Health Professions Shadowing

Shadowing healthcare providers is an essential experience for prospective pre-medical and other pre-health students.

Healthcare shadowing involves observing healthcare providers in their interactions with patients and other aspects of their jobs. Shadowing experiences can be short-term - even a day or half day - or more sustained. 

Applicants to medical and other health professions school must accrue numerous hands-on experiences related to healthcare, including clinical experience with patients (volunteer or paid) and shadowing. Health professions schools want you to road test the career before you apply to make sure it’s a good fit for you.

The Office of Internships, in collaboration with the Center for Career & Professional Development, facilitates the:


This opportunity consists of once a week shadowing for a 10-week rotational shadowing program each fall and spring semester. Shadowing students visit eight departments, including emergency (twice), endoscopy, laboratory/pathology, outpatient surgery, radiology, rehabilitation, surgery, women’s services and one additional week of the students’ choice. Students must have at least one semester of college courses with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2 to apply. 

Four students are selected through a competitive application process each semester. Selected students must also register for a one-credit internship course, which includes supplemental activities such as creating a reflection poster, writing a reflection paper and submitting an updated resume which includes the student’s shadowing experience.

To apply

Information sessions and email publicity precede the opening of each term’s application process for the following term. 

Applications for Fall 2024 are open until March 31, 2024.

Application form: Includes a well-developed essay

Recommendation forms from two recommenders: One recommender must be a science faculty member; one can be from anyone else who knows you well. You must send them the link to complete the form.

Resume: Submit to Mary Claire Angle at Visit our page on resume writing resources, samples and templates.

Unofficial transcript: Submit to Mary Claire Angle at

future application cycle

Spring 2025 (shadow February-April)

  • Info session early October 2024
  • Application opens early October 2024
  • Application due late October 2024


This program is an exclusive partnership for SU students to spend four weeks observing full time in a department of the Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital, a full-service, acute-care hospital serving Northwest Houston and surrounding communities. Participants benefit from exposure to the healthcare environment, gain insight into various healthcare roles, learn firsthand from experienced healthcare providers, build their network, and have the opportunity to discern their career choices. Available departments from which to select include Internal Medicine, Family Practice, OBGYN, Cardiology, Neurology, Orthopedics & Sports Medicine and Outpatient Therapies.

The 2024 program takes place May 28-June 21. Four students will be selected. Please note this opportunity is not funded and not eligible for the SU Funded Internship Program, so it may be most appropriate for students who have access to housing in the Houston area already.

to apply

The Summer 2024 application cycle has closed. Applications for Summer 2025 will open in late Fall 2024.

In order to put your best self forward in the application, we recommend you work with the Center for Career & Professional Development to review your application materials. You can schedule an appointment here.

The following application materials were required for Summer 2024, though the application process may be amended for Summer 2025:

  • Resume: Be sure to target your resume to highlight healthcare, science and helping skills. Visit the CCPD page on resume and cover letter writing resources, samples and templates.
  • Cover letter: Be sure to address why you are interested in this opportunity and how it fits into your long-term plans. Also, be sure to note the hospital department (see above) in which you want to observe.
  • Unofficial transcript: Download from Self-Service.


In addition to this structured opportunity, the most likely source of a shadowing experience is a personal contact with a healthcare provider. Try to identify all of the health professionals you and your family see as patients, as well as any family members, family friends, etc. In addition, SU alumni working as healthcare providers are excellent resources. Use tools like PirateConnect and LinkedIn to research alumni contacts.

Volunteer (or paid) clinical experience in a healthcare setting is also required. Visit HireSU and join the Health | Wellness | Life Science Career Community on PirateConnect to keep informed of opportunities.

Hire SU login

PirateConnect login

LinkedIn login

More information

CCPD health professions advisor Alexandra Anderson, 

Faculty pre-health advisor Dr. Maria Cuevas, 

International student advisor - Monya Lemery, (note: International Students must have approved CPT to participate in shadowing or internships)