As a college student, searching for internships is one of the biggest yet most exciting challenges of academic life. Depending on your field, getting an internship means having a glance at the world you’ll soon experience.
Internships are no stranger to the medical and healthcare industry. In fact, it’s of paramount importance for medical students to score an internship right before getting their license to practice medicine officially.
What Is Medical Internship?
Medical internships differ from typical internships in other fields, as the medical industry can sometimes confuse terminologies. Students from areas such as engineering, business, and the like should accomplish their internships as a requirement for degree completion.
Meanwhile, a medical internship is a next stage after medical students complete their degree while working on their medical licenses. Medical interns may also be referred to as first-year residents as they usually undergo years of residency under the supervision of licensed medical professionals.
Aspiring professionals can take healthcare internships either inside the country or abroad. Evidently, having a medical internship internationally can present more career opportunities. As much as you can, focus your target on medical internship programs
like Medical Aid that extends healthcare and medical service to various regions globally.
Tips For Finding Healthcare Internships
The healthcare industry is a vast landscape full of opportunities. Before you can get hands-on with your work, a medical internship will serve as your bridge towards your medical license. Therefore, it’s crucial to treat your internship as a stepping stone to your medical career.
With that in mind, here are five essential tips to help you find the right medical internship for you:
- Emphasize Your Desired Niche
Your medical internship will revolve around your future work environment, so it should be in a place that you’re passionate about working. Before starting your application process, you should define your medical niche first according to your skills and interests. You should tailor requirements such as your application letter, resume, and cover letter to your desired healthcare industry.
Moreover, your college department can assist you in finding a medical internship, but some students may also be tasked with finding their own. If your department offers this assistance, it’s the best opportunity to emphasize your niche to your potential internship role.
- Apply For Plenty of Internships
Much like any application, such as a job or scholarship application, applying for numerous opportunities can offer more informed decision-making. As mentioned earlier, medical internships are available inside and outside the country. If you’re up to challenging and meaningful experiences, applying to a few local and international healthcare internships is recommended.
Don’t forget to keep a list of all internships you’ve applied for and integrate them into your schedule. This way, you can easily see deadlines and important dates regarding your application.
- Choose Your Terms of Compensation
Compensation is one of the biggest debates in the internship landscape. Many people argue that internships should be paid for interns to avoid getting taken for granted, while some individuals settle with unpaid internships in exchange for valuable learning and career advantage. Nevertheless, taking a paid vs. unpaid internship is entirely up to your decision.
Larger healthcare organizations and companies offer paid internships. By fulfilling your role as a medical intern, you can earn up to USD$50,000 annually, or even more. Meanwhile, some institutions don’t provide compensation for the internship but should offer something far more important, including experience and resources, which can be highly advantageous for young professionals. You’ll usually encounter unpaid internships through volunteering that will be discussed in the next tip.
Ideally, competent medical institutions should offer both monetary rewards and relevant experience to medical interns.
- Look Into Smaller Communities
Sometimes, it’s indeed difficult to get into your desired internship, thus the importance of creating your own opportunities. Large, busy hospitals may not always have the time and space to accommodate new interns as they’re already housing residents and students. Smaller urgent care facilities may need your help and also have the right resources and accommodation.
Seeking out less formal internship opportunities doesn’t make your internship experience any less than other healthcare interns. However, these smaller healthcare communities often provide unpaid internships only and may involve volunteer work, so make sure to settle the purpose and terms of your internship arrangement.
Given the world’s current situation, medical interns and students can play significant roles in battling the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in compromised healthcare facilities lacking medical workers.
- Consult Advice from Alumni and Mentors
Developing professional relationships and connections in medical school remains relevant after your college years. By spending time with people in the same field as you, you’re bringing yourself closer to more learning opportunities.
To help your search for the right internship, talking to your alumni and mentors would be helpful. Your medical department will keep a list of internships of previous medical graduates, so you can heed advice from these individuals and, if you’re lucky enough, find an available slot in their current institution.
Additionally, don’t be afraid to ask for help from your mentors and professors in medical school. They can even help you score an internship by writing a recommendation letter to your desired institution.
How An Internship Will Benefit Your Medical Career
A healthcare internship will serve as an individual’s first formal experience in working in a healthcare environment. During your internship, you’ll learn valuable knowledge and experience in your chosen healthcare niche along with certified and established professionals that can be of great importance to your career development.
Moreover, you’ll get exposed to the day-to-day life of being a healthcare worker, which acts as your preparation for your upcoming medical roles. Since this experience can be added to your resume and CV, and can undoubtedly help you land your dream job.
Professional networking is paramount in all fields of profession, especially in the medical world. As you work alongside trained healthcare practitioners, it’s your best chance to start building meaningful connections with them. Building your network can be particularly helpful if there are fewer medical professionals in your field.
A healthcare internship is a friendly reminder that learning doesn’t stop after medical school. When finding the right medical internship for your career, take note of these internship hunting tips to kickstart your medical career and land the profession you want!