So because everyone is always talking about what’s wrong with internship, I thought I’d write a post on what’s right with it.
1. It’s a guaranteed job
So often you hear of young graduates finishing their degrees, only to find themselves unable to get a job. Medical students on the other hand are guaranteed a job for at least the first three years after graduating (this includes both internship and community service). This means three years in which you don’t have to worry about looking for jobs, sending in CVs and trying desperately to gain experience which no one is willing to give you. It’s also extremely difficult to get fired from this job. Unless you intentionally kill patients or decide not to go to work for six weeks, you are very unlikely to find yourself losing your job as an intern. Consider too that currently there are many people who have lost their jobs and are unable to find another. Be grateful that you have a job.
2. You gain a world of experience
What you learn in your first year of internship is probably more than you learn in your last four years of medical school. As South African doctors we have so much opportunity for practical experience-plenty of patients, and not very strict protocols as to who can do what (this sounds terrible; essentially it means that you don’t have to be a consultant to do invasive procedures like chest drains and central lines). And while you become adept at putting up drips and suturing stab wounds, you also learn really important things like time management and efficiency. You’ll discover a confidence in yourself and your ability as a doctor. And you learn vital skills such as how to function with minimal amounts of sleep, how to tolerate rude patients and condescending consultants, and how to convince nurses and radiographers to do things for you.
3. You don’t have to study
Your two years of internship contain no tests, no exams, no nothing. Yes, you are working your proverbial butt off, but you have no obligation to study. At all. That’s two whole years of guilt-free relaxing, without the threat of an exam looming over your head. After six years of studying, this is bliss.
4. Your free time is your own
This leads on from point three. As you no longer need to study, when you have free time as an intern you can do with it as you please. You can sleep (this tends to be a common past time), you can watch series, you can do CrossFit. Whatever tickles your fancy. It’s your free time, and you can do with it as you please.
5. Your holidays are always in ‘off season’
Admittedly, it’s quite depressing not getting leave in December when everyone else does. However, there are advantages to this. If your leave is in say, June and November, and you decide to go on holiday, this falls outside of the traditional peak season. This means fewer crowds, cheaper rates and an increased likelihood of getting accommodation. Hey, you’ve got to look on the bright side of things.
So that’s it. Five things to make you consider internship isn’t that bad. It certainly has its moments, but it’s important to try be positive. When everyone is complaining and pointing out why internship is so awful, maybe take a step back and think about what you’re gaining from this.
Thanks for stopping by ❤