Easing into Residency: Transition Tips
While you're looking forward to this next step in your medical career, you may also be experiencing mixed feelings about the decisions that you have to make in a short period of time.
The following suggestions can help you address important issues and help you transition from medical school to residency.
Manage Your Finances
- Determine when and how you will be paid—weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. If direct deposit is available, take advantage of it -- it’s the easiest way to have your paycheck deposited into your bank account.
- Understand the repayment terms and relative cost of the loans in your portfolio and take full advantage of your rights as a borrower. If you have questions, contact your loan servicer(s).
- Establish a system for maintaining financial records. Get organized. Read .
- Determine what type of insurances (disability, accident, life, malpractice, etc.) you will need as well as how much you will need.
- Create a budget. This will help you live within your means. Read .
- Establish financial goals. Having goals will help you focus and be intentional about the steps you take to achieve those goals.
- Weigh and consider the advantages and disadvantages of renting vs. buying.
|Lower Intitial cost||Less privacy|
|Fewer or no maintenance responsibilities||Provides no collateral (no equity)|
|No long-term commitment (beyond lease term)||Rental costs may increase with each lease term|
|With a fixed rate mortgage, monthly payment will remain constant||Maintenance is the homeowner’s responsibility|
|Builds equity over time||Ability to quickly relocate may be reduced|
|interest and property taxes may be tax deductible||Generally requires higher initial cost (down payment and closing costs)|
Manage Your Time
- Determine your work/duty hours as well as any vacation time. Build in time for yourself.
- Find out about leave policies before you need them. Knowing the details about taking sick leave, FMLA, maternity, and military service can be helpful.
- Obtain information abouth the policy for Continuing Medical Educationso that you can be prepared to meet expectations.
- Stick to major texts and journals specific to your area of training. You won't have time to read everything.
- Leave the hospital on your time off and do something that you enjoy.
- Exercise professionalism at all times. Remember: you are part of a health care team
- Make a copy of your diploma before framing it.
- Read your contract carefully.
- Keep your student loan information well labeled and close by so that you can easily find it.
- Make sure you have money saved for USMLE Step III.
- Know what support services are available to you. Check with your residency program coordinator for assistance.
Financial Information, Resources, Services, and Tools (FIRST)
MedLoans® Organizer and Calculator (MLOC)
The MedLoans® Organizer and Calculator was developed to assist medical students and residents with managing their education debt.
Get practical information on budgeting, money management, credit, debt management, scholarship searches, and more.
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