HPSP 2023

HPSP 2022

HPSP 2021 Cohort

HPSP 2021

HPSP 2019

HPSP 2019

Health Professions Shadowing Program

This page features one specific pathway to exploring and gaining experience in healthcare fields. Check out the Gaining Experience sections of our website for even more ideas!

The Health Professions Shadowing Program (HPSP) is an intensive, two-week shadowing and professional development experience designed to help increase access, equity, and diversity in healthcare. HPSP 2024 will take place Monday, July 29th, 2024 – Friday, August 9th, 2024. Applications for HPSP 2024 closed February 11th.

HPSP is jointly administered by the UW-Madison Center for Pre-Health Advising (CPHA) and the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH) Office of Multicultural Affairs, and includes a wide variety of opportunities to network with healthcare providers, explore potential career paths, think critically about health equity, experience clinical settings, and grow as future leaders in healthcare. The program supports and requires significant personal and professional growth and commitment.

There are no costs to students associated with participation in this program! We will work with participants to coordinate transportation, tech, meal, and housing needs. For example, optional on-campus housing will be provided, and (in addition to a number of catered meals), a supplemental food stipend will be provided via participant Wiscards.  After the summer program, HPSP alumni have access to additional advising and resources from CPHA and UW SMPH while continuing their pre-health journeys. 

Students who come from groups underrepresented and underserved in healthcare are highly encouraged to apply.  Groups underrepresented and underserved in the U.S. healthcare system include but are not limited to BIPOC students*, students from rural or socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds, students with disabilities, and LGBTQIA+ students. 

See the American Association of Medical Colleges’ (AAMC) compilation of resources for examples of related efforts at the professional school level. 

*Underrepresented in medicine means those racial and ethnic populations that are underrepresented in the medical profession relative to their numbers in the general population.

Program Structure

The two-week program offers students a variety of experiences:

  • Network with a wide range of healthcare professionals, including physicians, faculty, current students, and a wide range of health professionals from the UW SMPH 
  • Professional development workshops put on by CPHA, UW-Madison campus partners, and community partners
  • Panels with current professional program students and professional program admissions representatives (M.D., PA, MPH, PT, O.T., PharmD, etc.)
  • Learn about current trends in healthcare and increase understanding of health disparities of both rural and urban communities in Wisconsin
  • Continued advising and resources provided by the Center for Pre-Health Advising and the SMPH Pathways Programs

Other activities may include:

  • Improv workshop to strengthen communication skills among peers and patients
  • Visiting a charitable pharmacy
  • Volunteering with local community organizations


Typically 15-20 students participate in each HPSP cohort. Almost 100 students have participated in the program since its inception in 2016.

Program Costs

Program costs are fully sponsored by CPHA and UW SMPH. In addition, we work with participants to coordinate transportation, on-campus housing, tech, or meal needs during the duration of the program.

The only potential cost participants will need to budget for is purchasing business attire if they do not own any already. Please feel free to utilize the SuccessWorks Career Closet if needed!


In typical years, students shadow a variety of healthcare professionals at UW Hospital and other area affiliated hospitals and clinics:


Are you a healthcare provider interested in hosting an HPSP learner? We invite you to fill out our interest form below. We’d love to connect and talk more about how we can collaborate!

Host a Learner

Eligibility Criteria

  • Interest in pursuing professional healthcare programs.
  • Commitment to working towards greater equity in healthcare.
  • Understanding and appreciation of the importance of a diversity of perspectives in healthcare teams (via lived experiences, identities, educational backgrounds). 
  • Priority will be given to applicants who will significantly benefit from gaining more exposure to health career fields and building related professional networks.
  • Applicants must be currently enrolled UW-Madison students in good academic and non-academic standing at time of application and participation (i.e. enrolled in spring 2023, enrolled for fall 2023, minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0, etc).
  • Applicants must have completed at least one semester of degree-seeking coursework on the UW-Madison campus by the program’s start. Incoming first-year students will not be selected.
  • Students may not apply if they will be applying to a professional program in 2024 (medical school, PA school, etc.)
  • Participants must be U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or DACA recipients.
  • No previous shadowing experience is necessary! However, the most successful applicants in previous years have started to gain some initial health-related experience through volunteering, student organizations, etc., prior to admission.

How to Apply

Applications open every December and are typically due in early to mid-February. The application process includes an application form and submission of a recorded interview. Finalists will be invited to complete live interviews with the program selections committee.

HPSP 2024 applications closed February 11th.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Can international students apply to HPSP?

Unfortunately, HPSP is unable to consider international students at this time. Due to partnership and funding restrictions, participants must be U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or DACA recipients. However, we welcome and encourage international students to use all other resources from the Center for Pre-Health Advising.

If I am an incoming freshman, may I apply?

We’re excited for you to start your time at UW-Madison! However, only currently enrolled students who have completed two semesters of coursework at UW-Madison (or transfer students) can apply for HPSP.

Can I continue working at my job during the program?

Students must participate in all scheduled programming, which begins around 8:00 AM and concludes between 4:00 – 7:00 PM Monday – Friday. Students may spend some evenings working on their final projects. Since we do not have scheduled programming on weekends, students can use that time however they would like.

Can I take summer classes during the program?

We understand that HPSP runs during the same time as many summer classes and acknowledge the importance of both.  If a student were to be interested in taking a summer class during HPSP, they will need to work with the HPSP director to create a plan of action to ensure success in both areas.  

Will I be shadowing the same provider the whole time?

In typical years, each student is paired with a different provider each day and will gain over 30 hours of shadowing experience over the course of eight days. We ask for student preferences but cannot guarantee placement. However, we believe that exploring a variety of professions will help you understand career options in healthcare and develop a better understanding of how the system operates overall.

Contact Us

Dua Ci Khang
Director, Health Professions Shadowing Program
Lead for Professional Development Programming, Center for Pre-Health Advising


Molly Reinhard
Director, Pre-Professional Advising
Centers for Pre-Health & Pre-Law Advising

(608) 262-1392

Yer Lee
Pathways Programs Manager
University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

(608) 265-6344