1. The choice of hospital is the most crucial decision. Each hospital offers a training program distinctly unique from other hospitals. The size of the training program is also closely related to the hospital bed capacity.
So if you want a bigger program, meaning more residents within a program, you might as well take on the big hospitals. Among the big ones, there is the big training program with (sadly) lesser guidance, academically, from able consultants and there is the big training program with adequate guidance from the medical experts in their respective fields. For smaller programs with smaller hospitals, the work load may not be as heavy as those in big hospitals, but this may also affect your exposure to different cases in our field of specialty.
Wherever you choose to train, let me impart to you an Indian Proverb -- "It's the Indian, not the arrow." Everything depends on you and wherever your decision brings you, it is how you play the ruthless game that is called residency.
|Taken during one of my nocturnal duties at the hospital. I trained in the base hospital of the medical school from which I graduated. Here I grabbed a bite of pizza, a going-away treat of one of the nursing staff.|| |
2. You must at least have an idea of the people you will be working with as a slave in the next three years of our life. It's good to go into residency training with people whose work ethics you already know from the start. Beyond that, it's even better to surround yourself at work with friends, trusted friends whom you will enjoy learning with, knowing that whatever happens, they will be with you through thick and thin. So if you have suspicious characters with potential talent of wrecking the already havoc-wrecked residency, maybe you'd like to think things over again.
I personally can attest to this since, I have been to residency twice with a long streak of moonlighting in between. Moonlighting, which means, you go on duty in a certain hospital, you work as an employee but you are not under residency training, can actually rake big bucks of money you haven't known all your life unless you were born with a silver spoon and already held money in six-figure amounts with your own hands. Some could even buy a second hand car within 1-2 years of moonlighting.
To moonlight or not to moonlight? You might want to read more about moonlighting in the Philippines here and here.
5. There is no other way to go but into residency and therefore learn to make the most out of it. In residency, you should be willing to learn because that is what you came there for. However, willingness to learn is not enough, as the enthusiasm fades once in a while, with all the psychological warfare and physical battery you will go through in training. It goes beyond just enthusiasm because it is actually your responsibility to learn. A consultant once advised us in the department to read your books as much as you can during your duty hours so you can do whatever you want and have a life when you are off-duty. A pretty helpful advice, although at the same time a pretty tall order.
|One sunny moment during residency training.|