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Internship Fields: Health Care, Addiction Medicine

Major: Human Biology

Host: Ambulanz für integrierte Drogenhilfe (aid Berlin)

Location: Berlin

Duration: June – September 2010


At first I was advised and allowed to take everything in, ask any questions, and basically watch how the clinic ran. After that, I asked or was asked to take part in smaller tasks on a day-to-day basis. For example, I was charged with collecting any deliveries that might arrive, paying service men, and preparing our blood or urine sample for pick-up. I also took part in quick testing, immediate thin-layer chromatographic tests (in urine) for pregnancy, drugs, and basic composition, as well as prepping and finishing blood collections. After a while, I was allowed to start practicing taking blood under supervision and once my colleagues and I felt comfortable with this, I would collect samples on my own. I also learned and practiced NADA, an ear acupuncture technique, as well as witnessed numerous acupuncture treatments on various patients. My supervisor also encouraged that I sit in on some conversations with patients to understand the nature and dynamic of his particular function and the patients’ stories. I was assigned a presentation on the overarching theme of drug screening in addiction medicine to give to the entire team at the end of my time there. The clinic was small and the pace was quick so what I did or was allowed to do depended entirely on what I could pick up quickly and what benefited the other clinic members with regard to lightening workload."

German language: "ALL of the team members spoke German to me and I was expected not only to understand but also to be able to respond efficiently and accurately in German as well. I was treated as someone of my age and skill-capacity normally is, regardless of the language barrier. Much of my success and enjoyment of this internship might not have been possible without my relatively competent knowledge of German. At the same time my conversational comprehension and speaking skills improved tremendously during this summer."

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