Program Descriptions

Clinical Conversations: A “Virtual” Shadowing Program

Being able to see physicians and other health care providers working in the setting of patient care is important for any aspiring pre-health student. While the COVID pandemic does not permit direct patient observation by students at this time, NSS is arranging a new program which we are calling ‘Clinical Conversations’.  Several of the physicians who regularly participate in the on-site shadowing program have agreed to meet with small groups of students over Zoom and present them with clinical cases to illustrate the diagnostic and management approach to patients and to share personal stories of the humanistic interactions which are so important in patient care.  This program, to be launched in winter term 2021, is distinct from our ‘Dinner with a Doc’ program (see below) whose purpose is to acquaint students with different specialties and career paths.

Clinical Conversations will hold its first virtual session on Monday, Jan. 11th, 2021, with 10 subsequent sessions every Sunday evening through the end of the winter term. This program presents the opportunity to earn 11 shadowing hours throughout the term. Our schedule for this term includes the specialties of internal medicine, pediatrics, neurosurgery, oral surgery, psychiatry, anesthesiology, radiation oncology, and more! Click here for a description of the sessions throughout the term.

Shadowing Program at DHMC/White River Junction VA

Since the middle 1990s, NSS has organized and supported an extensive clinical shadowing program at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and the White River Junction VA Hospital. Students are paired by lottery with physicians and other health care providers to participate in clinical activities ranging from the operating room to the birthing pavilion to the out-patient clinics. Unfortunately, due to the COVID pandemic, this opportunity is closed indefinitely, but in the winter term 2021 will be replaced with our new ‘Clinical Conversations’ program (see below).

Community Shadowing Programs in Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine and Other Health Professions

Shadowing programs in these clinical activities are arranged through the Pre-Dental Society and Pre-Veterinary Society or by special arrangement (e.g. optometry, pharmacy) through NSS. These, too, are on hold due to the COVID pandemic.

Dartmouth Ears: A Patient Visitation Program

Dartmouth Ears is a volunteer program at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) in Lebanon, NH. The program pairs Dartmouth medical students with undergraduates to engage in patient visitation on the Medical Specialties floor (i.e. inpatient medicine) at DHMC. Volunteers provide company for patients who need to be at the hospital for one reason or another and who, sadly, often do not have anyone to see them. Some of these patients come from very far away and/or have no immediate family in the area. We seek to help these patients by hearing their stories, offering encouragement, and just being there. More information at this link. Unfortunately, this program is also on hold for upcoming terms.

Dinner with a Doc

Each term, NSS organizes evening dinners with Geisel faculty members. These small gatherings allow NSS members to learn more about the medical profession from those who practice medicine and how these individuals integrate their work responsibilities with their personal lives. The NSS Executive Committee is always open to as to which faculty members to engage each term, either by a specific name or just suggesting a medical discipline one would like to learn more about. Unfortunately, this program is also on hold for upcoming terms.

NSS-Geisel Student Conversations

NSS strives to build strong relationships between NSS members and Geisel medical students. In the past, we have held periodic evening dinner gatherings with them over the course of the year. In addition, we had a lunch program where NSS members can “pick” a Geisel student (based, in part, on their biographies) and take them to lunch with NSS picking up the tab. Both of these activities are on hold during the COVID pandemic, but we have replaced them with this program where NSS members can review the biographies and be matched with a Geisel student for ‘virtual’ conversations.  A great way to begin a mentoring relationship! Stay tuned for the announcement of the winter version of this program.

Physicians for Human Rights Symposium

Each year, NSS collaborates with the Geisel Physicians for Human Rights group in creating a symposium on an important issue at the interface of medicine and human rights. Over the past 4 years, symposia have been devoted to poverty, gender equity, prison incarceration, and planetary health. Due to the COVID pandemic, this symposium will not be held in 2021, but will be replaced by periodic virtual events devoted to these topics.

Good Neighbor Health Clinic

The Nathan Smith Society has partnered with the Good Neighbor Health Clinic to start a new project. GNHC is a facility that provides medical and dental care to low-income families in the Upper Valley and they have approached NSS to help them increase awareness of their services among potential patients. Beginning in spring 2016, NSS students began to reach out to local businesses that employ uninsured or underinsured individuals to inform their employees of the services GNHC offers and how they can take advantage of them. This program is also on hold due to the COVID pandemic.

Training the Eye: The Art of Clinical Observation

Training the Eye: The Art of Clinical Observation is a workshop taught by museum education staff at the Hood Museum of Art. It is designed to enhance observation and diagnostic skills in future health professionals through the careful examination of works of art. Similar workshops are currently offered to medical students at the Geisel School of Medicine and health professionals at the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center and Norris Cotton Cancer Center. The goal is to help pre-health students look and think critically and communicate effectively about what they see. The workshop, which can be held virtually, will also demonstrate what it means to truly engage with a work of art and demonstrate the role an art museum can play to restore and renew the spirit.