Project PROMISE semester-long internships provide clinical experiences for rural high school juniors and seniors in WNC who are interested in pursuing healthcare careers.

The Project PROMISE internship experience is designed for high school juniors and seniors who are interested in pursuing a healthcare career such as, but not limited to, a physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, dentist, pharmacist, or physical therapist. Internships are available to students from Mitchell, Yancey, McDowell, and Madison counties who are participating in a school-sanctioned internship for course credit.

This internship provides a minimum of 135 credit hours for up to three high school juniors and seniors from each eligible school. During their spring semester, students spend every afternoon in a clinical or healthcare-related setting learning from local practitioners in their community. These internships are carefully designed to provide students with the additional support and exposure that are vital for pursuing a career in healthcare.

The Student Experience

Clinical Shadowing

Student interns have the opportunity to shadow healthcare professionals in a variety of disciplines and settings including

  • Ob/gyn
  • Pediatrics
  • Palliative care
  • Family medicine
  • Public health
  • Dentistry
  • Geriatrics
  • Physical therapy
  • Pharmacotherapy
  • Internal medicine
  • Wound care
  • General surgery

Additional Internship Components

  • Training in diversity, online research skills, HIPAA, OSHA, and professional etiquette.
  • Opportunties to participate in MAHEC programs focused on academic enrichment, college planning, service learning opportunities, and oral and written communication skills.
  • Mentorship by a third- or fourth-year medical student from the UNC School of Medicine Asheville campus who can provide guidance on preparing for a healthcare career.

Eligibility Requirements

Project PROMISE interns are mature, focused, responsible, dependable, and able to follow directions; need minimal supervision; and have good oral and written communication skills and a positive attitude. Applicants should be

  • rising high school juniors and seniors with a strong desire to pursue a healthcare career
  • interested in returning to WNC to practice
  • good students with a minimum weighted GPA of 3.0
  • registered in a Yancey, Mitchell, McDowell, or Madison county public school
  • recommended by teachers with excellent references
  • active in work and/or community service
  • able to access reliable transportation

Community-Based Focus

We believe that a sustainable workforce development program must be firmly rooted in the communities it serves. By engaging local providers as teachers and collaborating with local organizations, we are collectively investing in the success of these students and their rural communities.

For more information, or to request an internship application, please contact

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