If you’re one of the thousands of fourth-year medical students who got matched on March 17, congratulations! After years of hard work, you finally have the chance to start working as a physician! But now that the initial excitement has worn off and you’ve celebrated properly, the start of your residency in July looms large, and there’s a lot to do in only a few months. Here are some tips to help you make sure that you will be relaxed and ready to go on the first day of your residency:
- Shop around for housing.
After being matched, finding a place to live is probably one of the first things on your mind. It is important to learn about all of the housing possibilities: Do you plan to own or rent? Will you live alone or with roommates? Are looking for a place for just yourself, or do you have a family? How does a mortgage payment or rental fee fit into your budget? As you start formulating answers to these questions, you can start looking through real estate listings and Craigslist ads to find a living situation that best meets you needs.
- Look into transportation options in your new city.
Some cities have great public transportation options, while in others, owning a car is a must. As you decide where in the city you want to live, it is essential to consider what forms of transportation are available, as well as associated costs, from daily bus fare to hospital staff parking fees.
- Talk to current residents.
Current residents can be a great resource as you plan out your living situation in a new city. They can also provide more information about daily life as a first-year resident. Talking to them can give you a better idea of what to expect in your first year, so you can feel comfortable and well-prepared when you start.
- Connect with your class.
Since all of the residents in your class are in the same boat when it comes to this next stage of your careers, it can be helpful to connect over email or social media. Not only will you get to know your future colleagues, but you can also find out where other residents are thinking about living, exchange ideas about transportation options, and share your excitement (and nervousness!) about getting started.
- Keep track of moving expenses.
Remember, the money you spend on moving expenses in 2017 can be deducted from your taxes next April. That’s a whole year away, so in order to avoid having to rack your brain when you are filling out forms next year, it can be helpful to keep a spreadsheet of the money you spend on moving, such as moving trucks, apartment cleanings and travel expenses for housing search visits.
- Take care of yourself.
After four tough, hectic and rewarding years of medical school, starting your residency is exciting, but preparation also can be stressful. Remember to take a breath and step away from the whirlwind of planning obligations when you start to get overwhelmed. Whether that means going on a walk, calling a friend, or catching up on your favorite TV show, it’s important to maintain balance in your life so that you will be healthy, confident, and centered when your residency starts in July.