Doctors Internship in Jordan (Al Emteyaz)

Here goes nothing.

After earning an undergraduate degree in human medicine, all doctors who wish to be able to practice medicine in Jordan are obliged to spend 11 months, 21 days as interns in one of Jordan’s accredited hospitals. The purpose of this year is, as would be construed, is to familiarize the newly graduating physician to the demographics of diseases in Jordan, the more common trade names of drugs and practice the ethics and skills of clinical medicine first hand under supervision.

This, on the surface of it, makes total sense. Nonetheless, what happens in the real world is a completely different story; According to where the medico ends up doing his/her internment year, different sets of problems emerge.

To explain these problems, one must be aware of the different types of hospitals where the internship year can be done. It’s either done in the Ministry of health hospitals, Private sector or in University Hospitals. Let’s see how things go in each of these 3:

– In the Ministry of health hospitals, at least 90% of them, these interns do not show up at all. They actually pop up in the hospital every 2 months, because they need to enlist themselves in the “next” rotation, and then disappear once again only to re-pop 2 months later. The only exceptions are students who do respect their training hours because they believe they are learning stuff or are just showing up for the sheer joy of it. Also, those who have managed to trigger personal grudges against them from some doctor in the hospital. It’s worth mentioning that the Ministry of Health, in addition to granting these people a certificate stating that they have underwent proper training for a whole year, pays these, without a grain of apology on my part for the shortly-to-be-used adjective, vermins 100 JDs a month. I was told by some of these people that they don’t believe 100 JDs is worth their time if they spend 6 hours a day for 20 days a month in the hospital. Apparently, they value their time at 200 JDs a visit. So, vermin-thieves is better? If we adopt their logic, a governmental employee has the right to take every Wednesday + Thursday off on account of his own belief that his 300 JD salary doesn’t cover them.. It is worth mentioning that MoH hospitals are probably the only hospitals where an intern can actually gain clinical expertise.

– Private Sector Hospitals: These can be further divided into sub-categories; The paying ones and the non-paying ones. Positions in these hospitals are very limited and usually acquired through nepotism. All non-Jordanians who wish to do internship in Jordan seek to do it in a private hospital because all other hospitals charge them for huge amounts. Each hospital has its own special case which I will be posting about in another article. The general sensation around these hospitals is that no trainees show up at all and those who show up end up being victims of others’ faults.

– University Hospitals: While these possess a huge source of knowledge and potential possibilities to hone one’s medical experience, the hierarchy of doctors, which are always seeking to vent their suppressed grudges towards their superiors through those under them, the interns end up either targeted for fun or cast aside like yesterday’s newspaper. Interns here are known as “mosquitoes” because their main assignments are to draw blood samples, deliver them to the lab, get the results back. Interns at University Hospitals are by far the most disciplined and have really hard times ditching their rounds. In compensation, they have the highest salaries (150 JDs).

One ought to ask, besides quenching sexual frustration, what do these medicos do that’s so important that’s keeping them from actually deserving the stupid license at the end of the year?
A good proportion does so to study for US exams (a really expensive, difficult exam) or foreign languages. I have finished all of the German language levels available in Jordan during my first 5 months of internship and I have only missed 2 days at the hospital (the 2 exam days) so it’s no Herculean task to do your training + study at the same time. I have a friend from Yemen who’s an intern in a private Hospital and till the very last few days before his USMLE II exam (US exam), he was still doing his shifts at the hospital.

Some people seek to work in private clinics where they are paid 10-15 JDs a shift (24 hours = 3 shifts). If you combine the money you get if you work in a paying private hospital or MoH hospital (without showing up) + 1-2 shifts a day in a private clinic you get quite a nice “pocket-money”. Did I mention that these graduates are prohibited by law to practice medicine in all of its forms? Just remember, next time you visit a general medicine clinic, there’s a 50/50 chance you’ll end up being the guinea pig of some dyslipidemic graduate. Also, many of the owners of these clinics instruct these soon-to-be-doctors to practice cheating through doing unnecessary tests/procedures and overpricing everything that was used in the management.

Oh, and there’s this part of medicos that actually spend their borrowed time smoking arjeelah, playing cards and Playstation, touring around and doing all kind of stupid nonsense.

An intern at my hospital started his internship in the 20th of July, 2010. He showed up twice in the following week and we’ve never seen him ever again. His name still shows up on the interns list in the hospital. Nepotism? Raw Retardedness? Be it whatever it may be.

Please, please, lose some of your respect for doctors.