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Residency Reflections: Top 5 Tips for Residents

Recently, Med School Tutors sat down with two of its current tutors who are nearing the end of their residencies. They had a lot of feedback to share with new residents and current medical school students. We’ve taken that conversation and put together this list of the top tips for residents.

Top 5 Residency Tips for Incoming Medical Residents

1. Residency seems long, but it goes really fast.

Even though your individual timeline for residency may vary depending upon your specialty, the number of years that you spend in training seems like it will take a long time. However, once you are in residency time goes by very quickly. This is your opportunity to learn as much about your specialty as you can, so don’t waste any time. Think about these years as precious training that you’ll need.


2. Use your spare time wisely during residency.

Yes, there is some spare time in residency! While you will be working long hours, you will have time to do other things. Balance is crucial, so it’s important to use your free time to turn off and focus on self care so you that do not burn out. Our residents’ favorite ways to de-stress and maintain balance are to spend time outdoors, cook, exercise, and watch the news.

Besides taking care of yourself, you also need to use some of this time to study. Try to review something every night and stay on top of what’s happening in your specialty.


3. The best thing about residency is the work.

Sounds strange that work would be the best thing, right? By this time, you’ve spent a lot of time learning about what you are going to do in your specialty. Now is the time to actually do it! This is the time to learn from your resident peers as well as the attending physicians whom you work with.


4. You will work long hours, so do your best to enjoy your residency.

Being a resident physician isn’t a 9-to-5 job. Residency involves long shifts, sometimes 24 hours straight or more, and resentment and burnout are real risks. While you are at work, try to mindfully commit yourself to your patients and to celebrate their journey as a collaborative effort. Finding the positive moments amidst the challenging schedule will help you enjoy the important role you play in your patients’ lives.


5. You will most likely get lots of job opportunities even before you finish residency.

One of the upsides of entering a demanding job market is that you start to be recruited for jobs even before you finish residency. That is a big bonus to all the hard work that you are putting into your training.


Our residents have a lot of great advice for current residents or current medical school students. MST prides itself on having the best and brightest tutors who can not only help with exam preparation like specialty boards, but also tutors who have been through the process and can help advise you beyond test preparation. Reach out and see how we can help you succeed today.