Summer Healthcare Experience — exclusively for young women

Program offers healthcare career exploration and college preparation

April 20, 2016

The UCI Health Summer Healthcare Experience (SHE) program, one of the only of its kind in the country, is designed to introduce high school girls interested in pursuing a healthcare career to options they may not have previously considered, and equip them to further explore their interests.

Female health professionals, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, researchers, administrators and social workers, will share their real-life experiences. Students will gain unique insights into the various, and sometimes, non-traditional, career paths that can be taken.

Young women, ages 16 to 18, who will be juniors or seniors in high school, are invited to apply. As many as 30 young women will be selected to participate. The weeklong program will be conducted Aug. 1 through Aug. 5 at the UC Irvine Medical Center. Tuition is $1,359, and eight full scholarships are available, based on merit and financial need.  The application deadline is Sunday, May 1.

In addition to hands-on activities, including shadow sessions, CPR certification and a session in the surgical simulator lab, college preparation and professional development activities are an important part of the program. Students participate in mock interviews, public speaking presentations and a personal statement writing workshop.

Students will also be divided into groups, where they will be led by a gastroenterologist to develop a digestive awareness health project. In previous years, projects ranged from developing a survey on nutrition to creating a game show about gastroesophageal reflux disease, to building a gut microbiome website.

Projects are presented on the final night of the program as part of the graduation reception for students and their families.

For more program information, including access to the online application, please visit the Division of Gastroenterology web page. Those interested may also contact program coordinator Sonha Castelli at 714-456-6745 or at

UCI Health comprises the clinical, medical education and research enterprises of the University of California, Irvine. Patients can access UCI Health at physician offices throughout Orange County and at its main campus, UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange, Calif., a 411-bed acute care hospital that provides tertiary and quaternary care, ambulatory and specialty medical clinics, and behavioral health and rehabilitation services. U.S. News & World Report has listed it among America’s Best Hospitals for 15 consecutive years. UC Irvine Medical Center features Orange County’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, high-risk perinatal/neonatal program, Level I trauma center and Level II pediatric trauma center, and it is the primary teaching hospital for the UC Irvine School of Medicine. UCI Health serves a region of more than 3 million people in Orange County, western Riverside County and southeast Los Angeles County. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the University of California, Irvine: Currently celebrating its 50th anniversary, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 30,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $4.8 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit