How are hospitals and clinics different?

Understanding the differences between U.S. hospitals and clinics can help you determine the setting you would prefer your rotation to take place in. It can also help you decide the setting you would like to work in.

While hospitals and clinics are both important components of the U.S. healthcare system, they differ significantly. Below is a comparison of the differences.

One thing to keep in mind is that when searching for rotations, inpatient programs are hospital-based. Outpatient programs occur at clinics. There is also the possibility that you find rotations that offer exposure to both settings. These can be great introductory experiences to a new healthcare system! 

For even more information on the differences outlined below, click here

Comparing Hospitals and Clinics

Hospitals Clinics
  • Larger, more services
  • Attend to serious medical cases

  • Offer surgical procedures

  • Open more hours, sometimes 24/7

  • Allow overnight stays 

  • Smaller, concentrated services
  • Provide routine appointments

  • Provide preventative care

  • Open during weekdays

  • Do not provide overnight stays