Surgery Clinical Research Internship Program

The summer clinical research internship program within the Department of Surgery invites motivated university and medical students to apply for the opportunity to perform research related to an ongoing clinical research study overseen by our surgery faculty. This eight-week program is designed for students with an interest in the research behind healthcare and what it means to be employed by a university hospital. Interns will work in pairs on a prospective study, culminating in the completion and submission of an abstract for acceptance at a local surgery conference. In addition to study analysis, interns will have the opportunity to shadow surgery faculty in clinic and the OR, attend weekly OHSU surgery conferences with faculty, and participate in workshops that illuminate the path toward improved health care through research and innovation.

This research experience includes: 

  • Insight into the world of academic health care research through: 
    • Weekly surgery conferences 
    • Workshops on data visualization, biostatistics and researching resources 
  • Opportunities to: 
    • Shadow in surgery clinics, the OR and surgery labs 
    • Interact with patients in a prospective study "out in the field" 
    • Present completed work at local, regional and/or national meetings with the support the Principal Investigator 


  • Enthusiasm for clinical research 
  • Dedication to collaboration 
  • 3.0 GPA 
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office 
  • Commitment of 40 hours per week 
  • Note: this is an unpaid internship 

Important Dates: 

  • Application deadline: January 31, 2018 
  • Program start date: Monday, June 25, 2018 
  • Program end date: Friday, August 17, 2018 
To apply, please email a one page letter of intent and CV to program coordinator Sara Szymanski at by January 31, 2018. Late applications will not be accepted. All applicants will be contacted via email by February 28 with either an offer or decline for interview. 

Here's what our 2017 interns had to say following completion of the program: 

"This past summer has been one of the most invaluable pre-medical experiences I've yet to have, and the program coordinators played a big part in making it happen. Thank you for not only granting me the opportunity to be a part of the internship, but also orchestrating such an enriching experience." 

"I gained a ton of exposure to fields of medicine that most aspiring students won't get to see until they are in medical school. I was able to work independently on a project, while maintaining a close relationship with my PI." 

"Shadowing in the OR and clinic was the highlight of this internship. Interacting with providers at different levels (residents and attendings) and training (PAs, nurses, NPs) was insightful, because it helped me understand the team dynamic of medicine, as well as reflect on these career paths. Talking to the other interns within the cohort and going on different visits and seminars served as fun opportunities to learn and network within the biomedical field."