How long is an internship, and how long is a residency?
This is one that seems to confuse almost everyone. That’s because a medical internship is a completely different animal than a typical internship, say in business or public relations or social work. It’s also confusing because your choice of medical specialty will greatly impact the number of years you spend in a residency.
So here’s the quick answer: the first year of a medical residency is called an internship. Medical residencies last from 3-7 years in total. Most medical residencies are four years long, with surgical residencies being five years long. A neurosurgery residency is the longest, at seven years.