Health Professions Shadowing Program




What is the Health Professions Shadowing Program?

The Health Professions Shadowing Program (HPSP) is a structured two week residential program for students from populations underrepresented in health care and who lack connections to health care professionals. Students accepted into the program spend over thirty hours shadowing providers at UW Health and affiliated area clinics, visiting healthcare facilities, and learning about current trends in health care from providers in the community. The program supports students who are first generation, ethnic and racial minorities, students from rural areas, or students from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds. HPSP takes place each year in the first two weeks of August.


Program Dates

Sunday, July 29th to Friday August 10th, 2018


Application Timeline

We will begin accepting applications for summer 2018 on January 8, 2018. Applications must be submitted by February 4th, 2018 at 11:59 PM. No late applications will be accepted for any reason.




After the application closes, selected applicants will be invited for a 30 minute in-person or Skype interview. Interviews will be held on:

February 14th, 2018 from 1:00PM – 4:00 PM

February 15th, 2018 from 1:00PM – 4:00 PM

February 16th, 2018 from 9:00AM – 2:00 PM


Students who are not selected for an interview will be notified approximately 4-6 weeks after the closing date of the application.


Program Fees

Program costs are fully sponsored by UW – Madison, the Office of Undergraduate Advising, and CPHA. There is no cost to participate in HPSP. We also offer our participants free housing and meals during scheduled programming. The only costs that you will want to plan for are business attire (if you do not own it already) and meals over the weekend.


Requirements for participation
  1. HPSP is a full-day program that begins each day in the early morning and wraps up between 5-7pm. Participants are expected to participate in all scheduled programming. If coming in from out of town, students must arrange travels to arrive on Sunday July 29th. No exceptions will be made.
  2. Applicants must lack connections to health care professionals and must have minimal to no shadowing experience.
  3. Applicants must be in good academic standing with their school or college.
  4. Only currently enrolled UW-Madison students are eligible to apply.
  5. Applicants must have completed at least two semesters of coursework on the UW-Madison campus. Incoming freshman will not be selected, nor will seniors who have graduated before the start of the program.
  6. Only US citizens and permanent residents will be considered.
  7. Applicants must be from groups underrepresented in the health professions, including, but not limited to: ethnic and racial minorities, first generation college students, students from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds, &/or medically underserved communities
  8. Students may NOT apply if they are in the process of applying to a professional program (medical school, PA school, etc.).
  9. Selected participants must provide proof of immunizations, complete a background check, and attend a hospital orientation prior to the end of spring semester 2018..
  10. Selected participants must be available to attend the entire program and stay in provided housing throughout the program.
  11. Students are required to wear business casual dress with comfortable shoes (no tennis shoes or open toed shoes) while shadowing.


HPSP Students have previously shadowed practitioners including:

Allopathic Physicians

Nurse Practitioners

Medical Interpreters

Occupational Therapists

Osteopathic Physicians


Physician Assistants

Physical Therapists

Public Health Nurses


HPSP students have shadowed in departments including:


Clinical Simulation Lab

Emergency Department

Gastroenterology and Hepatology



Neurology/Multiple Sclerosis Clinic

Pediatric and Adolescent Medical Clinic



Trauma Inpatient



In addition to shadowing at UW Health, students have the opportunity to shadow at clinics around the city:

American Family Children’s Hospital (UW Health)

Carbon World Health

Research Park Clinic (UW Health)

The American Center (UW Health)

University Station Clinic (UW Health)

UW Health

UW Health- Digestive Health Center

Yahara Clinic (UW Health)


Along with daily clinical observation, the program features interactive workshops about topics such as:

  • Barriers to Access and Affordability in Dane County
  • Building Your Network
  • Global Health and Pharmacy
  • Healthcare Advocacy
  • Health Barriers among Native American Tribes in Wisconsin
  • Personal Experiences as Professionals of Color in Medicine
  • Improv Workshops to Strengthen Communication Skills among Peers and Patients
  • Opioid Dependent Newborns
  • Preparing for a Career in Medicine as a Pre-Health Student


Other activities include:

  • Visiting a charitable pharmacy
  • hearing experiences of families with children born with chronic disease
  • participating in a medical simulation lab
  • volunteering with local community organizations
  • admissions panel with admissions directors from UW School of Medicine and Public Health programs
  • panel with UW alumni who are currently enrolled in UW professional programs
  • social events (Adventure Learning Program ground course, group lunches, s’mores night, ice cream social, volleyball game, movie screenings).



Can international students apply to HPSP?

Unfortunately HPSP is unable to consider international students at this time. We welcome international students to use all other resources from the Center for Pre-Health Advising.


If I am an incoming freshman, may I apply?

The program eligibility specifies that only currently enrolled students who have completed two semesters of coursework at UW-Madison are eligible to apply for HPSP. But please consider applying next year!


Can I continue working at my job during the program?

Students are required to participate in all scheduled programming during the two weeks of the program. Activities begin at 8:00 AM and conclude at 4:00 – 7:00 PM each weekday. Students spend their evenings completing their required writing assignments and working on their final projects. Since we do not have scheduled programming on weekends, you are free to do whatever you want, including working.


If I have an apartment, do I still have to stay in the dorms?

Participants are required to stay in the provided on-campus housing during the program. One of the goals of this program is to help students build a strong network of professionals, peers, faculty and staff. Staying in the dorms is a key step in building your network. Many of our previous students have remained connected beyond the scope of the program. Some have formed study groups, tutor each other, and take classes together.


Will I be shadowing the same provider the whole time?

Each student is paired with a different provider each day and will gain over 30 hours of shadowing experience over the course of 8 days. We ask for students’ preferences and do our best to pair students with providers they are interested in, but our hospital partner cannot guarantee placement. Intentional exploration of health careers is an essential step in preparing students for their future. We believe that exploring professions outside of your interests helps you gain a better understanding of career options in health care.


Meet the Program Directors


Molly Reinhard, Interim Director, Center for Pre-Health Advising (


Alexis Steinbach, Advisor and Lead for Diversity Program Partnerships, Center for Pre-Health Advising (


Rachelle Eilers, Advisor, Chican@ & Latin@ Studies Department (


















Donations and Support

Any donation big or small is sincerely appreciated and welcomed. Your donations will go towards ensuring future programming, meals, transportation, housing, speakers, and program expansion. If you are interested in financially supporting this program, or are interested in becoming involved with the program, please contact Molly Reinhard at


Link to article published in August 2017 about the program: