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Summer Externship

The six-week Summer Externship is sponsored by the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and held at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in downtown Chicago.

This program offers unique and early clinical exposure related to the care of those with acute and chronic disabilities for comprehensive rehabilitation. Primarily, students will assist in the clinical management of patients admitted to the AbilityLab. In addition, students will participate in a research project in a rehabilitation related field. There will be ongoing didactic and in-service efforts directed at the M1-M2 student level.

Each student will spend two three-week rotations on separate inpatient rehabilitation services and have the opportunity to observe and participate in related clinical activities. By the end of the externship, each student is expected to write a research paper and present their project to the extern group and invited departmental faculty. Each student will be awarded a $3,000 stipend for participation in the program.

In previous years, students from many LCME- (allopathic) and AOA- (osteopathic) accredited medical schools across the United States have participated in this program. We have enjoyed the diverse medical school representation by students in this program, and we encourage any student (who is between their first and second years of medical school) to apply.


This program is open only to students between the first and second year of medical school. To apply, applicant must submit the online application, including uploads of the following items:

  • A Word document containing both your personal statement and curriculum vitae
  • A personal statement that includes your personal goals, why you are applying for this externship and what you hope to gain from the experience

How to Apply

The 2024 Summer Externship applications are now closed. The 2025 Summer Externship applications will open in November 2024.

The dates for the 2024 Summer Externship are June 3, 2024 through July 12, 2024.

Please note: The Summer Extern Program's logistics are dependent on COVID-19 precautions.  The program may be altered or cancelled depending on hospital infection control guidelines.

Contact Us

For more information on the program, please contact Keeley Barr at 312-238-2870 or

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