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  • Writer's pictureEstelle Reardon

10 Medical Internships for High School Students

Why do internships in high school?


Before we jump into a long list of medical internships for high school students, it is important to understand why these opportunities could matter for your future. According to PRISM, a consultancy, 70% of students attending a US News top 50 University have completed at least one internship while in high school. These opportunities serve as a way to distinguish yourself in the admissions process by showing that you have gone out and verified your future goals through experience. Doing internships will help you enter college with a clearer idea of the professional environments you enjoy or don’t enjoy, which will make it easier for you to recruit into a job you love after graduation. Students who have done at least one internship in high school also typically have an easier time recruiting into college internships and pre-professional organizations such as finance or pre-law clubs.


How to Find Medical Internships for High School Students


The best way to find medical internships for high school students is through online search tools and lists. The StandOutSearch database provides the largest free resource that lists almost every internship program for the high school age group and allows you to search by interest area. MIT Admissions also provides a helpful list of High School Internships


However, official programs tend to be very competitive, so if you are serious about finding a summer internship in high school, you should also prepare a cold outreach strategy. You can read more about how to form a cold outreach strategy to find a high school internship at the end of this article. We also include email templates to make finding an internship or research position through cold outreach less daunting.


10 Medical Internships for High School Students


Most of the medical internships for high school students below have an acceptance rate of 20% or lower, given that there are many more high school students looking for internships relative to official programs that provide them. We recommend choosing at least five opportunities to apply to. If you see an opportunity that excites you, take a moment to write the deadline on your calendar!



  • Ages: 15-19

  • Location: Virtual 

  • Timeline: Summer, Spring, Fall, or Winter

  • Deadline: Various Deadlines


StandOut Connect is a program created thanks to investment from UChicago’s Polsky Center for Innovation that matches high school students with internships in their interest area. Students interview with potential mentors who are leaders and innovators within their area of interest until they are hired for a two-month internship. Many students then receive optional return offers to continue with their internship for as long as they would like.



  • Ages: 14 - 18

  • Location: Kansas City, Kansas

  • Timeline: 6 weeks in the Summer

  • Deadline: TBD


Participants are exposed to a wide-ranging oncology-focused curriculum on-site at the cancer center. Each student is matched with a faculty mentor and tasked with a summer research project. Projects may take place in the laboratory, clinic, or office setting, allowing the participants to explore a specific facet of cancer research in greater depth. At the conclusion of the program, ACE participants present their projects in a poster session. Participants will also receive a $2,580 stipend upon program completion. The cancer center is proud to offer this important educational opportunity to local students in the community.



  • Ages: Junior or Senior

  • Location: Omaha, Nebraska

  • Timeline: School Year

  • Deadline: January 


The UNMC High School Alliance is a one-year program for high school juniors and seniors. There is an option for a select group of juniors to return for their senior year. You'll observe, shadow, and take college-level classes from UNMC's doctors, nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists, public health advocates, researchers, and other healthcare professionals. You'll also perform hands-on research in some of UNMC's state-of-the-art laboratories.



  • Ages: Sophomore - Senior 

  • Location: Stillwater, Oklahoma

  • Timeline: Summer

  • Deadline: April


During the program, the fellows shadow physicians, nurses, and allied health professionals at Stillwater Medical Center and area clinics. They also observe surgeries, births, and emergency treatment at SMC. The program normally includes field trips to both of Oklahoma’s medical schools as well as specialized centers like Dean McGee Eye Institute, the Oklahoma Blood Institute, Integris’ Paul Silverstein Burn & Wound Care Unit, and the Oklahoma Cancer Specialists and Research Institute. Students have also visited Behavioral Sciences at OUHSC and the University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy.



  • Ages: Sophomore or Junior

  • Location: Massachusetts

  • Timeline: Summer

  • Deadline: March


The High School Health Careers Program (HSHCP) is a four week, tuition-free, residential program. It offers current sophomore and junior high school students unique opportunities to learn about the broad spectrum of careers in Biomedical Research, Biotechnology, and the health professions (BBHP). It is designed to improve academic study and communication skills of the participants. The program includes enrichment classes and classroom sessions, including Language Arts skills, Mathematics, Science/Biology, and Information Technology and Cultural and Contemporary Health Issues Seminars. Additionally, the HSHCP offers participants internships that give them the opportunity to interact with physicians and other healthcare professionals.



  • Ages: 16 - 19 

  • Location: San Antonio, Texas

  • Timeline: Summer

  • Deadline: March


Several research-oriented academic institutions offer summer research programs. Still, access to such opportunities in a dedicated children’s cancer research environment is a unique offering. Research conducted in our laboratories utilizes a wide range of techniques and model systems, and students can experience a unique firsthand look at both basic science and translational research. Students will have the opportunity to visit our cutting-edge facilities and learn about methods employed in genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics, structural biology, classical genetics, and molecular imaging.  



  • Ages: 16 - 19

  • Location: Denver, CO

  • Timeline: All year

  • Deadline: Rolling


The role of the volunteer is to supplement the professional staff, thereby freeing time to provide the best medical, nursing, and support services to patients. Volunteers add the extra dimensions of empathy, sensitivity, warmth, and friendliness to ease and brighten a patient’s hospital stay or clinic visit.



  • Ages: 14 - 18

  • Location: Remote

  • Timeline: All year

  • Deadline: Rolling


At their entirely student-led 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Medicine Encompassed accepts high school students (grades 9-12) from all backgrounds, both nationally and internationally, to become members. They look for individuals with a true fervor for STEAM, biology, and various branches of medicine. Medicine Encompassed believes, as part of its mission, in providing opportunities for every student interested in pursuing careers in these fields.



  • Ages: 16 - 17

  • Location: Connecticut

  • Timeline: Summer

  • Deadline: April 1


The High School Student Research Apprentice Program at UConn's School of Medicine is a five-week summer program for 11th and 12th-grade students interested in medicine, dental medicine, or biomedical research.



  • Ages: 16 - 19

  • Location: Hawaii

  • Timeline: Summer

  • Deadline: Contact for Deadline


Since its inception in 2004, over 900 students have participated in Hawaii Pacific Health's Health Careers Summer Internship. This 6-week, paid internship program is designed to provide high school juniors, seniors, and college students a rare opportunity to gain first-hand experience in the healthcare industry. Interns have the opportunity to learn more about hospital systems, interact with experienced healthcare professionals, and explore a variety of different healthcare professions. Internships are offered at Hawaii Pacific Health and our network of medical centers in Hawaii, including Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children, Pali Momi Medical Center, Straub Medical Center, Wilcox Medical Center, and Kauai Medical Clinic. 


Cold Outreach Strategy for High School Internships 


If the opportunities listed above don’t turn out to be a fit, the next step to finding medical internships for high school students is to launch a cold outreach strategy. This may seem intimidating at first, but the guide below should make it much more simple. As an added note, please exercise caution when reaching out to professionals you don’t know. It is always safest to interview or meet virtually. 


How to Find Companies to Reach Out to for a High School Internship 


Use LinkedIn to find small companies where you can help with skills such as social media, coding, content/grant writing, or graphic design. Smaller companies that need more hands on deck will be the most likely to hire high-school-aged students. Try to find personal connections with the professionals you reach out to, such as being from the same state originally or liking the same sports team. 


How to Find Professors to Reach Out to for a High School Research Position 


You can use online university staff directories to find professors to reach out to for research positions. Note that if you are looking for a remote research position with a professor, you should be aware that these opportunities tend to be harder to come by. Professors typically have high school students help with more manual laboratory tasks such as washing beakers or running equipment and usually do not have very much use for interns at a high school education level within a remote setting. The exception is if you are doing computational research, which generally requires introductory knowledge of Python or R to parse large datasets. You should be able to learn Python or R on your own for free within a few months using resources such as Coursera’s R Programming Course or Python for Everybody.


How to Structure and Send Outreach Emails 


For a successful cold-outreach strategy, aim to send at least 50 emails to potential internship providers. Be sure to include a link to your resume, which should be no more than one page while you are in high school. UChicago provides a helpful free resume template and guide. We recommend including your resume as a Google Drive link because including it as a PDF will sometimes negatively impact the deliverability of your email. However, be sure to check that the sharing settings on the document allow anyone with the link to view its contents. It can also be a good idea to include work samples in your resume, such as the link to a website you designed, a social media account you manage, or your GitHub profile. 


Email Template for Finding a High School Internship 


If you are unsure how to structure your outreach emails to potential internship providers, here are some basic templates you can customize to your needs. 


Template for Finding an Internship


Subject: Student Reaching Out


Dear Mr./Ms.____,


I hope you are having a great day! My name is [your name], and I am a rising [grade] at [your school]. I read about your company on LinkedIn and found the concept quite interesting. For context, [briefly state how the company relates to your interests or experience]. 

I was wondering if you might be looking for interns. I know I would have a great deal to learn from working with you, and I would love to contribute in any way I can. I have included my resume here. Thanks so much!


Sincerely, 


[Your name]


Template for Finding a Research Position


Subject: Student Reaching Out


Dear Professor/Dr. ____,


I hope you are having a great day! My name is [your name], and I am a rising [grade] at [your school]. I recently read your paper on [restate the abstract] in [name of publication] and was quite intrigued by [part you found interesting]. I was wondering if I might be able to intern for you over this summer. [Elaborate on your relevant skills and experience and why you are passionate about the field]. 

I have included my resume here. Thanks so much! 


Sincerely,


[Your name]



Medical Internships for High School Students
Medical Internships for High School Students


Conclusion


Whether you are applying to established programs or launching a cold outreach strategy, the name of the game when looking for a high school internship or research position is perseverance. These opportunities can be extremely difficult to secure, but most high school students find it worth it in the end to get a head start on building their careers. If you found this article helpful, don’t forget to save it for later or share it with a friend. Good luck on your internship search journey!

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