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.


Want to know your chances at your dream school? Calculate your admissions chances right now and understand your odds before applying.


15 Medical Internship Programs for High School Students


1. Stanford Medical Youth Science Program


In this five-week online program, low-income, underrepresented high school sophomores and juniors who live in Northern and Central California are provided intensive coursework in medicine and health science, professional development workshops, networking opportunities with health professions, college admissions guidance, and mentoring. Students will also complete a college-level research program and gain insight into navigating a career in medicine.  


The program runs from June 21-July 23, 2021, and is tuition-free. 


2. 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, 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.


3. 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). Students work 40 hours/week in basic laboratory (bench) research or clinical epidemiological/translational (patient-oriented) research. Many Summer Science Internship Program graduates have gone on to pursue successful careers in medicine and scientific research. 


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


4. 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, chronic disease, injury prevention, data analysis, school wellness programs, environmental health, laboratory technology, disease surveillance, and epidemiology. 


Activities are also diverse and 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 program is free to attend and open to Atlanta residents, who must provide their own housing. There are two identical sessions: June 21–25 and July 19–23. 


5. Indiana University Simon Cancer Center Summer Research Program 


Participants in this six-week virtual program (June 14-July 23, 2021) are paired with mentors and work 40 hours/week on projects including laboratory-based research, computer-based database research, or clinical research. They also participate in weekly workshops on topics concerning gaining admission to graduate and professional programs of study, along with professional development sessions. 


Students must have completed their senior year of high school or be undergraduate college students who have completed two years or less of college and earned no more than 80 credits. The application closes on February 14, 2021. Participants receive a stipend.


6. 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 Cincinnati-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 a week and are paid a maximum of $1,408, a rate of $8.80 an hour. The program starts on June 16, 2021.


7. 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 to apply. Prospective participants are admitted on the basis of health career interest, participation in extracurricular activities, and scholastic achievement. Ten $599 scholarships are available, and recipients must work a minimum of 20 hours/week. The program was canceled for 2021 but will be back in 2022. 


8. Health Care Career Exploration Camp


This free program for Nebraska 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 two CHI Health locations in Nebraska. Space is limited by location, and past participants are waitlisted to give new students the opportunity to attend.


9. 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 in November annually and you must participate in an interview if offered one. The program runs from June–August.


10. 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 all high school students in grades 9-12 and costs $900. You must be at least 15 by the program start. 


11. NIH High School Summer Internship Program 


This virtual-for-2021 internship offers students the opportunity to work with some of the world’s leading scientists in the field of biomedical research. Internships generally last eight weeks (although shorter internships are considered), during which students participate in activities including lectures from NIH investigators, career and professional development workshops, and activities focused on college readiness.


The internship is open to juniors and seniors who are age 17 or older and a stipend is paid—the amount of the stipend varies year to year and depends on the level of education completed before beginning the internship.  


12. Children’s Hospital Colorado—Summer Child Health Research Internship


This internship offered by Children’s Hospital Colorado’s Department of Pediatrics offers rising high school seniors, college students, and first-year medical students the chance to work with staff in research related to child health. Interns are also given the opportunity to participate in a lecture research series and will give a presentation of their research at the completion of their internship. 


A $3,500 stipend is paid to interns to assist with travel and housing costs. The internship has been canceled for 2021 but is looking forward to resuming in 2022.  


13. Magee-Womens Research Institute High School Summer Internship Program


A four-week, 160-hour virtual internship for high school juniors and seniors that provides the opportunity to participate in basic, translational, or clinical scientific research under the supervision of an investigator and their staff at MWRI and Magee-Womens Hospital. Interns also participate in sessions where investigators discuss careers in biomedical science and their personal journeys and perspective. At the program’s conclusion, interns will present their findings to other participants as well as to the MWRI faculty and staff.


This is a free and extremely competitive program—less than 8% of the students who apply are chosen. 


14. Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience High School Internship


This six-week internship is for juniors and seniors in a Palm Beach County high school who are interested in brain structure, function and development, and the advanced imaging techniques and technologies used in neuroscience. Neuroscience interns participate in research in the laboratory, gaining hands-on experience with genetic engineering, microbiology preparations, histological staining, and microscopy. At the end of the internship, students will write a scientific abstract and deliver a short presentation.   


Interns are expected to work full-time (40 hours a week) and are compensated at a rate of $11.50/hour for their work.  


15. National Student Leadership Conference on Medicine & Healthcare


This is not quite an internship, but instead a summer program. 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 between two and four 9-day summer sessions with costs ranging from $3,395 to $3,695 depending on location. Admission is rolling, and slots fill up quickly. Scholarships are available


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.


How Do Internships Impact Your College Chances?


Extracurriculars are extremely important in the admissions process, especially at selective schools. These schools get more academically-qualified applicants than they can admit, so your extracurriculars (and essays) will help you stand out. 


Wondering how your internship impacts your chances? Our free admissions calculator can let you know! This tool uses factors like grades and test scores—along with other variables, like internships—to calculate your odds at hundreds of colleges. It can also provide valuable insight into areas where you can improve your profile. Sign up for your CollegeVine account today to incorporate this valuable tool into your college search.


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.

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