The Intern Experience

During the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation® (MHIF) summer research internship, you will be exposed to a vast array of clinical research and educational experiences. You will be matched with a physician and staff mentor, who will guide you through your clinical research project throughout the summer. This valuable exposure takes place at a nationally ranked and award-winning hospital, Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

In addition to many observations of surgery and procedures in the hospital, you will embark on several field trips to destinations including the University of Minnesota Heart Lab, medical device companies and research organizations. Weekly Lunch and Learn presentations from the renowned cardiologists at the Minneapolis Heart Institute® and other guest speakers will expose you to the wide range of research happening at MHIF, as well as their unique career paths.

While taking advantage of these educational experiences, your primary focus is contributing to meaningful clinical research projects that have the potential to be published in respected peer-reviewed journals and presented at national cardiovascular conferences. The summer is capped by a final poster presentation reception where interns present their impactful research, joined by nearly 150 guests, including the mentors.

Collaborating in a cohort of approximately 10 interns, together you are encouraged to explore what summers in Minnesota have to offer such as Minnesota Twins games, visits to Mall of America, hiking and much more!

Mentorship – Unique to this internship is valuable time with your physician and staff research mentors, who will aid you in carrying out meaningful research directly in a clinical research environment. This experience takes place at the Twin Cities’ #1 hospital and the #14 hospital in the United States according to U.S. News. Observational opportunities include observing open-heart surgery, visiting the catheterization lab, wound clinic and much more!



Field Trips– A valuable feature of the Twin Cities is the number of medical device companies which were founded and remain in the area. Through your visits there as well as to university laboratories and heart registry organizations you will experience innovation first-hand. These exposures also enable you to learn about the wide variety of different career choices in the field of medicine.



Lunch and Learns– During semi-weekly Lunch and Learns, you will hear from cardiologists at the Minneapolis Heart Institute® and guest physicians, who discuss the latest in research, techniques and updates in the field of cardiology in an intimate setting.



Poster Session– Throughout the summer, you will work on meaningful cardiovascular research. At the end of the summer, the clinical research interns present their findings at a poster session for their mentors, staff, family and invited guests.



Summer Fun – The Twin Cities of Minnesota offer many fun summer recreational activities. Throughout the summer, you are encouraged to take advantage of the numerous lakes, hiking trails, restaurants and other entertaining destinations throughout the Twin Cities and beyond!


Here are some quotes about the interns’ experience in the MHIF Research Internship program:

“My staff mentor was so knowledgeable and giving; she really made a difference to help me navigate the system and optimize my PI.”

“I learned a lot from the scientific services team, whether it was about statistics, organizing data or drawing conclusions.”

“When I first came, I didn’t fully know what a tremendous opportunity this would be.  The research and educational experiences were outstanding.  Then to join my physician with a patient and see how my research was connected was well beyond my expectations.”

 “Because of this experience, I was able to confirm my interest in becoming a doctor.  I also now have a better idea of whether I want, surgery vs clinic, etc. Also, I am now much more interested in making research a part of my career.”

“I was really struck by the collaboration not only at MHIF but at MHI as evidenced in the case conferences.  There was so much respect across the specialties; together, they found the right solution for the patient.  This is truly a special and exceptional place.” 

 “The approachability of the physicians and the insights about careers and medicine were a gift.”

“I felt part of a big, inclusive team versus being isolated doing lonely research.” 

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