Medical Student Summer Internship

Program Description

The Penn Center for Healthcare Improvement & Patient Safety (Penn CHIPS) at the University of Pennsylvania is one of the nation’s leading hubs for education and leadership to improve the quality of healthcare for all patients. Penn CHIPS trains students in healthcare quality and safety in an inter-professional learning environment and provides mentored experiences that empower them to improve the quality of healthcare delivery in their chosen area of interest. The mission of the Penn Center for Healthcare Improvement & Patient Safety is to improve the quality of healthcare for patients and patient populations by training the next generation of practitioners, leaders, and researchers in quality improvement and patient safety science.

Compensation is a $3,000 stipend.


PIIA ( Performance Improvement in Action) Training:
A two-day bootcamp in Quality Improvement that offers exposure to models and approaches used to tackle problems in healthcare delivery systems.

Complete the Basic Certificate in Healthcare Quality and Safety through the Institute for Healthcare Improvement


Hands-on work with UPHS and/or CHOP QS experts on one or more Quality Improvement projects within a hospital's quality and safety department.


Clinical and non-clinical shadowing with hospital leaders.
Weekly or bimonthly meetings with your mentor.
Relevant QI and patient safety committee meetings.

Application Process

  • Applicants must be a current (year one) University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine student.
  • Letter of Interest (no more than one page)
  • CV

Any questions should be directed Stacey Riley at or to Dr. Neha Patel at  

Apply HERE

The Penn CHIPS Internship scope and expectations are outlined below and may vary slightly based on the needs and requirements of the office/entity where the intern participates.

Basic Function and Responsibilities:

Interns will work with a local quality/safety office or team  at CHOP or UPHS on existing initiatives. Typical responsibilities can include but are not limited to:

  • Assisting with project implementation
  • Performing data collection such as interviews
  • Analyzing or organizing data
  • Note-taking

Duration and Time Commitment:

  • About 8-10 weeks between June and August (6/10/2024 – 8/16/2024)
  • Interns are expected to work about 30 hours per week, Monday through Friday, and between the hours of 8AM – 5PM. The specific daily hours are ultimately up to the intern and their team lead/mentor.

Hybrid (remote and in-person)

Program Leadership:
The Penn CHIPS Medical Student Summer Internship is led by Neha Patel, MD, MD; Director of Resident and Student Initiatives. The intern will join members of a QS team at either CHOP or UPHS and will have a dedicated individual from that team assigned as a team lead/mentor.


  • To learn about core tenets of Quality Improvement and Patient Safety in healthcare and assist teams on projects or programs that provide value to the institution.
  • To understand different QI methodologies and how to utilize them.
  • To gain exposure to the many different types of problems in which QI strategies are employed to solve in healthcare (patient flow, patient safety, etc.).
  • To gain insight into the organizational structure and work related to quality and safety in a healthcare system, as well as successful professional, and organizational behavior by observing experienced QS professionals.
  • To present and share key findings to teams when applicable.
  • To observe clinical medicine subspecialties related to the project you are working on, if interested.

Other Requirements:

  • Interns must attend the Penn Medicine Healthcare Leadership in Quality Track didactics, a two-day bootcamp in Quality Improvement that offers exposure to models and approaches used to tackle problems in healthcare delivery systems. (two full days in the summer, in-person).
  • Complete the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Basic Certificate in Quality and Safety. We suggest that these certification modules be started as soon as the internship begins.

“This summer program was the perfect mix of flexibility, opportunity, and structured mentorship. It was wonderful getting introduced to Penn Medicine’s quality infrastructure, and I can’t think of a better way to get an overview of the operations of an Academic Medical Center. Every medical student should get some training in quality improvement methodologies, and this program did an exquisite job of providing that through both didactics and through working on actual projects. I love my project’s team and will be staying on with them!” – Chip Chambers, 2021 PennCHIPS Summer Intern