Medical Internships for High School Students


Thinking about a future in medicine or a related field?

We don’t have to tell you that med school is tough. It will take many years, and many thousands of dollars. It may be a good idea to dip your toes in the water before fully diving in.

As a high school student, you should consider applying for a summer internship in the healthcare field. Programs range from research-intensive (working in a lab, conducting trials, comparing data) to hands-on clinical experiences (learning to suture, taking vitals, diagnosing patients) and may highlight any number of different specialties. They may be offered through a university, an area hospital or clinic or a research organization, and may be open to local residents or students worldwide. Some have a hefty price tag, while others are free. Some even provide a salary or stipend to participants.

Medical Internships high school students walking

Medical internships are an excellent way for high school students to test the waters, so you can see if this field is something you want to pursue in college and eventually as a career.

1. National Student Leadership Conference on Medicine & Health Care

This 9-day residential summer program will give you a glimpse of all aspects of the medical field. Interactive lectures and small group workshops will focus on leadership topics such as personality styles and group dynamics, conflict resolution, public speaking and ethical decision-making. You will participate in clinical rounds, gaining hands-on experience in suturing, testing vital signs, tying surgical knots and identifying cranial nerves.  You will work with a team to research a controversial health issue and brainstorm interventions, then put that knowledge to the test diagnosing and treating patients in an outbreak simulation exercise.

Guest speakers include top researchers in the medical community. Off-campus you will get a behind-the-scenes look at prominent sites around the city, with tours specifically tailored to the area of medicine.

Eligibility:
Ages 14-18
Must have completed at least one year of high school

Locations:
American University (Washington DC)
Georgia Tech (Atlanta, GA)
Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA)
Northwestern University (Chicago, IL)
Rice University (Houston, TX)
University of California, Berkley (San Francisco, CA)
University of California, Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA)
University of Washington (Seattle, WA)
Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN)

Cost:
$3095-3395 (depending on location)
Scholarships are available

2. Medical Immersion Summer Academy (MISA)

MISA offers 5 days of hands-on skills training, mentorship, and clinical immersion. You will be introduced to medical research and “step into the shoes of an MD” workshops. Through the simulation lab, you will gain hands-on training of medical techniques and procedures including EKG, suturing, CPR, splinting and taking vitals. Though the program is non-residential, you will interact daily with medical experts and leaders, and have the opportunity to shadow them in a busy urban hospital and area clinics.

Eligibility:
Age 15 or older
Grades 9-12

Location:
Oakland, CA

Cost:
$900

3. Penn Medicine Summer Program for High School Students

Spend 4 weeks at Ivy League University of Pennsylvania, learning all things medicine. Join in interactive lectures and labs on topics such as transplant surgery, emergency medicine, cancer, resuscitation science, kidney disease and sports medicine. Try your hand at suturing, drawing blood and minimally invasive surgical techniques at Penn’s Clinical Simulation Center. You will even have an opportunity to dissect an eye and a brain!

Weeknights may be spent at scheduled activities both on and off campus, and on weekends you can choose from a variety of trips to regional destinations like New York City and Washington DC.

Eligibility:
Ages 16-18
Grades 11-12

Location:
University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)

Cost:
$7925

4. The Center of Excellence High School Summer Enrichment Science Academy (HSSESA)

This 6-week residential program is aimed at encouraging underrepresented minority students to pursue careers in pharmacy or other health professions. You will learn about the expectations within these fields, sample some of the required courses including biology, chemistry, medical terminology, mathematics, and computer science and gain career exposure in clinical settings. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday will be spent in classes, and Tuesday and Thursday will be spent at clinic hospital sites. Weeknights and weekends will be spent in scheduled tutorials, workshops and excursions.

Eligibility:
Students entering 11th or 12th grade
Must be in a college preparatory curriculum
Must have taken and passed biology or chemistry, a mathematics course and two English courses with a “C” or better
Must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher
Preference given to underrepresented minorities and/or financially disadvantaged students
Preference given to students who reside in Washington DC, Maryland or Virginia

Location:
Howard University College of Pharmacy (Washington DC)

Cost:
No cost

5. Stanford Medical Youth Science Program

Low-income and underrepresented groups will be introduced to health-related career opportunities and undergraduate life at Stanford University during this 5-week residential program. You will participate in laboratory workshops, attend lectures by university professors and medical professionals, and work in the hospital. The program’s mentoring and team approach to learning will be apparent throughout, with leadership workshops that focus on networking, public speaking and multicultural issues. You will also receive college admission counseling and guidance in essay and resume writing.

On campus, ten Stanford undergraduates will direct the program and live in residence housing with participants. Each Sunday there will be time scheduled for family visits.

Eligibility:
Residents of northern and central California (specified counties)
Low income and/or underrepresented minority students
High school sophomores and juniors
“B” average in science classes

Location:
Stanford University (Stanford, CA)

Cost:
No cost

6. Della Keats Health Sciences Summer Program

This 4-week residential program is designed to foster, affirm and encourage your interest in the medical field.  During your time at the University of Alaska campus you will explore different healthcare professions and get a taste of college life.

Eligibility:
High school juniors and seniors
Residents of Alaska
Must meet one or more of the following criteria: come from an ethnic minority background, live in rural Alaska, be a first-generation American, be the first in your family to go to college, speak English as a second language, be economically disadvantaged

Location:
University of Alaska Anchorage School of Medical Education (Anchorage, AK)

Cost:
No cost. Participants receive a small stipend to help cover food and expenses.

7. Arthritis Foundation Summer Science Internship Program

Over 8 weeks, you will receive hands-on experience learning about rheumatology and immunology, with a focus on arthritis and related autoimmune diseases. You may participate in either basic/bench laboratory research or patient outcomes oriented research.

Eligibility:
High school juniors and seniors, First and second year college undergraduates
Age 17 or older
Must live in or attend school within northern California (specified counties)

Location:
University of California San Francisco (San Francisco, CA)
Stanford University (Stanford, CA)

Cost:
No cost. Participants work 40 hours per week for 8 weeks. High school students are paid $1500 total.

8. Center for Disease Control (CDC) Museum Disease Detective Camp

If you’re more interested in collecting and analyzing data than treating patients, this 5 day non-residential program may be for you. While topics vary year to year, some examples include: public health interventions, global health, infectious disease, chronic disease, injury prevention, data analysis, surveys, school wellness programs, violence prevention, environmental health, emergency preparedness, outbreaks, scientific communication, laboratory technology, disease surveillance, epidemiology, and public health law. Expect a demanding but exciting experience, with re-created outbreaks, mock press conferences, a laboratory session, introductions to chronic disease surveillance and public health law, lectures from well-known CDC scientists, and more.

Eligibility:
Students entering their junior or senior year
16 or older

Location:
CDC Headquarters in Atlanta, GA

Cost:
No cost

9. Summer Child Health Research Internship

Spend 9 weeks researching and learning all about child health. You will have the opportunity to choose your mentor from a long list of highly respected faculty in the Department of Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Colorado, with varied interests and areas of expertise such as stem cell biology, neuroscience, nutrition, hematology, gastroenterology, neonatology, and more. At the conclusion of the program, you will provide a written summary and presentation of your research experience.

Eligibility:
Rising senior in high school, undergraduate, graduate, or first year medical student

Location:
Children’s Hospital Colorado/University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus (Aurora, CO)

Cost:
No cost. Each student will receive $3500 to assist with travel and housing costs.

10. Indiana University Simon Cancer Center Summer Research Program

This 8-week non-residential summer program is designed to expose students from underrepresented populations to biomedicine and behavioral science and encourage them to pursue careers in these fields. You will interact with and learn from other students and faculty while conducting laboratory-based research, computer-based database research and/or clinical research. You will also attend workshops to learn about professional development. At the end of the program, you will present your work.

Eligibility:
Students who have completed their junior year
Must have GPA of 3.0 or higher
Must display an aptitude for science and math

Location:
Indiana University Cancer Center (Indianapolis, IN)

Cost:
No cost. Participants work 40 hours per week for 8 weeks and receive a stipend (amount varies).

11. High School Senior Summer Internship Program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital

If you’re a senior about to graduate from a Cincinnati area high school, you have the opportunity to design an 8-week non-residential internship to fit your interests in pediatric medicine. Choose which specialty and faculty member you would like to work with, and whether you’d like to focus on clinical shadowing, research or a combination of both. Your experience will be completely unique, but you will meet with program peers weekly for some hands-on training with computerized simulated pediatric patients, a tour of the Radiology Department and a presentation.

Eligibility:
High school senior
Graduating from Cincinnati metropolitan area high school

Location:
Cincinnati, OH

Cost:
No cost. Participants work 20 hours per week, and are paid up to $1328.

12. Summer Medical Academy

This 2-week non-residential program is designed to inspire students with an interest in healthcare to become caring, insightful health professionals. Through lectures, interactive discussions, hands-on skills clinics, group projects, career panels and team building and networking activities, you will reflect on your motivation for pursuing a career in the medical field and identify a specific area of interest.

You may also consider the condensed Weekend Medical Academy in which you will focus on a timely healthcare topic or career field. For example, 2018’s programs highlighted mental health and nursing.

Eligibility:
Ages 15-19
Consideration given to geographic proximity to San Diego

Location:
Rady Children’s Hospital and University of California San Diego (San Diego, CA)

Cost:
$1975 (partially tax deductable)

13. Kendall Smith Healthcare Exploration Summer Program

You will spend 5 weeks learning about various healthcare careers, and immersed in learning in the hospital area of your choice, including the ambulatory surgery center, adult nursing unit, adult or pediatric physical therapy, and administrative office. At the end of the residential program, you will give a presentation about your experience.

Eligibility:
High school junior or graduating senior

Location:
Advocate Lutheran General Hospital (Park Ridge, IL)

Cost:
No cost.
A limited number of scholarships are available.

14. Health Care Career Exploration Camp

These week-long day camps will provide a close-up look at a variety of health care careers.   You will learn from experts in fields including but not limited to: athletic training, nursing, occupational therapy, pharmacy, physical therapy, speak and language pathology, radiation therapy, and respiratory care.

Eligibility:
High school sophomore, junior or senior
Residents of Nebraska and Iowa

Location:
CHI Health Immanuel (Omaha, NE)
CHI Health Lakeside(Omaha, NE)
CHI Health, Good Samaritan (Kearney, NE)
CHI Health, St. Francis (Grand Island, NE)
CHI Health, St. Elizabeth & Nebraska Heart (Lincoln, NE)

Cost:
No cost

15. Lifespan Summer Youth Employment Program

More than 80 Lifespan youth employees are given the opportunity to explore a variety of healthcare careers and network with industry professionals. During the 8-week non-residential paid program, you may be placed in departments such as radiology, physical therapy, cardiology, nursing, respiratory care and more. You will gain personal and professional experience, and perhaps even permanent employment!

Eligibility:
Ages 16-18
Residents of Providence, Mount Hope and Newport

Location:
Lifespan Health System (Providence, RI)

Cost:
No cost.
Participants work 24 hours per week for 7-8 weeks and earn $8.10 per hour.

Conclusion

If you’re interested in the medical field – in becoming a doctor, researcher, pharmacist, or something else – it’s a good idea to start early. During the school year, you may arrange to shadow a doctor or volunteer at a local hospital. But summer programs offer a more in-depth opportunity to learn about the field, consider different specialties, and see what your educational and career paths may entail. They may also give you a leg up on the competition when it comes time to apply to medical schools.

Medical internships for high school students are the perfect way to explore your options and start planning your future!

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