Casa de Salud's nationally recognized Health Apprentice Fellowship
Casa de Salud's Health Apprentice Fellowship program works to provide medical skills training and exposure to disparities in healthcare to students interested in medicine and related fields. Health apprentices at Casa de Salud learn cultural humility and patient advocacy in practice, working side by side with clinicians fully aware of the need to look at broader social, economic and structural conditions when evaluating patients and their healthcare needs. Casa works with a diverse patient population allowing apprentices to gain experience caring for marginalized populations including monolingual Spanish speakers, active drug users, uninsured patients, immigrant families, the LGBTQ community, and more.
Apprentices receive extensive hands-on clinical skills training in patient vitals, phlebotomy and other lab work, EKGs, over-the-phone communication, clinical documentation, use of an electronic medical records system, and so much more. Apprentices are also provided with opportunities for additional training such as Harm Reduction Specialist (syringe exchange services) and CPR/BLS certification.
It is within the larger goal of the program to motivate students to stay in the state of New Mexico after completing their educational goals in order to help mitigate some of the consequential issues the state is facing. New Mexico has a critical shortage of primary care physicians and the largest percentage of physicians over the age of 60 in the U.S.. There are over 300 graduates of the apprentice program, many of whom have gone on to become clinicians and public health leaders here in New Mexico.
Casa de Salud is currently seeking high school, college, and post grad students, as well as other members of our community to join our team of health apprentices. Most work on a completely volunteer basis however, work-study qualified students may receive pay through UNM or CNM.
All are welcome to apply, though applications are particularly encouraged from underrepresented minorities in medicine, as part of our desire to equalize the playing field in regards to privilege in access to healthcare fields, and because of national statistics reflecting that only 6% of US medical school graduates in 2015 were Black or African American and only 5% of US medical school graduates in 2015 were Hispanic or Latino.
Proficient in speaking/reading/writing Spanish and English
At least 16 years old
Able to commit to working 1 full calendar year
Able to commit 8 hours per week as a volunteer or 16-20 hours per week as a work-study eligible student
Possessing the following attributes: Kind, open-minded, responsible, compassionate, respectful, hard-working, attentive, professional, accepting, thorough.
Interest in gaining hands-on medical experience, carrying out duties such as charting, triaging, performing blood draws, point of care testing, and more.
Interest in learning about complex community issues and how to solve some of these via cultural humility training, anti-racism values, harm-reduction training, and more.
Health Apprentice Fellow experiences:
“My apprentice experience at Casa de Salud has been incredible. It has allowed me to incorporate academics with clinical operations. Additionally, it has broadened my understanding of healthcare as it relates to insurance, legislative processes, and community healthcare integration. Casa has provided me with insight into the cultural diversity of New Mexico while enhancing my Spanish skills, and helping to create a positive, inclusive patient experience.”
- Kira Lotz, Health Apprentice Fellow (Oct 2022 - Present)
"[Casa de Salud's] apprenticeship program provided me with the best clinical experience I have ever had. Aside from the amazing hands on clinical skills, we are also taught how to treat everyone with dignity and deliberate kindness which I am truly grateful for. I would recommend the health apprenticeship to anyone seeking a career in the medical field."
- Roni Parrales, Alumnus of the Health Apprentice Fellowship (Oct 2018 - March 2021)
"Casa has helped me to connect to my community and my roots. My eyes have been opened to the need for representation in healthcare and the need that there is for Spanish speaking individuals in healthcare in our community. It is ridiculous that patients don't usually have the access and resources that they need to get proper health care if they do not speak English. I am proud to be a part of the solution."
- Jose Herrera, Health Apprentice Fellow (Feb 2022 - Present)
“I am proud to be part of a group of caring people helping our community. Casa de Salud helps patients that face inequalities of healthcare, and have suffered from discrimination, and other barriers of care including language and cultural issues. We teach future providers and future care workers to treat patients with compassion and trauma informed care.
I came back to Casa de Salud as a Registered Nurse to make a difference in my community and to be part of the education and change to future health professionals in this country.”
- Alejandra Casarrubias, Alumna of the Health Apprentice Fellowship (2008-2009) and current Registered Nurse and Clinical Manager at Casa de Salud (2017 - present)
“Being an apprentice at Casa de Salud was one of the most enriching and beneficial experiences in my life. I got to learn so much about how medicine works and the flow of a clinic. I also got to learn how to take chief complaints, vitals, labs, and I even got to translate for patients. Finally, I got to meet so many amazing individuals who have the same goals of going into the medical field. I loved my time at Casa and the opportunity it gave me to help so many people.”
- Antonella Riega, Alumna of the Health Apprentice Fellowship (Jan 2021 - July 2022)
If you are interested in working with us, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to apply. If you are interested in supporting our apprentice program, please see our Donate page or contact email@example.com any with inquiries.