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What I've learned thus far in my residency...

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So far it's been 5 months into my Surgical Residency, I just wanted to give a little info on what i think so far.


I remember the first month, I was still struggling on how to do a mattress suture or tying knots quickly. Now, I'm practically doing cases all by myself. So you do learn a great deal in these programs.


Hours: Depends on the rotation. average of 80 hours a week in certain rotations (ie: general surgery or ct surgery) and 50 hours a week in easy rotations like Plastics.


Tips for people that want to get into residency: Do lots of research on the residency you want to go into. I think picking a residency program that has developed for a long time is a good indication of the program. I'm in a young program now (couple of years old), therefore they are still very unorganized at times and have plenty of miscommunications with the MDs and MD residents. Half the hospital don't know the diff between pa residents and pa's.


At times i wish i went to program where they don't have a surgical MD resident but only PA residents. There, you won't be competing with them in certain procedures and cases.


Why i did residency? Because I was not convinced I could find a hospital or doctor that would teach me enough that residency has to offer or would give me the opportunity to go into the OR. I know friends that are in CT surg and it took them 4-5 months to get in to the OR and after one year, they still don't' know how to harvest veins.


Bottom line, residency is not for everyone. You have to sacrifice. There are ups and downs in my program. At times i regret it. But I can tell you this, at the end I'm probably damn proud of myself for finishing the program.

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Thank you for your words of wisdom. I am about to apply for a surgical residency this 2011. I was wondering if you had any other advice besides doing plenty of research on the program and applying for well established programs. You should be finished by now with the program and I'm curious to know which field you chose and why? Personally, I am unsure on my choice of subspecialty.

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