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From our interns: Pharmacy internship at Mayo Clinic


From our interns: Pharmacy internship at Mayo Clinic

Program overview

Program length: 10 weeks, starting mid-May annually
Application window: Nov. 15-Jan. 1
Class size: 8-10 students each summer
Location: Rochester, Minnesota
See eligibility requirements

The 10-week summer pharmacy internship at Mayo Clinic is specifically designed for pharmacy students interested in experiencing nearly every area of pharmacy practice at one of the largest, most advanced, integrated health care organizations in the world. Pharmacy interns work side-by-side with world class pharmacists, providers, scientists, and allied health staff who have a single, unified vision — the needs of the patient come first.

The purpose of the summer internship is to develop and refine skills in project management and professional development while participating in unparalleled mini-rotations experiences that offer insight into exciting career paths. Whether your future practice is in a hospital, community, or ambulatory care setting, Mayo Clinic’s pharmacy internship introduces learners to virtually every area of the profession, including clinical, operational, informatics, research, and administration.


The internship curriculum is designed to focus on Mayo Clinic’s three interlocked shields that symbolize patient care, research, and education. Summer interns benefit from countless learning opportunities that will prepare you for the remainder of pharmacy school and eventual pursuit of postgraduate residency training.


Each year, the Department of Pharmacy places a call for intern project ideas from staff members needing assistance. Of the typical 40-50 ideas submitted, project scope can vary greatly - from simple tasks to full blown quality improvement or research projects. Depending on the project, one or more interns may be needed, and each intern selects a minimum of three-five unique projects during the 10-week program. Projects stem from any pharmacy practice setting and afford interns the chance to collaborate with different mentors. Interns are given autonomy to manage time dedicated to each project to assure successful completion. Project topics vary from year-to-year, but generally fall into the following areas:

  • Cost containment or pharmacoeconomic analyses
  • Education and training program development
  • Formulary management
  • Medication error reporting/root cause analyses
  • Medication use evaluations
  • Patient or disease state outcome assessments
  • Policy, procedure, protocol, or manual updates
  • Quality improvement projects
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Research or pilot studies
  • Staff development
  • Workflow redesign

Professional development

A staple of the internship experience is the professional development sessions where interns participate in a host of opportunities to prepare them for a successful pharmacist career. The curriculum is divided into two sections, including workshops and "Meet the Leaders" sessions nearly every Monday throughout the program. Workshops topics may include:

  • Abstract writing and poster development
  • Burnout and well-being
  • Curriculum vitae and letter of intent writing
  • Financial literacy
  • Institutional review board (IRB) basics
  • Interview considerations
  • Presentation development
  • Primary literature evaluation/journal club basics
  • Professional organization involvement
  • Residency preparation considerations
  • Soft skills
  • Time management

During "Meet the Leaders" sessions, the intern class networks with various pharmacist and pharmacy technician leaders from all areas of practice at Mayo Clinic. The informal classroom setting provides an ideal venue where leaders provide a short description of their career path and role, then answer any and all questions from interns. These sessions allow interns to gain insight on the multitude of career paths available within the professional and at Mayo Clinic. Over the course of the internship, up to 15 one-hour blocks are scheduled to network with leaders.


One day per week of the program is dedicated for interns to complete mini rotations in whatever area(s) of pharmacy practice they chose. The goal of this learning opportunity is to increase awareness of new practice settings and roles that pharmacists have as integral and valued members of the healthcare team. A typical mini rotation day is comprised of meeting with the pharmacy resident or pharmacist of the selected area, attending patient care rounds (as applicable), and then participating in topic or patient care discussions in the afternoon. For non-clinical rotations, the intern may attend meetings, complete small projects, and have discussion sessions with the resident or pharmacist preceptor.

At Mayo Clinic, there are a plethora of mini rotations, including but not limited to:

  • Administration and pharmacy leadership
  • Ambulatory care pharmacy
    • Cardiology
    • Dialysis
    • Hematology
    • HIV
    • Inflammatory bowel disease
    • Internal medicine
    • Oncology
    • Outpatient antimicrobial therapy
    • Pain rehabilitation
    • Pediatrics
    • Pharmacogenomics
    • Psychiatry
    • Transplant
  • Compounding pharmacy
  • Disaster management
  • Education and training
  • Formulary and contract management
  • Inpatient/hospital operations
  • Inpatient/hospital clinical
    • Cardiology
    • Critical care
    • Emergency medicine
    • Hematology
    • Infectious diseases
    • Internal medicine
    • Mechanical circulatory support device
    • Neurology
    • Nutrition support
    • Oncology
    • Operating room
    • Palliative care
    • Pediatrics
    • Psychiatry
    • Surgery
    • Transplant
  • Investigational drug services
  • Mail order
  • Managed care
  • Outpatient/community
  • Pharmacy informatics
  • Quality and compliance
  • Research
  • Specialty pharmacy

Admission and application details

Approximately 8-10 individuals are selected on a competitive basis for this project-based internship.


At the time of application, eligible candidates must be:

  • Currently attending classes as a second-year student pharmacist (P2) within a graduate-level PharmD curriculum
  • Currently enrolled in a Doctor of Pharmacy program in the U.S. that is either accredited or seeking accreditation
  • Be eligible for registration with the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy as an intern before the program begins
  • Meet Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences admission requirements

Individuals who completed pharmacy school are not eligible for this program.

Application instructions

The application cycle for the summer internship opens Nov. 15. Your application and all supporting documentation must be received by Jan. 1 of the year you wish to begin the internship.

Complete the following steps to apply:

  1. Create an account to begin the online Application for Admission
    • Select – Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences
    • Select – Pharmacy Internship
  2. Complete each section of the application and submit
    • Under education, add the college of pharmacy you are attending
      • If your college of pharmacy is not listed, select any
    • Do not include high school information
  3. After submission, view the required supplemental items and documents
    • Upload each additional required item (outlined below) in the supplemental items section
  4. Complete the recommendation request section
    • One recommendation is required
    • Recommender will receive an email to complete a recommendation form and may elect to upload a letter
    • Choose an individual who is familiar with your professional qualifications and potential for success in the field of pharmacy

Additional required items

The following documents need to be uploaded to the supplemental items section:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Letter of intent that includes the following:
    • Your reason(s) for pursuing an internship at Mayo Clinic
    • Where and how you see this program helping you grow as a health care professional
    • Maximum of one page
  • Unofficial College of Pharmacy transcripts
    • Applicants do not need to wait until the end of the semester for final grades to post
    • Do not upload non-pharmacy school transcripts

Interview details

Upon review of all submitted applications, individuals will be contacted mid-to-late February via email. Select candidates will be invited for a virtual interview. Final offers will be made no later than mid-March. Your reply is expected within one week of the offer.

Hours, stipend, and housing

The internship is intended to be Monday through Friday, daytime hours only. Interns are expected to manage their time accordingly based on project assignments, mentor meetings, and availability of mini rotation experiences. If the intern requests time away due to illness, family emergency, or other reasonable request(s), the Program Director and intern will identify a date(s) and time(s) for missed time to be made up.

There will be no fees to participate in the internship, and you will receive a competitive stipend. Mayo Clinic does NOT provide housing during the internship.

Accreditation information

See accreditation information for Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science.

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