The term as a medical student could be very stressful and daunting. You may find it challenging to apply everything you've learned during your clinical years on your first day of the resident program. Most candidates for residency in the US usually end up in Internal Medicine and are placed on the floors the first day. The "floors" here refer to the inpatient floor. Throughout the rotations, you'll do more than 6 months of floor rotations.
The floors are usually very busy although that depends to a great extent on what area you're specializing in and the location of the hospital. Hospitals in suburban areas tend to be less busy than those in big cities.
Residencies are in charity systems that care for the public, those without health insurance, Medicaid and Medicare. Roles played by residents in most hospital settings include taking care of patients, admitting new patients into the hospital.
Patients may be admitted into:
Intensive care unit.
Patients admitted into the telemetry must be those who need meticulous supervision. Cardiac patients and stroke patients fall under this category.
The medical unit is for mildly sick patients.
The intensive care unit is for those with complex issues and also requiring a high level of care. Patients with upper or lower gastrointestinal bleeds, diabetic patients, high-risk operative patients, hypertensive emergency patients on intravenous titrations fall under this category.
You will have the task of assessing admitted patients and also perform physical exams. Residents also order appropriate tests and consult with other specialties as needed.
Attending patient rounds and performing treatments and diagnostic procedures are also resident responsibilities. You will provide treatment, educate your patient on self-care and other essential things they need to know and write discharge summaries. In your first year as a resident, you will work under very close supervision by the attending physicians and senior residents. Your responsibilities will increase with each year.
Duration of residency
Your area of specialty will determine the length of your residency. Residencies mostly last between three and seven years. Doctors specializing in areas such as pediatrics, internal medicine, and family practice spend three years. Others in more complex specialties such as urology and surgery spend a longer duration of time.
It should be noted that additional training may be required after you've completed your standard residency program. This additional training could come as fellowship training. Depending on your specialty, it may last between one to three years.
It is a well-known fact that residency programs can be very tedious. You will be required to work long hours depending on your specialty. Dermatologists, for instance, may work lesser hours than surgical residents. Generally, some residents may work up to 45 hours weekly. Others may accomplish much more than that. Fresh residents (First-years) work much longer than others. Most often, they are required to work on-call hours. The residency program is tedious because you'll be attending lectures and conferences alongside the resident program. This may place extra demands on your time.
Medical residents earn varying amounts. Various factors determine how much a resident will earn each year such as– the location where he/she is working and the area of specialty. As at 2012, first-year residents in the US earned between $40,000 and $50,000 annually. The salaries increase with each year of residency.