Observation/Career Shadowing

The Observation/Career Shadowing Program is designed to allow college and high school students the opportunity to explore the many career options that exist within the Life Sciences, in both clinical and research areas, at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and College of Medicine. It is not intended for medical student graduates who are seeking a residency program. This program is administered by a program coordinator in each of the departments.

This educational experience is for observation only; no hands-on contact is permitted with any patient

Who can apply

Applicants must be at least 15 years of age and a formally matriculated student at their school, college, or university. Student observers will be assigned to a sponsoring PSHMC/COM employee and remain under the supervision of the sponsoring employee at all times.

How to apply

  1. Complete and return the Observation/Career Shadowing application to the appropriate department coordinator (Click for list of department coordinators). Please be as specific as possible regarding your particular areas of interest; preferred dates and times; faculty and staff you know personally and would like to shadow or pre-arrangements you have already made with a sponsoring employee. High school observations are generally limited to four to eight hours.
  1. Complete the required paperwork listed below. Click to download each form:
  1. Students over the age of 18 participating in this program for more than five days in pediatric inpatient or outpatient clinics must obtain the following background checks (click link for more information) at no cost to Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center:
  • The Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Records Check (PATCH)
  • Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance
  • Federal Criminal Records Check (FBI fingerprinting required)

Check to make sure your application and accompanying forms have been properly completed. Applications and accompanying forms should be faxed, mailed, or scanned and emailed to the department coordinator. Approval for shadowing takes 4-8 weeks. You may check with the department coordinator on the status of your request.

Once all approvals for your application have been granted, the department coordinator will contact you to schedule your shadow date and will instruct you where to report.

Please complete the on-line evaluation following your shadowing experience.

Please type or write legibly on all forms. Be sure to make a copy for your records.