The Youth Residency program provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity for up to 30 HHS seniors in the Medical Academy to serve a residency in Northwestern Medicine Health System facilities.

Modeled after medical school residency programs, it provides students with intensive job shadowing and mentorship with healthcare professionals at the new Northwestern Medicine Hospital-Huntley and other clinical locations. In the program, students work one-on-one with medical professionals across a diverse array of healthcare fields in an authentic healthcare setting.


The program follows a blended format that allows students the flexibility to substitute time typically spent in the classroom, at top-tier healthcare facilities learning from medical professionals.  During the first quarter of instruction, students spend time in the classroom completing orientation and learning prerequisite knowledge and skills before rotations begin. 

Beginning with the second quarter, students typically schedule and attend one two-hour rotation per week.  Independent time and in-class time is spent researching in preparation for rotations, reflecting on learning experiences, and deepening understanding of the science behind various procedures and technologies observed.

Students receive a minimum of 2.5 hours of experience per week for the duration of the program. The hours will be accommodated outside the traditional school day, and the academic component of the class, including reflections and discussions on students’ hands-on experiences, will be delivered in a blended format.

Additional opportunities for volunteering or shadowing also will be offered, if available.

Time commitment

The Youth Residency program is a blended class which takes place 8th period, enabling students to leave campus early to attend rotations.  Students must provide their own transportation to and from clinical sites. Rotations take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays. 

Students will schedule one rotation each week on either Tuesday or Thursday (students may skip a week if necessary to accommodate their schedule, however this may make it necessary to double up in a subsequent week). 

Most rotations are offered from 2:15-4:15 p.m., while some are also available from 4:30-6:30 p.m., and a few are available from 8:00-10:00 p.m. to offer more flexibility in scheduling.  Students must complete all rotations.  Once rotations begin, students should also be prepared to spend 2-3 hours per week of independent work time, and attend one in-class session per week.


Candidates for the Youth Residency program must:

  • Be inducted into the HHS Medical Academy
  • Have earned a 3.5 cumulative weighted GPA through the first semester of their junior year (Students who have earned a cumulative weighted GPA of 3.3 will be considered if space permits)
  • Have earned 8 academic points through prior Medical Academy coursework

Selection Criteria

The maximum number of students that may enroll in the Youth Residency program each year is 30.  As such, students who are chosen for the Youth Residency will exemplify the Raider Way by being respectful, responsible, and involved.  Students will be evaluated and selected based on the following criteria:

  • GPA  – It is intended that all Youth Residents will have earned a cumulative weighted GPA of 3.5 through the first semester of their junior year.  While students who have earned at least a 3.3 GPA will be considered if space permits, higher priority may be given to students earning a GPA above 3.5.
  • Teacher evaluations – Given that the Youth Residency program requires students to demonstrate professionalism, responsibility, and strong interpersonal skills, students will be evaluated by their medical academy teachers in areas of class participation, motivation, academic integrity, punctuality and attendance, and the like.
  • Job shadow and reflection – By independently arranging and completing the job shadow requirement, students will demonstrate their ability to take initiative and follow through on a responsibility, in addition to giving them a small taste of what Youth Residency rotations are all about.  The written reflection will provide a sample of students written communication skills.
  • Interviews  – Potential candidates will have the opportunity to discuss their interest in the Youth Residency program during student interviews, while demonstrating professionalism and verbal communication skills.
  • Investment in HHS Medical Academy – It is intended that students who have invested themselves in the many opportunities to explore the medical field offered at HHS are able to get the most out of it.  Ideal candidates will have earned abundant academic credit in medical coursework and show involvement in medically related extracurricular opportunities such as the Medical Club and/or HOSA, volunteer hours, and job shadowing.


While historically some high schools have been able to provide select students some level of in-person experience in healthcare, the combination of Huntley High School’s nationally recognized blended learning program and its groundbreaking partnership with Northwestern Medicine Health System has enabled the school to offer what it believes to be an only-of-its-kind experience.

By offering the class in blended format, students are able to meet some state-mandated “seat time” hours through online work. This enables them to leave campus at designated times during the school day as well as complete additional hands-on experiences after school.

The residency format takes students through rigorous rotations in nearly every department of Northwestern Medicine Health System, from radiology to the emergency room.


Northwestern Medicine Hospital-Huntley opened in August 2016 as just the third new hospital to be constructed in Illinois in the past 35 years. The 384,000 square-foot, 128-bed facility offers state-of-the-art technology and a diverse staff of medical professionals to help provide an excellent experience to Medical Academy students.

The partnership behind the Youth Residency Program is mutually beneficial, offering HHS students a one-of-a-kind experience while providing Northwestern Medicine with a potential pipeline of homegrown talent for future in-demand positions.