Technical Education Post

News and Information for Technical Educators

Healthcare+ AI = Internship

Exposing the next generation of professionals in healthcare settings to the intersection of artificial intelligence (AI) and the biomedical sciences is crucial to diversifying that workforce. To promote that diversity, the University of California San Diego (USCD) Viterbi Family Department of Ophthalmology and Shiley Eye Institute have announced the AI Ready and Equitable Atlas for Diabetes Insights (AI-READI) Yearlong Research Internship Program.

This yearlong paid internship is focused on diversifying the healthcare workforce in biomedical sciences and AI and speed up the widespread use of AI in biomedical research and healthcare. Those interested in pursuing a healthcare career or working on the tech side of healthcare will benefit from understanding how AI tools can and will be used.

Key Aspects

Key aspects of the AI-READI internship program include direct mentorship; a two-week, in-person bootcamp at UCSD; research projects presented at a year-end symposium; and strong professional development, which is a vital aspect of all UCSD Viterbi Family Department of Ophthalmology and Shiley Eye Institute research internship programs.

The AI-READI work will focus on learning how diabetes is influenced by patients’ genes, lifestyle, and environments by generating an ethically-sourced data repository to develop machine learning models. Diabetes is a chronic disease that is becoming more common worldwide. It can affect multiple parts of the body, including the eyes. In fact, based on statistics from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), diabetic retinopathy (which is damage to the eyes from diabetes) is the leading cause of visual impairment and blindness among working-age adults in the United States. Because eyes can be imaged quickly in non-invasive ways, many research studies now are studying how to use images of the eyes as biomarkers of disease.

For more information or questions about AI-READI, please email the UC San Diego program coordinator Victoria Patronilo at

“We are excited to be partnering with the National Institutes of Health and collaborating institutions that are part of the Bridge2AI Initiative to offer this internship program aimed at diversifying the future workforce in artificial intelligence and biomedical research.” – Sally Baxter, MD, MSc, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology

About the Shiley Eye Institute:

The Shiley Eye Institute is the only academic institution in the San Diego area with comprehensive programs for the clinical care of patients with eye disorders, cutting edge research on surgical techniques and treatments of eye diseases, education in the field of ophthalmology and innovative outreach to the community. To learn more about the Shiley Eye Institute, visit


Anyone aspiring to a career as a healthcare provider or working on the tech side of the healthcare setting will benefit from understanding how AI tools can and will be applied. Key aspects of the program include direct mentorship, a two-week, in-person bootcamp at USCD, research projects presented at a year-end symposium, and strong professional development (a vital aspect of all USCD research internship programs).

Anyone with an undergraduate degree can apply. UCSD has a firm commitment to diversity and encourages applications from candidates from underrepresented groups.

For more information about the program or to apply, visit

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