Pre Medical Shadowing For High School Students

(Over 18? Please see our clinical shadowing for pre-med students)

Our high school hospital shadowing program has been developed specifically to give high school sophomores, juniors and seniors the opportunity to shadow experienced medical professionals in a real life hospital environment. You can join either our program exclusively for 16 and 17 year olds, or our integrated program that allows you to shadow alongside pre-medical college students.

Our highly respected placements are available in both Europe and the Caribbean, offering the health professionals of tomorrow a first insight into global healthcare as well as the adventure of a lifetime.

You’ll live with other future medical students in one of our professionally-run Gap Medics Houses, supported 24 hours a day by a small dedicated team who give the program a real family feel.

Your Hospital Experience Placement

As an aspiring medical student, you’re probably already aware of the value of real-life medical shadowing experience, and starting that during high school is a great way to get ahead. Nothing can help you to make the right decisions about your future career better than pulling on your scrubs and walking alongside a medical doctor who’s doing exactly what you want to be doing in ten or fifteen years time.

This kind of experiential learning is incredibly powerful, but being in the clinical environment before you’ve undergone any professional training obviously carries risk. To keep you, and those around you, safe, we operate a stringent mentoring system that ensures throughout your placement you are under the watchful supervision of either your personal Mentor (usually a doctor), or an appropriate health professional working in partnership with your Mentor.

There is no more a typical day on a Gap Medics placement than there is as a doctor, as the demands on the hospital team are ever-changing. That’s why we offer the on-the-ground support that we do, starting on day one of your placement when your Gap Medics Student Coordinator takes you into the hospital to personally introduce you to your first Mentor.

A Gap Medics placement will put you on the front line of a working hospital – in the wards, the operating room, the emergency room, perhaps even the delivery unit. It will challenge you, mentally and physically, just as being a doctor will later on. And this immersion will help you begin to understand what a career in medicine or surgery is truly like.

Our Caribbean program allows you to shadow doctors in the Dominican Republic, providing insights into both tropical medicine and the challenges of delivering healthcare in the developing world. From June to August this location operates exclusively for 16 and 17 year olds, with quite a summer camp feel to the program. Outside of this peak season, the program merges with our over 18 students.

Our European base in the beautiful town of Pula in northern Croatia is integrated year-round, allowing high school students to share some elements of the experience with college students already on a pre-med track. Age groups remain separate for most of the hospital shadowing, allowing mentors to focus their teaching style, and rules to protect the safety and wellbeing of under 18s remain in place for them – but this integration can enhance the experience by putting you alongside both medical professionals and students already a few years ahead of you.

Whichever program you choose, your personal Student Experience Manager will work with you by phone and email before you go to match you to a placement that’s appropriate to your own age, education and learning objectives. Our portfolio across the two continents gives access to a broad range of clinical fields, including General and Internal Medicine, OBGYN, Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT), Orthopedic Surgery, Cardiology and Cardiovascular Surgery, Urology, Intensive Care, Emergency Medicine / Casualty, Plastic Surgery and a variety of outpatient clinics.

Hilary Ngai

I was admittedly nervous when I applied for the placement. However I’m please to say, it was amazing! All in all, my Gap Medics program was heaps of fun! I encourage anyone who isn’t sure about studying medicine to check it out!

Rachel Crossley

I would recommend a Gap Medics shadowing internship to anyone interested in medicine. I don’t regret my choice at all as during my time in Europe I gained invaluable medical experience observing mentors working in the cardiac surgery, obstetrics, gynaecology and gastric surgery departments.

Collette Robert

Gap Medics provided me with invaluable hospital experience that would otherwise not have been possible. I miss the whole experience and I would recommend it to anyone!

Tara Pianko

It was one of the best experiences of my life. Overall, I’d recommend this program to anyone. I was there for a month, and it was the best month of my life. It truly offered a learning experience you can’t get in the States and helped reaffirm my desire to be a doctor.

Alex Pasculle

I would recommend Gap Medics to any student thinking of a career in healthcare. It was a once and a lifetime opportunity that not only allowed me to receive real medical experience, but gave me a brand new outlook on a career in medicine.

The Adventure Of A Lifetime!

Travelling to another country, and being immersed in a working hospital, can be daunting for anyone. Our experience hosting well over 10,000 students since 2010 has allowed us to develop a comprehensive support service to put you at ease from day one and give you probably the most exciting and fun-filled weeks of your life so far!

The heart of our programs are our incredible Gap Medics Houses. Buzzing with life from dawn until bedtime, the house will be your home from home and the place you make friends from across America and around the world. Each house is run by a super-friendly team of passionate people including an experienced Manager, full time Housekeeper, in-house Chef, and energetic Student Coordinators.

Between dinner and breakfast time, every house has a female Night Supervisor on duty, primarily to keep everyone safe, but also as a friendly face to help all students feel included and talk about any problems or worries you may be having.

Employing and training our own teams (we never outsource any part of the service) is what allows us to deliver a consistently great service. We’ll be with you from the moment you step off the plane, and whenever you need us, day or night.

Our Ethics

Gap Medics is a proudly ethical business, and we take seriously our opportunity – our responsibility – to contribute to the communities in which we work.

It’s very important to us that our partner hospitals gain real benefit from the program, and part of the fee you pay goes directly to them. This extra income stream is a huge help to hospitals that often struggle with under-funding, allowing them to buy equipment, medicines, beds, and even employ extra staff as a direct result of receiving students.

We pass on a further proportion of your fee to the individual doctor who personally mentors you each week, an important recognition of their value to the program. In hospitals where funding limitations often mean losing the best clinicians to private practice or the draw of better pay overseas, the extra income our mentors receive has a real impact in retaining talent to serve the local population.

Our Operations Managers put a great deal of focus on professional ethics when working with our partner hospitals to ensure that the presence of students doesn’t compromise safety (their own or other people’s) or patient care. Placements are strictly observational, except where the supervising clinician allows students to undertake activities that do not require specialist training (such as taking blood pressures) under close supervision.

We also believe passionately in respecting and taking care of our natural environment, and that influences every operational decision we take. We are gradually converting as many of our houses as we can to solar energy and installing reverse osmosis water purifiers to cut the use of plastic water bottles. We use fresh, local, seasonal ingredients in the food we cook wherever possible, and some of our houses already compost our food waste to feed the garden to grow more.

Get involved!

Our high school student placements are available all year round, with the flexibility to start any weekend you like. Our minimum placement length is one week, but there is no maximum (we recommend two weeks to gain a full experience, or longer if you want to experience more departments).

Over the summer (May to September), programs are exclusively for students aged 16 and 17. Outside that period, we combine with our over 18 age group to give a more sociable experience during quieter times. The same 24-hour supervision is provided and mentoring remains tailored to your age, but you’re likely to be in a smaller group and it can be a great chance to meet students who have already begun their university pre-med track.

Apply using our simple online Application Form, and you can pay the Registration Fee ($450) securely online to immediately secure a position on our waiting list. One of our expert Placement Advisors will then contact you by phone or email to confirm your placement, guide you through the next steps of the process, and get you set up on our online preparation portal, My Gap Medics.

If we do not have availability for your preferred destination and dates, we’ll work with you to find an alternative option – or refund your Registration Fee in full if we are unable to offer you a placement that you’re happy with. Please bear in mind that our programs are very popular, especially between May and August, so the earlier in advance you can apply the more likely you are to get your first choice.

The remaining cost of your placement depends on the destination you choose and number of weeks (see our Prices page). This covers a comprehensive package that includes your hospital placement, professional mentoring, global health tutorials, accommodation in our own Gap Medics House, food prepared fresh by our in-house Chef and personal support from our friendly team every step of the way.