In order to emphasize the cross-disciplinary application of academic knowledge and develop real-time problem-solving skills, the students complete an eight-week long mentored practicum in a relevant professional CAM-related environment or public health field.
Registration: Students register for this course (PBIO-533-61) in February-March to start the practicum during the summer session.
Full-time students are required to successfully complete their two semesters of coursework before starting the practicum.
Part-time students are advised to consult with the program directors before engaging in any discussions with the practicum site.
Purpose: The practica should contribute to the students' knowledge of CAM or public health at the clinical, basic science, educational, regulatory and/or public policy levels.
A practicum is not a job, but an opportunity to learn and use practical real-world skills. It is also a responsibility--students serve as ambassadors of the CAM program and their behavior may affect opportunities for future students.
Students are expected to conduct themselves professionally at all times during their internship.
Placements: The practica have been diverse and have included various positions at Georgetown University and other academic institutions, federal agencies (including NCCAM, OCCAM, ORWH the Federal Trade Commission, and the Smithsonian), in the non-profit sector (such as the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the National Women's Health Network, the Capitol Area Food Bank, Physicians for a National Health Program, and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine). Several students have worked at international agencies, including the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), and in clinical or laboratory settings in India, the U.K., and the People's Republic of China. Independent practica have included an ethnobotanical study of Appalachian herbs and the establishment of stress reduction classes for pediatric patients at the Lombardi Cancer Center.
Start and End-Dates: The scheduling of the start and end dates of the practicum should be finalized by the practicum mentor and the student. They both should agree on the dates that work best for them.
Usually the Spring semester is wrapped up by mid-May and the practicum could start right away. Students who are accepted to medical school that starts in July or August are advised to begin their practicum by mid-May.
Practicum guidelines: A folder containing ample information on the requirements and guidelines is provided in the Fall semester and during the practicum meetings that take place throughout the academic year.