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September 21, 1970

Medical Student Externship as an Opportunity to Expand the Base of Medical Education: The Viewpoint of the Student American Medical Association

Author Affiliations

From the Student American Medical Association and the University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago. Mr. Fagel is a medical student and national student project director of the SAMA Medical Education and Community Orientation Project.

JAMA. 1970;213(12):2059-2061. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170380033007

The medical student externship has probably been one of the most complex and confusing, yet potentially most important and valuable positions in medical education in recent years. It represents a basic desire by medical students to gain clinical experience in community hospitals and demonstrates the great disparity between the base for medical education and the base for medical service in the United States. In an effort to increase this base of experience and education, the Student American Medical Association has been involved in several separate but related programs, including an international exchange externship program for clinical students, a model educational program for preclinical students in community hospitals, and discussions with many groups attempting to solve the "externship problem."

Most of these problems with the externship are related to the peculiar position of the medical student extern in the delivery of health care, and the ensuing legal implications. Because the term