A medical intern is a term used in the United States for a physician in training who has completed medical school. An intern has a medical degree, but does not have a full license to practice medicine unsupervised. In other countries medical education generally ends with a period of practical training similar to internship, but the way the overall program of academic and practical medical training is structured differs in each case, as does the terminology used (see medical education and medical school for further details).
In Australia, medical graduates must complete one year in an accredited hospital post prior to receiving full registration; this year of conditional registration is known as the intern year.
In Egypt, medical students graduate after 6 years of college as Bachelors of Medicine and Surgery. However, they must complete one year in a university or public hospital before receiving full registration; this year is the intern year, and is divided into Rotations in which interns are required to spend 1-2 months of training per department, according to a rotation schedule.
In Iran, internship is an 18 months period at the end of the 7 year long medical education which should be done in one of the university hospitals. Then, medical students can graduate and work independently as a Medical Doctor (MD) or participate in National Comprehensive Residency Exam and continue to study in desired subspecialty. If they decide to work as a General Practitioner, they should first do their service for a period of 2 years in underserved areas recognized by Iranian Ministry of Health, as part of the commitments to the ministry. Medical Internship offers a schedule that rotates through all the major and minor specialties, including emergency medicine, family practice, internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics, surgery, dermatology, ophtalmology, ENT, infectious diseases, and psychiatry.
Republic of Ireland
In order to register fully with the Irish Medical Council, graduates are required to complete twelve months of training in an approved hospital. Internship comprises six months of medicine and six months of surgery. A minimum of two months and a maximum of three months may be spent in a sub-speciality, including emergency medicine, general practice, obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics, psychiatry and perioperative medicine. Anaesthesia and radiology are not covered by the programme.
After completion of the internship, doctors obtain a certificate of satisfactory service which must be signed by the Dean of Medicine at the university from which the intern graduated. Upon receipt of the certificate, the Medical Council will entitle the provisionally registered doctor to apply for full registration in the General Register of Medical Practitioners, subject to payment of a fee.
In Israel, medical graduates must complete one year in an accredited hospital prior to receiving full registration; this year of conditional registration is known as the intern year.
Transitional and prelim
Some residencies start at the second year (PGY-2), including Anesthesia, Radiology, Physical medicine and rehabilitation, and Neurology. There are two kinds of internships outside the context of a “categorical” residency:
- “Prelim” internships are done in either internal medicine or surgery. Interns spend 12 months focusing on either internal medicine or surgery.
- “Transitional internships” or “traditional rotating internships”, offer a schedule that rotates through all the major specialties, including emergency medicine, family practice, internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics, and surgery.
Some applicants prefer transitional year programs because they generally are not as strenuous as a prelim year. However, a prelim year can provide better preparation for the second year of residency.
The Swedish equivalent to an internship is the allmäntjänstgöring (“general practice”), which is a requirement for obtaining a medical license. Its duration is at least 18 months , but usually lasts a bit longer, around 2 years in most cases. After the allmäntjänstgöring, the student can complete a test to receive their medical license. Then follows specialisation practice (“specialisttjänstgöring”), the equivalent of residency.
The British equivalent of an intern is a Foundation House Officer, although the title of Foundation Doctor is being encouraged in hospitals.
A medical internship typically lasts one year (a loose term) and usually begins in late June. Internships come in two variations, transitional and specialty track. After a physician has completed an internship and step three of the USMLE or COMLEX-USA, he or she can practice general medicine. However, the majority of physicians complete a specialty track medical residency over two to seven years, depending on the specialty. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) officially dropped the term intern in 1975, instead referring to individuals in their first year of graduate medical education as residents. However, the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) continues to require osteopathic physicians (D.O.’s) to complete an internship before residency.