Residency ready: five things to keep in mind

A healthcare worker in blue scrubs and a face mask adjusts her surgical cap with red polka dots in a hospital room.

As you get ready to begin your residency, you’ve got a lot to prepare. Don’t worry; we’ve got a list of things to keep in mind as you prepare to start this new phase in your medical training:

  1. Fund retirement accounts. This one’s simple. If your employer offers any employer-match retirement accounts, participate. Contribute the maximum if you can.
  2. Protect yourself with the right insurance. Consider purchasing life insurance. The insurance company will pay your beneficiaries the face value of the insurance policy. However, consider working with an objective third party to help vet a policy before you buy it.
  3. Establish a mentorship. Residency can be a solitary experience. But every physician in practice today has been where you are. You gain knowledge and well-rounded experience from your mentor, like learning to balance your workload with personal time. And when it’s your time, be a mentor to the junior residents.
  4. Remember you’re not alone. As a new resident, you might want to try to do everything on your own or take on more than you can handle. But remember that you’re not on your own. There will always be someone who’s willing to help you. Lean on your community.
  5. Practice self-care. It’s a stressful time, but you’ll be at your best when you’re physically, mentally and emotionally healthy. Be sure to exercise, unplug and wind down in a way that will help you reset. Spend time with your family and friends. Take breaks (when you can) and do things that make you feel excited and happy.
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