Published online by Cambridge University Press: 08 August 2009
There is a strong sense of satisfaction and relief when you definitively select a specialty for your professional career goal. For some, the decision-making process is quite simple, straightforward, and almost preordained. For others it involves many inquiries, much investigation, and considerable agonizing thought. With this decision behind you, the next task is facing the challenging process of securing the most appropriate site where you can obtain your postgraduate training. This is a difficult, demanding, and time-consuming process. This is the reason for the well-deserved celebration by medical student seniors and their families that takes place each year on Match Day. Being matched is another major professional milestone in your life.
With the issues of selecting and securing a residency resolved, the next major hurdle is faced from the very onset of postgraduate training. This involves coping with the rigorous demands of your prospective training program. These are usually both physically and emotionally highly stressful. Overcoming the daily challenges, advancing your knowledge and skills, and developing self-confidence are essential components of residency survival.
The impact of residency training on each individual depends on the demands of the specific specialty as well as on the nature of the individual program. Some residents can take the training process in stride. They may get fatigued and stressed out at times by the intense demands of their daily activities. However, they become rejuvenated after a good night's (or day's) rest.