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As a resident, you are in an in-between phase when you feel the weight of student loans and the expectation that you will soon make more money. It’s not enough to finish medical school, but now you have to prove yourself through residency.

This is where most of your salary comes from, but it’s also an important time for training in specific fields of medicine. For example, I’m doing my first year as a pediatrician; this year, I’ll rotate through different departments at the hospital and learn how they work together with primary care physicians (PCPs). 

You’ll be trained in caring for children: delivering babies, administering vaccinations, treating illnesses like strep throat or chickenpox, handling emergencies such as choking or asthma attacks, diagnosing disorders like autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or ADHD—the list goes on!

As far as pay goes: residents make less per hour than PCPs because they’re considered trainees rather than fully qualified doctors, yet they still need temporary housing while working long hours at night/weekends, around 80 hours per week (6 days).

Is Residency Necessary?

You might also notice that residency is not paid as much. This means that you, as a newly minted doctor, will have to work for years without reaching a full salary. You can’t work anywhere else and make enough money to support yourself and your family on top of the $40k-60k (or more) student loans you’ll be paying off with no help from either your school or the government.

If this sounds like a lot of debt and stress for a job that doesn’t pay, it’s because it is! As one resident put it: “The average physician makes roughly $170K after training but also has over $200K in student loan debt.”

Accordingly, many doctors decide not to do a residency at all—instead opting for medical specialties where they can earn more quickly. However, these specialty fields are becoming increasingly competitive due to increased applicants and decreased interest from recent graduates who would rather pursue other careers instead of entering into what often feels like indentured servitude (and potentially years upon years of sleepless nights).

Intern – Resident – Chief Resident

As a medical student, you’ll be expected to complete your rotations (many of which are electives) during your third and fourth years. Most students switch from intern to resident and then chief resident during this time — each level comes with added responsibility.

A doctor who has graduated from medical school but is still in training is called an internist or resident physician (depending on the type of program). If a doctor has finished their residency but chooses to continue practicing medicine to gain experience, they can become a faculty member at a hospital or clinic. They may also choose not to practice medicine after training; instead, they could go into research or education while pursuing another profession entirely!

As a medical student, it cannot be easy to understand the importance of being able to teach others. But as a resident, that ability becomes invaluable. For example, I was able to teach other residents how to treat patients or help them develop their skills as they learned on their own. Teaching someone else makes you think more critically about what you did and why you did it that way. It also helps them feel more confident in their abilities because they know someone else had seen them succeed before and trusted them with something important.

The ability to interact with other doctors is another valuable skill that comes from a residency—and one that wasn’t possible when I was just a medical student because I didn’t have enough experience or knowledge yet myself! It was an incredible experience to care for patients and lead other residents and interns and interact with attendings on an equal level than before (though still not without some hesitation).

Do Residents Have Breaks?

We typically have time off set aside for vacations or family time during residency. However, if you have a patient who requires regular care or is covering another doctor’s patients while they are on vacation, you may find yourself working on your scheduled days off anyway.

Having time off and making the most of it cannot be overstated. Residents need time to recuperate, spend time with their families, and do things other than work. However, when doctors cannot take a break from residency duties, they may end up burning out. 

Similarly, if you feel guilty about taking your vacation days or weekends off because you don’t think you’re working hard enough at the hospital (like I did), then those feelings will only make it harder for yourself during this stage in life.

Why Is Residency Important?

Residents participate in the care of patients at all levels. Once you’re a resident, you’ll be supported by an expert team of doctors and nurses. You will also have access to cutting-edge technology and equipment to help keep your patients safe. For example, if someone is having a heart attack or stroke, there are special machines that can scan the patient’s body for any damage so that the doctor can quickly get them treatment.

During this time, you’ll learn how to treat patients with complicated illnesses like cancer or diabetes, care for complex medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or kidney failure, and even how preventative medicine works (for example getting vaccinated against diseases). The doctors who work with residents on these cases understand their importance and limitations, so it’s up to them where those limits lie!

It’s also important for residents not only because they’re learning about themselves but also because they can pass their knowledge on to future generations by teaching others what they’ve learned from experience (like when I teach my younger brother about breathing exercises).

Group of medical students in the classroom


There are many reasons to go into medical residency after medical school, but the primary benefit is that it allows you to specialize in a certain area of medicine. Specializing can be as simple as focusing on certain diseases or conditions, or it can involve focusing on a specific age group, gender, or type of surgery.

For example, an obstetrician/gynecologist specializes in pregnant women and reproductive organs. An ophthalmologist specializes in eyesight problems and eye surgeries. A cardiologist specializes in heart conditions and cardiac treatments like angioplasty (where blood vessels are widened).

The benefit of specializing is that when you become a specialist at a hospital or clinic—and especially if you open up your practice—you will have plenty of opportunities to work with patients with similar illnesses who need help from someone who has expertise in their particular disease process or condition.

Clinical Experience

Medical residencies are a great way to learn how to practice medicine. During this time, you will gain invaluable experience in clinical work and be able to apply the knowledge that you have learned at medical school while receiving guidance from experienced doctors. After completing your residency program, you will be qualified as a doctor of medicine (MD) or a doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO).

You may also choose to pursue further training after completing your residency program to specialize in an area such as cardiology or pediatrics.

Knowledge Application

As a medical resident, you will have the opportunity to apply what you have learned in medical school. You can work with patients and learn from your experiences. You will be able to use the knowledge you gained from textbooks, lectures, and clinical experiences with patients who need your help.

As a resident physician, it is important to be a good doctor by treating every patient with dignity and respect and being careful not to make any mistakes that could jeopardize their health or life. It is also very important for residents doctors interested in becoming physicians one day because they want their values of being honest and caring towards others’ lives.


The medical profession is a demanding field, and it requires constant training. Medical residents are encouraged to continue learning after medical school by attending seminars, conferences, and workshops. A good way for all students to gain experience in medicine is through a residency program.

During this time, you’ll be able to apply what you learned in medical school on top-notch equipment under supervision from your mentors. Your mentor will also help guide you through any difficulties during your training period.

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