So, you’ve successfully scaled through your medical course in the University of your choice, and, like every other field, it’s time for you to get into the medical field and start treating people, right? Wrong! You see, unlike other fields like marketing, teaching, etc.,
where graduates can get into the field and start to practice almost immediately, medicine is quite different.
After going through theoretical school training, you have to go through residency. Think of residency as a mandatory internship for medicine.
It’s a three-year-long program where postgraduates reside and get access to practical training on how things work in clinics, hospitals, etc.
In reality, how long your residency lasts depends on the field you choose. For instance, neurosurgeons have to be residents for seven years, while pediatrics residency lasts three years.
If you wish to practice medicine as a doctor regardless of your preferred field of medicine, you have to go through the residency program.
The reason is, it would boost your confidence in handling patients and help you grow into the expert doctor you’ve always wanted.
However, before you attain that dream, you have to go through the residency program successfully. Sit tight while we answer your questions about the residency program and what you need to expect.
How stressful is residency?
Compared to medical school, residency comes with far less stress. Of course, residents would be stressed and worried about certain things. But they’ll go through a different kind of stress.
To show you the stress level you’ll go through in residency; I’ll compare it with medical school. For starters, Medical school requires you to stay on top of your grades, making you feel like you compete with your coursemates.
Here, you’ll have to keep up with tests, exams, practicals, and constant reading to stay top of your grades. However, in residency, there are no grades. You’ll only be evaluated based on your performance by attending physicians.
More so, as a student in Medical school, you’ll have to keep up with paying your tuition while you have no stable job.
While you can work part-time, it adds to the stress as you’ll have to keep up with classes, meet deadlines for assignments, projects, write tests and formal exams.
Let’s not forget that you’ll also probably slip into debt from trying to keep up with tuition fees to get your M.D. On the flip side, residency means you’re working a job in a specialized field.
You only have to worry about staying on top of your job as a resident doctor, taking care of your patients, and worrying less about reading for a formal exam.
More so, you can finally start to pay off your student loan and debts you accumulated in medical school.
The point of this comparison is that residency comes with far less stress compared to medical school, where it seems like you have to multitask to get so many things done at once.
Of course, it is stressful. But compared to the stress you were subjected to in medical school, you’ll probably come to think that the stress you’ll go through in residency is far better and bearable compared to when you were in medical school, struggling to get your M.D
Does residency get easier?
Well, residency does get easier, depending on what you refer to as “easier”. Here’s what I mean. The beginning of your residency year has Medical students transition from being mere students into becoming interns.
That transition comes off as tough for any human being because you’ll have to effectively manage your time between learning and working as an intern in your resident clinic.
More so, interns might not have the luxury of specializing in the field they want at first. You might be required to rotate through tons of specialty and medical teams.
For instance, if your chosen specialty in school was pediatrics, you’ll mostly end up working through the various medical field that exists.
You’ll find yourself working in surgery, intensive units, etc. In other words, interns are expected to experience all the other medical fields in their intern year of residency.
Honestly, going through this phase in your intern year can leave you feeling overwhelmed. You might break down in frustration a couple of times for several reasons.
In fact, research claim that medical students in their intern year would have their DNAs age six times faster in their first year.
However, things would get easier and less intense after your internship year because you’ll move into your residency year, where you can now specialize in the field you want.
While you’ll still face challenges and certain frustration, it won’t be as intense as when you were in your internship year.
Is getting into residency hard?
While residency is not difficult, getting into residency is an arduous task, and I’ll show you why.
For starters, every student knows that the basic requirement for getting into residency is to complete your four years of learning and training in Medical school.
While many people scale through and successfully graduate medical school, not everyone gets into residency.
While some get a residency placement or match almost immediately after med school, the majority have to try for years to match with any residency program.
Yet, the problem is not with the person but with the slots available each year for residency. With an ever-increasing number of graduate medical students, it hasn’t moved the number of available residency slots up by a number.
As a result, dozens of medical students compete yearly for 35,000 residency slots. It is no wonder why the requirement to be considered is quite tough and might be unreachable for some med students.
So, it’s wise to look into the requirement while in Medical school to ensure that you start to find a way to meet the requirement way before you’re through with medical school.
Is the first year of medical school the hardest?
Yes, the first year of medical school is the hardest. The reason is, you’re just getting into the medical field, and it always seems like there’s a lot to learn and a lot of assignments, etc.
At times, you might feel so overwhelmed to the point that you’ll feel you no longer want to be a medical practitioner again, and you might consider quitting. But the good news is, it does get easier as you advance.
How many hours a day is a residency?
Generally, resident doctors are expected to work up to 16 hours daily with at least 8 hours free time out of the hospital.
This structure is to ensure that residents get as much rest as they’ll need. Some residents might have a day off where they can relax and recharge for the next couple of workdays.
What is the hardest year in medical school?
The first year in Medical school is the hardest.
Michael Larry is an instructor and an educationist, who like to bring out the best in other through his inspirational writeup.