Leadership, Education and Development (LEAD)

Explore health care careers and education at Sanford Health

Whether you’re a student exploring a health care career or a professional seeking continuing education, Sanford Health LEAD has a program for you.

We provide medical, professional and continuing education opportunities across North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota. High school students, undergraduate and graduate students, clinicians, scientists and medical industry professionals from across the globe can advance their education or career with us.

Choose Sanford Health for its reputation as a major academic center. Sanford USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls, SD, and Sanford Medical Center in Fargo, ND, serve as flagship teaching hospitals in the Dakotas.

For K-12 Students

Elementary Inquiries

Elementary students are invited to engage with research scientists and learn about STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) through The Sanford PROMISE programs and the It's All About Science Festival. The Sanford PROMISE also works with elementary educators through summer workshops for teachers.

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Available in Fargo – Health Occupations & Professions Exploration (HOPE) Camp provides health career exploration to high school students in North Dakota, Minnesota and South Dakota. In partnership with NDSU, students stay on campus and learn from NDSU and Sanford professionals. See our flyer or email us to learn more.

View the flyer

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Medical Center Tours

High school students can tour Sanford USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls, SD, and meet health care professionals in various departments.

In addition to being the largest hospital in South Dakota, the medical center is a teaching hospital for the Sanford School of Medicine at the University of South Dakota. Our comprehensive care includes emergency air transport, neonatal and pediatric intensive care, transplant services, and specialty centers in children’s, heart, cancer, neuroscience, sports medicine and women’s health. With 545 beds, 4,000 employees and a Level II Trauma Emergency Care center, we meet the needs of patients from across the Midwest.

Contact us to learn more and schedule a tour. 

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Sanford HOPE

Available in Sioux Falls – Health Occupations & Professions Exploration (HOPE) gives high school students opportunities to learn about various health care professions. Email us to learn about eligibility, schedules, registration and more.

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Science Research Experiences

The Sanford Program for the Midwest Initiative in Science Exploration (PROMISE) works to inspire the next generation of scientists by offering middle school and high school students and teachers to a variety of events and programs throughout the school year and summer. These experiences include classroom visits to the PROMISE Community Lab engaging with active research scientists, hands-on lab technique training, shadowing, internships, and community lectures.

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Youth Medical Explorers

Sioux Falls

The Sanford Youth Medical Explorers program is open to high school students. It’s a chance to explore the medical field through after-hours tours, hands-on activities and conversations with health care providers at the Sanford USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls. As Sanford YME members, students also can participate in the Sanford Health Occupations Student Association chapter for HOSA activities, conferences and scholarships. HOSA is an international student organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Health Science Education Division of the Association for Career and Technical Education.


Sanford Youth Medical Explorers is an 11 week program for juniors and seniors in high school. Applications are available each April and participants are selected in May for the following school year program. To learn more, see our program description, sample schedule and application below. Or email us.

For Undergraduates & Graduates

Internships & Student Programs

Sanford Health will help you start your health care career with internships and college programs. Learn about our opportunities for high school and college students, including:

Sanford Research Programs

Sanford Research offers a number of educational opportunities for undergraduate students interested in medical research careers. Graduate student training opportunities include a PhD program in basic biomedical sciences (USD), MD/PhD physician scientist program (USD), and PhD program in biochemistry (SDSU).

Undergraduate Research

Graduate Research

For Medical Students & Professionals

Continuing Education

Sanford Academic Affairs connects clinicians, scientists and medical professionals with opportunities for advanced skills training and career development. Health care industry professionals can search Sanford Health’s professional medical education portal. Explore upcoming conferences, symposia and medical training opportunities.

Continuing Medical Education

Each year, Sanford Health accredits hundreds of activities and hosts thousands of attendees at our CME conferences. Visit the professional educational portal to view opportunities.

Continuing Nursing Education

Nurses and other allied health care providers can view our professional educational portal to learn more about accredited continuing nursing education opportunities at Sanford Health.

Success Center

Controlled Substances Stewardship

Providers at Sanford Health have reduced opioid prescriptions by nearly 20 percent from 2017-2018 in an effort to have fewer pills in circulation. In 2016, the health system took a hard look at how providers talked to patients and how they wrote prescriptions and looked for ways to make changes. The health system instituted mandatory physician education programs and also stopped asking patients about pain as a vital sign. That, combined with writing smaller prescriptions for things like acute injuries or stopping using opioids for conditions where they aren’t proven effective, like headaches and low back pain, helped reduce overall numbers, too.

Access the required training modules here:



Medical Training

Clinical Training

Across Sanford Health communities, we partner with accredited secondary educational institutions to provide their students with clinical training sites. Institutions we partner with include: University of South Dakota, University of North Dakota, North Dakota State University, South Dakota State University, Augustana University and Concordia College.

Medical Training

Students at the USD Sanford School of Medicine and UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences train at Sanford’s two flagship medical centers.

Visiting Medical Students        

Medical school students interested in visiting Sanford can apply through the USD Sanford School of Medicine or UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences.

Graduate Medical Education   

Sanford is a major teaching site for residency and fellowship programs. Our physicians serve as faculty at USD Sanford School of Medicine and UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences.

Contact your college or university to learn more.

Residency Programs

Sanford is a major teaching site for residency and fellowship programs. Our physicians serve as faculty at the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine and University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Learn more about residency and fellowship programs: