Internships at Iowa ENT Center

Each year, Iowa ENT Center offers internships to students at Des Moines-area high schools. These internships allow students interested in science and healthcare to learn more about the practice of medicine, medical research, patient care and much more.

We’d like you to meet some of the interns who’ve worked with us in the past. For information about upcoming internship opportunities, contact Iowa ENT Center at (515) 223-4368.

Hannah Ingle
During the 2015-2016 school year, Hannah Ingle worked primarily with Dr. Wright and the nursing team at Iowa ENT Center as a nurse assistant and research coordinator. She worked with the nurses to room patients and assisted in the Intersect ENT study, collecting data and assisting with procedures for the study.

Through her time at Iowa ENT Center, Hannah says she developed a better understanding of the research process and the fast pace of the medical field. Interacting with patients deepened her passion for helping others and making a difference in their lives. Hannah will attend nursing school at the University of Iowa in the fall of 2016 and wants to participate in research at the university. She plans to become a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and hopes to practice overseas for a few years after college before returning to the U.S.

Paige Yontz
During the 2015-2016 school year, Paige Yontz worked primarily as a medical research assistant with Dr. Wright. She and intern Brandon Kuhn helped to manage the progress of multiple research studies at Iowa ENT Center. During her internship, Paige helped to collect samples from patients for the iMAX, PETS, and child-life satisfaction studies, as well as draft a proposal for a thyroid FNA study that will be implemented in the future.

Paige’s duties included staying organized and being a strong critical thinker, as she had a lot of responsibilities regarding tracking the data of each research study. From her time at Iowa ENT Center, Paige says she learned to be more detail-oriented and how to successfully assist in the complex process of research studies. In the future, Paige plans to attend Luther College to study business administration as well as minor in chemistry or biology in order to either proceed to a master’s degree in healthcare administration or to attend medical school.

Brandon Kuhn
Brandon Kuhn worked at Iowa ENT Center as a medical research assistant in the 2015-2016 school year. He and intern Paige Yontz worked on multiple research projects including the iMAX, PETS, and child-life satisfaction studies. They were tasked with collecting data and samples from patients, as well as staying organized. Brandon also helped with drafting and writing a proposal for a research study that will research the efficiency of fine needle aspirations in detecting thyroid cancer.

Through the course of his internship, Brandon became more of a critical thinker and was able to better learn the research process. Working at Iowa ENT Center confirmed Brandon’s desire to become a physician in the future, as he enjoys the fast pace and challenge of the field. In the future, Brandon will attend the University of Iowa and will major in biochemistry and finance. He hopes to attend Iowa’s Carver School of Medicine in order to become a physician.

Amber Holloway
Amber Holloway worked as a child-life intern during the 2015-2016 school year. She worked primarily with Courtney Mergen, our child-life specialist, helping to calm children and prepare them for surgeries and challenging appointments. Amber’s main job required her to develop a personal relationship with each child in order to help him or her get through difficult visits by engaging in play and conversation. Amber also contributed to the clinic’s child-life research study, which focuses on the importance of child-life specialists and directly correlates a patient’s happiness to the help and relationship of a specialist.

During her time at Iowa ENT Center, Amber tells us she learned that each child is unique and requires different ways of coping. She developed a deeper understanding of how to cope with each child and how to adapt to individual needs. In the future, Amber plans to study at Iowa State University in the field of human sciences. She is undecided on a major, but her passion for helping others will likely drive her to pursue a job involving human sciences.

Olivia Prohaska
Olivia Prohaska worked primarily with Courtney Mergen as a child-life intern during the 2014-2015 school year. She spent her time at Iowa ENT Center playing with children at their clinic visits and before surgeries in order to provide comfort and distraction during challenging procedures. She also helped to write an IRB Proposal for a child-life study that is now in motion at the clinic.

Through her time at Iowa ENT Center, Olivia developed a deeper understanding for each child’s unique needs and better learned how to relate to each child in order to ensure that they felt comfortable. Her work with children further deepened her love for kids and her passion for teaching someday. Olivia is currently a freshman at Iowa State University majoring in elementary and special education, minoring in Spanish. In the future, she hopes to spend time teaching in a Spanish-speaking country, eventually coming back to the U.S. to teach special education.

Ryan Sabotin
During the 2014-2015 school year, Ryan Sabotin worked primarily as a medical research assistant with Dr. Wright. He, along with Maddie Fung, had the responsibility of writing proposals for, conducting and submitting research studies led by Dr. Wright. For his main project, the EARS study, Ryan collected significant data and wrote the final paper that was then submitted and presented by Dr. Wright. Ryan also collected data and wrote proposals for other studies that were in motion at the clinic.

Thanks to his time at Iowa ENT Center, Ryan learned how to work with and develop research-oriented ideas independently and how to make important decisions regarding the research. Ryan is currently attending Creighton University studying biology and possibly neuroscience. He hopes to attend medical school. Ryan says his time at Iowa ENT Center has helped tremendously in his journey on the pre-med track and has resulted in his name being published on some research papers, a rarity for college freshmen.

Bri Young
Brianna Young spent her time at Iowa ENT Center working as a nurse assistant and research coordinator during the 2014-2015 school year. She worked closely with Dr. Wright and Dave Wonnel, rooming patients and assisting in a few minor in-office procedures. As a research coordinator, she helped with the Intersect ENT Project, a study that is still in progress at Iowa ENT Center. Her duties with the study included staying on top of each patient’s paperwork and communicating with colleagues from California.

Bri’s time at Iowa ENT Center confirmed that she wants to become a physician and work in a clinic setting, as she was able to take on multiple projects and responsibilities in the clinic. She learned that there is even more to medicine than treating patients’ needs; conducting research, speaking at seminars and teaching are all important as well. Bri is currently studying Neuroscience and International Development with a minor in Psychology at Tulane University. She plans to do research her sophomore year, an opportunity that is available to her due to her experience at Iowa ENT Center. After her undergraduate degree is met, Bri plans on going to medical school to pursue becoming a Neurologist.

Matt Hayden
During the 2013-2014 school year, Matt Hayden worked as a medical research assistant with Kenadie Wicks. He spent most of his time at Iowa ENT Center working on the EARS study. He and Kenadie helped Dr. Wright develop the experimental design and proceeded to write a study proposal. Once completed, they presented the proposal to the Mercy Institutional Review Board. On approval, they recruited subjects and collected data from infants. They began to write the proposal for a second study that was continued at the clinic after they left.

Through his work at Iowa ENT Center, Matt developed a better understanding for what the research process entails, which has given him an advantage in the research he has been a part of in college. So far, Matt has had the opportunity to work on two research projects at Simpson College. One project deals with showing that annealing or binding of DNA coated gold nanocubes is temperature dependent. One day this information might be used in the creation of nanobots and nanoscale drug delivery systems. Matt has also worked to develop an algorithm to rid electroencephalogram data of ocular artifact, which will cut out distorted data being collected. Matt is currently studying biochemistry and mathematics at Simpson. In the future, he hopes to be accepted into a medical scientist training program so that he can both practice as a physician and conduct medical research.

Kenadie Wicks
Kenadie Wicks worked at Iowa ENT Center as a medical research assistant during the 2013-2014 school year. She initially contributed to writing and reviewing a study proposal for the EARS study and began leading clinical trials after the study was approved. Kenadie greatly improved her analytical and communication skills throughout the process and learned how to apply great precision and attention to detail.

Through the communication, time management and writing skills Kenadie developed through her position at Iowa ENT Center, she was able to confidently participate in research at the University of Iowa as an undergraduate lab assistant. Kenadie is currently studying at the University of Iowa, majoring in International Studies with an emphasis in Middle Eastern Studies. She is minoring in Anthropology and Religion. She hopes to conduct fieldwork among indigenous people groups in the Middle East, bringing an understanding of their way of life to the rest of the world.