What Are Service-Research Projects?
Unlike our shadowing programs, which focus on observing healthcare professionals across multiple specialties, Atlantis Service-Research Projects are an opportunity to learn full-time from an Atlantis Project Leader, inside an elite healthcare organization, in a real project with members of management and administration, while performing a highly impactful service – a unique mix. Our Washington, D.C. program partners with Children’s National Hospital to give pre-med students a learning experience that also gives them exposure to the important work of one of the top pediatric healthcare institutions in the US. Read more about our Service-Research Projects and explore how we partner with Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C.
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Explore Washington, D.C. during Your Program
Washington is an extraordinary city, one with multiple personalities: a working federal city, an international metropolis, a picturesque tourist destination, an unmatched treasury of the country’s history and artifacts, and a cosmopolitan center that retains a neighborly small-town ambiance. About half the land in Washington is owned by the U.S. government. Several hundred thousand people in the D.C. metropolitan area work for the federal government. (Source)
Dates & Availability
June 24, 2023 - July 14, 2023 3 weeks
$6,999 from $342/month
You may pay over time, fundraise, consider scholarships, and more. See more on the financing and aid page.
Dates may be subject to change, in rare cases, depending on partner availability. Students may transfer to another program or receive a refund up until 60 days before the start date. All fees include an initial $900 deposit, which is non-refundable. Monthly prices are for illustration purposes only. Accepted students or their parents are welcome to apply for financing through Uplift (up to 24-month terms, with a 4% to 36% fixed APR based on creditworthiness).
Service-Research Project programs include a full-time project, housing, some meals, transportation, health insurance, and more. Airfare is not included but can be very affordable.
On Program Components
Pre/Post Program Components
Healthcare Partner Overview
Children’s National Hospital has been consistently ranked one of the top 10 pediatric hospitals in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1870 and serving the D.C. metro area, Children’s National is a respected leader in pediatric research and advocacy for children. The Child Health Advocacy Institute (CHAI) started over 30 years ago as the first hospital-based policy center to focus on child health. Using a population health approach and managing the Child Health Data Lab, CHAI works on the ground and with policymakers to combat D.C. kids’ most pressing health issues and to address disparities in childhood opportunity. Fellows will collaborate on a project focusing on the community health needs of the greater Washington, D.C. area. Examples of past project components for Children’s National Hospital include providing in-depth data analysis on children’s health outcomes across D.C.’s eight Wards, summarizing key policies related to racial equity in healthcare, evaluating the statistical relevance of the Childhood Opportunity Index, and developing qualitative data collection guides.
Kayaking on the Potomac
Kayaking on the Potomac is one of the most desired activities for hot days in the nation’s capital. Having fun paddling while observing from the river some of the most emblematic buildings of the city is an unparalleled experience. On other days and in Winter, a great range of top museums and federal institutions are waiting to be explored. Gravely Point Park is a great place for locals to walk to and picnic at – can get there easily by crossing the bridge from DC (since technically it’s in Virginia) and you can watch the planes fly into Reagan airport.
Service-Research Projects Alumna (D.C. Children’s National Hospital Program) Reflects On Its Likely Impact On Her Med School Applications
Note: All SRP’s follow the same approach regardless of the host healthcare entity the SRP is done with.
Participants learn from an Atlantis Project Leader who is in charge of the leadership and educational value of the program. But this learning happens by doing. Specifically, by doing a project that is impactful to the partner host organization. The project scope will vary from partner to partner, but all projects involve data-driven research, developing problem-solving frameworks, and communicating possible answers to high-level questions that the organization is facing. Projects are never focused on questions that leverage subject-matter expertise (i.e., the kind you’d have as an MD or a proven hospital administrator or a Ph.D. in something like Public Health); Service-Research Projects simply leverage smarts and a willingness to contribute to a great team and project, analyzing, researching, and presenting insights to management.
Brand Name Recognition
Atlantis Service-Research Project alumni are in the small minority of applicants and entering med/PA school students, under 10%, who have actually participated in a real project in healthcare at an organizational/administrative level, much less at an elite institution, known for being a leader in its field. They are also some of the few prospective med/PA students who have experienced the type of leadership and management work that will increasingly be asked of them as they advance in their careers. This perspective of Atlantis Service-Research Projects alumni will be a unique contribution to any med/PA school cohort.
A Real Project With Real Results
Our programs focus on learning-by-doing, specifically by producing research in the form of a slide deck that is presented to managers of the partner organization.
Past Project Example
Date: 2020 and 2021 during the pandemic.
Healthcare Organization: Children’s National Hospital, Washington, D.C., one of the best pediatric hospitals in the U.S.
Context: Preparation for the 2021 Community Health Needs Assessment, measuring Childhood Opportunity in D.C. metropolitan neighborhoods and working with other organizations to promote racial equity in healthcare.
Executive Summary: Students measured what were major drivers behind low levels of childhood opportunity (measured by COI, Childhood Opportunity Index). They provided a historical perspective on D.C. neighborhoods, focusing on racial equity, and created community engagement tools.
Deliverables: Interim & Final presentations, Tableau visualizations, manuscript, interview guides including engagement tools (e.g., email & social media templates), focus group templates, stakeholder master list including their contacts, and historical write-up of D.C. neighborhoods.
One Consequence: Atlantis and Children’s National Hospital institutionally co-presented on this model and project at several leading academic conferences, including the ASPPH, in 2021.
How Does Atlantis Partner with Such Elite Host Institutions, when Study Abroad Programs Generally Don’t?
Am I paying to work?
Is it fair that students can get exposure to these selective institutions by paying rather than applying to an internship there?
In the case of nonprofit hosts, how do they benefit from this?
Developing a Strategic Theme for Your Med/PA School Applications
Having an Atlantis Service-Research Project on your resume may help you to strategize a theme for your med/PA school application. Variety and breadth are always important, but if you have a range of specialties in your bank of experience already, it can help to have a central theme. Just make sure you’re passionate about the theme, because it’s not worth it otherwise. And always make sure that your activities don’t come at the expense of your undergraduate GPA, which is crucial; a theme is never worth below-average stats. When you look at the examples below, ask yourself: if you ran a med/PA school, wouldn’t you, all else equal, want more students with unique themes, as long as they’re substantial, relevant, and meaningful themes? Here are just a few high-level examples of how themes could work:
Watch the below video, where Atlantis (shadowing) alumni explain how they brought healthcare system differences to their med/PA applications to highlight their cultural competency; the same phenomenon can happen with Service-Research Projects alumni, since they also witness differences in systems in a very unique way.
Business & Healthcare
Funding Your Future
The cost of Atlantis isn’t too dissimilar from the cost of many study abroad programs that you may find. And we’re here to help: from our extensive fundraising guide to flexible payment plans and financing options, we make the process simple and easy, allowing you to focus on what really matters.
Bring a Friend
Consider bringing a friend to the same program you’re applying to. Although the vast majority of Atlantis alumni have gone on programs without knowing someone in their cohort, bringing a friend allows your experience to be shared in a unique way, while still allowing you one of the benefits of Atlantis: meeting new pre-health friends from across the country. Consider sharing this idea with your friends.
Med schools really like to see a diverse array of perspectives in their students so that when they do become physicians, they can bring those different perspectives into their practice and with their patients.