30 HHS seniors in the Medical Academy serve a residency in Northwestern Medicine Health System facilities, a partnership formed between the university and district organically when a former superintendent was on the Board of the Hospital. Modeled after medical school residency programs, students access intensive job shadowing and mentorship with healthcare professionals at the new Northwestern Medicine Hospital-Huntley and other clinical locations. Students receive a minimum of 2.5 hours of experience weekly for the duration of the program. The in-person hours are accommodated outside the traditional school day, and the academic component of the class, including reflections and discussions on students’ hands-on experiences, are delivered in a blended format. The residency format will take students through rigorous rotations in nearly every department of Northwestern Medicine Health System, from radiology to the emergency room.
The program at this time has capacity for 30 students, and they are selected through an application process. Eligible candidates have a 3.5 grade-point average or higher, and have completed three years of biomedical sciences through the Medical Academy. Students who progress through the Medical Academy are eligible to apply for the Youth Residency, and our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts focus on ensuring access to students at the beginning of the progression and then providing supports as they progress. One other district is now working with Northwestern using our program as a template. We would encourage others to approach their local health systems with our story as an example of the mutually beneficial nature of the program.