Internship course in Master Health Care Management

Introduction

As future leaders in healthcare, our students must learn to combine their extensive theoretical knowledge with professional behavior and practical skills. This ‘duality’ is a guiding principle of our Master’s program Healthcare Management (HCM). Therefore, this duality is reflected by the courses’ competency-based educational goals and case-driven approach. Furthermore, this duality is reflected by the mixed composition of classes, consisting of Bachelor’s as well as Lateral-entry students. Whilst the latter group typically has considerable professional and practical experience, the former group usually lacks such experience. The HCM Internship course enables these students to gain the practical, on-the-job experience they need to truly become leaders in healthcare. Internship is one of the elective courses in our master program.

Goals

During the HCM Internship course students both study (attend classes, do coursework) and work alongside a top-manager, CEO, head of the policy advisor department or senior staff member of an organization in the healthcare setting. Organizations that are interesting for our students are for example (psychiatric) hospitals, nursing homes, health insurance companies, consultancy companies, patient advocate organizations, professional bodies. The internship allows students to confront their theoretical knowledge with the daily practice of healthcare organizations, and to search for theoretical knowledge for daily based problems. In addition, to observe and learn effective professional behavior, and to reflect on and develop their personal skills. Students are able to add relevant real-life working experience to their resume, thereby enhancing their future job opportunities considerably. Whereas students initially perform their tasks under supervision, they gradually become more independent and experienced and are therefore increasingly able to take on their ‘own’ projects.

Content of the Internship Course

The HCM Internship course spans at least five month period for at least two days a week (minimum amount of hours is 360. Students can start their internship during the year, however we recommend full time students to start in January due to their other obligations in the master program.
The HCM Internship course is made possible through the efforts of a healthcare (related) organization providing an internship position, the student, and the institute of Healthcare Policy and Management. The ‘hosting’ organization is expected to offer an adequate learning environment and to provide sufficient opportunities to observe, experience/work and reflect on the different aspects of the organization and professional life. Organizations are expected to appoint an experienced supervisor (HBO+ level and at least 5 years of relevant working experience) who is both available and knowledgeable. Students are expected to spent considerable time and energy on achieving their learning objectives and their personal and professional development. As well, students are required to do so on top of the regular coursework of the HCM master’s program. The Internship course therefore explicitly targets ambitious and highly motivated students. Finally, the role of institute of Healthcare Policy and Management is to collect and provide suitable vacancies to Master students. Furthermore, the institute is responsible for coordinating the program, supporting Master students and workplace supervisors and providing relevant information during internships. The specific tasks performed are based on the student’s abilities, preferences, and personal learning objectives, as well as the organization’s requirements and specific projects at hand. The student’s progress is monitored and reflected on. Furthermore, a performance review, a short reflection report, and a concluding conference call, in which the student’s development is discussed, marks the end of the internship.

Study workload and financial compensation

Students who have successfully completed the Internship course are accredited with 5 ECTS. Students and their supervisors are free to decide on the details of the student’s time investments, they are strongly urged to adhere to the available schedules for the master healthcare management. Especially the courses Quality and Safety and Governance and Strategy require attendance to the workgroups. The agreements with regards to the scope of the tasks, insurance and liability, and financial compensation, are formalized in a contract signed by the student, the organization and the institute of Healthcare Policy and Management. Although organizations are not required to offer students a monthly salary during the internship, a basic financial compensation is typically provided. Students may need to make additional expenses, such as travel expenses.

Main characteristics of the Internship Course:

  • Working in a healthcare setting under supervision of a manager, policy advisor or staff member.
  • Motivation, additional time and effort is required; the internship is fulfilled on top of addition regular coursework.
  • Duration is at least 2 days per week over a 5-month period.
  • Explicitly targets ambitious and highly motivated students.

Time Line

Months

Activity

During the year

Acquisition, selection and recruitment of organizations offering an internship.

 

Organizations can send a ‘vacancy-form’ for their internship.

September

In general students apply for vacancies posted by organizations, however students can choose to apply during the whole year.

 

Organizations selects potential candidates for job interviews.
Job interviews and internship agreement.

From October

Start of internship (mostly done by part time students).

 

Determining tasks, projects and learning objectives.

December / January

Start of internship (mostly done by full time students).
Determining tasks, projects and learning objectives.

After at least 360 hours

Performance review and reflection report by supervisor and student.
Conference call: end of internship with supervisor, student and coordinator of the course.


More information

For more information regarding the HCM Internship course, please contact the course coordinator, Dr. Anne Marie Weggelaar-Jansen MCM (telephone: 06-29 01 02 83 / email: weggelaar@eshpm.eur.nl).

General information for students is provided in the start week of the master Healthcare Management (first week of September). If you are interested to offer an internship to one of our students, please send in the vacancy form. Anne Marie Weggelaar will contact you afterwards.