5 Tips On Choosing The Best Medical Residency Program

5 Tips On Choosing The Best Medical Residency Program

Jun 24, 2020 Published by Kathrin O'Neill

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The life of a medical student is full of twists and turns. At every point in a medical student’s blooming career, they are faced with a barrage of choices that could either make or break their potential hopes and dreams in the near future. This crucial discipline and skill is also another asset that is continuously drilled into the minds of aspiring medical professionals for their sake and the sake of their future clients.

The medical community is not something to be taken lightly, one misstep can lead to a disastrous avalanche of unexpected consequences for the aspiring professional. And this principle happens to be most applicable to their careers and the decisions they make which hopefully would be for the benefit and prosperity of their future careers as they foray into the world of medicine.

One of these crucial moments is none other than when the time comes for a medical student to enter the medical residency program. This steppingstone in their careers provides a window of opportunities for the fledgling medical professional.

Not only would the soon to be resident gather valuable and priceless experience necessary to hone his or her skill in the art of medicine, but also it provides an opportunity for the aspiring professional to create, build, and establish meaningful relationships and a vast network of connections in the medical industry that is bound to be of help in the years that succeed their medical residency program.

With the vast amount of importance and attention placed in choosing the best medical residency program, due diligence and a lot of thinking goes into picking a program which will benefit an aspirant’s career the most. Below are five tips on choosing the best medical residency program:

1. Research on your preferred specialty

In choosing the specialty that you think is best for your medical career, make it an assurance that you will be satisfied with your decision in the long run. Most medical residency programs either end up having too much or too little applicants and most of it is to blame on the current trends and popularity levels in a specific batch of medical graduates.

With over 120 specialties listed in the American Association of Medical Colleges, take the time to really dissect and study each and every specialty and try to ask yourself the question: will I be satisfied and happy with this specialty in the next 5 years?

2. Assess your skills and capabilities

Aside from reviewing the massive catalogue of specialties available to you, there must also be time set aside in assessing your internal strengths and capacities. It is not enough that you consider a specialty to be the best fit for you, but it must also be a priority that you properly gauge and measure your current skills and capabilities and whether or not you will be up to the challenge that these specialties will demand of you.

Avoid incorporating a short-sighted view of things and try to look at the “bigger picture”. Regardless of the demand or popularity of a specialty, ask yourself this question: will I be able to accomplish the work demanded by my medical residency to the best of my abilities?

3. Review the location

Location is another crucial part in choosing the best medical residency program for you. Time is a crucial asset during medical residency and a lot of it will be taken away from you especially if you fail to consider location as an important factor during your selection process.

Before deciding on a list of potential medical residency programs to choose from, create a day to day schedule which you are most likely to stick with in the long run. Make sure to prioritize your travel time to and from the location of your medical residency in order to avoid a hectic work schedule.

4. Gain experience on your preferred specialty

As much as possible, try to collect as much experience as you can with your preferred specialty and the corresponding list of medical residency programs for that said specialty. As mentioned before, assess your skills and perform an honest self-review of your strengths and weaknesses.

If you feel like you lack in some areas of a particular specialty, try to gain as much experience as possible through several ways such as entering into a sub-internship of your preferred choice while still in medical school. Not only will this give you an unbiased perspective of the pros and cons of your specialty, it would also help you in choosing the best medical residency program which you feel you would substantially benefit from the most.

5. Narrow down your selected choices

Now it is time to cut down on some residencies which do not fit your ideal standards and availability. Save yourself the trouble of skimming through a page of preferred medical residencies and trim it down to the choices you feel you would: (1) benefit and learn from the most, (2) have the most convenient work schedule, (3) create the most meaningful and important work relationships for your career in the future.

These five recommendations are just what they are, tips. Ultimately, the medical residency you believe to be the best for your career as a medical practitioner is up to you. Instinct and “gut feel” does no harm every now and then.

Sometimes, intuition can be a deciding factor in whether you will be successful in your chosen medical residency or not. And success for each and everyone of us is also different; success for one person can be financial freedom, and success for another may be a healthy work environment.

Always leave a little bit of your time for reflection and carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of a particular specialty’s medical residency program. Every residency has its own strengths and weaknesses, try to make the most of your stay in medical school gathering enough experience and skills to better equip yourself for what would be one of the most memorable experiences in your career as a medical professional.