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How Long is a Surgical Internship

If someone is interested in becoming a surgeon, then the applicant must be aware that it is a long and tiring journey. Before becoming a surgeon, most of the student seeks to pursue the internship program through which relevant working knowledge and related skills can be acquired. The student always gets confused that what to do after the successful completion of the graduation. Wandering about the career often led to hypertension and negativity in the mind of the aspiring candidates. So, in that case, the applicant switched to the internship program. The internship is a limited period of work experience that is particularly offered by an organization. The internship can be both paid and unpaid. The internship provides a better opportunity to the students and provides them with relevant knowledge.

This can explain the basic definition of the internship, but what about if the student is interested in pursuing the surgical internship. So the big question that arises from the above discussion is what a surgical internship is?

A surgical intern is a person who has completed medical school and is now interested in undertaking post-graduate training in a surgical discipline. The term is now known as the first-year medical resident. The student is on the starting path to becoming a senior surgeon. The interns are supposed to perform some special tasks, and they often call the workload “scut work.” The essential duties that are required to perform by them are reading and drawing the lab stats, speaking politely with the patients and with their families. The basic tasks must be performed beautifully by the interns. The surgical interns are supposed to work in the hospitals or surgical clinics, and that too for the full-time duration. The work is mostly performed under the supervision of senior licensed surgeons. The student is not able to perform the surgery independently until receiving the full licensing. The qualities required to become a surgical intern are that the person must be a career-oriented, careful observer, and innovative. Becoming a surgeon is not an easy job; the life of the patient is in the hands of the surgeon.

After understanding that what is a surgical internship, the big question that comes into mind is how long is a surgical internship? Some will think that it will be for a few weeks, or some will think it will be for several months. So let’s have a closer look.

Duration of the Surgical Internship

In the general talk, the surgical internship is normally a year in length. The internship usually starts in the summer that is after the completion of medical school graduation. The internship can last up to five years and can be extended for a longer period of time, depending upon the type of internship being pursued. A surgical intern starts the medical career through the residency training program. The surgical intern may remain intern for the first year after graduating from the medical school and become the full resident during the second year of the training.

If gaining the deeper knowledge of the subject, the length of the training can be different; depending upon the type of the surgical specialty, the duration of the coursework can be different. Along with the difference in length of the training, the work assigned to the student is also different. The interns are considered as residents at the start of the training.

Here is the list that will help the student to find out the course duration for different related majors and help to understand that how much time one must commit for the particular type of internship program:

  • Orthopedic Surgery: 5 years
  • General Surgery: 5 years
  • Plastic Surgery: 6 years
  • Neurosurgery: 7 years

Anyone pursuing the internship needs to commit many years of their life to gain knowledge and become a better surgeon. Being a surgeon is a profession that requires great patience level, and along with that, the life of the patient is in the hands of the surgeon. So the intern is required to carefully understand all the little things and with great attention. The student must not rush with the things, and the person must complete all the tasks carefully.

For How Many Hours Does a Surgical Intern Works?

In the United States, the minimum working hours of the surgical intern or any medical intern is the subject of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education guidelines. The firm decides that how much time one must commit in order to pursue the internship program.

At the start of the internship program, the interns are considered residents and are asked to spend 16 hours per week in order to successfully carry out the related tasks. After the successful completion of some years, the person can be asked to commit the 80 hours per week. The schedule can be hectic, but the student is supposed to complete the tasks effectively and efficiently.

The internship can be pursued to gain relevant working knowledge and professional experience.

Assigned Duties

The surgical intern, under the guidance of a senior surgeon, is asked to perform several duties that must be completed on time. Some of the important tasks performed by the surgical intern are –

  • Speaking with the patients and with their families and answering their questions about the procedures.
  • Assisting the nurses and putting in the nurses orders.
  • Accompanying the patients and assisting them during the test procedures.
  • Reading and drawing the lab stats.
  • Obtaining the patient signatures on the consent to the surgery documents.
  • Deliver comprehensive patient care.

All the work must be performed with great efficiency and with much attention. Any careless work can lead to a great disaster. The student must be attentive and particular about the work.


According to the statistics, the surgical intern made an average of $47000 per year. The average salary of the intern is increasing daily, and according to the recent reports, the surgical interns earned an average annual salary of $61,200 as it can be noted that the average is greater than previous years.

Salary is the second thing, but the internship one gains from any internship program are completely indifferent.