Medical interns, known also as first-year residents, are brand new physicians undergoing an intensive training period to learn clinical skills, from diagnosis and treatment to establishing appropriate bedside manner. While they learn to practice medicine, they may be a patient's primary physician during a hospital stay. And as they make their morning rounds, they may be suffering from both physical and emotional exhaustion.
Medical internships are a difficult. This is a transitional period in many ways: physically, emotionally, financially — and for some, spiritually. The depression rate among medical interns also runs high; the proportion of interns with symptoms of depression was found to rise from 3.9 percent before the internship to 25.7 percent during this difficult year [source: Nauert]. Medical interns are typically responsible for the evaluation and workup of up to five patients over a 24-hour period. Interns also are expected to be on call, working 36-hour shifts at the hospital in rotation with other medical interns [source: Johns Hopkins]. The long hours and little sleep are stressful in and of themselves, but interns are also responsible for teaching medical students.