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Sharing Patient Testimonials with the World

Suzanne Rhodes | 06/22/15

Intern, University of Virginia

As a rising sophomore at the University of Virginia, I knew I wanted to have a summer full of experiences. Most importantly, I wanted those experiences to one day help me in the professional world once I graduate from college. My high school, Norfolk Academy, has a great internship liaison program, and upon looking at their list of different companies and organizations, I found a few that caught my attention.

Because I hope to major in English and Media Studies at UVA, I immediately applied to the internship program at Mercy Medical Angels, where interviewing patients and writing articles for newsletters was a big part of the job description. Having now worked here for many weeks, I am enjoying as well as benefiting from my time at MMA.

The most memorable aspect of my internship is interviewing patients and hearing their stories first hand. I have interviewed several people while here, and all of their accounts are truly inspiring. Many of these individuals struggled for years with their illnesses before Mercy Medical was able to help, and learning about their journeys has made me better appreciate how lucky I am to be in good health.

One interview in particular struck a chord with me, in which I learned about one woman’s almost 20-year battle with a number of serious medical conditions. Having been afflicted with illness for so many years, I was surprised and motivated by her head-on approach to the obstacles she faced throughout her life. I can only hope to one day be as strong and brave as she is.

In addition to interviewing, I have loved crafting patients’ stories and being able to share their testimonies with the world. I believe writing these articles has improved my skills as a writer as well, which is an invaluable asset to an aspiring English major like me.

Before my internship, I had not heard of the amazing work that Mercy Medical Angels does. However, I now know that the little building where I spend many summer days does big things for the medical community nationwide, and I am glad to be part of such a wonderful organization.