15 Medical Internships for High School Students

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Considering a career in medicine? Internships in healthcare can give you a head start—plus help you get into college.

 

Internship and other pre-college medical programs offer experiences such as working in a lab, conducting trials, gaining hands-on clinical experience, and more to future medical professionals. You’ll learn in settings including universities, hospitals and clinics, and research facilities. Here are some ways to get involved in the world of medicine early.

 

15 Medical Internship Programs for High School Students


1. National Student Leadership Conference on Medicine & Healthcare

 

NSLC gives high schoolers a setting to learn about controversial medical issues, today’s health care challenges, and advanced scientific research in areas such as cancer and HIV/AIDS. The program is offered at:

 

  • American University
  • Georgia Tech
  • Harvard Medical School
  • Northwestern University
  • Rice University
  • UC Berkeley
  • UCLA
  • University of Washington
  • Vanderbilt University
  • University of Miami

 

Students will perform clinical rounds, learn medical examination and surgical techniques, and participate in diagnosis and treatment while solving the mystery of a fatal outbreak sweeping the nation. You’ll also have the opportunity to take an online college-credit course taught by American University faculty after completing the program.

 

Each campus offers two nine-day summer sessions. The cost is $3,195 ($3,295 in San Francisco and Chicago and $3,495 in Boston). Admission is rolling, and slots fill up quickly. You are guaranteed admission as long as space is available if you receive an invitation through being nominated by your school or a program alum or are identified by a talent search and may also apply. Scholarships are available.



2. Medical Immersion Summer Academy (MISA)

 

At MISA, you’ll learn about healthcare through hands-on skills training (EKG, Suturing, CPR, Splinting and taking Vitals), shadowing, mentorship, and clinical immersion. You’ll also participate in VIP lunches with health professionals, observe patients and medical procedures, and engage in “Step into the shoes of an MD” skill and patient-case workshops and discussions with physicians.

 

The five-day program is open to students in grades 9-12 in the Bay Area and costs $900. You must be at least 15 by the program start. Apply January 4–March 8.

 


3. Penn Medicine Summer Program for High School Students

 

Spend four weeks during June and July at The University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine learning from highly accredited Penn faculty. Through interactive lectures and labs, you’ll learn about featured topics, including transplant surgery, emergency medicine, cancer, resuscitation science, kidney disease, and sports medicine. In the afternoons, you will participate in hands-on virtual and simulated experiences at Penn’s Clinical Simulation Center and other sites. You’ll also be able to observe a live surgery in Penn’s surgical amphitheater.

 

Juniors and seniors ages 16-18 may participate in this residential medical program. The cost is $7,995. Applications close on March 8, 2019.



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

 

Rising juniors and seniors have the opportunity to participate in HSSESA’s six-week curriculum focusing on science-related subjects including Biology, Chemistry, Medical Terminology, Mathematics, Computer Science, and career exposure in clinical settings. Students study in an academic setting five days per week learning prerequisite material required for a pharmacy or related health major or program.

 

The program has a mission of encouraging young, underrepresented minority students to pursue a career in Pharmacy and related professions, as well as develop mentoring relationships with health professionals and graduate students. For this reason, students who are underrepresented minorities and/or financially disadvantaged are given priority in the admissions process. Students who live in Washington, DC, Maryland, or Virginia are also given preferential consideration.

 

The program is free to attend and covers most expenses, including housing, meals, and activities.

 

 

5. Stanford Medical Youth Science Program

 

In this five-week residential program, low-income, underrepresented high school sophomores and juniors who live in Northern and Central California participate and observe medical experiences, such as faculty lectures, laboratories, college admissions guidance, mentoring, and hands-on medical activities. Students engage in an anatomy course and lab at the medical school, an internship at Stanford Health Care, college admissions workshops, a research project, behind the scenes tours of Stanford Health Care, and more.

 

The program runs from June–July and is tuition-free. Applications are due February 13, 2019.



6. Della Keats Health Science Summer Program

 

Offered through the University of Alaska WWAMI School of Medical Education, the Delia Keats program exists to encourage high school students’ interest in medical professions. High school juniors and seniors in Alaska may participate in this four-week program in July and August, learning about careers in healthcare and gaining an introduction to college life.

 

To participate, students must come from an ethnic minority or economically disadvantaged background, live in rural Alaska, be first-generation Americans and the first in their families to attend college, and/or speak English as a second language. The program is free to attend and offers a small stipend to cover food and other expenses. Housing is provided.

 

 

7. Arthritis Foundation Summer Science Internship Program

 

Through the Rheumatology and Immunology Laboratories at Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco, high school juniors and seniors and first- and second-year college undergraduates may participate in an eight-week medical internship.

 

The 12 selected students work in leading research and clinical laboratories under the supervision of respected scientists at Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). The internship lasts eight weeks, and students work 40 hours/week in basic laboratory (bench) research or clinical epidemiological/translational (patient-oriented) research.

 

The program offers a $1,500 stipend to high school participants.

 

 

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

 

At CDC headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, rising high school juniors and seniors have the opportunity to spend five days learning about public health. Topics vary and may 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.

 

Activities also vary and may include recreated outbreaks, mock press conferences, environmental and global health activities, a laboratory session, an introduction to chronic disease surveillance, public health law, and short lectures from world-renowned CDC scientists.

 

The application is open January 25–March 29, 2019. The program is free to attend and open to Atlanta residents, who must provide their own housing. There are three sessions in June and July.


9. Summer Child Health Research Internship

 

Held at Children’s Hospital Colorado/University of Colorado on the Anschutz Medical Campus, this medical internship is open to rising high school seniors, college students, and first-year medical students. Students participate in a lecture research series as well as present their own research at the completion of the program, as well as work with mentors from the Department of Pediatrics.

 

Participants receive a stipend of $3,500 to assist with travel and housing costs. The internship runs for two months from June to August, and applications are due February 1, 2019.

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10. Indiana University Simon Cancer Center Summer Research Program

 

Participants in this eight-week program are paired with mentors and work 40 hours/week on projects including laboratory-based research, computer-based database research, or clinical research. They also attend weekly workshops on topics concerning gaining admission to graduate and professional programs of study.

 

The program runs from June–July. Students must have completed their junior year of high school or be undergraduate college students who have completed 24 credits. The application closes February 1, 2019. Participants receive a stipend.



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

 

Work with a mentor in one of 10 pediatric clinical specialties in this eight-week program for Cincinatti-area graduating seniors. Participants also engage in group activities including an afternoon hands-on training session with computerized simulated pediatric patients in the SIM Center, a Summer Intern Alumni lunch, and a presentation by the assistant dean for admission at UC College of Medicine offering advice for preparing for Medical School admission.

 

The medical internship program culminates in a graduation party featuring student presentations on their experiences.

 

Students work 20+ hours/week and are compensated at a rate of $8.55/hour. The program starts in June, and applications are due March 18, 2019.



12. Summer Medical Academy

 

Hosted by Rady’s Children’s Hospital in San Diego, Summer Medical Academy offers lectures and interactive discussion about topics in healthcare, hands-on skills clinics, career panels, team-building activities to learn new techniques and get to know future colleagues, and more.

There are two two-week programs in June and July. Students also participate in group projects about public health challenges.

 

Open to students in grades 9-12 who are ages 15-19, the program costs $2,450 to attend. Partial scholarships are available. Apply by February 22, 2019.



13. Kendall Smith Healthcare Exploration Scholarship Program

 

Sponsored by the Service League of Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, scholarship participants spend six weeks in the summer immersed in a medical area of their choosing in a hospital environment. Students share a presentation about their experience in front of staff and guests at the program’s end.

 

You must be a junior or senior at the time of applying and submit your application by April. Prospective participants are admitted on the basis of health career interest, participation in extracurricular activities, and scholastic achievement. Thirteen $600 scholarships are available, and recipients must work a minimum of 20 hours/week.

 

 

14. Health Care Career Exploration Camp

 

This free program for Nebraska- or Iowa-area students in grade 10-12 allows participants to learn from experts in areas such as:

 

  • Athletic Training
  • Clinical Dietetics
  • Clinical Engineering
  • Neuropsychology
  • Nursing
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Pharmacy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Speech and Language Pathology
  • Surgical Technology
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Radiologic Technology
  • Respiratory Care

 

The program is offered at six CHI Health locations in Nebraska. The application opens in February; admission is rolling. Space is limited by location, and past participants are waitlisted to give new students the opportunity to attend.



15. Lifespan Summer Youth Employment Program

 

This eight-week paid summer employment experience at a Lifespan hospital or Lifespan Corporate Services is open to people ages 16-19 living in Providence, Mount Hope, or Newport, Rhode Island. You must have a valid CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) license and will be placed in one of the following areas:

 

  • Radiology
  • Physical Therapy
  • Cardiology
  • Nursing
  • Transport
  • Central Processing
  • Human Resources
  • Food and Nutrition
  • Respiratory Care

 

The program also offers career counseling after graduation, and some participants are offered employment after completing it. Participants earn a salary of $10.10/hour. Applications are open November–January, and you must participate in an interview if offered one. The program runs from June–August.

 

How to Prepare for a Medical Career Early On

 

If you’re considering a career in healthcare, you can get a head start while you’re still in high school. Some ways to get involved include:

 

Participating in other medicine-related activities, such as research and volunteer work. Here are summer activities and extracurriculars from prospective pre-med students and BS/MD participants.

 

Researching colleges that will prepare you for your career. Consider pre-med tracks and BS/MD programs at colleges and universities that specialize in these offerings.

 

 

Looking for help navigating the road to college as a high school student? Check out the CollegeVine Early Advising Program. Our advisors drive significant personal and professional development for their high school mentees.

 

Combining guidance with engaging content, insider strategies, and personalized analyses, our program provides students with the tools to succeed. As students learn from successful older peers, they develop confidence, autonomy, and critical thinking skills to help maximize their chances of success in college, business, and life.

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Laura Berlinsky-Schine
Senior Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where she majored in Creative Writing and minored in History. She lives in Brooklyn, New York and works as a freelance writer specializing in education. She dreams of having a dog.