Preparing students to be doctors: introduction of a sub-internship program.

Preparing graduates for the transformation from medical student to doctor provides medical schools with a real challenge. Medical educators advocate a process of graduated delegation of responsibility in the clinical years of medical school. This is best exemplified in the North American system of sub-internship programmes; an educational approach which European medical schools have been slow to adopt. This study reports on the introduction of an intensive two-week surgical sub-internship for final medical year students. "Sub-interns" were asked to complete pre and post sub-internship online questionnaires assessing their readiness to perform clinical and practical skills, attitudes towards the program, and how well it prepared students for internship. Forty-nine students completed a questionnaire pre sub-internship and 47 completed the post-questionnaire. Student confidence towards practical and clinical skills and their first day at work increased over the two weeks. Mean Iikert scores for all 6 practical and clinical skills improved post sub-internship. The introduction of a surgical sub-internship is timely and welcomed by medical students. Its development helps bridge the gap in responsibilities between medical student and doctor.