LMCP Offers Real-World Medical Experience to High School Students

Peabody, MA – April 15, 2015 – Ever since she was a little kid, Emily Bettencourt always dreamt of being a doctor. Growing up, the Peabody High School senior took care of her dolls like they were her little patients.

“I always thought I would take care of babies,” Bettencourt said.

Bettencourt got her first taste of the medical field through Lahey Medical Center, Peabody’s (LMCP) recently-launched internship program with Peabody Veterans Memorial High School (PVMHS). The program exposes students to a career in medical assisting through an eight-week program.

The program combines teaching in a classroom setting with actual, hands-on experience at LMCP. Students shadow clinicians in the ambulatory surgery area, Emergency Department, laboratory, radiology and anesthesiology; helping out where they can – from setting up patient rooms to tending to the needs of the patients.

Thanks to Bettencourt’s experience with the medical assistant program, she was accepted and will be enrolling in Colby-Sawyer College’s well-respected nursing program in the fall.

“The medical assistant program absolutely helped me get into Colby-Sawyer,” Bettencourt said. “It got me exposed to the field and gave me first-hand knowledge of what it would be life to work in health care.”

Patricia Grady, executive director, Ambulatory Clinical Services at LMCP, initially met with Maria Ferri, the Vocational Director at PVMHS, and Denise Raphael, RN, who would be teaching the medical assisting class to advise them on the program.  According to Grady, this program has more value than ones offered at vocational high schools, which often have programs for nursing assistants, an inpatient-based role, but few have programs that focus on medical assistants.

“In health care today, the real growth opportunities are in the ambulatory care sector where we prefer to hire credentialed medical assistants who have graduated from an accredited school,” Grady said.

The school needed to set up a simulation lab and at least three mock exam rooms for the students to practice their techniques. Grady was able to donate some old equipment from Lahey including diagnostic boards and other exam room supplies. She also suggested the school write a grant to the J.B. Thomas Lahey Foundation. Soon after, the Foundation awarded the school a $14,000 grant, enabling them to purchase simulation dummies for CPR, a training arm to practice phlebotomy, stethoscopes, automated blood pressure vital sign machines and other supplies.


About Lahey Health

Lahey Health is what's next in healthcare, providing a full continuum of integrated health services close to where you live or work. It is comprised of nationally recognized, award-winning hospitals—including an academic hospital and medical center, and community hospitals—primary care providers, specialist physicians, behavioral health services, post-acute programs such as home health services, skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities, and senior care resources located throughout northeastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire.


Lahey Health offers nearly 1,000 locally based physicians providing clinical excellence and an exceptional patient experience in adult and pediatric primary care and every medical specialty, including kidney and liver transplantation; neurosurgery, cancer, cardiovascular and orthopedic medical and surgical care; local emergency and trauma care; urological surgery; chronic disease prevention and health management; and pediatric emergency, newborn and inpatient care provided in collaboration with Boston Children's Hospital physicians.

Lahey Health includes Lahey Hospital & Medical Center—a teaching hospital of Tufts University School of Medicine—and Lahey Clinic physician group with practices in Burlington, Peabody and other locations throughout northeastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire; Beverly Hospital; Addison Gilbert Hospital in Gloucester, Mass.; Winchester Hospital; Lahey Health Senior Care and Lahey Health Behavioral Services as well as more than 30 primary care physician practices and multiple outpatient and satellite specialty care facilities.

Together, we are making innovative, integrated healthcare more personal and more accessible. For more information, visit LaheyHealth.org and its member websites Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, Beverly Hospital, Addison Gilbert Hospital, Winchester Hospital, Lahey Health Senior Care and Lahey Health Behavioral Services.


Daniel Marra

Lahey Health Media Relations