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Shadow Experience

The University of Kansas Health System Shadow Experience

Have you ever wondered what a clinical or nonclinical career in a healthcare setting looks like? If so, a shadow experience at The University of Kansas Health System may be right for you.

We offer several types of shadowing experiences:

Health system career shadowing

This experience is for those working toward a career in healthcare. We offer observational experiences for those who qualify.

Eligible applicants must be age 16 or older to complete a shadow. Members of the community, students and clinical professionals are welcome.

  • Participants must complete an application, and the sponsor must sign a coordination form for approval allowing the applicant to shadow.
  • Individuals cannot shadow without a badge approval from the shadow program manager.
  • Applicants with identified sponsors will be prioritized. It will take longer to match a shadow candidate who does not have a sponsor.
  • Allow a 30-day lead time before shadowing can begin.
  • Shadowing experiences are limited to 1 day, totaling 12 hours maximum. However, applicants may apply for additional experiences with different sponsors.

How to apply

  • Complete the application process to set up a 1-day, 12-hour maximum, shadow experience.
  • If you have previously applied for or completed a shadow experience at our health system, apply here.
  • Medical students who attend a school other than the University of Kansas Medical Center are eligible for shadowing in June and July only. Apply here.

ELEVATE internship for high school students

The Engaging Learners in Education and Vocational Aspirations Transition Experiences (ELEVATE) program at The University of Kansas Health System provides an opportunity for high school students to explore a variety of careers essential to the day-to-day operations of the health system. This shadowing experience enhances a student's understanding of various roles and the overall environment of healthcare. Every high school student deserves the right to discover and pursue their full potential.

The ELEVATE program supports investment in tomorrow’s workforce. Students who leave school with these market-valued experiences are more likely to pursue further education and to be more successful in their future employment aspirations. One of the program’s objectives is to create employment pipelines through strategic partnerships with school districts in the area.  

Student eligibility requirements

  • The student’s high school must have a current affiliation agreement in place with The University of Kansas Health System.
  • The student must make a semester-long commitment.
  • The student is a junior or senior level student and is at least 16 years old.
  • The student is enrolled in an academic credit course through their school.
  • The student has a general understanding of HIPAA regulations and will sign the health system’s HIPAA agreement form.

Program opportunities

With more than 100 locations across the region, The University of Kansas Health System can provide observational opportunities in a variety of healthcare-related areas. This unique experience provides the high school student the opportunity to observe and assist in limited, hands-on tasks.

Ideally, interns will gain valuable insight through real and relevant learning. Students are placed in clinical and nonclinical areas. Two options are available for placement. The school liaison will indicate the student’s tier preference based upon the length of their shadowing experience. Every effort will be made to place students in their requested tier.

  • Tier 1: An internship scheduled with 1 profession.
  • Tier 2: An internship that includes up to 3 professions.

Student testimonials

This was one of my favorite things I've ever done in high school. It gave me insight into an organization I want to be a part of someday.” Edwardo, 16

North Kansas City High School

The health system gave me an opportunity to peel back the curtain that covered the medical profession, solidifying my decision to major in a healthcare profession." Annika, 18

Shawnee Mission North High School

Healthcare leader testimonial

It was nice to sit down and tell [student interns] not only what we do, but why we do it.” Michael

Supply manager

How to arrange a high school shadowing experience

  1. A high school faculty member contacts the shadow liaison in Nursing Practice, Research and Professional Development for confirmation of having a current affiliation agreement. To confirm your agreement, email Elevate@KUMC.edu.
  2. The faculty member or liaison will coordinate locations and schedules for shadowing opportunities with managers and educators.
  3. The school provides to the shadow liaison a list of students (not to exceed the number agreed upon) with attestation of their required records.
  4. Students will wear their school photo ID and follow the health system dress code.
  5. Students will check in and out at 2 designated information desks each day of their shadowing experiences to obtain their parking validation ticket.

For more information about the ELEVATE internship program, email Elevate@KUMC.edu.

Nurse academy

This experience is for high school students entering their junior year through students entering their freshman year of college.

Step into the shoes of frontline nurses in this 2-day immersive experience. Featuring a skills lab and engaging activities, Nurse Academy is a great way to experience nursing. Join us to learn more about nursing, the impact you can make and the lives you can change! Visit the KU School of Nursing website for more information.

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