditions of the patients and asking questions about what I heard. They are very patient and many enjoy teaching students, so this program is a great opportunity to learn more about a particular field and develop relationships with the doctors. I would also recommend volunteering at CHMC if you are interested in learning how to serve low-income, ethnically diverse populations, because this describes many of the patients who come to CHMC.
Third Semester Student
I am completely loving my placement in the Physician Mentoring program at California Hospital. The program allows me to shadow physicians in a specific department (my post this semester being the Emergency Dept) and get an up close viewing of patient care and doctor-patient interaction. The application and orientation period is very concise and prompt. You have a day long orientation where you learn the in and outs of the hospital as well as protocol and a tour. The volunteer coordinator, Tracy, is awesome and is always willing to work with you. The doctors are usually eager to answer questions about diagnoses and their path to and through medical school. My main tip is definitely be proactive and take initiative to follow the doctors and ask questions. The hospital is located on Grand and Pico so pretty close to the metro stop and F-DASH bus stop. They provide free parking and a free meal for volunteers as well.
3rd+ Semester THV Student