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20 Medical Internships + Programs for High Schoolers in 2023

What’s Covered:


Considering a career in medicine? Internships in healthcare can give you a head start on your career and help you get into college. Internships and other pre-college medical programs can provide you with experiences such as working in a lab and conducting trials while providing first-hand experience working in settings like universities, hospitals, clinics, and research facilities.


20 Medical Internship Programs for High School Students


1. Stanford Medical Youth Science Program (SMYSP)


Application Deadline: March 1

Duration: Five weeks (June through July)


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


2. Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego: Summer Medical Academy


Application Deadline: February 17

Duration: Two weeks (June and July)


Offered through Rady’s Children Hospital San Diego, the Summer Medical Academy provides high school students interested in pursuing healthcare careers the opportunity to explore medical training and practice. Students who have completed 9th grade and are between 15-19 years old may participate in this 2-week program where they can gain hands-on experience, learn about key topics in medicine from experts, and network with future potential colleagues. 


Prospective participants are admitted on the basis of health career interest, participation in extracurricular activities, and scholastic achievement. Special consideration will be given to students that reside in close proximity to San Diego, seniors in high school, and those who have an affiliation with Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego. The cost of this program is $2,800.  


3. UCSF Summer Student Research Program


Application Deadline: February 25

Duration: Nine weeks (June and August)


Students in this program are placed in local clinics and science labs to participate in biomedical research projects. Through the program, participants receive one-on-one mentorship from healthcare providers and researchers, and gain access to unique workshops, seminars, trainings, simulations, and networking events. The program is open to high school juniors and seniors and undergraduates from backgrounds underrepresented in the sciences, such as underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, those with disabilities, and first-generation college students. 


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


Application Deadline: March 31

Duration: Five days (June and July)


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 everyone, however, participants must provide their own housing and transportation to and from CDC’s campus in Atlanta, Georgia. 


5. Indiana University Simon Cancer Center Summer Research Program 


Application Deadline: N/A

Duration: Eight weeks (June through July) 


Participants in this eight-week program are paired with mentors and work 40 hours per 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. Participants receive a stipend. 


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


Application Deadline: January 31

Duration: Eight weeks  


Work with a mentor in one of the various 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 rate of $13 an hour.  


7. Penn Summer Academies


Application Deadline: N/A

Duration: Three weeks  


Through the esteemed University of Pennsylvania, Summer Academies offer high school students the opportunity to engage in 3-week subject-intensive programs that combine advanced scientific or social theory with relevant applications. Penn Summer Academies’ subjects include biomedical research, chemistry research, experimental physics, and neuroscience.


The program is open to high school students currently in 9th through 11th grade and residential and online opportunities are available. Financial assistance is available for select Philadelphia students. 


8. Health Care Career Exploration Camp


Application Deadline: N/A

Duration: N/A  


This free program for Nebraska students in grades 10 through 12 allows participants to learn about a variety of healthcare careers. 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. The Seacole Scholars Program


Application Deadline: January 9 

Duration: Seven weeks (June through August)  


This seven-week paid summer employment experience at a Lifespan Hospital—Rhode Island’s largest private employer—has participants work four days of the week on nursing units and spend one day of the week in Lifespan Workforce and Youth Development training. This opportunity is open to people ages 16-19 who have a valid CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) license. The program also offers career counseling and some participants are offered employment at its completion.


10. Medical Immersion Summer Academy (MISA)


Application Deadline: March 25 

Duration: Five days (July & August)


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 through 12 and costs $1,400. You must be at least 15 by the program’s start.


11. NIH High School Summer Internship Program 


Application Deadline: February 1 

Duration: Generally eight weeks 


This 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, 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 from year to year and depends on the level of education completed before beginning the internship.  


12. Nova Southeastern University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine: Achieve in Medicine (AIM–High)


Application Deadline: April 1

Duration: Five days (June & July)


This five-day medical school program offered by Nova Southeastern University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine offers high school students the unique opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the field of medicine. Through AIM-High, students will gain hands-on medical experiences such as exploring the role of technology in the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions alongside NSU medical students and staff. 


The program offers three sessions—two sessions at NSU’s main campus in Fort Lauderdale and one session at its Clearwater campus. The camp is tailored towards rising high school freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors interested in pursuing careers in health care. Activities include full days of instruction, social events, meals, and networking. Tuition for AIM-High is $1,500.


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


Application Deadline: February 8

Duration: Four weeks (June through July)


A four-week, 160-hour, hybrid internship for high school juniors and seniors that provides the opportunity to participate in 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. This program is only open to students from Southwestern Pennsylvania and participants are paid an hourly minimum wage. 


14. Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience High School Internship


Application Deadline: March 1

Duration: Six weeks (June through July)


This six-week internship is for juniors and seniors in a Palm Beach or Martin 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 one of three tracks: neuroscience, scientific programming, and mechanical engineering. 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 $12.00 per hour for their work.  


15. National Student Leadership Conference on Medicine & Healthcare


Application Deadline: Rolling 

Duration: Nine days 


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 healthcare challenges, and advanced scientific research in areas such as cancer and HIV/AIDS. The program is offered at: 


  • American University
  • Duke University 
  • Northwestern University
  • UC Berkeley
  • University of Miami
  • Yale University 


Students will perform clinical rounds, learn medical examination and surgical techniques, and participate in a public health project focused on developing a media campaign to spread information on illness and disease prevention. Participants will 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 $3,795 to $3,995 depending on location. Admission is rolling, and slots fill up quickly. Scholarships are available. 


16. KP Launch 


Application Deadline: December 23 

Duration: Seven weeks (June through August)


The KP Launch program is offered by Kaiser Permanente and provides students with a variety of internships at its Oakland headquarters and medical offices across Northern California. The program is aimed at students from backgrounds underrepresented in healthcare and low-income students and serves to introduce them to careers in the field while building practical job skills and gaining real-world work experience. 


Priority is given to high school seniors and juniors and participants earn the hourly minimum wage, which varies between $15 and $17 per hour. 


17. Summer Child Health Research Internship


Application Deadline: February 1 

Duration: Nine weeks (June through August)


This medical internship is open to rising high school seniors, undergraduates, and first-year medical students. Through the internship, students will explore research opportunities related to child healthcare while working in the lab with faculty members of the Department of Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Colorado and the University of Colorado on the Anschutz Medical Campus. At the conclusion of the program, students are required to submit a written summary of their research and deliver a presentation of it.


High school participants must be Colorado residents and are provided with a $3,500 stipend. 


18. Fred Hutch Summer High School Internship Program


Application Deadline: March 31 

Duration: Eight weeks (June through August)


This eight-week, full-time, paid internship is for rising seniors and is designed specifically for students from backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical science. The first two weeks of the program are focused on training participants in laboratory safety skills and techniques, and the following six weeks they’re immersed in mentoring activities. Interns will also take part in research seminars, professional development workshops, and social activities. 


19. Harvard Medical School Project Success for High School Students


Application Deadline: February 3 

Duration: Eight weeks (June through August)


This program provides paid summer research positions at Harvard Medical School and its affiliated institutions to rising juniors and seniors from Boston and Cambridge. In addition to performing mentored research, students will also participate in seminars, workshops, site visits, and career counseling. Project Success is aimed at students from disadvantaged and underrepresented backgrounds. 


20. Medical College of Wisconsin Apprenticeship in Medicine (AIM)


Application Deadline: March 1 

Duration: Six weeks (June through August)


AIM is a highly competitive program that provides internship opportunities to Milwaukee-area students from backgrounds that are historically underrepresented in medicine and allied health careers to stimulate their interest in careers in the field. Interns will receive mentoring from current medical students and participate in clinical shadowing and simulations. They will also explore career paths and take part in social activities. Participants can anticipate working 40 hours per week over the program’s six weeks.


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 for 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. 


Extracurricular activities are divided into four tiers, with tier 1 representing the most exceptional and rare extracurriculars and tier 4 representing the most common activities admissions committees see. The higher the tier an extracurricular activity is, the more impactful it is on admissions odds. 


If you’re applying to highly-selective schools, we recommend having at least a few tier 1 and 2 activities to set yourself apart from other applicants. Internships vary in terms of rigor and selectivity, but prestigious, national programs in particular can certainly fall into tiers 1 or 2.  


Wondering how your internship impacts your chances? CollegeVine’s 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.  


Short Bio
A graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in English, Tim Peck currently lives in Concord, New Hampshire, where he balances a freelance writing career with the needs of his two Australian Shepherds to play outside.