You're a doctor now! Kind of... A resident is a physican that is under direct or indirect supervison of an attending. An attending is what you become after residency once you've passed all the tests.
Residency length depends on the specialty, click here to see the general amount of years for each specialty.
The first year of your residency is called your "internship year". This is the hardest year, you'll be working around 80 hour weeks.
Sometime during your residency you will have to take Step 3 of the USMLE. You can not take it past 7 years of the time you took Step 1. Once you've passed Step 3, you are now offically a licensed practicing physican.
If you were trained as a pediatric resident, you can only be a pedatrican. If you were trained as a general family physican, you can only be a general family physican. If you want to subspecialize in a different area to treat specific patients or illnesses then you will have to apply for a fellowship. Fellowships can include Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Surgery, Epilepsy, Oncology, etc. And can range from a vary amount of years. Competiton for fellowships can be stiff. Especially for popular ones like surgery. Getting accepted will be based of academic success, personal letters, and an interview.
Physicans who go complete a fellowship are payed more than physicians who have not.
Becoming a physician is a long and brutal journey. There'll be days, maybe even months, where you regret choosing this career. But at the end of the day if you have passion, if you have that flame in your heart for medicine, then you will succeed. Don't get discouraged if you have a few set backs, don't give up on your plan because it didn't go the way you wanted it to.
One of the best advice I ever got about my future is to give myself wiggle room. I'm that type of person to plan out year by year, what I need to have done by then. "Okay I graduate this year.. then I go off to medical school and graduate this year.. then I'll do this and that" but having that mindset is dangerous. Yes, you can say "I want to finish college and then go off to medical school" but to give yourself a time limit is just a disaster waiting to happen. If you don't finish college in time, don't get discourage. At least you will finish it. Give yourself wiggle room.
Greatness lives on the edge of destruction. The reason that someone is great is because they survived death. That's what made you great, you were almost over. The Phoenix rises from it's ashes. You are here and people look to you because in the face of destruction, you pounded on your chest and put your hands up and said I'm still here. I'm still standing. Bring it."
RIANNE DEL CARMEN
My biggest goal in life is to just live it. To enjoy every moment and find the beauty in all things. So I write to inspire others. Not to just enjoy life but to better themselves. To become a better student, a happier person, and a more loving human. With tips and stories, I hope to help you through all the rough edges.