A hand-held endoscope having an internal light source (35) includes a housing (30) and a scope assembly (32) attached to the housing which includes a disposable scope (38), a fiber optic image guide (58) and a plurality of optical illumination fibers formed in a fiber bundle (48). The scope is insertable into a body for illuminating and imaging the internal structure of the body. The illumination fiber bundle is in light communication with an internal light source mounted within the housing. The light source preferably includes a light bulb (36) and a light transmission means (39) that is adapted to direct light from the light bulb into the illumination fiber bundle. The endoscope is constructed to utilize essentially all of the light produced by the light bulb and to remove heat generated by the light bulb.