Pre-med surgical internships

July 7, 2014

Article by Global Pre-Meds
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Students gear up for observation in the surgery department If you’re considering becoming a doctor, one of the major things you will need to figure out is what specialty you want to pursue. Some specialties require more training in terms of a lengthy residency and fellowship. One specialty that requires a minimum of a five-year residency is surgery. So how do you decide if becoming a surgeon is the right fit for your goals and personality?  A pre-med surgical internship is a great way to get an idea of what working as a surgeon would be like. 

What’s involved?

A pre-med surgical internship is intended to introduce students who may be interested in becoming doctors to the work usually experienced by physicians and medical students.  Although specific internships may vary, once accepted into a program you will likely be assigned to one surgical group.  In other cases, you may rotate to different surgical groups. 

During the internship, you will have the opportunity to interact with physicians and observe them as they provide patient care. You will often get the chance to see what surgeons do on a daily basis in pre-operative units, operating rooms and surgical recovery rooms. When the surgeon you are shadowing participates in rounds, you will also be able to observe this aspect of the job. 

The length of an intership may vary from one to four months. Some programs run on the same schedule as a college semester. Other programs may be held in the summer. If you are participating in an internship during a semester that you plan to take classes, be sure you know what shifts and hours you will be working before registering for classes. 

Qualifying and costs 

Pre-med surgical internships may have different requirements to participate. Some internships may require undergrads be in a certain year of their studies or meet a minimum grade point average. In addition, be sure to determine if you need to be attending a specific academic institution in order to participate in the internship. 

Some pre-med surgical internships are free, and a few even pay a small stipend to help with housing costs. Other programs may have a fee, which may include housing arrangements if you will be staying out of your area.  

If you are considering applying for a pre-med surgical internship, contact the program far in advance to get details. There may be a lot of competition for a spot, so you want to start the process early. Requirements to apply may include a mandatory orientation for applicants. You also want to ensure you meet application deadlines and follow all application procedures correctly.

Many people choose careers and think they know what is involved, but by participating in a pre-med surgical internship you will get to see first-hand what a surgeon does every day. After completely the internship, you may decide that surgery is not for you, which can save you time, money and grief before you go further. In other cases, a pre-med surgical internship may confirm that being a surgeon is the right career path and the perfect choice!