For the second summer, a diverse group of motivated college students gathered for an immersive two-day event that introduced them to career opportunities, connections, and mentoring in the field of medtech. The Diversity by Doing (DxD) Healthtech Exploration Workshop, hosted at Fogarty Innovation and Stanford Biodesign, is designed for summer interns from underrepresented groups working in health technology. It is the program’s third year and the second in which participants have been able to attend in person.
Opening doors to possibilities
Forty-six interns, hailing from universities across the country, participated in the workshop, which provided an in-depth look at the health technology landscape along with mindset training to help them achieve their goals regardless of their ultimate career path. Highlights included an innovation workshop, case studies and panels featuring accomplished healthtech innovators and leaders, speed mentoring, and career and personal development sessions. Each student participant is completing a summer internship at an industry-leading company including Allay Therapeutics, Fogarty Innovation, The Foundry, Imperative Care, Longitude Capital, Pulmonx, ReCor Medical, Shifamed, SI-Bone and XII Medical.
A favorite component of the seminar was the speed mentoring session and career panel. During this time, students rotated through three 1-on-1 mentoring sessions with different industry mentors and listened to three presentations on career and personal growth. “The opportunities for mentorship and personalized questions in an individual setting was incredible,” reported one of the students interning at Longitude Capital. Added a Pulmonx intern, “The career workshops and the people who led them were one of the best parts of the whole event! Their presentations were engaging and useful for implementation in my life, and I really, really enjoyed them.”
“We were honored to have so many accomplished professionals share their time and talent with these promising young people,” said Ingrid Ellerbe, executive director of DxD. “We look forward to seeing how the students will leverage the insights and advice they received as they continue their summer internships – and hopefully long careers – in the healthtech ecosystem.”
At the opening session, the students set their intentions for the two-day program and their future selves and heard from legendary medtech innovator Paul Yock, MD, about the critical importance of diversity in the healthtech ecosystem and the role they each can play in improving health equity through their summer internships. Dr. Yock noted that there is much evidence that patients can achieve better outcomes when treated by doctors who have similar backgrounds or identities.
The day, which also included a visit to the Stanford University campus, concluded with an inspirational chat with one of the pioneers in the field, Fred St Goar, who encouraged the students to be catalysts for change in our healthcare system. “We have figured out ways to deliver phenomenal care to a very small portion of the world. Your generation is going to change that,” he said.
Day two opened with a hands-on introduction and workshop on the Stanford Biodesign Innovation Process, followed by a career panel and case studies from CEOs Gabriel Sanchez of Enspectra Health and Leslie Trigg of Outset Medical, leaders of two companies that are focusing on unmet health needs, including those of underserved communities .
“It was a privilege to work with these students and help them discover the excitement of a career in healthtech,” said Fogarty chief commercial strategy officer Marga Ortigas-Wedekind. “Our industry and the healthcare environment both benefit when innovation stems from diverse viewpoints, especially from groups who have been historically underrepresented.”
Concluded one of the participants interning at ReCor Medical, “I truly loved this event. It solidified that this is the career for me. I am so grateful to have attended this workshop and I hope to keep in touch with all of the amazing people I’ve met here.”
For more information on the HealthTech Exploration Workshop and other DxD programs for students, professionals, and company leaders, visit the DxD website at diversitybydoing.org. There is also information on the DxD affiliate program, which gives companies priority access to DxD training, resources, programming, and expertise.
DxD was founded and is supported by Stanford Biodesign and Fogarty Innovation.