Internship (medicine)

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Medical Internship[edit | edit source]

A medical intern refers to a physician in training who, having concluded their formal academic education in medicine and attained a medical degree, is undergoing a supervised practical training period. Though they have a degree, they are not yet fully licensed to practice medicine unsupervised. The concept and structure of this post-graduate training, often termed as "internship", can vary substantially across countries. Not only does the duration and content of the internship differ, but the terminologies and the overall design of academic and practical training in medicine also exhibit regional variations.

Internship Structure[edit | edit source]

The internship typically encompasses rotations across various medical and surgical specialties, ensuring broad-based clinical exposure. This phase is crucial as it aids in bridging the gap between theoretical knowledge and its practical application, and in fostering essential clinical skills.

Rotations[edit | edit source]

Internship by Country[edit | edit source]

Given the diversity in medical education systems worldwide, the structure, duration, and even the nomenclature of the medical internship can differ.

United States[edit | edit source]

In the US, after completing medical school, graduates enter a "residency" program. The first year of residency was formerly known as the "internship year"; however, this is now integrated into the residency itself.

United Kingdom[edit | edit source]

In the UK, upon completion of medical school, students undergo two years of foundation training. The first year (F1) is equivalent to the traditional internship, with graduates being referred to as "Foundation Year 1 doctors" or "F1s".

Australia[edit | edit source]

Australian medical graduates must complete an internship year to achieve general registration with the Medical Board of Australia. The intern year includes rotations in medicine, surgery, and emergency.

India[edit | edit source]

In India, after the five-and-a-half-year-long MBBS course, graduates must undergo a one-year mandatory internship in various specialities to obtain their practicing license.

Licensing and Beyond[edit | edit source]

Upon successful completion of the internship, a medical intern usually undergoes an evaluation or licensing examination, the nature of which varies by country. Once licensed, they can practice medicine unsupervised or may choose to enter specialized residency programs.

Challenges and Rewards[edit | edit source]

Medical internship is renowned for being challenging, characterized by long hours, intense workloads, and significant responsibilities. Yet, it's also a period of immense professional growth, offering unparalleled hands-on experience and the satisfaction of patient care.

See Also[edit | edit source]


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD