What We Do
Atlantis is the global leader in healthcare experiential education in and surrounding the college years. We have run programs for almost 15 years, and Atlantis alumni, after participating in Atlantis and graduating from college, have gone on to attend almost all medical schools in the U.S. We operate short-term programs (1-10 weeks) over school breaks, aimed at U.S. undergraduates, and taking place primarily in the U.S. and Europe. Medical schools want 3 things: healthcare exposure, GPA/MCAT, and certain competencies; Atlantis gives students the best version of the 1st, frees them to focus on the 2nd, and cultivates/shows the 3rd to medical school admissions committees.
We pre-meds go to study abroad fairs and are disappointed because none of the options are a fit for us since they don’t include the classes we need. I might have taken 5 brochures out of 200 programs at the fair, because none of them offer upper-level classes that fit a pre-med schedule, like physics, organic chemistry etc.
#1 Provider of Pre-Health Study Abroad
A very large share of pre-meds in the U.S. study abroad for a few weeks or months, but they often do so in generalist study abroad programs, which is what many universities offer. These are often great programs in themselves, but they rarely are also one of the best clinical experiences in the student’s college years, which is often the case with Atlantis, according to many of our alumni.
Moreover, many of our alumni initially didn’t plan on going abroad during college as they worried it wouldn’t be worth the effort and money as far as their professional future goes; but Atlantis’s model made going abroad worth it as it combined a great clinical experience with an abroad element. We believe this is part of the reason why Atlantis is the leader in pre-health experiential education and education abroad.
Our Alumni Enter Great Medical Schools
- Atlantis '17
- Brigham Young University '19
- Washington U. in St. Louis MD '23
- Atlantis '17
- U. of Arizona '18
- Duke MD '23
- Atlantis '17
- Stanford '19
- Mayo Clinic MD '24
- Atlantis '18
- U. of Montana '19
- U. of Washington MD '24
- Atlantis '19
- Eckerd College '20
- Indiana U. MD '25
- Atlantis '16
- Amherst '19
- Columbia MD '24
- Atlantis '16
- U. of Maryland '17
- U. of Michigan MD '22
- Atlantis '18
- Louisiana Tech '20
- U. of Arkansas MD '24
- Atlantis '18
- U. of Kentucky '20
- U. of Kentucky MD '24
What’s an Atlantis Program?
- 50–200+ shadowing hours
- 1–10 weeks over academic breaks
- Multiple specialties (1 per week)
- Clean group housing, several meals, insurance, excursions & more
- Some programs are multi-country
- Some programs do a Service-Research Project
I was impressed by the organization of the program and the enthusiastic welcome from the hospitals and physicians. Atlantis is run in an extremely ethical manner, and it is clear that the students have the opportunity to benefit enormously from their experiences. Atlantis provides an ethical and safe opportunity for students to explore their interests in medicine, and to experience health care systems that are different from those in the United States.
Pre-health advisors are constantly looking for valuable opportunities to share with our students and this is hands-down one to recommend. As we become a more global society, it is important that students experience global medicine.
I could not have been more impressed with Atlantis, and their staff. I have never before witnessed host hospitals so excited to be working with pre-med students. The quality, combination of experiences, and intention of the program is so evident…Atlantis comes with my highest recommendation, and I look forward to a long working relationship and many student group trips in the future.
Our university had a fantastic experience with Atlantis in Lisbon, Portugal. Our 11 students were able to shadow some major surgeries at their hospital and could easily spend hours talking about their experiences. All of the Atlantis staff were very welcome and helpful, especially our on-site manager—he was always there to lead us around and to troubleshoot. We will definitely be reaching out to Atlantis for future clinical experiences!
I visited Atlantis in June, and we traveled to three sites near Madrid, including Zaragoza and Toledo. I think my favorite from a tourist perspective was Toledo, and I also like the housing there for students. From a clinical perspective, I liked Zaragoza, as the doctors there were very accommodating, and it was large with lots of medical specialties. Madrid was also interesting, being a large capital city, and the central point for students when they arrive for their orientation, which was very well planned.
Working with Atlantis and creating our first customized short-term program for our Pre-med students was very rewarding for me and my students. Atlantis staff is very detail oriented and will make this process as smooth as possible…I am happy with our partnership and I look forward to more ideas and ways to give our pre-med students opportunities to experience hospital shadowing in their field.
The opportunities Atlantis has created for our students at the University of Arizona are amazing. With almost 9,000 Pre-Health students, we have a tremendous need for programming and Atlantis has created a niche for these students to not only study abroad, but gain experience shadowing in European hospitals. The students were provided an incredible experience this first summer in Toledo and Zaragoza and we look forward to sending more students on Atlantis programs in the future.
The program is well-organized and well-staffed, with sufficient resources to accommodate student needs. The housing which we saw was safe and comfortable, in central locations convenient to transportation and to the shadowing sites. Students can also take advantage of the weekly cultural activities and excursions, unique to the various shadowing locations, offered in conjunction with the program.
Some of Our University & Hospital Partners
Pre-health students from any university can apply to Atlantis. However, we design custom group programs for universities, from a top 5 U.S. university to large state schools, exposing students to a wide range of hospital environments and cultures. The below is just a small sample.
MD With Years Of Experience Advising Elite Pre-meds Explains Atlantis
Our Alumni Have Gone on to 40 of the Top 50 MD Programs
|Top 50 MD
|Harvard University||Yes||4%||10 Nobel Prizes,
|New York University
|No||2%||4 Nobel Prizes|
|Duke University||Yes||4%||3 Nobel Prizes|
|Columbia University||Yes||4%||5 Nobel Prizes|
|Stanford University||Yes||2%||8 Nobel Prizes|
|University of California
– San Francisco
|Yes||4%||6 Nobel Prizes|
|Yes||7%||22 Nobel Prizes|
|Yes||5%||4 Nobel Prizes|
|No||5%||4 Nobel Prizes,
Oldest US Medical School
|Yale University||No||6%||4 Nobel Prizes|
|Mayo Clinic School
of Medicine (Alix)
|Yes||3%||Served every US president
since Abraham Lincoln
in St. Louis
|Yes||8%||19 Nobel Prizes|
|Yes||5%||2 Nobel Prizes|
|Vanderbilt University||No||6%||2 Nobel Prizes|
|Yes||6%||3 Nobel Prizes|
|University of Michigan
– Ann Arbor
|Yes||5%||2 Nobel Prizes|
|Icahn School of
Medicine at Mount Sinai
|Yes||5%||1 Nobel Prize,
First Blood Tranfusion
|Yes||4%||1 Nobel Prize|
|Yes||4%||1 Nobel Prize,
Dr. Fauci’s alma mater
|University of California
– San Diego
|Yes||4%||8 Nobel Prizes|
|U. of California
– Los Angeles (Geffen)
|No||3%||1 Nobel Prize|
|Yes||5%||First Coronary Bipass|
|Emory University||Yes||3%||First & only to
treat US Ebola patients
|University of North
|Yes||4%||2 Nobel Prizes|
|Yes||7%||5 Nobel Prizes|
|U. of Texas
Southwestern Medical Center
|Yes||8%||6 Nobel Prizes,
basic mechanism of
|No||3%||First human liver transplant|
|Yes||6%||Discovery that HIV causes AIDS|
|Oregon Health &
|No||5%||Renowned for primary care,
rural & family medicine
Southern California (Keck)
|Yes||5%||Research leader in
|Yes||12%||3 Nobel Prizes,
Discovery of LGL Leukemia
Alabama – Birmingham
|Yes||6%||Invention of the endoscope|
|Boston University||Yes||6%||1 Nobel Prize|
heart bypass &
Wisconsin – Madison
|Yes||6%||“Mohs” surgery to
treat skin cancer
|Yes||3%||1 Nobel Peace Prize|
|No||6%||3 Nobel Prizes|
College of Medicine
Department in US
|Yes||7%||Fourteen faculty in the
National Academy of Medicine
|Yes||6%||1 Nobel Prize, First
artificial heart implant
|Yes||10%||World’s First DNA Bank|
|No||6%||Alumni considered “Fathers”
of Immunology & Oncology
|Yes||3%||First clinical x-ray
and first ICU
Massachusetts – Worcester
|Yes||9%||1 Nobel Prize|
to cure paralysis
California – Davis
Total-body PET Scanner
California – Irvine
|Yes||4%||1 Nobel Prize|
A Leader in Pre-Health Education
Atlantis has presented at several conferences, including the 2021 annual meeting of the ASPPH, one of the top healthcare academic conferences in the world.
Atlantis has also presented at several regional pre-health advisor conferences, including NEAAHP 2021.
Being the Leader Should Mean Being an Innovator
Atlantis is the global leader in healthcare experiential education in and surrounding the college years. And with that comes the responsibility to innovate. The following are all innovations spearheaded by Atlantis in our programs: our 360 Shadowing methodology, our European shadowing focus, our Service-Research Projects model, our Uniqueness Projects approach, our partnership with Uplift for financing, the inclusion in some of our programs of a pre-med Harvard Medical School HMX course which brings with it the potential to earn a certificate from Harvard Medical School, and the topics we have presented at academic conferences (specifically about innovation on healthcare experiential education — see here and here, for example). These innovations ultimately better enable our programs to fulfill our mission: to help build a world where doctors love their jobs and their patients can sense that.
Atlantis Connect Conference
In 2018, Atlantis hosted the Atlantis Connect Conference at the Italian Embassy in Washington, D.C. Over 100 medical school staff & faculty, hospital administrators, physicians, and others from the U.S. and Europe shared ideas on how to make cross-border collaboration more effective in healthcare.
- Dr. Onyinye D. Balogun, Weill Cornell Medicine
- Dr. Ranieri Guerra, World Health Organization
- Dr. Yukari Manabe, Johns Hopkins University
- John Rother, National Coalition on Health Care
- Stefano Lami, Science Counselor, Embassy of Italy
This is a fantastic program that provides an immeasurably valuable opportunity for students. Not only because the affiliated medical professionals are exceptionally engaged with the interns, but because the exposure to other cultures and other medical systems is important to being a well-informed, broad-minded physician.
As the Pre-Health Counselor for my university I caution my students to practice the observation based shadowing guidelines recommended by the AAMC especially when traveling overseas. During the trip we talked to physicians and fellows who knew that because this was an Atlantis sponsored trip, they were expected to follow these guidelines and were very excited about the opportunity to work and learn together.
Atlantis programs fill a unique niche in study-abroad offerings that meet the specific needs of pre-health students. The staff are extremely knowledgeable and committed to increasing global exchange in the medical arena.
After visiting a few of the sites, and speaking with students, administrators, and participating physicians, I’m very comfortable recommending Atlantis to our students. They are very aware of, and follow, ethical guidelines, which is important for any program our students may choose to go on. It’s a flexible, mutually beneficial way for students to get shadowing experience at the same time as learning about a healthcare system different from their own.
Atlantis was great to work with and was very professional. […] The hospital was small, so the students had the opportunity to work closely with the healthcare providers. […]. Overall, it was a great experience.
It was reassuring to see how well the experiences are organized, and details are attended to so that students can feel safe, comfortable and welcomed. The hospital site visits were quite helpful as well, and it was clear that students are placed in settings that provide valuable experiences.
The undergraduate students spoke highly of the Atlantis and hospital staff, and the overall intensity of the program. The hospital doctors, residents, nurses, and administration were impressed with the work-ethic of the Atlantis Fellows. Overall, I would highly recommend this program to any students considering medical school or another health-related profession.
During a recent visit to Atlantis sites in Spain, I had the opportunity to visit several clinical locations where students shadow. The clinical facilities were impressive but more impressive was the dedication to teaching that I observed among the clinical staff. This is a high-quality shadowing opportunity that adheres strictly to the AAMC guidelines and provides students with different experiences than they are likely to have in the US.
If students can afford it, I highly recommend this experience. There were better opportunities for clinical observations than in many parts of the US. Doctors there are used to having medical students observe patients and procedures during the school year, and during the summer the pre-meds can take their place. And many doctors seemed to welcome the opportunity to have conversations with the US pre-meds…I would highly recommend this experience to any pre-med students.
Specialization in Medicine…And Also In Education
If you needed heart surgery, you wouldn’t seek a generalist doctor, since there are benefits to specialization. Similarly, almost everything we do is in healthcare, which is part of the reason we’ve been able to contribute to the success of our alumni the way we have.
A very large share of pre-meds in the U.S. study abroad for a few weeks or a few months during their undergraduate years, but they often do so in generalist study programs, which is what many universities offer. These are often great programs in themselves, but they miss an opportunity to also contribute to students’ healthcare path. Atlantis brings the best of study abroad, while also contributing to (A)students’ healthcare paths, and (B) society’s need for doctors who are committed and passionate for their fields.
Who Are You?
Public Health Program
Study Abroad Office
“We pre-meds go to study abroad fairs and are disappointed because none of the options are a fit for us since they don’t include the classes we need. I might have taken 5 brochures out of 200 programs at the [study abroad] fair, because none of them offer upper-level classes that fit a pre-med schedule, like physics, organic chemistry etc.” – Nicole C., Atlantis ‘20, Lehigh University ‘21
Europeans Have Higher Life Expectancies
Yet Spend Far Less on Healthcare
More On (Non-Shadowing) Service-Research Projects
Unlike our shadowing programs, which focus on observing healthcare professionals across multiple specialties, Atlantis Service-Research Projects are an opportunity to learn full-time from an Atlantis Project Leader, inside an elite healthcare organization, in a real project with members of management and administration, while performing a highly impactful service – a unique mix.
Past Project Example
Date: 2020 and 2021 during the pandemic.
Healthcare Organization: Children’s National Hospital, Washington, D.C., one of the best pediatric hospitals in the U.S.
Context: Preparation for the 2021 Community Health Needs Assessment, measuring Childhood Opportunity in D.C. metropolitan neighborhoods and working with other organizations to promote racial equity in healthcare.
Executive Summary: Students measured what were major drivers behind low levels of childhood opportunity (measured by COI, Childhood Opportunity Index). They provided a historical perspective on D.C. neighborhoods, focusing on racial equity, and created community engagement tools.
Deliverables: Interim & Final presentations, Tableau visualizations, manuscript, interview guides including engagement tools (e.g., email & social media templates), focus group templates, stakeholder master list including their contacts, and historical write-up of D.C. neighborhoods.
One Consequence: Atlantis and Children’s National Hospital institutionally co-presented on this model and project at several leading academic conferences, including the ASPPH, in 2021.
A Service-Research Project that Ran During the Pandemic, Was About the Pandemic, and Took Place in the Former Epicenter of the Pandemic in the Western World
At the San Matteo Hospital in Pavia, Italy, during the summer of 2021, Atlantis ran a Service-Research Project focused on the mental health of healthcare workers during the pandemic. Students learned from an Atlantis Project Leader by doing a project with this hospital. The project was done with and for some well-known doctors who were there when the pandemic first arrived (over a year before this Atlantis program took place). The project created analyses to support the hospital administration’s effort to improve the well-being of doctors, nurses, and all hospital staff at one of the first hospitals to fight the COVID virus outbreak in Europe and in the western world. The hospital found the work “truly remarkable and invaluable.” We expect, based on our experience, that many of the alumni of this program will be talking about their experience in medical school applications and interviews.
This experience allowed me to make a global impact on healthcare.
The Essence of Healthcare in the U.S. and Europe is the Same, but with Cultural Differences – Making Europe the Ideal Place for U.S. Students to Shadow
Very Few Future Doctors Have Been Exposed to Universal Healthcare Systems
When you think of the set of high-resource countries in the world (the US, the European countries, Canada, Australia, and some Asian countries), that world is divided between countries with a mostly private system (notably the US), and countries with universal healthcare and single-payer systems (all of Europe and several other countries). These are very different approaches, each with its pros and cons. And yet future healthcare leaders in the US have only been exposed to one of these two main types. They won’t know what’s lacking in that system, nor will they fully appreciate its qualities.
Click To Read More About This Topic: An Analogy
An analogy to this situation (where a future doctor will only see one system) is this: imagine you are a patient, and your doctor, who is qualified and you trust, urges you to undergo very serious and life-threatening surgery. You’d very seriously consider the merits of this opinion, but suppose there was one main alternative surgery type that many, many other people in your situation follow, and strongly believe in, even though your doctor disagrees and recommends against it. You’d probably want to seek a second opinion first–maybe one that would let you understand that alternative with its perhaps many pros and cons.
Leaving our analogy and returning to the world of healthcare education: just as with the analogy, future US healthcare leaders, who will shape how health is delivered in the US, need to understand the other one obvious alternative to their system and see its many pros and its many cons. They’ll be better able to both appreciate and value the US system’s strengths and work to improve its weaknesses.
This is important and it is very much lacking. For instance, look up the websites of medical schools in the US; of the little you’ll see about international activity, you’ll see most of it is focused on the developing world and with a mindset of helping and not learning. Though this developing world activity should be kept, we believe having it be the only thing is a missed opportunity, as several medical education leaders have told us, since it means that future US doctors won’t understand the one general alternative to their system. We’re working hard at Atlantis to change this, ensuring that future doctors can see both sides, and help build systems that are truly the best possible. We believe both systems have pros and cons, and each side can benefit from understanding the other.
Connecting Global Healthcare
With over 100 hospital partners in several countries, Atlantis builds cross-border bridges for the healthcare professionals of tomorrow. Each line on the chart represents a real Atlantis alum’s home city and state on one end, and a destination Atlantis country on the other. This is for a sample of Atlantis alumni. Note that Atlantis runs many (usually small) programs in several locations in each country, and note that this map does not represent all countries where Atlantis programs are run. Nevertheless, the map shows the amount of bridge-building that is taking place. This has always been important, but it is even more important after the recent global pandemic and its need for alignment and strong international relationships in healthcare.
Alumni Keep Contributing After Atlantis
Here’s an example of an Atlantis alumna (Siobana N., Atlantis ‘19, Emory University ‘21), who worked independently on research with a healthcare entity in Europe. Siobana met Dr. Gasparri, one of the principal authors of the paper, while shadowing in the Breast Surgery field in Milan. This article was published on New Frontiers in Breast Surgical Oncology.
Alumni Also Partake in Elite Research in The U.S
For example, Victoria Haak, Atlantis alumna, did work, separate from Atlantis, as a cancer researcher at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School.
Med Interview Impact
The medical school interview is one of the most important steps towards acceptance. Performance in interviews varies widely, and two candidates with equally strong applications on paper can perform very differently. Compare an Atlantis alum with a typical pre-med side by side on their medical school interview.
Compare A Typical Med School Applicant With an Atlantis Alum
Alternatively, See a More In-Depth Version of The Above Table
Atlantis Alumni Have
What Med Schools Want
Net Promoter Score For Atlantis Compared
With Recognizable Brands
Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a measure taken from asking customers or alumni how likely they are to recommend a product or service to a friend. The score ranges from -100 to 100, with 0 being neutral and anything positive being good. This chart does not intend to claim that Atlantis is a better organization or that it is somehow doing a better job than these other companies. These are all far larger organizations that are impressive and do a lot of good things. However, Atlantis has been narrowly focused for 15 years, has become the leader in its field, and the NPS reflects this leadership. We are including this chart to provide a comparison point to brands and products most pre-meds are familiar with.
Direct or Partnership
Undergraduates participate in our programs either by directly enrolling with us or by participating in a partnership program we build with their university.
Ways To Be Involved
We help build a world where healthcare professionals love their jobs and their patients can sense that.
We do this via programs that (a) help put the right people in healthcare and (b) help these people thrive in their field.