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Unpaid Internship
Sacramento and Roseville

This unpaid internship in Sacramento provides an opportunity for a med-school-bound, upper-division undergraduate (or recent graduate) to gain valuable knowledge and skills through hands on experience in clinical research.

Aims of the Program

  1. To grasp the mechanics of clinical research and the motives that drive it. To comprehend what it means to perform clinical research, we read and discuss research methods using Browner and Newman et al. Designing Clinical Research, fifth edition (Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer, 2022). Interns will become familiar with Human Subject Protection and Health Information Privacy. 

  2. To develop a working understanding of the medical topic at hand. Topics have included the cardioversion of atrial fibrillation, deep vein thrombosis diagnosis and management, pulmonary embolism risk stratification and treatment, the safety of procedural sedation in emergency medicine, emergency reduction of long-bone fractures and dislocations, and the safety of central venous catheterization.

  3. To participate substantively in data collection and data analysis. Interns also learn how to compose an abstract for a national meeting and, when appropriate, learn how to write a manuscript. They often get a chance to present their work at a national meeting and serve as co-authors on publications arising from their projects.

  4. To get acquainted with broader issues of health care delivery in the U.S. Current books include Robert Pearl's Mistreated: Why We Think We're Getting Good Health Care—and Why We're Usually Wrong (New York: Public Affairs, 2017) and Atul Gawande's Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2014).

  5. To shadow an emergency physician during several shifts in the department in order to experience the "real world" of emergency medicine in a community hospital. 

  6. To fuel a passion for medicine. It is an exciting, challenging, and meaningful profession. Cf. Sachin H. Jain, A Letter To Premedical Students: Stay The Course. Forbes. Jan 23, 2016.

Location and length of program 

The internship is based out of one of our medical centers in Roseville and Sacramento, California. Interns need to be sufficiently local to meet in person on a regular basis. The duration of the internship varies with the project and the intern. Current internships require a part-time commitment for at least 9-12 months. College credit may be available at your university. To date, we have secured credit from UC Berkeley, UC Davis, CSU Sacramento, and UN Reno. 

Qualifications of a Successful Intern 

Interns should be excited to learn! Qualities of successful interns include quick learners, curious about medicine, personable, easy to work with, diligent, responsible, trustworthy, and attentive to detail. An undergraduate GPA of 3.6 and MCAT score 500 or higher is required. 

Application Process

Applicants should submit a resume (aka CV), a letter of interest, and the names and contact information of three references to David R Vinson ( Eligible candidates will then go on to a conversational interview at Starbucks (or Peet's). Current or prior research interns are available as references on our end as well if applicants would like to get an insider's viewpoint on the program. 


The summer/fall 2023 position has been filled. Those interested in a 2024 position should contact David for an update. 

More Information

Click here for information on our research interns and their projects. 

Click here for more on our Sacramento department's research division. 

Click here for more information on the director of the Sacramento/Roseville internship. 

Contact David R. Vinson, MD ( for more information. Future projects have not yet been defined.

Paid Research Assistant Position

The Bay Area program began in 2010 and is designed for research assistants employed by the KP CREST Network. Its director is emergency physician, clinical researcher, author, and hiker Dustin Ballard, MD, MBE, ( who practices at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, San Rafael, CA. Dr Ballard is also the medical director of the Marin County EMS system. 

Click here for more information on our research interns and their projects.

Contact Dr. Ballard for more information on the Bay Area internship. 

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