Two interns at two institutions studied their perception of learning internship, using the critical incident technique. The majority of these experiences were technical, and only a few were interpersonal. Full-time staff, including other residents and senior staff, made the greatest contribution to their learning. Most learning took place in the ward and relatively less in the ambulatory services. Patients were involved in most of the experiences usually because of their diseases. While there were differences between the two interns there were many similarities.

The conclusion of the study is that current training does not provide a basis for dealing with human problems because of the present orientation of the hospital, but also that further study is needed to determine the amount of hospital training needed to become a practicing physician.

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