Starting Medical Residency
Congratulations on Matching! The transition into residency marks an important milestone in your career. Once you’ve matched, you are most likely feeling a slew of emotions- excitement, gratitude, relief and maybe anxiety. Residency is a time for tremendous growth, both in terms of clinical knowledge as well as your professional development. After Match Day, it’s smart to consider how you can prepare for residency. Here are a few key points to better prepare for this exciting new chapter in your life:
1. Hone Your Communication Skills
As an Intern, you will be spending a lot of time with patients and potentially their families. Preparing for on the spot, face-to-face conversations will help you feel more comfortable. Reflect on the experiences you’ve had during Med School and how that can help you during residency. It’s okay if you don’t have the answers to all their questions. Observe and learn how senior physicians converse with patients to help you feel better prepared.
2. Learn to Work as a Team
Residency requires duties and responsibilities to be completed through teamwork. To prepare for this, take mental notes on how long certain tasks take you. Think about the tasks you’re comfortable with & the ones that you’re not. This will give you the best opportunity to pick up crucial skills you need during each rotation.
3. Find a Mentor
Finding a reliable mentor can help you better navigate residency; their knowledge & experiences will likely be your greatest asset. You may find yourself gravitating to a certain Senior Resident, Fellow or Attending. They have been in your shoes before, so don’t hesitate to ask them for advice on how to optimize your time, energy and of course patient-related questions.
4. Make Time for You
Between long shifts, studying new treatments and preparing various presentations, you may find yourself caught up in the exhausting cycle of your residency program. To avoid burnout, set aside time to focus on activities outside of work. Pick up a new book, start watching a new show/series, exercise, or find a hobby that helps your mental health. Whatever it may be, make it your own!