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How to Run a Hospital

Jane Chung,
Second year student with Health Policy and Management

Be careful of what you wish for. When asked during an interview for a summer internship at Allen Hospital about what she was interested in doing, Jane Chung responded that she’d like to do a bit of everything.

“And that’s exactly what I got,” says Ms. Chung , a second year student at the Mailman School of Public Health, who is now interning at NewYork-Presbyterian's Allen Hospital in Northern Manhattan.

For Health Policy and Management students, it’s not uncommon for internships, also called practicums, to require in-depth knowledge of different management disciplines like accounting, finance, operations management or marketing. But Ms. Chung is discovering that she has to call upon all of these skill sets for her practicum with the Allen Hospital as an Administrative Intern.

Her practicum duties this summer will require her to:

  • analyze trends from a patient satisfaction survey,
  • develop community outreach plans to raise awareness of prostate health,
  • propose a systematized cleaning schedule for the entire facility, and
  • work with the Financial Manager to improve accounting reconciliation processes.

A political science major at the University of California at Berkeley, Ms. Chung was drawn to public health because she wanted to be in a dynamic field with opportunities to work globally. After college, she spent a few years in healthcare management in California before deciding to jump cross-country to enroll in the Mailman School’s Health Policy and Management Program.

While her practicum is challenging, to say the least, Ms. Chung cites her classes as having prepared her well for the challenge. Financial and Managerial Accounting, Analytic Methods for Health Services Management, Organizational Behavior, and Strategic Management are all part of her tool kit now.

And then there’s the softer side of management that one can only learn on the job. “I’m finding out about organizational politics,” explains Ms. Chung. “About how to fight for resources and how to get them.”

July 28, 2010