The Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal strip of 8/18/14:


(Hat tip to Paul Armstrong.)

Background from NOAD2:

a student or trainee who works, sometimes without pay, at a trade or occupation in order to gain work experience.

● a recent medical graduate receiving supervised training in a hospital and acting as an assistant physician or surgeon. Compare with resident.

The origin of the English word lies in a early 16th century borrowing of the French adjective interne ‘internal’; the current senses date from the 19th century.

The cartoon plays on complaints about the exploitation of unpaid interns. But of course not all interns are unpaid. Over the years, thanks to the office of Stanford’s Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, I have had summer interns working for me on a number of projects (reported on in this blog); the VPUE internships pay a decent stipend — and faculty members get enthusiastic assistance on their research projects. A good deal.

One Response to “intern”

  1. Bob Richmond Says:

    Back when I was an intern (1964-5) only doctors did internships. You were an intern for a year, then a resident or assistant resident for the rest of your time of training.

    Around 1980 the name “intern” was abolished in favor of “postgraduate year 1”, universally abbreviated PGY-1, and residency years became PGY-2 and so on.

    So nowadays everybody does internships, except doctors.

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