Hey guys, I’m Siobhan, a first-year medical resident. You might be thinking to yourself she always introduces herself that way, but I don’t really know what a resident actually is. And you’re not alone, I’ve been getting that question a whole bunch of times. In this video let’s simplify the difference between a medical student, a resident, fellow, a staff physician or attending physician. Who are all these people? I’m gonna focus on how things work here in Canada. That’s where I live, but I understand it’s really similar in the US and a lot of other countries. But if there are differences that you know about let me know in the comment section below cuz I’d love to hear about it. So let’s start from the beginning. First you go to medical school and that usually takes about four years. And at that point at the end you get an MD after your name, for medical degree and you get doctor put in the front of your name. And congratulations at this point you are now a physician even though you’re not actually done all of your training. At the end of Medical School you write a really big exam and at that point you get promoted from being a medical student to becoming a resident and so…. at that point you enroll in a residency program. And those are all through university still and that’s when you get to choose between family medicine, surgery or maybe internal medicine like I’m doing. So the idea is that you’re now a doctor, you can prescribe medications and you get a modest salary. But you don’t really have enough experience to be able to practice medicine on your own I mean the stakes can be pretty high sometimes, but it’s not all that different from other professions. If you really think about it. It’s sort of like articling when you finish law school or doing a co-op when you’re trying to hone your skills and get mentored. So the process of residency can take anywhere between two and five years usually, depending what program you’re in but if you want to keep specializing and specializing and specializing it can take eight or even more years. Most of what you do is getting hands-on experience. But you do get a little bit of formal training as well so things like lectures and tutorials and being observed at what you’re doing. Then at the end of residency you write another huge exam and people actually study for it for almost a year in advance. It’s still really far away for me, but I’m already starting to get a little bit nervous about it to be honest. But if you decide to keep specializing, then you do something called a fellowship and we call you a fellow, so it’s a bit confusing. You’re still a resident, but because you’ve done so much training you get a new title and you’re called a fellow. So maybe you want to become an interventional cardiologist and when people have a heart attack, you want to thread a wire into the heart and open up their arteries to save their lives. Well that takes a lot of training and so you’re going to become a cardiology fellow and then do a fellowship in interventional cardiology. Of course you’re gonna have to write yet another exam, but then finally you’re gonna be done your training and at that point you’re gonna get your full independent license. to be an independent practicing doctor and you can go off and you can practice on your own. You don’t need to be supervised anymore. Let’s see, that’s about six to nine years after you started Medical School. But I’m telling you it actually goes by surprisingly quickly, which is kind of scary. In hospitals we call doctors who have their full independent licenses, and they’re not in training anymore, we call them staff physicians or attending physicians. And they’re really the most responsible doctor on our medical teams. So you may be wondering where am I at in this process so far? So I graduated from medical school a year ago and I started my residency in internal medicine and that’s usually a five-year program. But I have a little bit of time to decide if I want to sub-specialize as well. So basically I’m a doctor, I can prescribe medications. But I can only be working in a university setting and I’m being supervised by a physician who’s fully licensed. Does that make sense? I know it’s a bit of a confusing process and honestly I didn’t know how it worked before I went to medical school. So don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t already. You can see more about my journey as a new medical resident and feel free to comment below if you’ve any questions about this about anything else. Or just to say hi. So bye for now, and I will chat with you guys later.