It is pretty unbelievable to think that this summer has almost come to an end, but you know what they say: time flies when you’re having fun! Since my last blog post, I have worked diligently to create my practicum products. I have spent many hours playing with PowerPoint formatting on provider training materials and editing down my very long manuscript to a manageable length for submission. Entering the last week of my practicum, all that is left to do is cross T-s and dot I-s on the training materials and then present them on Thursday to Beacon Program staff. I am excited to share the work I have been doing all summer with them and also to use it as an opportunity to practice presenting the training module before I give my final presentation to a much larger group of hospital staff at a lunch-and-learn on August 10th.

In the short two-month duration of my practicum, I feel that I have learned an incredible amount about patient privacy and safety in the context of OpenNotes and my preferred work style, and my own strengths and weaknesses in a professional setting. This experience has solidified my desire to work in public health policy and has also demonstrated how policy work can be difficult and frustrating. Dealing with bureaucratic restrictions and relying on others to implement changes that you have deemed necessary and pressing can be stressful. Despite this, I have found this stress an incentive rather than a deterrent to my conviction to treat public health issues with policy solutions.

This summer has been one of growth and learning, and I am very grateful for the experience I have gained through this practicum. I thoroughly my work, but this summer has come to an end in the blink of an eye. I look forward to a short break in early August before things really ramp back up with the beginning of classes, preparing for MPH Comp Exams, and studying to take the LSAT (wish me luck!). I can’t wait to meet you all in person this Fall and hear about your practicums.

– Gabbi