Medical internship offers lab experience for biochemistry & molecular biology major


As an intern at the Choice Children’s Special Clinic in Ethiopia, Makeda Teklemichael ’24 shadowed the medical staff and lab technicians. Working in the laboratory and clinic hands-on, The College of Wooster student learned proper health care techniques, gained new insight into the medical field, and discovered future career options through her APEX Fellowship.


“I loved working in the lab, and I was already familiar with most of the instruments through my classes at Wooster, so I was very helpful there.” 

—Makeda Teklemichael


How did you learn about the internship opportunity for your APEX Fellowship? Why was the position a good fit for you? 

“My internship opportunity was in my home country of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I have always been interested in medicine and wanted to gain more practical experience through an internship. The clinic I planned to intern at was famous for three health services, as well as their senior pediatrician, and I did not waste any time to apply and hope I got to be part of the internship and training program.”


What interests you most about the work you did? What were some of the things you did each day? 

“The most interesting part of the work I did was being able to lend a hand in the lab when there were a lot of patients. I loved working in the lab, and I was already familiar with most of the instruments through my classes at Wooster, so I was very helpful there. I really enjoyed looking at and studying blood samples or separating serum from the blood using a centrifuge. Most of the time I shadowed the nurses and doctor and was able to engage with the children who came to visit the pediatrician. Overall, I gained a lot of first-hand skills from the doctor, the nurses, and as a lab technician.”


How was it helpful to you to have a mentor throughout your internship? 

“My mentor was Dr. Mensur, who is a senior pediatrician at the Choice Children’s Special Clinic and has been for the last 14 years. Dr. Mensur has been very supportive of my role and my training at the clinic and is always trying to make the best out of every lecture or conversation. He has taught me many things that all people in the medical field must know once joining the health care community, such as first aid and vital signs. He also taught me how to handle patients and communicate with them in a way that sounds very comforting, as well as how to interpret certain physical examinations and form a diagnosis. Dr. Mensur was able to let me in his office so I could witness the doctor and patient conversation and how that works towards a solution.”


How has the internship helped you to see what’s next for you? 

“I have always wanted to be a doctor. I plan to go to medical school after graduation, however, the internship helped me figure out what I want to focus on when I become a doctor. I realized that I am leaning towards becoming a surgeon as I really enjoyed the process of learning how to stitch up wounds or minor surgical procedures.”

Posted in Experiential Learning on November 5, 2021.