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November 2, 1940

Current Comment

JAMA. 1940;115(18):1549-1550. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810440041012

IS THERE A SHORTAGE OF INTERNS?  Not infrequently one hears that hospitals cannot secure acceptable interns because there are not enough to go around and that the number of graduates from approved medical schools is insufficient to supply the needs of the hospitals which offer to train interns. Granted that there can never be an exact correspondence between the supply and the demand for interns, it seems worth while to consider whether the available medical graduates are now distributed in accordance with the legitimate needs of the institutions they serve. In many of the best teaching hospitals the house staff bears a ratio to the annual admissions of 1: 400 or 1:450. In private institutions the ratio may be as high as 1:600 or 1:800. In the New York Metropolitan area there are at least forty-five hospitals with a house staff in excess of 1: 400, ten of them in