> Navigating Residency

5 Things I Wish I Had Known My Last Year of Residency

The last year of residency goes by in the blink of eye.  Don’t get so wrapped up in studying for and passing the board exam that you forget to put some focus on these five things.

5. Savor the Time with Your Fellow Residents

Third year flies by. You spend a great deal of your life with your co-residents and it is very easy to get caught up in the craziness of third year and not enjoy the moments of residency with them. Try to remember to spend quality time with your co-residents because after June you go from seeing them every day to maybe seeing them once a year at a meeting. Everyone’s life just gets busier and busier so don’t forget to have some fun with your fellow residents before you graduate.

4. Look for a Job Early

When third year begins, start putting feelers out in your community that you will be requiring a job in about a year. Even if you want a job in a location other than where you are for your residency, you can still ask around and talk with dermatologists in that community about potential job opportunities. It is never too early to start looking.

3. Experience As Many Different Practice Types as Possible

It is difficult to know what type of practice setting in which you want to work. Each type has many different nuances, and experiencing them first-hand helps you to better understand what type of practice you want to look for in your near future. Additionally, talking with the recent graduates from your program about their experiences is also helpful as they have just completed the journey you are about to embark on.

2. Start Studying Early

Third year goes so quickly you will be amazed, which means the boards also arrive faster than expected. At the end of third year, there is quite a lot going on and studying may not be particularly high on the “to do” list, though it should be. It is imperative to start studying early so you can enjoy your graduation. Make a study plan for the boards and try your best to stick to it; include in the plan time off for graduation and fun times with your co-residents.

1. Save Money

This is extremely important to do throughout your third year, and it would be wise to start saving second year. The number of things that require large sums of money during third year are countless, and unless someone recommended you save money or you have a large savings account, you may not be able to afford all the large ticket items on a resident salary. Those items include, but are not limited to: the board exam and the travel associated, state licensing and DEA costs, board review courses and their associated travel, moving costs, interview costs for a fellowship or job after graduation.

Overall, third year of residency goes by so quickly. Make sure you take time to relax and enjoy it because once it is over, it is over – time has marched on and you start the next exciting chapter of your life.