I started my full-time job at the Institute for Medicaid Innovation on May 30th, 2017. As this was my very first office job, I did not know what to expect. I spent the weeks before my first day shopping for professional clothes and praying to find some comfortable shoes. I also did a lot of mental preparation too. Since I got this position through the Public Service Internship Program, I knew there were two other interns I would be working with from the same program. On my first day, I met so many amazing people. The office I work in was small, only about 15 people in the whole office. Honestly, the smallness of the office made it so much better. Everyone I met was kind, offered to help in any way they could. Our direct supervisor is such an amazing woman. She prepared wonderful packets for us including information like “how to survive your internship” and is also allowing us to develop our individual development plans through which we set three goals we want to reach by the end of the internship. Our supervisors always go above and beyond what I ever expected.
In the first couple of weeks, we attended a few briefings in downtown Washington, DC. The first event was with Health Affairs and included several panels discussing the various ways their organizations are working to address health inequity and disparities throughout the United States. It was my first time hearing about the complexities of the issues but also learning how there is work happening right now to try to address those issues. Then, we also were allowed to attend an event by The Hill called Prioritizing Patients. This event focused on health treatment that is more focused on getting patients the best care possible and reaching the best outcomes by connecting multiple stakeholders. During the event, we saw interviews with Senator Bill Cassidy, Congresswoman Doris Matsui, and other health care professionals from different backgrounds. Although some of the interviews were tense, it was enlightening to see that although there are issues throughout our health care system, individuals from different backgrounds could come together to support the important initiative of outcomes-based care.
Overall my first few weeks were fabulous. Although I grew up in Maryland I, like most people from the DMV area, do not take advantage of the wonderful city that is Washington, DC. I was able to see it through a more opportunistic lens because of the other interns who were always excited about something going on in DC. We have tried to explore the city from going to food trucks on Fridays, Thursdays at the Farmer’s Market, where I found the most delicious lemonade I have ever had, and random lunches at the White House. It has been a great beginning to a memorable summer.