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Graduating Residency Creates a Big Problem, Here’s the Solution

Finishing your medical training and graduating residency or fellowship is one of the biggest accomplishments that any physician will experience.

But there is a big problem.

Here it is plain and simple:

Medical trainees are graduating residency with no financial, negotiation, or practice building skills, leading to poor professional, financial, and over all well being.

I’ve experienced this all first hand

graduating residency

I experienced this after 4 years of medical school and 7 years of residency and fellowship.

I was finally about to be an attending physician and people were telling me it was all finally going to be all good. But I didn’t feel like it was going to be good despite the fact that I would finally be making a real paycheck and following my passion.

I felt this way because I had no idea how to successfully make the transition from a trainee to an attending. I saw some of my colleagues do it successfully. But I also saw a lot do it unsuccessfully. But the big problem was that, when I spoke to both the successful and unsuccessful ones, neither could offer anything but haphazard and disorganized “advice.”

Our path through medical training is highly scripted. We literally open an envelope to tell us where to go for training. Then we get to the end of training and the whole world is open to us.

But we have no idea how to handle the openness that comes after graduating residency

We have never looked for a job like this. We have never managed our finances. And we have never negotiated a contract. Forget about looking to buy a house. And so much more.

And we never have learned anything about this…

There is no guidance or help. I mean, I didn’t even know how to look for job openings!

We feel agoraphobic. And too often we make bad, uninformed decisions based on feelings of overwhelm and intimidation. We find ourselves seeking a “comfortable” or familiar situation. Even if that is not what is best for us.

This is feedback that I have heard over and over again from trainees graduating residency.

So what is the solution to this problem?

The solution to this problem is to teach medical trainees the skills necessary to successfully make the transition to being an attending – personally, professionally, and financially!

This education needs to be formalized and based on honest, shared experiences from this who have been through the transition.

These are skills and strategies that are not complex and can be easily implemented by all physicians.

However, when they are not implemented, the results are disastrous. We are all seeing this in the current healthcare landscape with widespread burnout and moral injury among doctors. A huge percentage of doctors leave their first job within the first few years. This is not what is good for doctors, their families, and their patients.

So something needs to change.

The impact of teaching these skills to residents when they can be implemented easy on would be huge!

My vision for the future of healthcare

Physicians with well-being are better physicians. Again, I’ve experienced this firsthand in my journey with burnout.

Through learning the skills necessary to thrive personally, professionally, and financially in training, graduating residents will turn into happy physicians providing optimal patient care.

Moreover, their financial well-being will improve, leading them to financial freedom.

And a nation of financially free and well physician improving healthcare in ways that we cannot even imagine yet…even though I still like to imagine!

This is the future that I envision.

How I managed this transition successfully after graduating residency

This is what I did:

  • Reflected on my personal goals and what I actually wanted in my life and career
  • Stopped worrying about what I perceived others thought was best for me
  • Spent hours learning the ins and outs of finding the perfect job, contract negotiation, debt management, personal finance, practice management, and mindset
  • Interviewed hundreds of physicians to learn from their experiences and distill out the productive habits and strategies they used

Then I implemented what I learned to give myself the best odds of successfully managing this transition.

And that’s exactly what happened!

I found my perfect job and negotiated a contract that fit my priorities. My financial well-being shot through the roof as I created a written financial plan that leads me right to financial freedom on my terms, build my ideal practice, and fostered an abundance and growth mindset.

This is what I want for all of you!

I want to be part of the solution

Because I have seen this journey. I know what it is like. I am right on the road with you, not simply shouting instructions from the finish line.

And I just how important this is for physicians, their families, patients, and healthcare overall!

That is why I started this blog.

It’s also why I specifically created my online course, Graduating to Success. I condensed all of the hours and books and blogs and podcasts and personal interviews into an 8 week course teaching all of the high yield strategies necessary to take massive action, experience amazing success, and build your ideal life – personally, professionally, and financially.

I want to be a guide in this crucial time period for all physicians. And the beautiful thing is, even if you have already graduated, you can still implement these skills and strategies. It’s never too late!

The journey for physicians from where we are to where we want to be can seem overwhelming and almost impossible. Too often, we accept less than ideal because we think that is necessary.

But it is not! And I can say this because I have experienced it and am still on that same journey right with you.

So let’s do it together and be a part of this rising tide that will change us and healthcare for the better!

A great way to start is by checking out my free masterclass webinar on The 12 Steps to Financial Freedom for Physicians!

What do you think? How can we improve healthcare through well-being? What is the solution for those graduating residency? Let me know in the comments below!

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    Jordan Frey MD, a plastic surgeon in Buffalo, NY, is one of the fastest-growing physician finance bloggers in the world. See how he went from financially clueless to increasing his net worth by $1M in 1 year and how you can do the same! Feel free to send Jordan a message at [email protected].

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