So what is residency you ask? You’ve probably seen Grey’s Anatomy or Scrubs and have thus maybe heard of residency before. Residency is the training we do in a sub-field of medicine after we have gone to 4 years of college and 4 years of medical school. It lasts 3-7 years and allows us to sit for our licensing exam when we graduate. Residents are indeed doctors, they are just getting further specialized training. I am doing my training in pediatrics – I am and will take care of babies, kids, and teens and hopefully be involved in both preventative and treatment based care.
Now how does residency work – well in my pediatrics program we do 1 month long rotations in various sub-specialties of pediatrics. So one month I might be taking care of sick kids in the hospital and another in the neonatal intensive care unit and then another doing Hematology-oncology. This way we get experience in as many parts of pediatrics as possible before deciding what our career is going to look like.
Residency is known to be an extremely tough time in our training. The learning curve is steep and the hours can be rather long. Luckily we are limited to working 80 hours a week averaged over 4 weeks but don’t get me wrong that is still exhausting. Sometimes we go two weeks without a single day off. But this is what is necessary to learn as much as possible in only three years!
It is not all just hard work either. I have met some of my closest friends through residency in just these few short months that I have been here. We have a lot of fun in the time we find to get together and because we are all going through the same process we have a special understanding of each other’s lives.
Hopefully this helped explain to ya’ll a little about what a resident physician is and does. Shoot me any questions you might have and any ideas for new posts!