About the BCC Internship Program

General Overview

The premedical UCSF Breast Care Center Internship Program is a highly competitive program in which we offer recent undergraduates and post-baccalaureate graduates the opportunity to gain 1-2 years of experience contributing to progress in basic science, clinical research, and patient care. Our vision is to sustain our program as a demonstration of a “Premedical Corps”, similar in spirit to the Peace Corps or Teach for America. In such programs, young people earn a stipend while gaining experience working in areas of high need for a few years before continuing their educational and professional journeys.

This program, created in 2005, has grown every year to include more robust experiences, larger and more impactful scientific research, as well as more hands-on training with patients and mentors. 


Program Objectives

  1. Create better doctors/health care professionals/researchers by exposing and preparing them for the future rigors and rewards of health care including developing a research project, conducting a clinical trial, assisting with integrating patient care, and collaborating in decision-making processes.

  2. Get assistance in clinical trials, research programs and clinical services where funding may not be available at this time (i.e., opportunities that are non-mainstream/more cutting edge or in the preliminary phase).

  3.  Infuse the current team with the excitement and enthusiasm of a highly motivated group of individuals.


Position Overview

Although each person applies under the same intern cohort, each position an intern will be accepted into is unique from all other positions.

Positions include:

  • Clinical research coordinators
  • Project management
  • Research assistant
  • Laboratory assistant
  • Administrative program management


A UCSF Breast Care Center intern's position consists of two main parts:

1. Projects: Each intern is given a group of projects to spearhead throughout their time with the Breast Care Center. They are guided by a mentor as well as the internship program leadership. Most interns throughout their service are also involved in: abstract publications, posters, manuscript publications, conferences, and symposiums.

Past projects our interns have worked on include:


In addition to their main work project, each intern, under the guidance of their mentor, picks a personal research project to pursue during their intern year. Each year culminates in an end-of-the-year public presentation on these research projects given to physicians, peers, and UCSF faculty and staff.

The most recent set of final presentations can be viewed here: http://bccinternship.ucsf.edu/intern-final-presentations.


2. Patient Support Corps: Every intern is required to participate in Patient Support Corps. This support program features student interns deployed as health coaches and patient advocates, in particular helping connect patients with relevant information, list questions, and make notes and recordings of visits with specialists. For more information on the Patient Support Corps, please visit: https://psc.ucsf.edu/


If becoming a UCSF BCC intern interests you, please check out our 'How to Apply' section for information on application requirements as well as deadlines for our upcoming internship cycle.


LEARN MORE: Dr. Laura Esserman accepts the Stanford Graduate School of Business Arbuckle Award 2016 and touches upon the importance of the Internship Program at minute 26:20

Laura Esserman Accepts the 2016 Ernest C. Arbuckle Award