National University Partners with Scripps Health-Affiliated Group to Expand Student Internship Opportunities

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The partnership connects the University's graduate students in healthcare administration and public health with internship opportunities through Scripps Mercy Physician Partners and its more than 650 San Diego County physician member practices.

National University, one of the largest private, nonprofit universities in California, is combining forces with a Scripps Health-affiliated physicians group to make it easier for students studying healthcare administration and public health to land internships from among hundreds of local physician groups.

National University and Scripps Mercy Physician Partners have created a new online resource connecting more than 650 physician member practices with graduate students in National University’s Master of Healthcare Administration, Master of Public Health, Master of Health Analytics, and Master of Health Informatics programs. Physicians who are experts in 29 medical specialties can use the Internship Portal – on the Scripps Mercy Physician Partners’ Physician Resource Center website – to easily find interns looking for practical experience.

“We are committed to offering our students a range of opportunities to gain valuable work skills in the health care sector that enhance their academic studies,” said Dr. Gloria McNeal, Dean of the School of Health and Human Services. “We are pleased to be partnering with Scripps Mercy Physician Partners to offer this valuable service that connects our students with physician groups dedicated to supporting a new generation of health care practitioners.”

National University’s School of Health and Human Services provides accredited pathways to Master’s programs preparing students for entry level and middle management roles in healthcare organizations for leadership positions in health promotion and disease prevention, community mental health, and for leadership positions in the fast growing areas of data informatics and analytics. These programs rely heavily on community partners to provide real-world experience for students.

“This new portal operationalizes a vision we had to connect students and physicians,” said Dr. Tyler C. Smith, Associate Professor and Chair, Program Lead MS Health and Life Science Analytics, Director Health Science Research Center at the National University School of Health and Human Services. “The portal facilitates a connection between medical practice and student interests and opens up doors not available to us in the past.”

Dustin Brown, Chief Operating Officer at Scripps Mercy Physician Partners, agrees. “Today, if a doctor’s office is looking for a nursing or administrative intern, many aren’t aware where to look. We’re solving that problem. I believe the opportunities for real life, on-site experience will increase for students because the process has been simplified for everyone.”

Christy Schumacher, Internships Director for National University, said the new portal provides value for both physician groups and students. “Internships allow students and faculty to expand the classroom to include multiple types of real-world experiences related to their studies,” she said.

By the end of the year, Brown hopes to expand the Physicians Resource Center portal’s capabilities to allow students to upload their resumes and detailed information about their academic background. In addition, Schumacher added that physicians will later be able to find National University nursing students that are searching for clinical experience.

Scripps Mercy Physician Partners has partnered with National University on developing the portal because the two share common interests, and have a long track record of working together, Brown and Schumacher said. National University’s Master of Healthcare Administration and Master of Public Health programs place from 175 to 200 students in internships annually, said Schumacher.

About the School of Health and Human Services at National University
Founded in 1971, National University is among the largest private, nonprofit universities in California. With more than 150,000 alumni, National University is the flagship institution of the National University System. National University is dedicated to making lifelong learning opportunities accessible, challenging, and relevant to a diverse population of students through programs offered at locations throughout California and across the nation, and also online. The School of Health and Human Services consists of the departments of Community Health, Health Sciences and Nursing, which offer 17 degree programs and provide a wide range of online and onsite undergraduate and graduate programs including Nursing, Public Health, Healthcare and Nursing Administration, Health Informatics, Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Anesthesia, Clinical Lab Science, Radiation Therapy Technology, Clinical and Regulatory Affairs, Allied Health, and Health and Life Sciences Analytics.

About Scripps Mercy Physician Partners & Physician Resource Center
As one of San Diego County’s largest medical groups, Scripps Mercy Physician Partners has more than 650 physician member practices located throughout the county. Our physicians are experts in 29 medical specialties, including family medicine and internal medicine, who care deeply about providing the highest-quality care tailored to the needs of each patient. Many of our physicians have expanded training within their specialty and are recognized leaders in their field. Scripps Mercy Physician Partners members is featured on the new Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups ( website. In addition, members of Scripps Mercy Physician Partners have dedicated access to the Physician Resource Center (, which provides easy access to education, news, events, affiliate partnerships, group purchasing, a mobile apps directory, and the all new internship portal.

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Anna Cearley
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