Experience and Opportunities

It is in your best interest to gain experience in your desired health profession. By being involved extracurricular opportunities, you learn whether your desired health profession is the best fit for you. Please note that some professional schools require a large amount of certain extracurricular activities such as shadowing or hands-on, patient contact experience. To receive information about current opportunities, subscribe to our monthly newsletter by filling out this form.

Experience Log

The primary purpose of an experience log is to help you complete your application to professional school. It is a record of useful information pertaining to your experience(s) that are often required by your health profession’s application service (e.g. AMCAS for medicine, PharmCAS for pharmacy, etc.). An experience log should at the very least contain your experiences’ start and end date, total and weekly number of hours, the organizations’ location and contact information, and a description of your experience. You may choose to make a personalized experience log or use our sample by clicking here.

Clubs and Organizations

Join on-campus clubs and organizations to learn more about your health profession, to get involved in the community, and to network with peers with similar interests. You may choose to gain leadership experience by becoming an officer for the club or organization.

For more on-campus clubs and organizations, visit UH Mānoa’s list of Registered Independent Organizations (RIOs).

Pre-Health Clubs:

Name and WebsiteEmailSocial Media
Hawaiʻi Pre-Health Career Corps (PHCC)phcc@hawaii.eduN/A
Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA)hosauhm@hawaii.eduFacebook
Medical Student Mentorship Program (MSMP)msmp@hawaii.eduFacebook
Partners in Health Engage (PIH)pih@hawaii.eduFacebook
Pre-Dental Association (PDA)pda@hawaii.eduInstagram
Pre-Medical Association (PMA)premed@hawaii.eduFacebook
Pre-Pharmacy Association (PPA)ppa@hawaii.eduFacebook
Pre-Veterinary Club (PVC)prevet@hawaii.eduInstagram
Volunteers for Intercultural and Definitive Adventures (VIDA)uhmanoa@vidavolunteer.orgInstagram

Major Related Clubs:

Name and WebsiteEmailSocial Media
Bachelor of Social Work Organization (BSWO)kainanid@hawaii.eduFacebook
Chemistry Clubchemclub@hawaii.eduFacebook
Food Science & Human Nutrition (FSHN) Councilfshnnews@hawaii.eduFacebook
Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Science Clubkrsclub@hawaii.eduFacebook
Public Health Hui Ola Ponoolapono@hawaii.eduFacebook
Student Nurses Associationsnamanoa@hawaii.eduFacebook

Honors Organizations:

Name and WebsiteEmailSocial Media
Golden Key International Honour Societygk-l@lists.hawaii.eduFacebook
Honors Student Organization (HSO)hso@hawaii.eduFacebook
Mortar Board: Hui Poʻokela Chaptermbatuhm@hawaii.eduFacebook
Phi Alpha Honor Society (Nu Sigma Chapter)nusigma@hawaii.eduFacebook
Psi Chi International Honor Societypsichi@hawaii.eduFacebook


Volunteers serve others for the benefit of private organizations (as opposed to community service, which benefits the community at large). Private organizations may include hospitals, clinics, and clubs and organizations. Health professional schools look for volunteer experience and take different types of volunteering into consideration.

Clinical Experience (Oʻahu):

OrganizationPhone NumberEmail AddressMinimum Commitment
Adventist Health Castle(808) 263-5252francine.kong@ah.orgYear: 4 hours/week for 6 months
Summer: Varies
Hawaiʻi Pacific Health
(Kapiolani, Pali Momi, Straub, Wilcox)
(808) 983-6333
(808) 983-6754
volunteers@kapiolani.org4 hours/week for 6 months
Hawaiʻi State Hospital(808) 236-8292Douglas Pyle at douglas.pyle@doh.hawaii.gov6 months
Kaiser Permanente(808) 432-8138hi.kp.volunteer@kp.orgYear: 4 hours/week,
total 80 hours.
Summer: 4 hours/shift, 2 shifts/week.
Kuakini Medical Center(808) 547-9184volunteers@kuakini.org3-4 hours/week for 3 months
Lunalilo Home(808) 395-4065iwalani@lunalilo.orgN/A
Navian Hawai’i (Formerly Hospice Hawai’i)(808) 924-9255volunteer@navianhawaii.orgN/A
Pearl City Nursing Home(808) 687-3280
(808) 453-1919
Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific(808) 566-3741Melissa MullenVolunteer: 60 hours
Observing/Shadowing: 20 hours
Shriners Hospital for Children(808) 951-3646apply.hon@shrinenet.org2 hours/week for 5 months
Wahiawa General Hospital(808) 621-4243David Toyama5 hours/week for 4 months

Non-Clinical Experience (Oʻahu):

For more non-clinical volunteering opportunities, please refer to UH Mānoa’s Civic and Community Engagement page.

OrganizationPhone NumberEmail AddressMinimum Commitment
Honolulu Museum of ArtN/AN/AN/A
Honolulu ZooN/AN/A1 shift/week for 6 months
Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaiʻi(808) 945-7633 (ext. 25)volunteers@jcch.org3 hours/week for 1 year
Waikiki AquariumN/AN/AN/A

Community Service

Community service is unpaid, voluntary work for the benefit of the community (as opposed to volunteering, which benefits private organizations). Health professional schools seek applications who demonstrate a commitment to community service. The following are examples of government and non-profit organizations that offer opportunities to serve the community.

For more community service opportunities, please refer to UH Mānoa’s Civic and Community Engagement page.

OrganizationPhone NumberEmail Address
AccesSurf(808) 236-4200info@accessurf.org
Aloha Medical Mission (808) 847-3400info@alohamedicalmission.org
Aloha United WayN/AN/A
American Red Cross(808) 739-8123fawn.liebengood@redcross.ord
Blood Bank of Hawaiʻi(808) 848-4734volunteer@bbh.org
Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)(808) 723-8960Jeff Spencer at jspencer1@honolulu.gov
Easterseals Hawaiʻi(808) 529-1708sching@eastersealshawaii.org
Hawaiʻi Homeless Healthcare Hui (Min. 1 semester commitment. Students can complete the volunteer form.)N/AN/A
Hawaiʻi Homeless Outreach and Medical Education (HOME) ProjectN/AJill Omori, MD at jill.omori@hawaii.edu
Hawaiʻi Medical Reserve Corps(808) 587-5770mrc@doh.hawaii.gov
The Hawaiʻi Nature Center(808) 955-0100 (ext. 118)Pauline Kawamata at volunteer@hawaiinaturecenter.org
Hoʻoulu ʻĀina(808) 841-7504aina@kkv.net
The Institute for Human Services(808) 447-2810volunteer@ihshawaii.org
Ka Papa Loʻi O Kānewai(808) 956-0640kanewai@hawaii.edu
Kōkua Hawaiʻi FoundationN/Ainfo@kokuahawaiifoundation.org
Lanakila Pacific(808) 356-8541volunteer@lanakilapacific.org
Papahana Kuaola(808) 447-7694info@papahanakuaola.org

Enrichment Opportunities

To study abroad or study away is to take courses at a university elsewhere in the United States or in a different country. Students may choose to take courses that are related to their major, academic field, or health profession. By doing so, students are also exposed to different cultural settings and develop cultural competency. Cultural competence, or the ability to serve the social, linguistic, and cultural needs of a community, is becoming an increasingly important quality of a well-rounded health professional.

National Opportunities

National Student Exchange (NSE) allows UH Mānoa students to study at another American university for a fall semester or a full academic year while paying UH Mānoa tuition.

International Opportunities

UH Mānoa’s Study Abroad Center (SAC)

Mānoa International Exchange (MIX)

MIX Semester Opportunities:

Deakin UniversityMelbourne, Australia
Monash UniversityMelbourne, Australia
University of Technology SydneySydney, Australia
University of the South PacificSuva, Fiji
Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)Hong Kong, China
Inha UniversityIncheon, South Korea
Ewha Womans UniversitySeoul, South Korea
Korea UniversitySeoul, South Korea
Seoul National UniversitySeoul, South Korea
Yonsei UniversitySeoul, South Korea
Leiden UniversityLeiden, Netherlands
University of AucklandAuckland, New Zealand
University of OtagoDunedin, New Zealand
University of WaikatoHamilton, New Zealand
Victoria University of WellingtonWellington, New Zealand
University of BergenBergen, Norway
University of the Philippines, DilimanManila, Philippines
National University of SingaporeSingapore, Singapore
Lund UniversityLund, Sweden
National Taiwan UniversityTaipei, Taiwan

MIX Summer Opportunities:

Summer Opportunities 
UEA International Summer SchoolNorwich, England
CUHK Summer Undergraduate Research ProgramHong Kong, China

Study Abroad Semester Opportunities:

Semester/Year Opportunities 
DIS Study Abroad in Scandinavia Stockholm, Sweden
DSI Study Abroad in ScandinaviaCopenhagen, Denmark
Flinders University of South AustraliaAdelaide, Australia
Lorenzo de’ Medici RomeRome, Italy
University of RoehamptonLondon, England

Study Abroad Summer Opportunities:

Summer Opportunities 
DIS Study Abroad in Scandinavia Copenhagen, Denmark
University College Dublin Dublin, Ireland
Université Catholique de LilleLille, France

Entrance Exam Preparation

Most health professional schools require applicants to take an entrance exam. The entrance exam depends on the field of health (e.g. MCAT for medicine, PCAT for pharmacy, DAT for dentistry). Entrance exam scores are used by schools in their admission process. A study period of 6 to 12 months is highly recommended. Refer to our entrance exam preparation webpage for more information.

Below are award opportunities that helps fund entrance exam preparation:

ASUH Graduate Test Prep Award

Description: This scholarship provides full-time, classified, undergraduate students of Junior standing or higher (60+ credits) with financial assistance for graduate test preparation costs, including the costs of test preparation books, classes, and/or registration fees. It is available every Fall and Spring semester.

Amount: Depending on your application, you may be awarded up to $750.

Please click here for more information on the ASUH Graduate Test Prep Award.

Gold Standard MCAT Prep Crash Course Scholarship

Applications are being accepted for PAC’s Gold Standard MCAT Prep Crash Course Scholarship from current students in the University of Hawaiʻi System.

TWO scholarships will be awarded. This scholarship includes a crash course and three months’ access to the resources available through Gold Standard MCAT Prep.
To apply: Compose an essay (5,300 characters max.) on why you are interested in applying to your chosen health professional school. E-mail your essay to Dr. Kiana Shiroma (kianak@hawaii.edu) by the appropriate deadline.
Deadline: January 31, 2021

Princeton Review Promo Code

PAC has partnered with Princeton Review to offer pre-health students 15% off any Princeton test prep courses, excluding Princeton’s MCAT Summer Immersion Program.

The promo code is available for prep courses for the following entrance exams: MCAT, OAT, DAT, and GRE.

Use promo code RAINBOW15 for 15% off!


An internship or fellowships is a position within an organization (e.g. hospital, research center, or company) to gain work experience. They may be paid or unpaid, may have different time commitments (e.g. summer or year-long), and may also have different settings (e.g. research vs. clinical). Students seeking to gain work experience should read program descriptions carefully.

Professional development programs differ in that students gain experience related to their desired health profession rather than direct work experience (e.g. shadowing, patient care, simulations, and workshops).

Internships and Fellowships:

Internship or FellowshipHealth ProfessionLocation
American Dental Education Association (ADEA) Enrichment ProgramsDentistryNational
American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine (AACPM) InternshipsPodiatric MedicineNational
Atlantis Clinical Shadowing FellowshipAllopathic Medicine
Osteopathic Medicine
Courier ProgramN/ANational
Department of Native Hawaiian Health (DNHH) Summer Research Internship (SRI)Allopathic Medicine
Osteopathic Medicine
Public Health
Doctors in Italy Fellowship ProgramAllopathic MedicineInternational
Hawaiʻi Pacific Health (HPH) Summer Student Research Program (SSRP)Allopathic Medicine
Osteopathic Medicine
Public Health
Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training Program (MHIRT)Allopathic Medicine
Osteopathic Medicine
Public Health
Oral Health America Summer Internship OpportunitiesDentistry
Dental Hygiene
Project Horseshoe FarmN/ANational
Queen’s Medical Center (QMC) Summer Research Internship (SRI)Allopathic Medicine
Osteopathic Medicine
UH Mānoa Department of Biology Internship OpportunitiesN/AHawaiʻi

Professional Development Programs:

Professional Development ProgramsHealth ProfessionLocation
Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Summer ProgramsAllopathic Medicine
Osteopathic Medicine
Broadreach CollegeAllopathic Medicine
Osteopathic Medicine
Veterinary Medicine
Columbia University Summer ProgramsAllopathic Medicine
Osteopathic Medicine
Veterinary Medicine
Public Health
COPE Health ScholarsAllopathic Medicine
Osteopathic Medicine
Gap Medics – Shadowing Internships AbroadAllopathic Medicine
Osteopathic Medicine
Physician Assistant
Public Health
Keck Graduate Institute Pre-Pharmacy Enrichment Summer ProgramPharmacy Claremont, California
Keck Graduate Institute Summer Explore Health ProfessionMedicine
Physician Assistant
Claremont, California
Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP)N/ANational
Teach For AmericaN/ANational
UC Berkeley School of Optometry Opto-CampOptometryNational
University of Colorado Wilderness & Emergency Medicine CourseAllopathic Medicine
Osteopathic Medicine
University of Illinois at Chicago Summer Pharmacy InstitutePharmacyNational
University of Vermont COM Summer Medical School Prep ProgramAllopathic Medicine
Osteopathic Medicine

Job Opportunities

Current Job Openings:

Manakai o Malama – Hiring for a Patient Liaison 

Manakai o Malama is an integrative health care practice bringing together the best of modern medicine and traditional healing arts. You will get practical clinical experience working alongside Hawaii’s premier integrative medical professionals. Our patient liaisons help support our providers through scheduling, pre and post-visit planning, special projects, patient telephone outreach, medical assistant support and customer service. We work with you to provide shadowing opportunities with all of our providers including medical, rehabilitative, and psychology providers. Gain valuable familiarity with the EPIC EMR system, medical terminology, pharmaceuticals, and clinic systems.

Contact: Hilary at info@manakaiomalama.com with your resume and availability.

Position: Patient Liaison Hours range from 16-32 hrs/week, contract work; $12/hour + professional shadowing opportunities

Location: 932 Ward Ave #600, Honolulu, HI 96814

Date posted: November 7th 2018

Some programs such as Physician Assistants (PA), Physical Therapists (PT), or Occupational Therapists (OT) require hands-on direct patient contact experience for entrance into their program. This type of experience can come from being a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA), Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), or Medical Assistant. CNA, EMT, and Medical Assistant positions require training. The links on the following table lead to the site of training available in Hawaii.

Hands-On Experience Training Sites
Other Nursing Programs
KCC Medical Assisting Program
Healthcare Training & Career Consultants

Obtaining experience as a CNA, EMT, Medical Assistant, Scribe, or any position in the healthcare team could lead to being exposed to the professions you may want to pursue in the future. Obtaining experience in non-healthcare related jobs can lead to providing proof of professionalism, build character, and obtain other skills that may be relevant for your future careers.

On-Going Job Opportunities
Scribe America
Clinical Labs of Hawaii
Peace Corps
Teach for America

The Student Employment and Cooperative Education (SECE) webpage is a page for UH system students to find on-campus jobs and other related opportunities. The Mānoa Career Center (MCC) has a lot of great resources such as career counseling, mock interviews, and workshops.

Other Job Resources


Certain health professional schools are beginning to look for candidates with research experience. Students who are interested in applying to a research-oriented program (e.g. MD-PhD) must pursue long-term and meaningful research experiences.

Research Programs (In-State):

Research ProgramWhen
Department of Native Hawaiian Health (DNHH) Summer Research Internship (SRI)Summer
Hawaiʻi Pacific Health (HPH) Summer Student Research Program (SSRP)Summer
Hawaii Pacific Neuroscience Summer Internship Program (HPN-SIP)Summer
IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE)Semester
JABSOM Trainees in Research OpportunitiesVaries
Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training Program (MHIRT)Year-Round
Queen’s Medical Center (QMC) Summer Research Internship (SRI)Summer
UH Cancer Center Summer Cancer Research InternshipSummer
UH Hilo Pacific Internship Programs for Exploring Science (PIPES)Summer
UH Mānoa Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP)Semester
Short-Term Research Experience for Underrepresented Persons (STEP-UP)Year-Round

Research Programs (Out-of-State):

Research ProgramWhen
Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Summer Undergraduate Research ProgramsSummer
American Dental Education Association (ADEA) Enrichment ProgramsVaries
Cornell University Summer Research OpportunitiesSummer
Diversity Summer Health-Related Education Program (DSHREP)Summer
Keck Graduate Institute Summer Undergraduate Research ExperienceSummer
National Science Foundation Varies
NIDA Summer Research Internship Program Summer
RIT Biomedical Summer Research OpportunitiesSummer
Student Opportunity Center Varies
Swarthmore College Summer OpportunitiesSummer

University of Hawaii at Manoa Funding Opportunities:

Organization NameEducation Level
Associated Students of the University of Hawaii at Manoa Undergraduate
Graduate Student OrganizationGraduate
Undergraduate Research Opportunities ProgramUndergraduate


Many health professional fields want to know if you understand the field that you are interested in and that type of knowledge can come from shadowing a professional in the field. For example, the 2015 data analysis of matriculating medical school students show that 94% have shadowed a physician or other healthcare professional. Shadowing opportunities can also be found in community service, internships, and volunteer opportunities. Students should double check in those areas when looking for shadowing opportunities.

Getting Started:

Think about what kind of professional you want to shadow and why you want to shadow them. Some possible outcomes of a shadowing experience include gaining clinical experience or getting a different perspective on your professional field of interest.

The following are considerations for those who are interested in shadowing a health professional. Be prepared for professionals to not allow you to shadow them. Some may not allow shadowing or others may believe there is too much legal risk. Keep trying!

The Ask:

The following are some considerations when asking a professional if you can shadow them:

  • Be sure to:
    • Research the professional before shadowing and ask about location, parking, or any other logistics you would need to know before going to shadow the professional.
  • Who to:
    • Try asking your family practitioner first.
    • Checking the phonebook or yellow pages may be a good place to start finding professionals.
    • Googling/Searching online hospital directories is also a good place to start finding professionals.
  • How to:
    • Have a high degree of professionalism when asking
    • Giving an updated resume or curriculum vitae (CV) to the professional is suggested when requesting to shadow a health professional.
    • Call or visit the professional. Sometimes emails may get lost or marked as spam.
    • State your career goals and why you would like to shadow them.

During the Shadowing Experience:

While you are shadowing a health care professional, here are some considerations:

  • Arrive 15 minutes early.
  • Have a high degree of professionalism in appearance, hygiene, clothing, and communication.
    • Some places may instruct you on what to wear, for example, if you need to wear scrubs.
    • Business attire is appropriate in most medical office settings.
    • Asking what the dress code beforehand may be helpful as well.
  • Keep a notepad or composition book.
    • Take notes during the shadowing experience.
    • Be sure to document the day, number of hours, facility, and any other important information so you can reflect on it later when applying for professional school.
  • Be ready to ask questions.
    • Think of some questions you would like to ask the health professional and try not to ask question you can simply find online.
    • Suggested Questions:
      • “What is your day to day routine like?”
      • “Why did you decide to pursue this field?”
  • Patient privacy is really important and may even be a reason you won’t be able to shadow some professionals.
    • Be sure to respect patient’s privacy.
    • Possibly educate yourself beforehand on privacy laws and HIPAA (Health Information Portability and Accountability Act).

After Shadowing:

Some considerations for after you shadowed a health care professional:

  • Be sure to write a “thank you” note.
  • If you have a good relationship with a professional you shadowed, possibly asking them for a letter of recommendation (LOR) is good for some professional schools require or recommend a LOR from a professional in that field.

Resources for Shadowing:

The American Osteopathic AssociationNational DirectoryEnter city and state or zip for contact information of practicing DOs in your area.
Gap MedicsContactCheck Website
Hawaii Pacific HealthHuman Resources Office
Proof of double negative TB results.
Send in immunization records.
Hawaii Pre-Health Career Corpsphcc@hawaii.edu1-Day shadowing for Corps members, up to 3 times/year. Must attend 1-on-1 HIPAA training.
Mark Kuioka, DDS, Honolulu, HawaiiMark Kuioka, mkuiokadds@gmail.comNo requirements, shadowing times available 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays
Sagawa Dental, Hilo, HawaiʻiDr. Kiana Shiroma, kianak@hawaii.edu, 808-956-8646Every other month on a Wednesday for 1/2 a day
Western University of Health Sciences, College of Optometry
Raquel Barbosa,
Email and notify Raquel your desired place to shadow