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Internship Spotlight: Meirui Li, MPH ’24 (Biostatistics)

October 04, 2023

Business Planning Intern, Tenet Healthcare, Dallas, Texas; Funding: Tenet Healthcare through relocation stipend and hourly compensation.

What is your career goal?

I want to work at the intersection of health care business analytics and data science. I am passionate about solving real-world problems facing the health care industry and helping improve health outcomes. I find it rewarding to unearth meaningful insights from health care data and address business challenges by presenting innovative solutions. In the short term, my goal is to obtain a role as either a business analyst or data analyst within the health care sector.

What were your duties/responsibilities during your internship?

This internship was within the Business Planning department of Tenet Healthcare. This summer, I worked on a project related to surgical robot utilization. The goal was to look for cost-saving opportunities and improve patient experience. Working under my supervisor’s guidance, I analyzed robotics data, created a scoring methodology to quantify robot performance, and engaged with market chief strategy officers to help them rationalize their robotics program and drive further efficiency.

What did you take away from your experience as an intern? What was the value of the internship to you?

This internship experience was unforgettable for me. The work culture at Tenet is very collaborative, with everyone displaying patience and kindness towards one another. I received a lot of support and guidance from my team throughout the internship. Our frequent brainstorming sessions each week were invaluable for project development. I definitely improved my communication and teamwork skills this summer. Also, I had the opportunity to take on some parts of the project independently, so I learned a lot through solving analytic problems on my own.

What was the most rewarding aspect of your internship? What was the most challenging aspect? The most surprising aspect?

The most rewarding, and at the same time most challenging, aspect of my internship was the final presentation to the senior leadership team. I was very nervous at the beginning, but I received a lot of support and positive feedback from my team members. We worked together to polish the presentation, and eventually, I successfully delivered the speech. I am grateful that I had such an incredible opportunity to meet so many high-level professionals and present my work in front of them.

How did your first year at YSPH prepare you for this internship?

My initial year at YSPH equipped me with a solid understanding of the U.S. health care system and health care policy. This classroom-acquired knowledge greatly facilitated my quick adaptation to the project context and expedited my analysis. Additionally, the data analytics expertise and statistical principles I gained through the BIS [Biostatistics] concentration proved invaluable for the quantitative aspects of my project.

What would you say to a student who’s considering a similar internship?

I would say don’t be afraid to ask questions during your internship, and remember to summarize your work on a weekly or monthly basis. Addressing real-world issues in projects can often diverge from textbook knowledge, so don't be shy about seeking clarification from your teammates or supervisors. Also, doing a regular summary will help you organize your thoughts for future tasks, and it will make it easier to recall all the details after your internship ends.

Submitted by Sabrina Lacerda Naia dos Santos on October 04, 2023