Launched in 2021, the OSI introduces rising second-year medical students primarily from populations underrepresented in medicine (UIM) to the field of oncology. The immersive program, which is part of ASCO’s efforts to strengthen and diversify the oncology workforce, began as a cohort of five schools and has expanded each year since.

In 2024, 73 students from 15 medical schools will participate in a hybrid curriculum developed by ASCO and the participating school’s internship leaders. The 2024 curriculum outline is included below:

  • May 13 – June 2, 2024: OSI Orientation Activities Hosted by ASCO

  • Summer 2024: In-person Shadowing & Networking Activities Hosted by Medical School

  • August – December 2024: Monthly Virtual Activities Hosted by ASCO 

  • Quarterly during the 2024 OSI cohort’s MS2: In-Person Engagement Hosted by Medical School 

Learn more about the current cohort in the OSI News Release from May 2024.

Host Site Information 

ASCO recruits host sites every 1-2 years, dependent on student enrollment at returning sites and funding availability, to partner with them to pilot the Oncology Summer Internship (OSI) at their medical school. The internship is delivered in partnership between ASCO and each host site.

The host site responsibilities include: 

  • Marketing and distributing the OSI application to their 1st year students.

  • Selecting their student cohort.

  • Identifying faculty and organizing their students' shadowing schedules.

  • Organizing networking meals and social events for their cohort.

Institutions interested in applying to serve as a host site must meet the following criteria: 

  • Must be an accredited MD or DO program in the United States. 

  • Must have sufficient oncology faculty at the institution or in the local area to provide shadowing experiences for each of their OSI students at least 4 days per week. 

  • The minimum faculty requirement is 12 oncology professional faculty. 

  • Must be able to implement the OSI for 4-weeks in the Summer, between June to August.

  • Current MS1 students’ curriculum must allow for full participation in all internship activities. 

  • Must demonstrate a commitment to increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the field of medicine. 

For the 2024 internship, ASCO added four new medical schools to the OSI cohort, bringing the total of OSI host sites to fifteen medical schools. The 2024 program application was open to all U.S. medical schools with an associated cancer center, oncology department/division, or accredited oncology fellowship training program. Schools were selected based on ability to meet the program requirements, their demonstrated commitment to raising awareness of the oncology workforce which may result in expanded opportunities within the field, as well as the strength of their plan for supporting their students’ oncology interests during the OSI and beyond. ASCO will announce the next call for applications for the OSI in Summer 2025.

ASCO Support

ASCO will fund up-to (5) students at each site and provides the following financial assistance. Sites may elect to independently cover the costs of additional participants at their school. 

  • ASCO provides to each site $1200 per student participant to sites to host their social/networking events (sites will receive $1200 x their school's # of ASCO-funded OSI students).

  • Each student receives a $5000 salary stipend to support their participation in the clinical internship and $1500 to support their attendance at the ASCO Annual Meeting for the mandatory Orientation Session.

In addition to financial support, ASCO hosts the application, develops the overall curriculum and program structure, disburses the stipends directly to the students, provides templates to assist in organizing the in-person activities, and hosts the educational components of the internship.

​Student Enrollment & Experience

The OSI is intended to strengthen and diversify the oncology professional workforce by introducing rising second year students, primarily from underrepresented in medicine populations to the field of oncology. For this program’s purposes, UIM refers to individuals from racial and ethnic groups including Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders; individuals with disabilities; and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. In addition, ASCO recognizes that underrepresentation can vary from setting to setting; and can include those with impacted life experiences, such as discrimination, socioeconomic status, historically underserved, or otherwise individuals from racial or ethnic groups that can be demonstrated to be underrepresented by the applicant’s institution. Since the OSI is implemented in partnership between ASCO and participating medical schools across the United States, each site employs their own eligibility criteria that aligns with their school's individual mission, standards, and circumstances. Eligibility criteria is made available by each site during the student application period. 

Application Process:

ASCO develops and hosts the student application, and students apply for the internship through ASCO's application portal between November to January in their 1st year of medical school. ASCO provides submitted application materials to participating host sites for them to select their cohort. Students are formally invited by ASCO to participate in the program between February to March in the same year as the internship.

Student Experience:

Students can expect to receive their OSI stipends directly from ASCO. The $1,500 Annual Meeting stipend is disbursed in March-April and the $5,000 salary stipend is disbursed 1-2 months prior to the start of the clinical internship period. Participants should plan to reside local to their medical school campus for the duration of the OSI and be fully available for internship activities between Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. during the clinical internship dates. Additionally, there is a mandatory in-person orientation at the ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL for which participants will be required to travel.

During the internship, students will be actively observing oncology professionals as they deliver care and make clinical decisions in oncology clinics, hospitals, research labs, and other settings. Students will observe a variety of oncology subspecialties during the 4-week internship, and can expect to shadow medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgical oncologists, pathologists, oncology trainees, and more. Each week, students also attend a Tumor Board or multidisciplinary case forum as well as 1-2 networking events to connect with their cohort, site leaders, and faculty over a meal or social activity.

Following the summer internship, students are invited to participate in ASCO virtual mentoring and education activities to continue exploring their oncology interests. Host sites also organize activities to keep the cohort connect and introduce OSI graduates to opportunities in oncology. 

Please contact ASCO Professional Development with questions.

The Oncology Summer Internship Program is funded through Conquer Cancer®, the ASCO Foundation, by these generous donors: Bristol Myers Squibb, Gilead Sciences, Inc., McKesson Foundation, Novartis Oncology, R & D Impact Foundation, and Conquer Cancer Mission endowment.

Bristol Myers Squibb Conquer Cancer Mission Endowment Gilead Novartis
McKesson Foundation R&D Impact Foundation