Published June 8, 2019
Hello everyone, I’m back and ready to provide a more in-depth look at my favorite summer program, NSLC, seeing as students are likely applying/joining summer camps.
As I mentioned before, I attended the National Student Leadership Conference in the Medicine and Health Care Program at Northwestern University in the summer of 2018. I highly recommend this specific program if you’re looking at or unsure of a career in medicine or health care.
Check out the NSLC website for Medicine and Health Care to learn more.
NSLC’s allocation of time is mostly divided between 2 goals:
1. Exposure and immersion to the career field and
2. Development of a leader.
Hence, half of our time was spent in lectures, visiting hospitals, performing simulations, learning to dissect; and the other half was spent in motivational lectures, team-building exercises, obstacle courses, and similar activities.
The immersion aspect was extremely diverse and exciting. We attended lectures from doctors, physician assistants, physical therapists, and even a philosopher — to discuss medical ethics. Exposure to such diverse perspectives opened my eyes to the different career fields and aspects possible within medicine and health care. The program directors also took us to locations like Feinberg Hospital in Chicago, where we attended workshops and heard from doctors working there.
I really enjoyed the hands-on experiences. NSLC brought in preserved cow eyes and sheep hearts for us to dissect, which definitely wasn’t for the faint-of-heart. We even had the opportunity to learn how to suture from a surgeon, and practiced on a pig’s foot! Activities like these confirmed my fascination and interest within the medical field.
Aside from the career aspects, we would engage in a variety of leadership building activities. There were cookie-cutter activities like obstacle/challenge courses and finding personality types, but also more nuanced activities — the most notable involving us to do a solo, 10-second dance in front of about 200 other students. Activities like these definitely aggravated my social anxiety and comfort level, but I like to think that I stepped out as a different person — a major part of developing a leader.
The program also left plenty of time for fun! I made some extremely close friends here, some of whom I still keep in touch with. They took us to Navy Pier in Chicago, the Magnificent Mile in Chicago, and we still had time to relax and hang out with friends. NSLC takes care to plan out every aspect of your time there to ensure that you never feel bored.
Overall, I think that NSLC accomplished the 2 goals I mentioned at the beginning of this blog post. I left feeling committed to the medical field and feeling like a better leader. For anyone who needs affirmation or negation for their interest within a field, I can guarantee that NSLC will help, and offer far more than you ask for.
My advice still stands:
1. Do your research
2. Be assertive, and
3. Be open to new experiences.
NSLC will throw tons of new experiences at you, but it’s your job to receive them with open arms. Taking advantage of these opportunities is crucial to your understanding of the career field and simultaneously, what it takes to be a leader.
I hope this post offered more insight into the NSLC camp experience, and if you’re a student, I hope you consider the summer program! Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next time.