Contact: Linda J. Johnson
WCA Hospital Public Relations & Marketing Department
Telephone: (716) 664-8614. Fax: (716) 664-8609.

Premed Students Gain Valuable Insight Into Physician and WCA Hospital Role

Press Release Photo
Completing a paid internship program made possible through grants from the Sheldon Foundation and Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, Chautauqua Works Workforce Development Board’s Healthcare Talent Pipeline Internship Program premed students stand in front of the new, state-of-the-art Emergency Department of WCA Hospital. From left, Daniel W. Tota, director of physician services at WCA Hospital and hospital program coordinator; medical internship students, Amanda Valentine, Kevin Nickerson, Santana France, Zachary Elkum, Aaron Borger.

Jamestown, New York (Friday, August 5, 2016)—Five premed students recently began an eight-week summer Chautauqua Works Workforce Development Board’s Healthcare Career Advantage Talent Pipeline Development Program, gaining valuable insight into the medical field. Based at WCA Hospital, and other area health care agencies, the premed students Aaron Borger, Zachary Elkum, Santana France, Kevin Nickerson, and Amanda Valentine, rotated through both clinical and non-clinical areas of the local hospitals and physician medical office practices. Each participant is eligible for a six to eight week paid internship.

The program has served 375 aspiring health care students from six different school districts by introducing them to health care career possibilities through interactive workshops, career fairs as well as paid internships in the health care field. The program matches young adults pursuing a career in direct patient care health care field with local health care providers to provide interns with valuable experience, develop lasting relationships, and promote potential future employment opportunities.

Katie Geise, executive director of Chautauqua Workforce Investment Board said the program increases awareness of and interest in local physician opportunities. “Our program is a great opportunity for students to gain experience and build connections with our community’s future workforce,” said Katie.

Based on the student’s interest, the experiences could include exploring different departments within the hospital and/or clinics, observation and participation in physicians’ offices, and study of the function of health-related agencies and institutions within the community. During the eight week orientation, the five premed students observed in cardiology/catheterization lab, emergency, respiratory, obstetrics and gynecology, radiology, general and orthopedic surgery, anesthesiology, bariatric care, and physicians’ medical specialty practices in the area.

“The orientation is a mutually beneficial program for the students and participating hospitals and physicians that get students out of the books and into the hospital and physician offices where they can see patient care through the eyes of the provider,” Daniel W. Tota, WCA Hospital director of physician services and internship program coordinator at the hospital, noted. “The students are able to discover career options, gain first-hand experience into the medical profession, and build professional ties to our community.”

To learn more about the paid internship program, please contact Katie Geise at (716) 487-5116 or email

About WCA Medical Student Education Program
Bert W. Rappole, MD, Director of Medical Student Education at WCA Hospital, facilitates clinical rotations for students currently enrolled in their third and fourth year of medical school. These rotations allow future physicians an opportunity to participate in clinical education alongside practicing physicians on the medical staff at WCA Hospital. The medical education program at WCA Hospital has rotations available in: family practice, internal medicine, general surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, emergency medicine, anesthesiology, urology, cardiology, nephrology, neurology, oncology, occupational health medicine, ophthalmology, pathology, pediatrics, psychiatry, and radiology. To learn more about the program, contact Dr. Bert Rappole at (716) 664-8154 or email For all of the ways WCA Hospital cares for you, visit

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