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Internships for Medical Careers

Do You Need an Internship for your Future Medical Career?

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Do You Need to Seek Out an Internship for Your Medical Career?

Due to the highly specialized nature of many medical careers, most degree and diploma programs in healthcare include some sort of on-the-job training, similar to an internship, as part of the prerequisites to completing the program. Therefore, most aspiring healthcare professionals do not need to do an additional or separate internship after completing the applicable educational program.

However, if you are interested in pursuing a non-clinical role such as medical sales, hospital executive, or a healthcare industry job with a medical manufacturer or healthcare services company, you may want to seek out an internship while you are in college.

Where and How to Find Internships for Your Medical Career:

Many companies post internship information on their websites. Another great way to identify and apply for internships is to consult with your school’s career counselor or career placement office for additional information about internships. About.com’s Guide to Internships, Penny Loretto, also offers a wealth of information about internships.

As an alternative to internships, if you don't have time or access to an internship, you may also try job shadowing or a preceptorship as well.

Clinical Training Included in Most Educational Programs for Medical Careers

Historically, physicians were required to participate in one year of internship training after completing medical school. However, the American Medical Association no longer requires the additional internship year. Currently, physicians may enter directly into medical residency training after graduating from medical school. Physicians attend specialty-specific residency training for a minimum of three years prior to practicing medicine. Depending on the specialty, residency training may last up to six years.

Other medical training professional programs such as those in nursing, pharmacy, or allied professions include a series of clinical rotations, or “clinicals”. These clinical rotations provide mandatory training, during which students rotate through a variety of healthcare settings to learn their profession alongside experienced professionals.

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