The fully immersive hospital shifts constitute the largest part of most members’ SCOPE experience. SCOPE members work directly alongside physicians, gaining unique clinical exposure while also contributing as part of the medical team. Depending on your language proficiency, you may work as either a Spanish or Vietnamese Interpreter, or as a non-interpreting Medical Intern.

Community Partner

SCOPE members work in the Emergency Department (ED) of the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC), a local county hospital. SCVMC is a unique community partner for several reasons:

  • It is a a Level 1 trauma center (1 of only 5 in California), which means it is responsible for treating the most complex, serious, and urgent cases.
  • Its patient population is also highly diverse and often under-served. As such, the hospital serves as a unique window not only into medical crises, but also into social issues like affordable housing and refugee resettlement programs, as well as problems surrounding health insurance coverage and drug abuse.  
  • It is one of few hospitals to simultaneously be an academic research center, a teaching hospital, and a safety-net hospital.

Requirements: SCOPE members must complete 3 hospital shifts per month, each lasting 9 hours. SCOPErs are required to complete a minimum of 200 hours to fulfill the SCOPE commitment, though many complete more than 200 hours.


These shifts can take place weekdays or weekends, and occur 24 hours a day. Each month, SCOPE volunteers submit shift time preferences based on their availability. Shift assignments are given with priority to Spanish/Vietnamese Interpreters for weekend and overnight shifts, since those are the times the hospital does not have in-house interpreters present.


Physician Mentorship

SCOPE offers members the chance to work with a wide range of physicians in the Emergency Department and observe multiple styles of doctor-patient interaction. As a SCOPE member, you may develop close relationships with particular physicians who can serve as advisers and mentors beyond your time in SCOPE.



  • Members work in the ED at the SCVMC, a local county hospital, either as medical interpreters or as interns.
  • Members are required to do 3 shifts per month and to complete a total of 200 hours before graduating from the program.
  • Members can work with a variety of physicians in the emergency department.