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Health Sciences Spotlight

Meet Ellie Severance, a senior Health Sciences major from Jefferson City, who is on the Clinical and Applied Sciences Track of the Health Sciences major.  In her last year at Drake, Ellie was able to have an internship at Dental Connections in Des Moines, IA.

Name:   Ellie Severance
Hometown:    Jefferson City, Missouri
Major:    Health Sciences, May 2020
Internship:    Dental Connections
Location:    Des Moines, Iowa
    
Tell us about your internship, and what your primary role was?

​I have spent over a year interning at Dental Connections, a local non-profit dental clinic that partners with United Way. I have had the opportunity to spend time on the clinical side interacting with patients as well as the management side helping to plan fundraising events by reaching out to venues and potential sponsors.

How do you feel Drake prepared you for this experience?

​Drake helped set us up for success at the internship sites. The preceptors and students are all on the same page about what we want to get out of the experience. It is also nice that there is such an array of different types of experiences because the health science track is for people who want to go into a variety of different fields within the medical profession.

What was your biggest lesson from this experience?

I had done quite a bit of shadowing before this internship, but through my time at Dental Connections, I learned more about the behind-the-scenes of a dental practice. There are so many things that I had never thought about before, for example, the complexities of billing insurance or how to remain productive when patients cancel.

Do you have a favorite memory from this experience?

​Dental Connections has a mobile clinic that travels around to various elementary schools. The most impactful memory I have is a 9 year of girl who just immigrated to the United States and had thirteen cavities. It was heart breaking but also made me realize the importance and need of dentists.

What are a few things you've liked most about your time as a Health Sciences major at Drake?

I really like the well-rounded curriculum with a coarse load that encompasses the typical sciences classes, such as biology and chemistry, as well as classes about the ethics of health care and health care policies.

What accomplishments are you most proud of from your time at Drake?

​This past December I was accepted into dental school! While Drake does not have a dental program specifically, they have been nothing but supportive of my career goals from my advisor helping make sure I took the required dentistry prerequisite courses to connecting me with dental related internships.

What is one piece of advice you have for future Drake Health Sciences students?

Drake has so many resources that aim to set you up for success in whatever career path you are pursuing however, it is up to you to utilize them! Never hesitate to reach out to your advisor, use the tutoring services, or simply ask for help if you are struggling in any area of your life.


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Hurdelbrink, Jon (Drake Health Sciences Faculty)

Morsching, Mercedes (Public Health Internship)

Seaberg, Nathanael (Physical Therapy Internship)

Severance, Ellie (Dentistry Internship)

Shipley, Maddie (Public Health Promotion Internship)

Temperly, Kenzie (Physiological Research Internship)

Williamson, Ben (Master of Public Health dual degree with Des Moines University)

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