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What Are the Different Types of Health Care Internships?

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  • Written By: Geri Terzo
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 05 September 2014
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The health care profession is one where many years of education and training are required. Health care internships abound in all facets of the industry, from hospitals to private practices and in different specializations of medicine. Students who are focusing on anything from internal medicine to dentistry can obtain internships, and some programs are reserved for certain demographics, including minorities, in a region. Internships may be in a clinical laboratory setting or in a place with more patient and physician interaction.

Whether it be by devoting time and resources to third-world countries to offer help or in supporting a local town, health care professionals often have a selfless way of giving back to community. Physicians and other medical professionals have been known to partner with an alma mater to provide health care internships to students at the same school. A university may maintain a database with the names of participating physicians' offices.

As medicine can be such a highly specialized field of study, universities and colleges offer students a great deal of support in locating health care internships. Pre-med students can sift through online catalogs that are updated annually with a listing of internship opportunities. Often, the programs offered are paid internships and may include stipends for traveling, commuting, and some living expenses. Travel may very well be required if a student is offered an internship at a top medical facility in a major city, such as a leading cancer research organization.

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Health care internships in medical research will attract certain students. In these settings, students learn firsthand about pervasive diseases, including cancer. An interns can spend an entire summer researching the effects of cancer on children or on a specific type of cancer, such as leukemia. A student who decides to pursue a career treating kids could also focus on obtaining an internship in a children's hospital.

A pre-med student can hunt for a health care internship based on a specialization. Internships at hospitals and clinics specializing in orthopedics or arthritis, female health, or neuroscience are available. A medical student who is interested in a profession that deals with mental health could obtain an internship that focuses on depression or Alzheimer's disease.

Eligibility requirements may be the case for certain health care internships that are niche oriented. For instance, summer internships for dental students may be reserved for minorities. The facility providing the internship program may want to narrow any gap between a minority group and the practice of dentistry in a nation.

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