Project Healthcare


Project Healthcare (PHC) is an innovative and immersive volunteer program for enthusiastic and inspired college and post-baccalaureate students. Created by the Bellevue Hospital Center Emergency Department, PHC allows students the opportunity to experience and observe many different aspects of healthcare. The program is comprised of several weekly rotations which are based in the Emergency Department. It offers the committed student a unique healthcare experience, which is intended to furnish a wealth of knowledge about the numerous options for a career in healthcare. Rotations in other areas of the hospital, participation in research, and engagement with our community through a health fair project allows students to be involved in our dynamic community and gain the exposure they need to make educated career choices. Furthermore, lectures and weekly meetings provide students with a chance to discuss medical issues, including the practical problems that hospitals, patients, and medical staff encounter in the healthcare system.


PHC is a very demanding program, requiring a great deal of commitment on the part of the student. The 2016 program will begin on June 6 and end August 12, for a total of ten weeks.

The first week of the program is an extensive orientation that includes an introduction to the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Emergency Medicine and other rotation areas, informational lectures, and certification in CPR. For the remaining nine weeks of the program, participants should expect to work on average 25 hours a week in scheduled rotations, and should plan on working additional hours to prepare research and health fair projects. In addition, students are required to attend a weekly team meeting and public health course taught by one of our attending physicians.

Clinical rotations are scheduled randomly in five-hour blocks, seven days a week, from 7am-11pm. Participants should expect to be scheduled for at least three to four randomly assigned shifts per week. Rotations take place in the Emergency Department (Adult Emergency Services, Pediatric Emergency Services, Psychiatric Emergency Services, Urgent Care, the Emergency Ward/ICU, and Social Work), the Operating Room, and the Cardiac Catheterization Lab. Participants receive their schedules for the entire summer at the end of their orientation week.

During shifts, participants are expected to perform structured tasks that will assist doctors, nurses, social workers, patients, and administrators. These tasks include, but are not limited to, making up stretchers, stocking supplies, and patient transport. In addition, volunteers act as patient advocates, performing such duties as making phone calls on behalf of patients, monitoring patients’ length of stays, and interpreting. At times during the summer, participants may be asked to spend a shift collecting data for quality assurance research in addition to their assigned Project Healthcare research. All of these tasks provide an invaluable service to Bellevue, while at the same time offering students the unparalleled opportunity to observe and assist in clinical care.

Additional required activities include: ambulance ride along, health fair presentation, and team presentations of research study results at the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Emergency Medicine conference.

Additional optional activities include: participation in the Child-Life Program, and participation in the Reach Out and Read Program.

Application Process

Annually, the program accepts 50 students. We invite applications from mature, committed, and motivated students who fully accept the demands of Project Healthcare and have a willingness to participate enthusiastically in all aspects of the program. We encourage applications not only from students with a strong interest in healthcare (aspiring doctors, nurses, nurse-practitioners, physician assistants, clinical psychologists/psychiatrists, clinical social workers), but also from students who are uncertain about pursuing a career in healthcare.

Please note that housing is not provided as part of this program.

Please read the Frequently Asked Questions (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader) thoroughly before submitting your application. Applications consist of the online application form (will open on October 15, 2015 and close on February 1, 2016), an updated Resume/CV, personal statement, photo, and two letters of recommendation.

Letters of recommendation can be either mailed or emailed. Mailed letters must include a completed Letter of Recommendation cover sheet and by postmarked by February 1, 2016. Emailed letters do not need the cover sheet, but must include “Project Healthcare” in the subject line and sent to Lauren O’Donnell at by February 1, 2016.

Any questions or concerns can be directed to Lauren O’Donnell at


Lauren O'Donnell
Program Coordinator
PAVERS, Project Healthcare, and Research Internships
Ronald O. Perelman Department of Emergency Medicine