Health Promotion Clinical Research Internship Experience

Vanessa Buckmelter

It’s been a distinct pleasure to partner with the UW Clinical Research Office to sponsor an inaugural Health Promotion Clinical Research Intern!

Ms. Vanessa Buckmelter co-created her Internship in Summer 2021, launching a fieldwork experience speaking with 8 clinical research professionals about their roles and what patient-centered research practice looks like. She synthesized these conversations for sharing with 11 UW Health Patient Family Advocates who offered terrific feedback about her findings as well as shared their personal experiences with clinical research activities at UW. Ms. Buckmelter is now working with the CRO Director of Communications, Kevin Kiley, to ensure perspectives of patients and professionals inform clinical research operations and messaging from the CRO.  She shares:

My time working as the Health Promotion Clinical Research Intern for the UW CRO has been a highlight of my four years here at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After switching into the Health Promotion and Health Equity major my Junior year, I was met with a lot of uncertainty in which direction I would take my studies and beyond. With the guidance of my insightful and encouraging mentors — Betsy Nugent, Sarah Esmond, Rochelle Rannow, and Kevin Kiley — I have had an amazing experience learning about the world of clinical research.

In my time working with the CRO and CCHE I have gotten practical experience applying a critical eye to the process of building a program around patients for a future of more equitable healthcare. I have utilized the skills and theories I have learned in the classroom and had my thinking challenged in a real-world setting. Having an active role in understanding and addressing the challenges observed has been invaluable to my personal growth and has guided me to my next endeavor. Through my experience in this Internship, I have decided to pursue a career in Healthcare Consulting. I have accepted an opportunity to start with The Kinetix Group immediately and will continue with them after my graduation in May. I am very excited for what the future holds and extremely grateful for the experience working with the UW CRO and CCHE and my amazing mentors!

Thank you to the UW Health Promotion and Health Equity program – Ms. Buckmelter has set a great standard for co-sponsored internships with your students!