Internships and Residencies
El Futuro offers a highly sought after training program that attracts students from many local professional schools and training programs. We attract medical students, resident physicians, psychology interns, masters level social work students, divinity students, and other professional students to come to El Futuro for a one-of-a-kind training experience.
El Futuro offers residencies, internships, field work, and practicum opportunities to provide students from a wide variety of educational disciplines the opportunity to apply traditional academic classroom learning to actual clinical experiences in a multi-program setting.
We offer internships and residencies in our Durham clinic, with limited opportunities at our Siler City clinic location.
Graduate level clinical internships
The Clinical Learners program for social work, marriage and family therapy, counseling psychology, and counseling students is a valued part of our clinical program at El Futuro. Our interns and practicum students learn how to provide trauma-informed, culturally-relevant psychotherapy in a challenging and supportive environment. El Futuro has hosted clinical interns and practicum students from graduate programs of social work, counseling, marriage and family therapy, and counseling psychology. Interns receive weekly individual supervision from a qualified supervisor at El Futuro, and are also encouraged to participate in monthly group and specialized supervision. For more information and to express your interest, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are fortunate to partner with the North Carolina Area Health Education Centers (NC AHEC) to provide this unique training experience for medical students and resident physicians. El Futuro is an AHEC Center of Excellence.
I just wanted to thank all of you for making my year at El Futuro a great one. Not only did I learn a lot from being there social work-wise, but I could not have asked for a better group of people with whom to work. Each of you is extremely talented, caring, and good at what you do. Thanks for “showing me the ropes” and making my field placement a really positive experience!
I can’t tell you how invaluable your guidance has been lately. I’m currently in an Ob-Gyn clinic every Wednesday and more than half of my patients speak Spanish only. I have a hard time expressing succinctly how much the entire staff at El Futuro has helped me learn how to approach patients in a respectful and helpful way. You guys literally made me a better psychiatrist…and I was happy to be along for the ride.
Our Current Residents and Interns
Clay Cooper, MD, MBA
Family medicine resident
Read Dr. Cooper’s personal statement about matching at Duke Family Medicine here.
Gaby Plasencia, MD
Gaby grew up in Miami, Florida and spent summers in Dominican Republic with her family. She went to undergraduate school at the University of Florida and medical school at Loyola University in Chicago. Her interest in mental health care as a primary care provider, learning more about specific barriers to and strategies for mental health care to Spanish speaking populations, and learning how to engage with the community bring her to El Futuro.
In her free time, Gaby loves to dance. She grew up dancing Flamenco and actually danced semi-professionally with a dance company that travelled to Mexico for performances. When she’s not dancing, she loves watching stand-up comedy at home.
Social Work intern
Ivan Dario Escobar Roldan, MD
Ivan grew up in Cali, Colombia and went to medical school at Universidad del Valle. He moved to the US to complete his psychiatry residency at Duke, he is currently in his third year of residency. He comes to El Futuro to be part of the work we are doing for the Hispanic community in North Carolina and he wants to be a part of it.
Ivan likes the outdoors, hiking, biking, bird watching, and photography. He also enjoys a nice conversation over a cold beer.
Social Work intern
She was born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, however her mother was in the military so they moved every few years. The longest duration of her childhood was spent on O’ahu, Hawai’i where she attended ‘Iolani School, and spent the majority of her time painting, swimming, scuba diving, and competing in outrigger canoe races. While living in Hawai’i, she was very fortunate to learn about the rich history and culture of the Native Hawaiians, but also became aware of the major social injustices that they faced which led to her initial interest in becoming a social worker. After moving back to the mainland, she graduated from North Carolina State University with a BA in Spanish Language and Literature. Over the years she has had the privilege of working with many incredible youths and families from the Latinx community, and while searching for more opportunities to do so, she found El Futuro and felt inspired to join the team! In her free time, she can be found painting, sketching, reading, or swimming.
Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Intern
Karla was born in Puerto Rico and moved to Florida when she was 10 years old. She graduated from Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, TN with a Bachelor’s in Christian Ministry. Karla is currently working on her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. For the past 15 years, Karla has worked with The Salvation Army in ministry, including work with children, teens, and adults. She has worked with people from all cultures and different needs. She felt unprepared to help those that had mental health illnesses and wanted to be more effective in the way that she helps others, so that is what pushed her to study counseling. She has a desire to see people become all that they were created to be. In her free time, Karla likes to spend time with her husband and 3 kids, go to the beach, scrapbook, and do Bible Art Journaling.
Counseling Practicum Student
Gabriela was born and raised in Venezuela and moved to the USA at age fifteen. She completed her psychology undergraduate degree at East Carolina University and is currently working on her Masters in Counseling at the same university. She is a registered behavior technician and works supporting children with Autism. Spanish is her first language, so she has always been interested in working with the Latino community. She loves the work that El Futuro is doing to help the community and she is excited to be a part of it. Some of her hobbies include Zumba, watching movies, and going hiking.
Nikki Steinsiek, MD
Nikki was born in Arkansas and moved with her family to Ashland, Oregon in middle school. She attended medical school at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon. Growing up in rural Oregon, she became aware of health and social inequalities faced by Latinx migrant farm workers at an early age. She has since developed a passion for working with migrant, immigrant, and Spanish speaking communities.
Nikki’s hobbies include running, mountain biking, rock climbing, cooking, and playing music.
School Psychology resident
Social Work Intern
Dennise was born on the Mexican side of a border town and raised there until she moved to Texas at the age of 9. Dennise graduated from Meredith College with a degree in psychology and is currently working on her MSW at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. She has worked with the public for about 14 years in different capacities such as a developmental therapist, patient coordinator, and case manager. She is currently an intern at El Futuro!
Dennise has always admired how El Futuro has adapted and responded to the ever-changing mental health needs of the Latinx community. She loves to ride her bike, hike, is a photographer, and loves to spend time with her family. She enjoys listening to audiobooks and podcasts and recently listened to 12 rules for life by Jordan B. Peterson.