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Selective Tracks and Programs

Elizabeth W.

Elizabeth W.

"At UChicago, I gained the confidence necessary to be able to be curious and pursue the many intersections of my passions within the context of Medicine."

Katen Scholars Program

Sponsored by the Karen Katen Fund for Science, the Katen Scholars Program supports rising second, third, and fourth year students interested in pursuing careers in health, medicine, and science. Scholars are awarded a $4,000 stipend to complete a summer research project with a faculty mentor. In addition to research responsibilities, the Katen Scholars participate in a weekly seminar to discuss readings on the social context of health, medicine, and science. Scholars work collaboratively throughout the summer to prepare presentations for the Katen Symposium at summer’s end. Careers in Healthcare is happy to assist applicants in identifying a faculty mentor and/or research project. Previous research experience is not required.

The program is ten weeks in length, beginning in June and culminating with a symposium at the end of August.

The application for the Katen Scholars program becomes available in January and consists of a resume, cover letter, and letters of recommendation submitted through UChicago Handshake.

Community & Social Medicine Fellows

Community and Social Medicine Fellows is a ten-week summer research program that provides students with a structured opportunity through which they can investigate issues in community health, social sciences, and the social context of health and medicine. Fellows are awarded a $4,000 stipend for the summer to conduct research. The goals of the research projects vary in nature, and some are on campus within the hospitals, while others are based within the Chicago community. The Community and Social Medicine Fellows summer research program will accept up to 15 students who will participate in a weekly lecture and discussion series focused on topics of healthcare disparities, the economics of healthcare, and national and local healthcare policy. Students will have the opportunity throughout the summer to engage with the Katen Scholars. The collaboration between both groups will help to encourage students to challenge their own assumptions and biases, to gain a deeper understanding of the social context of medicine, and to understand the role of both basic science and community-based/social science research in improving the overall quality of the delivery of healthcare.

All Community and Social Medicine Fellows opportunities become available in January and will be listed in UChicago Handshake. The selection process and application materials for each internship is at the sole discretion of the Principal Investigator. There are different deadlines among the internships, as well as different timelines for which students will be notified of participation. Students may apply to as many of the Community and Social Medicine Fellows internships as they are interested in. The program is open to rising second, third, and fourth year students in the College.

Clinical Excellence Scholars Track

The Clinical Excellence Scholars track is a multi-year specialized program designed to prepare students for the realities of a career in medicine while providing guided participation in relevant opportunities on campus. Careers in Healthcare has partnered with UChicago Medicine and the Bucksbaum Institute for Clinical Excellence to develop and implement opportunities for significant interactions between students and physicians at UChicago.

There are several key components of the Clinical Excellence Scholars track:

  • Successful completion of 100 hours of volunteer services, through UChicago Medicine, prior to applying to the program during the student’s second year
  • Participation in the Joel Schwab, MD “On Being a Doctor” seminars. This quarterly lecture series will feature a clinician presenting on a selected aspect of effective clinical care.
  • Attendance at Clinical Excellence Scholar dinners and physican-led small-group meetings, which take place twice each quarter.
  • Successful completion of the Shadowing Program at UChicago Medicine, which requires a minimum of 36 hours of shadowing (12 per quarter)
  • Participation in the Bucksbaum Institute for Clinical Excellence and MacLean Center for clinical Medical Ethics public events, such as the annual symposiums and lecture series. 
  • Completion of one course within the College that relates to the social context of health and medicine.
  • Completion of a creative capstone project, reflecting on the time spent in the program.

Several of these component pieces are open to all students of the College who are not preselected as Clinical Excellence Scholars.

Interested students should apply to begin their volunteer services commitment in the spring of their first year, using a specific link that will be emailed to students by Careers in Healthcare in March of each year. Approximately 24 students will be accepted each year, and selected scholars will begin their formal engagement with the program beginning in the autumn quarter of their third year. Those who successfully complete all aspects of the track will receive a designation on their transcript.

*Due to the restrictions on clinical exposure due to COVID-19, the volunteer requirement will be altered for this year. Please see the instructions sent via email or reach out to for additional information*

RBH Oral Health Fellows Program

Sponsored by the George E. Richmond Foundation, the RBH Oral Health Fellows Program provides financial support to students who have an interest in pursuing a substantive summer internship related to oral health. Funding is also provided to Fellows who wish to attend oral health-related conferences following their summer experience. Application to the participating RBH Oral Health Fellows Program sites will occur through Handshake, and typically become available in early Winter quarter.