How to Plan Your Future After Residency


As a medical student who’s either in the midst of your residency program or getting ready to finish it, you’ve probably been doing a lot of thinking and planning about what kind of a future you want for yourself. 

Having been through medical school, you’re almost ready to head out into the world and begin your own career. 

This is an exciting time. 

But it’s also important to be aware of the fact that your career may take many different paths from this point. 

And in this blog post, we’re going to give you some food for thought that you can use as you start planning out your exciting medical career post-residency. 

You deserve to be rewarded with an amazing life for all of the hard work you’ve done up to this point. 

However, a bit of planning is still in order. 

Let’s break it down and get started. 

1. Start By Asking Yourself What You Want

This is perhaps the most important question to ask yourself at the beginning of any meaningful life journey. 

You probably had some kind of idea in mind about what you wanted your career and lifestyle to look like after completing medical school and finishing your residency. 

So now that you’re standing at the precipice of this major life event, it’s time to bring the question up again and to really double down on your answer. 

2. Think About What You Want To Do With Your Career

There are a lot of different things to consider as you prepare to transition from your residency to practicing medicine as a full-fledged physician. 

For example, you may need to make a specific choice about what type of medicine you want to specialize in. 

You may be thinking about entering the public sector to work as a doctor at a hospital or a clinic. Or, you may be thinking about entering the private sector, or even pursuing medical fellowship training. 

Some doctors even consider going into the military. 

Whatever you want to do, it’s just important that you start writing down your goals and making a plan. 

This will keep you from feeling lost as the final date of your residency creeps up on you. 

3. Think About Your Lifestyle

Of course, one of the reasons for why you worked so hard to get your degree in the first place was likely grounded in a desire to have a successful, enjoyable, fulfilling life outside of work as well.  

Thus, work actually may not be the only thing to consider. Life does, after all, contain more aspects than just the career you’re going to choose for yourself.  

You may also want to consider what part of the country (or even the world) you’d like to live in while you work. You may also want to think about what kind of countryside you’d like to live in, what climate you prefer, and whether or not being close to family is important. 

These types of questions can help you to ‘fill in the gaps’ as you seek to fill out your plan for a career after your residency. 

4. Also Plan For Security

Unfortunately, just because you’re getting ready to finish your medical residency doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be able to guarantee that you’re going to be making a full doctor’s salary for the rest of your life. 

It’s also in your best interest to plan for injury or disaster—as unlikely as those things may be. 

Hopefully, an injury will never keep you from being able to work. 

But if it does, it’ll be crucial for you to protect yourself with a physician’s disability insurance plan

A physician’s disability insurance plan can ensure that you’ll still be able to sustain your lifestyle and pay your bills even if an injury or disability keeps you from being able to work. 

As we’ve already stated—hopefully, you’ll never need it. 

But just in case, it’s always better to have it and not need it. 

It’s always better to be safe than sorry. 


At the end of the day, the world is really your oyster. 

As a medical professional getting ready to finish your residency program, the world is really at your whim. 

You’ll have an awesome earning potential. And with such a high-value range of skills, you’ll probably have zero trouble placing yourself into whatever type of field and geographic location you desire. 

All you need to do is make a plan and make it happen. 

You’ve got this! 

Good luck.

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