Your Residency Roadmap: What to expect when you’re expecting to become a doctor

By MDLinx staff
Published April 21, 2022

Key Takeaways

Dear Residents,

Congratulations! You've made it through years of intensive study and practice, and now you're taking the next steps that will cement your place in the world as a physician.

Your Residency Roadmap is designed to help you navigate, survive, and thrive on your journey through the challenging—and rewarding—world of medical residency.

While pondering the medical resident's journey for this project, we were reminded of the wildly popular pregnancy guide, What to Expect when You're Expecting, written by Heidi Murkoff and published in 1984. The week-by-week guide (and ensuing book series), aimed to help mothers and new parents navigate the challenges of pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting with practical advice, resources, and support. 

The arduous labor of residency also results in a birth of sorts—from medical student to physician and healer.

Like new parents, those on the path of medical residency will face the unknown, endure sleepless nights, learn something new every day, and most likely need to seek advice from those who've gone before. 

In this series, we'll provide a roadmap of what to expect, offer credible guidance, and share unique perspectives and lessons from those who've been through residency.

Topics include: 

  • Residency basics: What to expect from doctors who've been there; residency misconceptions, debunked; how to ace rounds; understanding medical liability and malpractice; switching residencies; useful resources, and more. 

  • Beyond the Classroom: The importance of asking for help and who you should ask; finding a mentor; and the benefits of serving as a mentor yourself. 

  • Building relationships: Establishing trust in your circle; understanding the key players on your team; and dealing with a difficult team member.

  • Navigating patient challenges: Coping with patient death; the importance of cultural competency; dealing with difficult patients; working with family and caregivers; and preparing for your first end-of-life discussion.

  • Prepping for the boards: Best Step 3 strategies, according to doctors who've been there; creating a study plan for Step 3: most common FAQs answered; and most popular resources. 

  • Women in practice: Combating sexual harrassment in medicine; the best career and leadership advice for women in medicine; nursing during residency: issues and advice; and the importance of supporting other females in medicine.

  • Work-life balance: Maintaining personal relationships during residency; taking care of yourself; managing finances; and considerations for those who want to have a baby during residency. 

  • Self-care and mental health: Support systems and maintaining a life outside of medicine; building confidence and a growth mindset; coping with bullying during residency; being OK with being wrong; dealing with imposter syndrome; preventing and managing burnout as a resident; and what to do when you feel like giving up residency.

  • Post-residency transitions: Employment options and deciding your next steps; career alternatives outside of clinical medicine; applying and interviewing for fellowships and jobs; working with recruiters; negotiating a job contract; coping with rejection after interviews; navigating state licensure; and what you should know about moonlighting. 

We hope this series will help you professionally, and personally, as you embark on this journey of a lifetime. And we wish you success and many rewards along the way! 

All the best,

The MDLinx Team

Read Next: What can you expect as a new resident?
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