Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do I find out about volunteer, clinical, and shadowing summer opportunities?
Where can I find more information on scholarships or fellowships?
There are varied resources available to students via the Office of Fellowships. For example, the 'Fellowship Finder' is a searchable database containing information on undergraduate tuition support, research funding, internships and summer opportunities.
*Note, when using the Fellowship Finder you may see the search filter "Underrepresented Minority" (URM). This term is used to identify opportunities for Black, Latinx, Native American, and other marginalized groups in the health professions, including LGBTQIA+ and students from low income households.
Does a research experience have to be in a lab?
I volunteered at hospital in high school: is that enough experience?
Can premed students study abroad?
Should I just do shadowing or a combination of shadowing and volunteering?
Is volunteering in a non-healthcare setting valued?
Volunteering in any community service setting can demonstrate personal qualities that are valued in the health professions, such as:
- Commitment to service.
- Willingness to give of one's time and energy.
- Capacity to work with and relate to people of different cultures/socioeconomic levels.
- Ability to balance academics with outside interests.
Further, many medical schools prefer to see that applicants have engaged in both medical AND non-medical volunteer experiences.
How do I get involved in a shadowing program?
Use your personal networks. Family friends, parents, parents of friends, your own physician - all of these folks may know physicians that would be open to allowing you to shadow! Also try:
- Health Professions Advising and Northwestern Medicine have partnered to offer a five-week physician shadowing program to Northwestern undergraduates interested in exploring a career in medicine each quarter (fall, winter, and spring). For program details and to apply visit the program page.
- The Northwestern Career Advancement (NCA) and the NU Alumni Association coordinate the NEXT- Externship program for students interested in shadowing an alum during spring break.
- The Northwestern Alumni Association offers the Northwestern Network Mentorship Program, a database of Northwestern alumni willing to mentor current students. The network includes many physicians and other health professionals, some of whom are open to being shadowed by Northwestern students.