Congratulations on being a medical graduate.
A degree in medicine is the hardest to do, and deciding to apply for medical residency is a very tough decision.
But good job on deciding to apply for medical residency. Being a PG student in India is tougher than being an MBBS student in India.
What is medical residency? Residency after MBBS is an opportunity to master a medical subject or get a surgical specialty.
Residency is filled with intensive hours of work, never-ending studies, and too much workload.
The study in medical residency never ends, the work never ends, what ends, is time. You struggle to find free time.
Being a medical resident has its challenges. When you enter residency without knowing these challenges you might end up having a breakdown.
There are many types of residencies in medicine, and you’ll have to choose what specialty you want to do before applying for medical residency.
Here are things you must know before applying for residency:
Don’t be afraid of asking questions:
After being a medical graduate, you’ll feel like you know everything about medicine. Or you might think you know nothing at all.
Practice is usually different from theory; many medical students lose confidence in themselves when they see a patient and have no solution to offer to their disease. This might happen with you in residency too.
But that doesn’t mean that you lose your confidence, stop asking doubts, and think you don’t know anything.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions during residency. Asking questions will make you a good medico. The moment you’re faced with doubt or any question, ask it.
Asking a question lets your seniors know that you’re curious to learn and it also means that you’re alert and engaged in a situation.
Take care of your finances:
The costliest thing for MBBS students is medical residency. You will have to relocate to a hostel and pay relocation and hostel charges.
Many medical students take education loans to fund their MBBS and their PG courses. If you have taken an education loan you also have the pressure to pay off that loan.
Doctors are paid during medical residency, and as a doctor you’ll have to save for recurring expenses, rent, electricity, and also keep an emergency fund.
Learning some finance habits, having a budget, saving money, and not spending more than your limit can keep you on track with your finances.
Studying a lot:
In MBBS you have to study. But in residency, you have to study a lot. Medical residency comes with its challenges. No matter how much you study, there will always be something that will be left.
As you’ll also be working, you’ll also have less time dedicated to your studies.
You’ll be faced with a workload, and stressful situations, that studying will take a second priority for you, but studying and updating yourself with medical advances is as much as necessary as working.
Learn as much as you can from other residents and also the moment you find some free time, catch up on the latest articles in your area of interest.
Focus on your self-care:
Self-care teaches you about yourself. It teaches you coping strategies and you also learn about your behavior so you can better regulate your emotions.
Emotions can run on a hamster wheel, while stressed. Residency is stressful and lethargic; you never know how you will react in a stressful situation.
So, spend some time learning about yourself, your behavioral patterns, and your thinking patterns.
Self-care activities like meditation can help. But other self-care activities can also help boost your mood and keep the stress away from you.
Get a quality amount of sleep, meditate, say “no” to stress eating, and take care of your fitness as much as you can.
Communication is the best skill you can have:
What is the sign of a skilled medico? It’s communication.
You’ll have to communicate with your patients, your residents, your juniors, and your interns.
Keeping a good attitude with them and helping them understand is the best skill you can build.
Your good communication skills with your patients improve your patient satisfaction, and interaction and also lead to better care provided to patients.
Good communication with your colleagues can win you the best teamwork and build trust and credibility.
Enjoy yourself and have a positive social circle:
Due to the never-ending stress of residency, many residents are having a bad time keeping up with residency.
Many learn coping mechanisms, many fail to take care of themselves.
You’re not in residency to prove yourself or win a competition. Take it slow, never take someone’s negative comments personally, and never spend time with negative people.
Always have positive people around you who can motivate you to be your best and enjoy residency.
How can you enjoy residency? Well, making friends, going outside for a cup of coffee, and having some hobbies out of studies and work can pull off the stress from you.
So, these are the things you should know before joining residency. Residency is tougher than MBBS and it demands a lot. Sometimes it tests you, sometimes it does not. It’s important to focus on your residency and get a better career ahead of you, but self-care is also important.
Here are things you should know before joining/applying for residency:
- Enjoy yourself and have a positive social circle
- Take care of your finances
- Study as much as you can
- Spend time on self-care activities
- Improve your communication skills
- Ask questions