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How to Be a “Great Intern”

Last Updated: October 1, 2018

Figure 1: William S. Halsted (1852-1922): The Father of Modern Surgery. He established the surgical training framework in the United States during his tenure at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Introduction

Throughout the course of your internship (postgraduate year one, or PGY-1), you will:

  • Save lives and witness them end
  • Deliver life-changing news, both good and bad, to countless families
  • Serve in the front lines as the face of your department, your hospital, and your specialty to patients and their families
  • Learn more than you thought was possible

A number of challenges await you, as well: you just graduated from medical school, but you are expected to expertly manage complex patients. You finally have an MD (and maybe another advanced degree) after graduating near the top of your cl...