medical internships high school students

7 Medical Internships for High School Students

Medicine can be an extremely rewarding profession for the right person. It can also be an awfully long and challenging career path. And honestly, that’s a good thing. We mean, can you imagine letting a neurosurgeon use forceps and chisels on your brain after studying for less than two years? Yeah, that’s gonna be a huge nope from us.

The point is, studying medicine can take a really long time. Before you go investing years of your life (and potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars) into pursuing a career in medicine, it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. One way to do that is through a medical internship.

Medical internships for high school students give you the opportunity to explore different fields and specialties of medicine through job shadowing and hands-on experiences before you commit to the pre-med track. Ready to dip your toes into the world of medicine? Here are seven medical internships for high school students that you may want to consider applying for.

Want to launch your medicine career ASAP? Check out these medical certificate programs that don’t require years and years of school.

1. National Student Leadership Conference on Medicine & Health Care If you want to be a healthcare professional someday, the National Student Leadership Conference (NSLC) on Medicine & Health Care is a great way to test drive your potential career. In this nine-day program, you’ll take part in hands-on learning experiences such as suturing, testing vital signs and identifying cranial nerves. You’ll also meet and learn from experts within the medical community and get behind-the-scenes tours of some of the nation’s greatest cities, like Seattle, San Francisco, Boston, and Washington, D.C.

2. NIH High School Summer Internship ProgramThinking about a career in biomedical research? Consider applying for the National Institutes of Health High School Summer Internship Program (HS-SIP). Open to high school students aged 17 and older, the HS-SIP is a paid internship program that gives students the opportunity to work alongside some of the most talented scientists in the world. As a summer intern, you’ll work in a research lab or within a research group with a biomedical focus. Pro tip: Start brushing up on your chemistry and biology — you’re gonna need it.

3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Museum Disease Detective CampNeed to make your pre-med resume stand out in a sea of applicants? Showing that you attended a CDC program is sure to do the trick. Open to sophomores and juniors, the CDC’s Disease Detective Camp is a five-day program that exposes students to various topics related to public health, from disease surveillance to emergency preparedness and more. Although there’s no fee to attend the program, it’s highly competitive. To maximize your chances of acceptance, apply early and be sure to include an outstanding recommendation from a teacher.

4. Summer Medical Academy The Summer Medical Academy is the signature internship program of the Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego (RCHSD) that provides high school students with a unique opportunity to pursue a variety of careers in healthcare. In this two-week program, you’ll learn about key topics in medicine from experienced healthcare professionals and get hands-on experience through various clinics. As an added perk, you’ll get to do all this in San Diego. Beautiful beaches and ah-mazing tacos? Yes, please.

5. Medical Immersion Summer Academy (MISA) Located in the Bay Area, the Medical Immersion Summer Academy (MISA) is another program that is sure to look nice on a pre-med resume. Designed for high school students, this week-long program provides hands-on learning experiences in a variety of health care environments to help students test drive their career. All 9th through 12th graders are encouraged to apply, including those outside the Bay Area. Although it’s not a cheap program by any means ($1,250 per student), it could give you an edge over the competition when it’s time to apply for med school.

6. Stanford Medical Youth Science ProgramHave your sights set on attending Stanford? The Stanford Medical Youth Science Program (SMYSP) can give you an idea of what it’s like to be a Stanford undergraduate while also helping you explore a career in medicine. During this five-week program, you’ll participate in workshops with Stanford medical students, listen to faculty lectures, work in laboratories and hospitals, get college admissions counseling, and much more. 

7. Children’s Hospital Colorado Summer InternshipIf you’re pondering a career in pediatrics, the Children’s Hospital Colorado Summer Internship should be on your shortlist of medical internship opportunities. Intended for high school seniors, this nine-week program allows you to explore different areas of research related to children’s health, such as nutrition, neuroscience, hematology, and stem cell research. At the end of the program, you’ll participate in a research presentation and present an oral or PowerPoint summary of your research.  

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Is a Medical Career Right for You?

Studying medicine in college takes a significant amount of motivation, hard work, and money. Although college scholarships can help out with the money issue, it’s still a big decision that you don’t want to rush into lightly. Fortunately, there are plenty of medical internships for high school students that can provide opportunities to explore different fields and test drive your career. Apply for multiple internships and don’t be afraid to explore all your options. You’ll be glad you did!


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