What You Should Know About Medical Residency and Training

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Many applicants to medical school don't realize that becoming a doctor is not just a matter of graduating from medical school. A great deal of training occurs after graduation, during residency.  Residency typically lasts three years. It is during residency that you will specialize in a particular field of medicine.

Residency by the Year

The first year of residency is also known as an internship or first year residency (PGY-1 for post graduate year 1, the first year out of medical school). Interns generally rotate among specialties. During PGY-2, the second year of residency, the doctor continues to learn the field, focusing on a specialty area. Fellowship, PGY-3, is when the doctor trains in a sub-specialty. 

Daily Tasks

Residents are expected to fulfill several tasks daily. Responsibilities of a resident can include:

  • Rounds (talk to each patient about their care).
  • Rounds with the team: teams include several interns, an upper-level supervising resident, and an attending or teaching physician taking care of certain patients. Students are often questioned/drilled about diseases and treatment techniques. Students are able to speak with each patient about their needs and make suggestions for further diagnostic tests and treatments.
  • Students check in with some patients again and delve deeper into their treatments.
  • Residents leave notes or instructions on each patient including possible problems that may arise for the next shift resident.
  • Attend various lectures and conferences.
  • Study at home and work.

Students may admit new patients and are expected to:

  • Prepare a history of the patient's medical past.
  • Perform a physical examination.
  • Write their admitting orders, which include instructions for tests and medications.

All of this work is accompanied by an average annual salary of  $40,000 to $50,000. 

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Kuther, Tara, Ph.D. "What You Should Know About Medical Residency and Training." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, thoughtco.com/medical-residency-and-training-essential-facts-1686321. Kuther, Tara, Ph.D. (2020, August 27). What You Should Know About Medical Residency and Training. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/medical-residency-and-training-essential-facts-1686321 Kuther, Tara, Ph.D. "What You Should Know About Medical Residency and Training." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/medical-residency-and-training-essential-facts-1686321 (accessed June 1, 2023).