7 residents tell us what they’re most looking forward to post-training

By Kristen Fuller, MD
Published January 22, 2024

Key Takeaways

I couldn’t wait to finish my residency, and I wasn’t the only one who felt impatient to enter practice. Although I appreciated my residency experience, I didn’t love the process, because I felt so exhausted and overworked. 

I was so excited to graduate so I could get more sleep, work fewer hours, have more independence, and make a living wage. And the closer I came to completing my residency, the more I craved my freedom. 

We asked medical residents, “What are you most looking forward to after you complete residency?” Here’s what they had to say.

residents smiling celebrating

A whole new world of possibilities

Jake Jacob, MD: “First off, it's the feeling of accomplishment. Residency is an intense training period where you learn a ton and work crazy hard. So, finally getting through it and becoming a full-fledged doctor is a huge deal for me. It's like reaching the end of a marathon and getting that medal—all the sweat and effort pays off.

“I'm looking forward to having more independence in my medical decisions. Right now, I've got experienced docs overseeing everything I do, which is awesome for learning, but sometimes I'm itching to make calls independently. And let's not forget the chance to specialize—finding a field of medicine I'm super passionate about and diving deep into it. That kind of expertise is exciting, and I can't wait to geek out about a particular area of medicine.”

"After residency, I'll have more freedom to make clinical judgments and tailor treatments to what I think is best. There's a whole world of possibilities opening up, and that's what's keeping me pumped!"

Jake Jacob, MD

resident on computer

Financial freedom

Christina Pedro, MD, MBA: "After completing residency, I'm looking forward to having the opportunity to choose what clinical setting I'd like to practice in."

"I'm also looking forward to having a salary that allows me to live comfortably and allows me to work toward paying off my debt."

Christina Pedro, MD, MBA

residents treatment team

Applying my training to patient care

Abeeha Naqvi, MD: “I am excited to start making decisions independently and developing my independent way of rounding and formulating plans.”

"I’m also excited to care for patients and apply different techniques that I've adapted along the way."

Abeeha Naqvi, MD

resident doctor collaborating collaboration

What other residents are excited about

  • Mark Winfield, MD: “More independence, having my own plan of care for my patients, and having my patients remember my name.”

  • Boyer Bran, MD: “Finding a good work-life balance.”

  • Ravi Patel, MD: “Spending more time with patients rather than spending time on scut work.”

  • Sunder Sham, MBBS: “Becoming an efficient pathologist in an academic institute.”

Parting thoughts

My residency period is far behind me, and looking back, I wish I had better appreciated the perks of residency. We always had someone to bounce ideas off of, we could make mistakes and learn from them, and we were not solely responsible for anything that went wrong. 

Although it is normal for residents to look forward to post-residency life, I strongly encourage you to relish the training period. A paycheck and more freedom are great, but they come with even greater responsibility. The future will come before you know it. 

Every medical resident has a question to ask and a story to tell—a comical moment, a prickly patient encounter, or a hack for staying sane during residency. We survey medical trainees for their best questions and answers and bring them to you in this column. Engaging, enlightening, and entertaining—from resident to resident!

Read Next: 7 residents on how social media can both help and hinder the residency experience

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