Becoming a doctor is no small feat. First, you have the four years of undergrad, followed by four years of medical school, and finally followed by two years of residency. Your career just seems to look like more and more schools with each passing year.
But, there does come a time when you’ll finally be able to don your scrubs and grab your stethoscope to walk through the front door of your first official job.
Getting through all of that training and school is a big step, but the uphill climb isn’t over quite yet, and there are some important considerations to take into account after finishing residency.
Try to Find a Work-Life Balance
It might have been hard to establish such a balance while in medical school or completing residency. Your nights were dedicated to late-night study groups and 24-hour shifts with periodical napping thrown in.
Now that you’re moving onto a more stable and professional part of your job, it’s time to think about how you’re going to be balancing your work life and personal life.
Even though you’re rightly focused on your career, you need to be focusing on yourself. That means taking advantage of your off days, using your vacation days, and trying to separate yourself mentally from your work.
Establish Healthy Habits
While you are not expected to be the picture-perfect image of health, you should be establishing some early-on healthy habits. After all, once you get into a routine, it will be much harder to break.
So that means preparing healthy snacks for yourself. Opt for the apple slices or vegetables from home instead of relying on chips from the vending machine.
While coffee may seem like your lifeblood, you can get as much energy from an apple and a glass of water on the first morning. You might be surprised at what a wake-up that is for you!
How to Pay Off Your Loans
If you’re like the average medical student, you’re going to be looking at more than a few years of debt.
The average medical school student is responsible for paying almost $200,000 in loans upon graduating. That’s a lot of money! Plus, you’re going to be paying for food, rent, car, your new scrubs, and plenty of other living expenses along the way.
If you’ve never been someone to make a personal budget, then now might be the time. If you’re really lost, then it might be a good idea to meet with a financial planner to help you sort through your loans and payments.
Do You Need Any More Training
Yes, the last thing you want to hear is more schooling or more training. You’ve just spent ⅓ of your life trying to reach this point, why would you want to go back?
As it turns out, some specialties require fellowships or additional training. Depending on the state, you might have to go through some more board certifications or even exams before you can have your first official day.
It’s important to note that each state has different requirements, so make sure you do your research on what you need to do before you come up with the perfect plan.