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Job Shadows & Observations

Are you interested in the medical field? Job shadows and clinical observations are the perfect way to get a real-life glimpse into the day-to-day experiences of clinical and non-clinical healthcare professionals at Gundersen. We encourage you to apply today and kickstart a career you’ll love.

How to apply

Job shadows vs clinical observations

Job shadows

Overview: During a job shadow, you’ll follow and observe a healthcare professional as they carry out their day-to-day responsibilities. You won’t have any physical contact with patients. You’ll walk away with a better understanding of the discipline and whether it may be a good fit for you.  

Qualifications: Job shadows are reserved for those who are at least 16 years old and may include: high school students*, college students and post-secondary students. 

Length: Job shadows are limited to 1-5 experiences ranging from 2-8 hours per experience.  

Application: You can apply now for job shadows at our affiliate locations in Boscobel, Wabasha, West Union, Moundview, Whitehall, Prairie du Chien, Hillsboro, Sparta and Tri-State Ambulance.

Clinical observations

Overview: Clinical observations—required by your course of study or educational institution—will provide you with a more comprehensive look at the day-to-day responsibilities of your chosen healthcare career. 

Qualifications: Observation hours are reserved for those who are at least 18 years old, currently enrolled in a post-secondary institution and who have an educational requirement for their medical course, program and/or application process. 

Length: Typically, we aim for no more than 60 observation hours. However, we’ll try our best to accommodate the total number of observation hours required by your educational institution.  

Gundersen employees who are interested in job shadowing for career exploration purposes should schedule an appointment with one of the career advisors in the Career Development Center. Those needing clinical observation hours should fill out and submit the corresponding application.

Application process

If you’re applying for a job shadow or a clinical observation at Gundersen, you must review our policies and complete the required application forms at least 30 days prior to your requested experience.

How to apply

Frequently asked questions

Is there an age requirement to job shadow?

The minimum age to job shadow at Gundersen is 16 years old.

Note: Job shadows for high school students are on hold until further notice.  


How do I sign up for a job shadow?

Visit our Job Shadows & Observations Application page for an application form and complete details. 

I have friends who work at Gundersen and they've said I could shadow them. Can I schedule with them?

No. Everyone must complete an application form. We've provided space on the application for you to annotate someone at Gundersen who you've already spoken to about this opportunity. We'll see your notes and reach out to them upon processing your application. 

I want to explore a variety of career options. Can I schedule more than 1 job shadow?

Gundersen receives hundreds of job shadow requests each month. Because of the volume of requests, we limit job shadow experiences to 1-5 experiences ranging from 2-8 hours per experience.  

I've received a job shadow mentorship assignment. How do I schedule a mentorship?

You cannot schedule a mentorship. Unfortunately, Gundersen does not have the capacity to accommodate this request. 

Are there healthcare career exploration opportunities for students under age 16?

Yes. Opportunities are available for students in middle school or elementary school. Guest speaker requests and some tours may also be available depending upon the group size and ages of students. 

Gundersen also co-sponsors 2 free “Pathways to a Healthcare Career” annual open house events per year for students in grades 7-12 to meet with representatives from a variety of departments. For more information, email [email protected].  

Are there any departments within Gundersen that do not allow job shadows?

Yes. Because of the sensitive nature of our work, there are some departments which can’t allow job shadows. If you wish to ask about a specific department, please email [email protected].  

In which Gundersen locations are job shadows available?

We can set up a job shadow at nearly all of our Gundersen Health System locations, including our critical access hospitals and affiliate facilities. 

Find a career to love
Gundersen gave me the opportunity to shadow different departments in both their hospital and clinic. Because of them, I learned more about the vast departments of medicine and have gained a clearer picture of what career path [in medicine] I want to take as I continue my education. I will always be grateful to all the doctors, nurses and staff that I had the pleasure to shadow for their guidance and tutelage.

What sets us apart

Aerial view of Gundersen's lacrosse campus.

About us

Our physician-led, integrated system spans 7 hospitals and 65 clinics in neighboring communities to provide primary and specialty care to patients in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa.  

More about Gundersen

Life at Gundersen

Around here, loving your job is part of the job. We're a community of caregivers, committed to the health and well-being of all.

Why you'll love it here


Together, we are something extraordinary. Inside Gundersen, you’ll find a supportive and respectful culture that empowers you to flourish and make a positive impact. 

Find your career
Contact our team

We’re here to answer your questions about job shadows and observations.  

Email us

1900 South Ave.
La Crosse, WI 54601

(608) 782-7300

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