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MCPHS student Scott McLaughlin

Student Spotlight: Sean Michael McLaughlin

  • Sean Michael McLaughlin has experienced first-hand the advantage of Massachusetts of Pharmacy and Health Sciences’ (MCPHS) unique focus on the future of the evolving healthcare field, its connections with surrounding institutions, and tight-knit community of students and professionals.

    Small class sizes and one-on-one professor and student relationships has proved an ideal setting for McLaughlin. “Because of the small cohort of students in the program, we have all become best friends, and have grown and leaned upon each other for advice and help in the challenging, but rewarding academic setting that MCPHS provides,” said McLaughlin.

    Courses are designed to emulate the often demanding, real-world work environments within the healthcare field, and the reward is a “culture of pride” that both students and professors uphold. McLaughlin credits this culture of pride as one of the most valuable aspects of his MCPHS education.

    “Every professor I have has been available during office hours or has been willing to work around my courses and internships, allowing for phone calls and supplemental webcast lessons,” said McLaughlin. “And, they all take an ultimate pride in what they do. Every professor at MCPHS understands the challenging environment that students sign up for, and are willing to do everything in their power to make the process as easy and meaningful as possible.”

    For McLaughlin, one of the primary reasons for having selected MCPHS was the faculty’s expertise and their connections with top-rated hospitals in the Longwood Medical and Academic Area (LMA). McLaughlin believes that these connections will help him to put him on the fast track to his future career, and he says that his professors have offered “invaluable insight on how the brightest of the brightest conduct their research.” As McLaughlin puts it, “These encounters are truly once-in-a lifetime opportunities."

    With a focus on the big data involved in both clinical management and healthcare administration, McLaughlin is excited about the prospect of working with data to produce meaningful insights. “It is amazing to have the knowledge necessary to be able to analyze raw data and apply to it patient safety, new medical technologies, and other means of reducing costs and improving healthcare on a large or small-scale,” said McLaughlin.

    We sat down with McLaughlin to chat a little bit more about his recent internship experience at one of the Partners Healthcare hospitals in Salem, MA.

    Can you tell us a little bit more about what your role and responsibilities were at North Shore Medical Center?

    My title during the internship was “Intern of Quality Reporting and Data Analysis”. I worked to create dashboards, reports, and presentations for the hospital and for regulatory organization like the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, the Joint Commission, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators, and many others.

    What did that work involve?

    I was responsible for extracting data from our Enterprise Data Warehouse, cleansing it, formatting and presenting the data in meaningful ways. I also focused on communicating in an easy way for non-data personnel to use and learn from this invaluable information.

    What was your biggest takeaway from this internship?

    The biggest takeaway from my internship was that everything MCPHS has taught us has real-world implications and uses. Although the formats and means of gathering data may be different than those we learned in the classroom, the ways of dealing with clinical data in a real-world setting is just as it was taught at MCPHS. This internship has put me on a fast-track to a career in clinical data analysis, where I hope to do similar work for various agencies, both in-house and for regulatory agencies.

    For his future career aspirations, McLaughlin isn’t settling for small. His dream job? Chief Information Officer of a hospital or hospital system. “I feel that my undergraduate degree at MCPHS has prepared me for the next steps in my career progression,” Said McLaughlin. “I have applied to a few master’s program in health administration and I hope to begin those courses very shortly. MCPHS has prepared me for the corporate world in ways I would have never imagined.”

    Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS) offers degree programs designed to empower the next generation of healthcare leaders.