| Two Civilian Intern Story
Dr. Arash Saemi (left) and Dan Bebereia (right)

SAN DIEGO (June 18, 2009) -- Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) welcomed two civilian interns to the internal medicine department June 10.


Although NMCSD has had a robust Graduate Medical Education program for interns and residents since 1946, historically, trainees have been active duty military members. This is the first time civilians have been approved as interns. Dan Bebereia, M.D., and Arash Saemi, M.D., will be working in the Internal Medicine department during the one-year internship.


“Civilian trainees will compliment our work force, strengthen our training programs, and give us a unique opportunity to showcase military medicine,” said Cmdr. (Dr.) Patricia V. Pepper, Internal Medicine Program Director.


Bebereia, who received his doctorate from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Va., said he applied for the internship after working three rotations at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth. “I think training at a military medical center is actually much more similar to training at a civilian hospital than most people realize,” Bebereia said. “Most people think that you are only treating young men, but when you throw in the families of those on active duty as well as all the retirees, the patient population is really just as diverse.”


Saemi recently graduated from the University of Vermont School of Medicine and his goal is to become an interventional radiologist.


“I was drawn to the opportunity to intern at a military medical facility knowing it would provide me with an unrivaled experience for both personal and professional growth,” Saemi said. “In addition to working with and for a dedicated group of people, I believe [the internship] will provide a well-rounded experience with insight into some of the most advanced technology and treatments available.”


The Internal Medicine curriculum consists of 13 four-week blocks, with training such as inpatient medicine, medical intensive care, cardiology and more. Upon completion, students are eligible to apply for a medical license. The interns will transition to civilian status for their second postgraduate year, training in anesthesiology and radiology. In all, 30 students interviewed for the two positions.