2019 PEL SUmmer Leadership Program

PEL is proud and excited to offer a fully-funded summer internship to students who wish to pursue projects in healthcare innovation. For 10 weeks during the summer between M1 and M2, selected students will structure their own internship working with a mentor of their choosing on a project of their choosing. Mentors may be internal to TJUH, or part of the broader healthcare innovation community, and should be identified by the student (though PEL is able to provide contacts and introductions where appropriate).

Projects should be well-defined, and should have a specific end-goal in mind: such as getting a startup off the ground, finalizing a research project, creating a new program or prototype, etc. The project should take approximately 30 hours per week to complete. Prior to submitting an application, students should identify both the mentor and the project, and should receive written verification of the mentors willingness to host the student’s work. Students are free to reach out to PEL for introductions and contacts prior to submitting an application.

In addition to the projects themselves, students who chose to remain in Philadelphia will have first access to events and opportunities identified for preclinical students through the Jefferson Innovation Pillar and through PEL.

All students participating in the PEL Summer Leadership Program will be expected to fulfill the following requirements:

  • Meet the project-specific end-goals laid out in the application (mid-August)

  • Read a text on leadership chosen by the Dean, and engage in either a written or oral discussion of the text for/with the Dean (depending on scheduling)

  • Present on the project and experience at a fall lunch session for PEL and representatives from Jefferson’s Innovation Pillar and Office of Student Affairs (mid-September)

  • Complete an online program evaluation (mid-August)

  • Provide evidence of continued feedback from the mentor (throughout the summer)


At the time of application, students should be first-year medical students at SKMC and in good academic standing. Applications will be evaluated based on:

  • The clarity of the student’s project proposal and the identification of specific end-goals

  • The presence of a written agreement from the student’s proposed mentor to participate in the program for 10 full weeks

  • The students’ prior work or extra-curricular experience in self-structured environments

Applicants will be notified if they have been accepted to the program, not accepted, or placed on a wait list. The number of students we accept is entirely determined on the total amount of funding we have to offer - students who are interested in completing their projects and participating in the program in the absence of funding should identify their interest in their application.

The application will be released in the beginning of 2019!

Past Project Examples

Name - Alexander M. Olson

Description - My PEL project aims to break new ground in the medical education space through creation of accessible and interactive animated content. So many of the processes that are central to the mechanisms and pathophysiology of pre-clinical medicine are in desperate need of detailed animation, an overdue departure from the static and overly crowded diagrams so often included in lecture slides. In partnership with Dr. Steven Herrine, I am in the process of creating a pilot module focused on GI/Hepatology that will be released to the JeffMD class of 2022 during their GI curriculum block. Using the Adobe CC tool suite and Powerpoint/Keynote, I am creating a user-directed, stepwise tutorial on cirrhosis and portal hypertension, integrating concepts and systems from other organ systems where appropriate. The module will conclude with a self-assessment quiz to reinforce critical takeaways. I will present a draft of this project at the AASLD conference in San Francisco this coming November.

How was your PEL Internship experience? What did you enjoy about it?

My PEL Internship experience was fantastic, and continues to be fun. Despite having widely different summer schedules and plans, there was an atmosphere of support and community amongst the interns and PEL board members. We encouraged one another, gave candid feedback and learned from one another's challenges through our widely different projects. Being a part of a small team of students attempting to create something novel and exciting has been an invaluable learning experience. I look forward to seeing our respective work come to fruition.

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Name: Benjamin Chipkin

Paragraph description of the project:

Research suggests that doctors who know how to cook and make healthy lifestyle choices have healthier patients and are healthier themselves. JeffCHEPh (Jefferson Cooking Healthily and Equitably for Philadelphia) offers medical students the opportunity to learn about nutrition, community health, physician wellness, and interprofessional collaboration through immersive culinary experiences. Medical students will develop skills to improve the root of many of our most pressing healthcare issues: access to and promotion of healthy eating. Learning to shop for and prepare meals within Philadelphia's unique food landscape, JeffCHEPh participants will build an understanding of the food challenges facing our community and practical steps to ameliorate them. Culinary medicine, the melding of culinary arts and medical science, provides an evidence-based model to realize community wellbeing. JeffCHEPh will bring this growing field of culinary medicine to the Jefferson community to ensure that those we serve and those we work alongside continue to live healthy and sustainable lives.

How I enjoyed the PEL Internship experience:

We all begin medical school with passions that extend beyond the classroom, which are easy to neglect along the way. Arriving to Jefferson with my MS in nutrition and a lifelong love of cooking, the first year of medical school left me hungry for more exposure to clinical nutrition. The PEL Internship helped me reconnect with my passion for food and provided a space for me to innovate in the field of nutrition education. Organizationally, PEL supports interns with community connections and resources that enable meaningful projects to emerge from the summer. The Internship offers a unique opportunity to put creative thought into action and develop leadership skills to become an impactful physician.