The decision whether or not to do an internship is not an easy one. I had always felt as though I would not want to prolong my education for an additional year, but now that I’ve completed several rotations in an emergency hospital, my opinion has been swayed. My heart is set on completing an internship at this point, but that does not mean that I still do not have my doubts.
Choosing an internship is not a light decision to make. It means dedicating a year of your life to working at a much lower salary than average (if at all) and spending long hours in the hospital. Many interns will work 50+ hours a week and 12+ hour days making less than minimum wage. The stipend is a set amount for the year. The environment can be stressful and learning is expected to happen on a constant basis.
That being said, it’s not all negative. Interns are offered some of the greatest learning opportunities with some of the best veterinarians in the field. You’re constantly surrounded by experts in your area of interest whose job it is to mentor you. You will learn at an accelerated pace compared to those who go straight into private practice. You will receive some of the best hands-on experience and see some of the most interesting cases.
There are many pros and cons for completing an internship, and it’s certainly not the right decision for everyone. I still have more time to do research and truly make up my mind. For now, my heart is pretty dead set on applying, and it will take a lot to sway me.