Preparing for Residency
Transitioning from a medical student to a resident can be a challenge, but these suggestions can help you prepare to address important issues and make the transition easier.
Manage Your Finances
- Determine when and how you will be paid - weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. If direct deposit is available, take advantage of it - it’s the easiest way to have your paycheck deposited into your bank account.
- Understand the repayment terms and relative cost of the loans in your portfolio and take full advantage of your rights as a borrower. If you have questions, contact your loan servicer(s).
- Establish a system for maintaining financial records. Get organized. Read Debt Management Relies on Good Record-Keeping fact sheet.
- Determine what type of insurances (disability, accident, life, malpractice, etc.) you will need as well as how much you will need.
- Create a budget. This will help you live within your means. Read Budgeting Basics: Managing Your Money During the Lean Years fact sheet.
- Establish financial goals. Having goals will help you focus and be intentional about the steps you take to achieve those goals.
- Weigh and consider the advantages and disadvantages of renting vs. buying.
|Lower initial cost.||Less privacy.|
|Fewer or no maintenance responsibilities.||Provides no collateral
|No long-term commitment (beyond lease term).||Rental costs may increase with each lease term.|
|With a fixed rate mortgage, monthly payment will remain constant.||Maintenance is the homeowner’s responsibility.|
|Builds equity over time.||Ability to quickly relocate may be reduced.|
|Interest and property taxes may be tax deductible .||Generally requires higher initial cost (down payment and closing costs).|
Manage Your Time
- Determine your work/duty hours as well as any vacation time. Build in time for yourself.
- Find out about leave policies before you need them. Knowing the details about taking sick leave, FMLA, maternity, and military service can be helpful.
- Obtain information about the policy for Continuing Medical Education so that you can be prepared to meet expectations.
- Stick to major texts and journals specific to your area of training. You won't have time to read everything.
- Leave the hospital on your time off and do something that you enjoy.
- Exercise professionalism at all times. Remember: you are part of a health care team.
- Make a copy of your diploma before framing it.
- Read your contract carefully.
- Keep your student loan information well labeled and close by so that you can easily find it.
- Make sure you have money saved for USMLE Step III.
- Know what support services are available to you. Check with your residency program coordinator for assistance.
Please log onto https://www.aamc.org/ for additional resources to assist you as you transition from student to resident/ employee.