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What is a Medical Internship?

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A medical internship is taken by a student who has obtained a medical degree but does not yet have a license to practice medicine without supervision. Medical internships usually start each year in June. The duration of the internship depends on the type of training. A one year medical internship is known as a transitional internship and is for medical graduates who are going into general practice once it is completed. A longer medical internship is known as a specialty internship. Specialty interns are also known as residents. This is for medical students who are going on to practice in a specialist field such as:

  • Immunologist – diagnoses and treats allergic conditions
  • Anesthesiologist - gives anesthesia and monitors patients during surgical procedures
  • Cardiologist – diagnoses and treats heart conditions
  • Dermatologist – diagnoses and treats skin conditions
  • Gastroenterologist – diagnoses and treats digestive disorders
  • Hematologist – diagnoses and treats blood disorders
  • Nephrologist – diagnoses and treats kidney disorders
  • Neurologist - diagnoses and treats nervous system disorders
  • Obstetrician – deals with healthcare for women during pregnancy and childbirth
  • Gynecologist – diagnoses and treats disorders relating to the female reproductive system
  • Oncologist – diagnoses and treats different types of tumor such as cancer
  • Ophthalmologist – diagnoses and treats eye complaints
  • Pediatrician – deals with healthcare and disorders relating to children and teenagers
  • Podiatrist – diagnoses and treats problems with the feet
  • Psychiatrist – diagnoses and treats mental and emotional disorders
  • Pulmonary Medicine Physician - diagnoses and treats lung disorders
  • Rheumatologist – diagnoses and treats disorders related to joints
  • Urologist - diagnoses and treats disorders relating to the male and female urinary tract and the male reproductive system

A medical internship allows the graduate to become an integral part of the medical team and to put his or her knowledge to use while gaining valuable practical experience under supervision. Interns are required to work long hours and often have to rotate overnight shifts. Their other duties will include making lab reviews, performing medical examinations and procedures and maintaining patient care. They will also still attend lectures. Medical interns are supervised by the attending physician. A medical internship does not necessarily have to be taken in the United Sates even if you are studying medicine here. There are opportunities available overseas.

A medical internship is the first taste of the demands of a medical career and requires hard work and dedication. However many physicians and specialists list the advantages of their career despite the long training and high volume of work hours. These are;

  • Recognition in their community
  • Admiration from their peers
  • A stable and lasting career
  • Emotional rewards of healing people and saving lives
  • A high salary
  • Varied day-to-day activities
  • A challenging career

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