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.

100 thoughts on “WHAT IS A MEDICAL RESIDENT?

  1. UK junior doc here, we use: house officer (first year postgraduate), senior house officer (second year postgraduate to core training), specialty registrar (specialty trainee), and consultant (senior doctor who has completed specialist training). Family doctors here are called GPs (general practitioners). Physicians and GPs use the title 'Doctor' while surgeons revert to Mr and Miss upon completion of royal college membership (a Royal College of Surgeons tradition due to the fact that surgeons used to be tradesmen and did not go to university).

  2. Oh boy… that moment when you rewatch your video and realize that you said the wrong thing, but can't edit it anymore!! 😳 Just to clarify, MD = Medicinae Doctor, Latin for "Doctor of Medicine". Thanks to the viewers who brought this to my attention!! Always appreciate your comments ❤️

  3. Hi 😊 I'm a medical social worker and love watching your videos. You do a great job of explaining your job. I'm curious to know if you work in collaboration with medical social workers at your hospital and do you like/dislike the role of a social worker? Have a good day

  4. Interesting! In Australia the year after you graduate university you are called an intern where you still rotate. 2nd year our is junior house officer – this is the first year you're able to register as a physician, 3rd is senior house officer. The year after you can either be a principal house officer (if you don't want to head into a fellowship it's the equivalent to a registrar). Otherwise it's then registrar, senior registration and then provisional fellowship year 🙂

  5. Hi there! I just want to say you seem like you’re an amazing doctor and will make a great one as you advance in your career! I am pursuing an education in medicine (PA) and I really enjoy watching your videos! Thanks for a lot of insight you give and keep up the great work!!

  6. Here in ecuador you study 6 years at med school and then you have one year of residency to finally graduate, then If you wanna specialize, you gotta do it as a graduate major

  7. Hi , I am Selin from Turkey, i started my residency in pediatric surgery 20 months ago and it takes five years, too, i love my job but it is really tiring,i don't know how i tolerate that but the children make me always stronger, and thank you so much for the video, i am glad to learn about the titles, because i am sometimes confusing to compare with turkish titles 🙂 now it is exactly clear , the process of medical school takes six years here, 3 years of 6 is for just theoratical training , 2 years for both of theoratical and practical training at the hospital and the last year is just for practise and no exam in the last year-that's really cool :)- and at the end of six year, you are becoming a doctor with no specialty and you can work in an emergency unit or in an ambulance or in a center of public health etc. but if you want to keep specializing , you have to take an important exam and than you choose your specialty, for example i graduated from medical school in 2014 and i had worked as a doctor in ambulance for 1,5 year and than i took the exam and choose pediatric surgery … 🙂 thank you again , happy to know you Dr. Deshauer and sorry for my mistakes in english, just i am still learning , bye

  8. It would be more fun if you gave us like a bar and show where you at, so is not just a vídeo of you talking

  9. It's exactly like on Grey's Anatomy! But this is actually really helpful for me because I go to a university to have my lupus treated and sometimes before I see my doctor, nurses, medical students, and residents will be involved in the case asking questions or doing tests and it get's a little confusing to know who I'm talking to/what they're objective is if they don't explain what's going on. Since it's a research / teaching hospital there are always so many new faces around.

  10. Really started liking so many videos of u and Happy to know that u are a Canadian doctor. I have one question ? Can u pls tell me how much is the salary of a resident doctor in Canada. ( sorry ask about personal stuff but I'm curious 🤔😊)
    U are doing a great work in videos. Keep it up shewan….

  11. Hello!!! I found you! You inspire me!!! I'm playing 🎻 and I decided to go to med school…After studying a music mayor for almost 5 years…I loooove your videos!

  12. Hey I am a medical student in india if I want to do post graduation from Canada then what I have to do.

  13. I would say being a doctor is the perfect job. For example, my dad is today 48 years old, and has studied all his career on the side of his “regular” hospital work. You can evolve so much as a person and your knowledge can be so wide! And keep up the good work! Love your channel!
    Btw sorry for my bad English, Swede over here.

  14. Girl MD is doctor of medicine! (and why am i watching this one in particular as an internal med nurse hehe)

  15. Hi there. I just found your channel yesterday. After watching 1 video, I decided to hit subscribe 🙂 I love your positive attitude. I'm gonna start my nursing program in 6 months in the US. Please make more videos about pathology when you have time. (like the one about infective endocarditis; you made it very interesting to watch) Thank you 🙂

  16. In Australia we have a bit of a different system – a first year resident is an ‘intern’ but they get paid – a second year resident is a ‘resident’ . A senior resident who is almost registered and thinking about specialising is called a registrar – we have bpt registrars (basic practical training – you’re not specialising yet and you’re a new registrar and haven’t done many rotations yet as a registrar) and apt (advanced practice training – the person is a senior registrar, has done lots of rotations and is about to be registered, and about to sit the physicians exam, looking at specialising) Then we have fellows, who are people who have passed the physicians exam but are continuing in a specialty field and have not done the final physician training in that field. Then we have junior or senior staff specialists/consultants – junior ones have just completed speciality training and seniors are rehearsed professionals.

  17. So you went from medical school to residency. What is an intern? Is that part of the medical school portion?

  18. In my country you have to go to gymnasium and than you go to medicine collage which lasts 6 years and than everything is the same

  19. Heyy, loved your video!
    I’m a high school student, passing out in 2019. I’m planning of completing a 6 year MD course in Europe (preferably Czech or Ukraine). Could you guide me and what will be my career path after completion of my MD? is residency the same in European countries? Also, can I work as a resident in the US, UK, or Canada after pursuing my MD from Europe?

  20. I have a question, maybe a stupid one but I don't care:-) What if… you end medical school and start as a resident… in theory you are a doctor but you need to be supervised… what if you fail all your exams at that point and you quit… can you still work as "something" in the medical field?

  21. Medical student (like intern) think Meredith, Christina from Greys. Resident (think Bailey). Fellow (McDreamy?) and the rest hmmm Addison? Webber?

    To understand medical lingo I have to connect it to greys anatomy lmao

  22. HELLO fellow DOCTOR. Nothing better than finally getting that white coat with your name and the MD on it. Congrats and good luck.

  23. Actually, M.D. stands for "medical doctor (as apposed to PhD which is a doctor of philosophy).
    There are several sub doctorate level medical degrees, none of which entitle you to add "M.D." to your name.

  24. Okay, so what is a General Practioner? Are they doctors who have done their residency but have specialized in general medicine?

  25. In Finland the medical school is 6 years. After that you can specialize and that will take from 5 to 8 years. To become for example a surgeon takes about 13 years in all! To become a nurse takes 4 years so for a doctor I think it is a too short time.

  26. I’m 14 in 8th grade in Seattle so I have quite a ways a way before I can even think about med school, but I also have a very good teaching hospital near me, UW Medicine. I’m certain I want to go into some form of medicine, right now the 2 surgical specialties I’m researching are general and transplant surgery. This video, and your channel as a whole as well as other medical channels, really help me understand the great field of medicine more. Keep up the great work!

  27. I want to be a neurosurgeon and I found that I have to take four years of college to get my bachelor's and then I have to take four years of medical school before residency. Is this true?

  28. There are not many MD-MBA programs in Canada but I am interested in this dual- degree program as my career ambition is to finance medical innovations as a medical venture capitalist. I know that you.have no clue of what I just said ( nor do I) but please research on this career option and do a video on it.

  29. IM residency is 5 years in Canada?! =0
    I believe it's only 3 years in the U.S. Do they have built into those 5 years time for fellowship or other sub-specialization?

  30. In iran After graduation from medical school ,we work for 2 years for experience in poor villages without facility.
    Then u can start residency in very chaotic hospitals with very low salary.when u work in iran u never smile a gain

  31. Hello! I come from Viet Nam. I am the first year resident, too. There are a lots of differences in medical training program between your country and mine. We take 6 years to finish the studying at university and become a general doctor. After that, we also have to take an very big exam and about 50% all of us will continue studying and practicing at the hospital as residents. The remaining will go to another programs to take degrees before they can practice in medicine independently. Our resident program lasts 3 years for all specialities. For example, I choosed neurology and I have to study continuously in 3 years. Then, I can almost practice medicine by myself. I can study more to take higher degree if I want. I know that medical training program in my country has many limits so we are trying to resolve and getting better, catching up the world. Thank you for your reading!

  32. I do have a somewhat silly question. What if after completing your education and your fully licensed physician then you decide to change specialties do u have to go through residency and fellowship again

  33. Idk why I’m watching all these med school and resident vlogs and videos when I’m working on my prerequisites for nursing school 😂 but I guess it can help and also motivate me to study and work hard

  34. I have a question I live in Sweden they have 5 years medical school then specializing is another 5 years then u need to do 6 months full practice i guess. I dont know that much I will apply to university for autumn I was wondering I just wanna be a medical doctor in which just notice the diseases that people have and prescribe medicines but I dont wanna do anything with surgeries etc . what is this profession called , i SEE IN THE HOPSITALS District doctors, Over doctor, general doctor ….

  35. At what stage would a doctor be able to open their own private practice? When they are an Independent Physician? I assume not the moment they finish med school, unlike a lawyer just finishing law school who theoretically could.

  36. Hi, Im in middle school/ junior high, and I was thinking of being a pediatrician or family physician. What class should I take when I reach highschool?

  37. In Mexico its slightly different, at my school you do 5 years of med school (the last year is the internship) then you do one whole year of community service, after that you can do an exam for be into residency or do a master degree etc. After the residency you can apply for a more specific residency (we call it subespeciality) from one to 2 years, and you can do another year for a more specific type of medicine. Just like per example, be a Paediatrician 3 years, do neonatology 2 years, and you can do an extra year call neonatal therapy just like in NICU, or we do fellow like a “subespeciality” that takes almost the same year

  38. Hi I'm new to your channel. With internal medicine, if you have a specialty, are you limited to working just within that area?

  39. In the Netherlands, medical school takes 6 years (3 years of studying and then 3 years of practical learning in different departments of the hospital), and then you have to specialize (which you are doing) which takes another 4-6 years! So we will be busy being educated for at least 10 years 🙂

  40. Siobhan? Well, your name is a new one. Never heard of that one before. Where'd you get that from? Have an interesting heritage?

    Good thing it was in the description. I couldn't figure how to spell it from you saying it. ;P

  41. 4 years!? For America it’s 4 for undergrad and 4 for ms and then 3 to 7 years of training ! I’m moving to Canada!

  42. love the fact that u used different props for the different titles💙💙 i discovered ur videos a few days ago and i’ve been binge watching since!!

  43. wait if you’re doing internal medicine how come u do all these different rotations? is it required.. do u get training in each specialty during med school

  44. Hi mam…can I have your email I'd so that I can contact uh for advices ….going to study in a medical school soon.

  45. Hello! Thank you for doing these vlogs.. and sharing all of your experiences…my sister is I'm 11th grade high school and she is wanting to become a cardiologist and I will be sharing these blogs to her especially the ones that you talk about how you got into medical school and all the info someone needs to know and the steps to take.. thank you!

  46. I am really fascinated in all things to do with emergency medicine. I have one question for you. Can you cope with seeing your own blood/ injury?

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