Medical interns, who are students in training at a hospital to become a doctor or specialist, receive a modest salary of $35,000, which is funded by the federal Department of Health and Human Services (largely Medicare).
The intern is usually part of a team of other residents, supervised by a physician. Shifts can begin at 7 a.m., as the intern makes the rounds of patients under their care, reads tests, reviews treatment, and the latter part of the shift is when new patients are admitted under the team’s care.
Medical interns are also required to be ‘on call’ on a rotating basis in which they work 36-hour days overnight at the hospital – they receive experience treating as many types of patients as possible, and prepares them for the long and irregular hours of work as a doctor. Internships can last 3 to 8 years depending on the area of medicine. The number of jobs in the medical profession is expected to grow in coming years due to larger, aging population and increased longevity. It is expected to generate 3.2 million new wage and salary jobs between 2008 and 2018, more than any other industry.
Source: Healthinternship.com, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010 - 2011
Above, a doctor(C) and two interns looking at scan results in a 2008 file photo.