Updated Hospital Policy: All Discovery Program Students will need to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

Northwestern Medicine Discovery Program North Chapter

Discovery Program North Chapter

Northwestern Medicine Discovery Program North Chapter

As part of Northwestern Medicine's commitment to building stronger communities, the NM Discovery Program’s mission is to create a pathway for the next generation of healthcare leaders by drawing on the talents of Northwestern Medicine's incredible team of healthcare professionals to provide STEM career exploration opportunities. The program is designed for students who otherwise would not be able to access these opportunities. Throughout the program, students will be exposed to a broad range of healthcare careers through tours, guest speakers, group discussion, and hands-on projects. In addition, the program fosters character and professional development, cultivates life skills, provides community service and leadership experience, and offers mentorship and networking opportunities. Meetings are held once a month, most often on Saturday mornings from 9:00 am–12:00 pm, during the school year at Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital in Lake Forest, Illinois.

*Please note, meeting dates, day of the week, times, and topics are subject to change. As of now we are planning to run the 2022-2023 Discovery Program primarily in person. Some sessions may continue to be virtual based on the topic. We will continue to monitor local and state guidelines. Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination will be required to participate.


  • Be at least 15 years of age.
  • High school is located in Lake county.
  • Be entering sophomore or junior year of high school. Seniors will be accepted on a limited basis.
  • Have an academic GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 GPA scale. Students with a GPA below 3.0 can explain any unique circumstances on their application and may still be considered.
  • Commit to the program, including attendance at all Discovery Program meetings and community service activities. No more than two excused absences are permitted per year.
  • Commit to abide by all Discovery Program guidelines and policies, including showing proof of the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Submit the completed application to the appropriate chapter.

Application Requirements

Incomplete applications, applications sent piecemail in multiple emails, or applications directed to the wrong location will not be reviewed. Applicants must submit the following:

  • Student must submit the completed application below.
    • Add your personal statement within the application: Describe why you are interested in discovering careers in health care. Please include why you are interested in this program specifically.
      • Successful applicants will be specific in their response.
      • Statement must meet the following criteria:
        • Typed in essay format
        • 300–500 words
        • Grammatically correct
      • We recommend you first draft your statement in a word document and copy and paste the finalized version into the application field.
    • Add your essay question response within the application: Please describe a local community health need and what recommendations you have to address it? Issues to consider as part of your response are: social determinants of health, budgetary constraints, local regulations, and community resources.
      • Essay must meet the following criteria:
        • Typed in essay format
        • 300–500 words
        • Grammatically correct
      • We recommend you first draft your essay in a word document and copy and paste the finalized version into the application field.
    • GPA – If your GPA falls below a 3.0, please describe any extenuating circumstances in the application. Do not exceed 500 words.
  • Academic recommendation
    • A recommendation form must be submitted by an academic reference (teacher, counselor, principal, etc.) by 5:00 pm on Friday, September 30, 2022.
  • Official school transcripts
    • Must be signed and sent by the school via email to NMDiscoveryProgramNorth@nm.org.
    • If necessary, your school can submit your transcript through a third party processing company to NMDiscoveryProgramNorth@nm.org by the application deadline.
    • Unofficial transcripts will not be accepted and will render your application incomplete.


2022 Applications have now closed. Please check back in August of 2023.


All complete applications are carefully reviewed by a committee. Applicants will receive a decision email from the Northwestern Medicine Discovery Program in late October 2022.

Due to the volume of applications, transcripts, and recommendation letters sent we are not able to notify students and school staff that we have received their application.


For questions about the application process, please email NMDiscoveryProgramNorth@nm.org.