What Are Med School Residencies Really Like?

The residency is one of the last steps toward becoming a full-fledged doctor. It's an exciting, stressful, amazing learning experience, and I am right in the middle of it as a resident at the Duluth Family Practice Center in Minnesota.

The residency is one of the last steps toward becoming a full-fledged doctor. It’s an exciting, stressful, amazing learning experience, and I am right in the middle of it as a resident at the Duluth Family Practice Center in Minnesota. I received my undergraduate degree in biology from The College of St. Scholastica, also in Duluth, and I graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis.

Honestly, our schedules change all the time, but that is part of the fun. With two- to six-week rotations in everything from cardiology to pediatrics, you get to experience all the different facets of medicine. So, even though our rotations change from month to month, here’s my attempt at a day in the life of a resident (namely, me!):

7:00–8:00 a.m.
Examine my patients who are currently in the hospital, continuity patients from our clinic.

8:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Meet with my current preceptor (the attending physician). Examine patients in clinic, where I will come up with a differential diagnosis and treatment plan. The attending may change or add to my treatment plan, which is a great learning tool for me. This month is my dermatological rotation. I’ve been doing a bunch of shave biopsies, cryotherapy, and fun dermatological procedures!

12:00–1:00 p.m.
Conference and lunch. Conference subjects vary—anything from chest pain to fetal heart tone evaluation to trauma management.

1:00–5:00 p.m.
Head over to the Family Practice Clinic, our continuity clinic. We will see patients all afternoon, with the opportunity to discuss cases with preceptors if there are any questions.

5:00–6:00 p.m.
Dictate my progress notes on the patients I’ve seen in clinic, meaning I document what happened at the visit, the physical exam, and the assessment and plan that was formulated.

6:00–7:00 p.m.
Maybe go home, or depending on the day, get to the marina for the sailboat races (I crew on the best boat ever!). Or I may go to my pottery class or even get a little exercise.

Clearly, my schedule is pretty full, but that’s okay, because I truly love what I do. Being a doctor is exciting and fulfilling, even when the work becomes stressful. At the end of those long, crazy days, it’s totally worth it. 

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
Kory Gilbertson

Kory Gilbertson

High School Class of 2022

CollegeXpress has helped me explore my views on college in that "why do I wanna go to a certain school" way. It’s helped me explore the best fits in all of these outstanding choices. All these college admission counselors can access my accolades showing them how I could help their college. This source of information helps me show these admission directors who I am and what I'm interested in. Thanks to this platform, my experience for education will be better than most, and I'm so grateful for all that it has provided for me.

Kelly Nogueiro

Kelly Nogueiro


For me, CollegeXpress has given me a valuable tool to use with my students to explore colleges easily beyond objective data. It helps me find colleges for students that fit their needs and wants that aren’t quite so black and white. It's a wealth of knowledge, and the Type-A side of me loves all the lists and the fact that I know they're coming from folks who know what they're talking about. I share it with colleagues and students alike, and it's always well received.

Sadie Hartmann

Sadie Hartmann

High School Class of 2021

I'm a senior in high school, and CollegeXpress has helped me in so many ways this year in trying to navigate the process of deciding and committing to a university. The COVID-19 Student Resource Center has helped me many times with the most up-to-date and accurate information, along with financial aid and student life [advice]. During these uncertain times, CollegeXpress has been a great recourse to relieve the stress as a senior. Along with the COVID-19 Student Resource Center, I'm constantly using the extremely helpful tools off the site to aid me during this stressful process. Tools like the lists and rankings of universities have been the most beneficial. I've also used the site to receive expert advice on topics like financial aid. Finally, CollegeXpress has helped me easily apply for several scholarships. I'm thankful to be given the chance to win a scholarship to lessen the burden of my college debt.

Nazira Abdelkhalek

Nazira Abdelkhalek

$2,000 Community Service Scholarship Winner, 2014

I am very honored to be this year’s recipient of the Multicultural Student Community Service Scholarship! This scholarship is vital to helping me achieve and fulfill my dreams, and gives me confidence and motivation as I begin my college career. The CollegeXpress website has been invaluable over the past year as I planned my educational and professional goals. I highly recommend it to all students as they begin to focus on their college and career interests. The website is a wonderful guide to schools and scholarships.

Daniel Ogunlokun

Daniel Ogunlokun

High School Class of 2022

When I started looking at colleges in the beginning of my senior year, I was conflicted about which ones I wanted to attend based on safety, tuition costs, location, academic rigor, and prestige. Searching the internet and getting more questions than answers, I came across CollegeXpress, which made all the steps I had taken look like a minor issue. Everything was summarized and detailed, and I couldn't be more thankful and appreciative.

College Matches

Colleges You May Be Interested In

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI

Moody Bible Institute

Chicago, IL

Pace University

New York, NY

University of Iowa

Iowa City, IA