Cumberland Medical Clinic Internship

Community medical clinics serve an important role in our health care system. Cumberland Medical Interns will learn about the needs of these clinics and how to help build infrastructure support. Following the exemplary work of the Bonner and Canale leaders during the academic school year, Cumberland Medical Interns will extend these services into the summer. Students will be trained to efficiently run the clinics and learn how a nonprofit functions. The interns will be expected to look into capacity-­building options for the clinics, as well as grant options. Interns will be expected to form relationships with the clinic staff as well as the patients. Interest and passion to learn more about rural health, medicine/nutrition, and nonprofit work is encouraged. Students will be responsible for taking blood pressure, blood sugar, and weight; recording conditions; and documenting results. They will also be responsible for sorting medications and filing medical paperwork. They will need to be comfortable interacting with patients at the desk and in the waiting room. A big part of this internship is integrating into the culture and learning how to make patients feel comfortable.

Interns will gain knowledge about running a non­profit, access to health care in rural settings, nutrition, diabetes education, and local communities. The interns will have the opportunity to collaborate with Sewanee professors and staff to create asset maps, research and write grants that focus on rural health, and research pilot programs.

Interns will work with our three clinic sites:

Beersheba Springs Medical Clinic is located in Beersheba Springs, TN (approx. 45m from Sewanee) and is a not-for-profit clinic that has served over 1000 people since it opened in 2010.  Their mission is “to provide comprehensive ambulatory medical services for the community including Diagnosis and treatment of acute episodic illness."  Services include "on-going supervision of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and depression; minor wound management; stabilizing more serious injury patients, and arranging appropriate hospital and or specialist referral; prenatal care, well-child care, school physicals, and family planning; and health education including nutrition counseling, weight control and smoking cessation.” 

Volunteers in Medicine (VIM) of Southern Tennessee is a national nonprofit dedicated to building a network of sustainable free primary healthcare clinics for the uninsured in local communities. The VIM clinic is in Winchester, TN (20 mins from Sewanee). Their mission is “to promote and guide the development of a national network of free clinics emphasizing the use of retired medical and community volunteers within a culture of caring to improve access to health care for America’s underserved, particularly the uninsured.” Sewanee intern volunteers work directly with clinic staff to take patient histories and vitals, while also shadowing nurses and physicians.  

The Partners for Healing medical clinic was established in 2001 to provide free primary healthcare to a population of low income, working uninsured. Started by area community leaders and located in Tullahoma, TN (approx. 45m from Sewanee), the clinic was initiated to improve access to healthcare. Their mission is “to open our hearts and hands in love and understanding by providing compassionate health care and nurturing to the working uninsured of Coffee, Franklin, and Moore counties”. 

To learn more about the clinics and the Sewanee students who have interned there, visit the Health on the Cumberland Plateau website.

Application Procedure

The application deadline is February 15th. Applicants should apply through TigerNet. There are TWO positions available.


  • A Sewanee rising sophomore through senior student; 
  • Interested in medicine or public health;
  • Ideally has worked at the clinics in some capacity either through a class, volunteer experience, or internship;
  • Must have a valid driver's license and be responsible for own transportation to and from the clinic sites

Additional qualifications and skills of a successful intern:

  • Knowledge of health care system;
  • Basic knowledge about public health concerns;
  • Awareness about how health interacts with social, cultural, economic and environmental factors;
  • Overall computer literacy;
  • Strong writing, communication and public speaking skills;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills;
  • Strong organizational and time management skills;
  • Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently;
  • Cultural sensitivity and enthusiasm for engaging with people from a variety of contexts;
  • Patience and humility.

Interns will be based in Sewanee and stay in student housing for 8 weeks in June and July.  Students are encouraged to apply for a stipend from one of the University internship funds by April 1st.  Students will be expected to cover expenses to and from clinics and housing.  

Application requirements:

  • A Resume or CV that lists any research, employment, internship, or other experience relevant to the program to which you are applying. Please review CLD guidelines on composing an effective resume and what a CV is and how to write one.
  • Cover Letter. This letter should be addressed to Prof. A. Summers, as the faculty coordinator for this internship. The letter should clearly explain your reasons for pursuing the internship and how you expect your experience to impact your career plans. Include what you have done in your Sewanee career that supports your overall goals in the health care field and interest in pursuing this internship. Please review the CLD guidelines for writing a cover letter as this is a significant portion of the evaluation for getting this internship. 
  • An Unofficial Transcript (Obtained from the Registrar’s Office – do not wait until the last day to request!)
  • Names of 3 References we can contact. You should have at least 2 of these 3 references be Sewanee professors. Please list their names, titles, and contact information on your resume or CV.