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Phase 1 Year 1: Apply for OutCare Health’s Medical Student Internship

Juan Carlos Venis MD_04

Exposure to medicine, public health, health equity, and research within the LGBTQ community

OutCare Health and Indiana University School of Medicine’s Office of Diversity Affairs have a new, exciting summer internship in LGBTQ healthcare. We are looking for a first-year medical student for this internship. The paid internship will begin in early June and conclude in late July. For anyone interested, please see below for more details and email Dustin Nowaskie.

Description of the Summer Internship


OutCare Health recognizes the unique health needs of LGBTQ people and connects them with the most appropriate healthcare providers, resources, and events. Duties of the intern will include those that exemplify the mission of OutCare, i.e. to better educate medical students, supplement healthcare providers and energize communities to deliver high-quality, culturally-competent, unbiased healthcare.

Duties and objectives of the intern will include:

  • Recruiting Indiana providers who are LGBTQ culturally-competent to the OutList, with a particular emphasis on rural communities
  • Identifying local, state-specific and national lists with culturally-competent providers, and reaching out to these groups/organizations/institutions for a partnership to include their providers on OutCare’s nationwide database
  • Advertising the OutCare initiative to public resources on the website in order to increase awareness of services and monthly website viewership
  • Cataloguing LGBTQ public resources in states that are not already widely covered on the website, with a particular emphasis on rural communities
  • Monitoring progress of current state-specific teams and communicating with gay-straight alliances at other medical school across the country about joining OutCare as a state-specific team
  • Reaching out to national health equality organizations (such as the American Medical Association and Human Rights Campaign) about the OutCare initiative in order to increase awareness of services and to secure a partnership
  • Given available time, engaging and conducting in-depth clinical research, including literature review, proposal submission and/or revision, participant recruitment, data analysis and presentation
  • Given available time, working on an individual project of choice, e.g., independently creating an IRB-approved research study, developing educational materials or instituting a resource initiative under the umbrella of OutCare

Work done by the intern will be frequently monitored by OutCare co-founders Dustin Nowaskie and Jordan Nowaskie. The intern will routinely communicate with the co-founders pertaining to duties, assistance, and progress.

Time Commitment

The Phase 1 Year 1 academic calendar officially concludes on May 18, 2018 and the Phase 1 Year 2 curriculum begins on Aug 6, 2018. Tentatively, the intern will begin on Monday, June 4, 2018 and finish on Friday, July 20, 2018. The intern will work these seven weeks at 20 hours per week, for a total of 210 work hours.


The intern will be paid $15 per work hour. In the noted time commitment above, the intern will be paid for 20 hours per week for seven weeks as a lump sum of $2,100. The co-founders will monitor the intern’s progress each week to assure that the intern is delivering 20 work hours per week. Time schedule adjustments will be made accordingly, including those for holidays and time away requests.


At the conclusion of the summer internship, the intern will submit a reflection of their time and work with OutCare to IU School of Medicine’s Office of Diversity Affairs and OutCare Co-Founders. The intern’s progress will be frequently monitored throughout each week, and a formal evaluation of the intern will be prepared by OutCare Co-Founders and submitted to IU School of Medicine’s Office of Diversity Affairs.

Description of OutCare Health

The etiology of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) health disparities is multifaceted, including provider discrimination and inadequate education and training. LGBTQ-competent organizations and providers exist but many are unidentifiable by communities; consequently, health equity is often via word of mouth. Past research has shown that the internet serves as an important avenue for seeking information about LGBTQ health. Accordingly, these disparities have the potential to be targeted online, effectively delivered to public and academic communities, and thus institute an evidence-based shift toward both health and social equality.

History of Outcare Health

In May 2015, the non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization OutCare Health was created by medical students at Indiana University School of Medicine in an effort to unify health equity for LGBTQ populations in all states. A cyclic, multidimensional framework is employed to conduct needs assessments, identify resources and providers, promote these efforts on the website and educate the next generation. Utilizing this framework, state-specific teams champion social and public health change at community and academic levels by emphasizing local support. Impact includes a 1,000+ provider database of culturally-competent providers, 500+ public resources and 4,000+ monthly website views. Both the provider list and audience viewership nearly doubles every three-six months.

Healthcare equity for LGBTQ populations is both a community and medical institutional endeavor. In order to tackle these minority disparities, a national online platform governed by state-specific initiatives is an effective model to facilitate a shift in LGBTQ healthcare across the country.

While OutCare has become a self-sustaining model in some regards (i.e., reaching viewership across the country), there is much more hands-on groundwork needed to further its mission of a centralized, nationwide database of LGBTQ cultural competency. Since the creation of OutCare, the organization has been historically maintained by medical students. Given the comprehensive nature of OutCare, the interplay of medicine, public health, health equity, philanthropy, social justice and research that is afforded by the organization will be an excellent opportunity for a medical student intern during the summer of 2018 to engage in academic pursuit, professional development, community service and cultural awareness.

The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.
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