Mikayla Francis is will be a senior at Champlin High in the fall. Credit: Aaron Nesheim

Mikayla Francis participated in an internship through Hennepin Healthcare’s Talent Garden program this summer. She shared her experience with Sahan Journal:

Inspiration: Nurses have a huge impact on health care. I have aunts who come from Liberia and became nurses, and they worked very hard to be where they are.

Goal: To make a difference in the medical field and become a nurse or a doctor.

The first week, I was at a clinic and we could free-flow to different areas, so I was with a pharmacist and a general surgeon, and so much more.

I even liked seeing the biopsies. It’s very hands-on. You’re seeing stuff that you wouldn’t see in your daily life. 

Radiology has been interesting, seeing the different X-rays and the anatomy of the body through a CT [computed tomography] scan. It’s cool to see how they can diagnose someone from a scan that just takes a few seconds. I didn’t think it would be my favorite, but now it’s making me think about that. So now I’m thinking I could do surgery or cardiology or even radiology. 

There have been a lot of surprises, like seeing the paramedics and how they react in different situations. 

Honestly, all of the rotations have been my favorite, because it’s just fun to see the differences here. 

We need more people of color in health care, so this internship has helped me to discover the department I want to go into.

Sheila Mulrooney Eldred writes stories about health equity for Sahan Journal. As a freelance journalist, she has written for The New York Times, the Washington Post, FiveThirtyEight, NPR, STAT News and...