Talk:Residency (medicine)

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The comparison to UK is wrong[edit]

The comparison with training in the UK is not right - from what is written it sounds as though 'residency' sits between the Foundation year 2 and ST3 (originally SHO) and ST4-ST6 (registrars).

You would not be a registrar until at least year 4 post graduation of medical degree in the uk. Squelch41 (talk)squelch41

The confusion is due to the use of the term "resident" in differing ways in the UK and USA. In the US, a Resident used to be a doctor who had completed an internship and was in one of the next three years of an organised training programme. Now that internships have almost disappeared in non-osteopathic medicine, residents are the most junior of the medical trainees.

In the UK, the term was unofficial, and described the most junior qualified members of a unit, who would normally live in the hospital: usually the pre-registration house officers (who corresponded to American interns), but in units lacking such posts it could apply to senior house officers (SHOs).

Registrars used to be the next grade of trainee. In some fields it was possible to become a registrar two years after qualifying, depending on the level of competition, but it usually took longer. It used to be common to enter psychiatric training in non-teaching hospitals in the registrar grade. These registrars would be the most junior doctors available.

In other situations several years and/or several different posts as a senior house officer, and often part or all of a higher qualification, were required before becoming a registrar. These SHOs were more comparable to US Residents.

Outside the big cities, and often in them too, registrars used mainly to live in hospitals, and as such were "resident," but they were not referred to as "Residents." NRPanikker (talk) 01:12, 10 April 2009 (UTC)


A whole long article, and no mention of the simple question, Why is it called "residency?"

There's some mention of hospital-provided housing in the past. But where was this housing? In the hospital? Next to it? Three miles away?

If they don't live inside the hospital, then why are they called "resident" instead of some other word?

JUST BECAUSE!! Sorry, couldn't help it. The etymology is obvious and simply designates the relationship of the physician to the hospital. A "resident physician" was originally one who was "resident at the hospital" for all of his working time, as opposed to those who mainly practiced elsewhere and occasionally "attended" the patients of the hospital's wards or clinics. Get it, "attending physician"? It didn't matter where a resident physician slept, his duties were at the hospital. An "interne", on the other hand, actually lived on the hospital grounds or nearby. alteripse 02:29, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

Haha, I know, that's what I get for using all caps. Thanks for the explanation. The reason for the word-choice isn't "obvious" to someone (like me) who doesn't know how doctors work. For all I knew, doctors punched a time clock and stayed there like everyone else. (I actually considered using the word etymolgy too, but that refers to the historical sources and reasons for a given word's construction, rather than for its use.)

the origin of the title "residents" is due to the fact that several decades ago, medical doctors in training lived and work in the hospital, thus became "residents"


There is a difference between MEDICINE Residency and MEDICAL residency.

Medical Residency would be generalized terminology for the training a doctor goes through in a specific field once completing their medical school training.

Medicine Residency is more specifically indicating a residency in Internal Medicine.

With regard to the suggestion to merge with medical residency, do so only if you recognize that to most doctors in north america, these are not interchangeable terms. To most of us a "medical residency" is an internal medicine residency as distinct from a surgical residency, pediatric residency etc, so make the distinction clear. alteripse 21:40, 27 August 2005 (UTC)

I have changed some terminology at the end of the article. Someone had the gall to write that although pay in residency is increased, it is still considered an educational stipend and is not a "living wage". This is incorrect and actually an outrageous allegation. The argument can certainly be made (as it is earlier in the article) that residents are paid far below their market value. This I believe. However, considering that all residents in the country seem to be able to afford to eat and shelter themselves on their salary, the suggestion that this is not a "living wage" is offensive to anyone in this country who makes less than residency salary. It's not even close to the poverty level. I'm a resident and I make $46,000 annually. Anyone who can't live on that doesn't know how to budget. Just like in medical school, I see plenty of residents living the 'high life' in expectation of a high salary as an attending physician. Save the "living wage" terminology for sweatshop workers who actually know what poverty is. (talk) 13:28, 11 September 2008 (UTC) ash

"A year in residency begins between late June to early July depending on the individual program, and ends one calendar year later." Can this be confirmed as international, or is it in the USA only? e.g. In the southern hemisphere, most university courses follow a calendar year, so I'm wondering if residency also follows the calendar years. Kmasters0 (talk) 11:11, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

internship is gone[edit]

However, residents in many speciality programs are required to complete a separate internship, often in medicine or surgery, before beginning their residency.

I removed the above sentence from the historical changes section because it is simply not applicable in the US. While it is not uncommon for 2 or 3 years of internal medicine or general surgery residency to be required for many specialty programs, this is not the same as "requiring an internship" (which you may be old enough to even remember). There are few freestanding general medical or surgical internships left in the US. (Osteopaths as already noted are the dwindling exception). I have been involved with housestaff education at 3 institutions for many years. If you think the one year rotating internship is making a comeback, please show us some websites or listing of programs that state an internship requirement --or make geographical applicability clear if this is common elsewhere. Thanks. alteripse 11:49, 4 September 2005 (UTC)

Yeah, you're right...a prelim year is not the same thing as a traditional internship. Good edit. Donaldal 16:58, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

It might be useful to note that (iirc) all states require one year of residency (ie. internship) before being eligible for a medical license. P L Logan 15:22, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

Merged title[edit]

A distinction in terminology was mentioned by a few editors months ago when the merge was discussed. The merge that has recently taken place, long after a brief debate, would make more sense if the terms in fact were interchangeable. If the distinction is that important, perhaps reconsideration of the merge is in order. Ombudsman 19:05, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

There is a subtle distinction, but a medical residency and (for that matter a surgical residency) could be viewed as subsets of residency (medicine). Andrew73 19:16, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
I know it simply as "residency," and any doctor-in-training (either in surgery, etc.) is a "resident - ". It mentions in the introduction that a residency leads to primary care or a specialty. I did announce my intent to merge the pages in the work hours talk page, and speaking of which, any more thought on merging medical resident work hours with this article? --CDN99 22:10, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

I don't think that the average user is going to understand that we call internal medicine "medicine." To a physician a "residency in medicine" means specifically a residency in internal medicine. To the average Wikipedia user it means "becoming a doctor." We could note that in the article. Donaldal 17:00, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

"Resident" disambiguation page?[edit]

I originally tried to find information from the term "resident" which led me to a page about state/country residency. There should be a disambiguation page for this term. P L Logan 15:20, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

Resident directs to a disambiguation page which contains a link to this page. I'm not sure what it was that you looked up, but it must not have been resident! Residency also has a disambiguation link at the top. InvictaHOG 15:30, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

External links[edit]

Several of these external links are not particularly helpful. P L Logan 15:20, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

I have trimmed the links. Feel free to trim further! InvictaHOG 15:30, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

William Osler[edit]

William Osler's page lists the introduction of the medical residency programme as one of his greatest achievements. Perhaps someone who has read about his life could add something about this. Did he invent the whole thing, or modify it, or just introduce the idea to Canada and the US from Europe? NRPanikker 13:50, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

There is a lot of "lore" surrounding this. Some sources say the modern residency education comes from the Mayo Clinic. Some say Hopkins. There isn't really anything authoritative to say one way or the other. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:34, 5 March 2010 (UTC)


Yes, podiatrists complete a residency. So do many other professions outside of general medicine (MD, MBBS, DO). Dentists, optometrists, podiatrists, pharmacists, etc can all complete residencies. However, this particular article is only discussing the type of residency completed by general medical doctors (MD, DO, MBBS). There is already information about other profession's residencies on their respective articles. This is not the place for them. Thanks. Jwri7474 (talk) 01:13, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

Again.. podiatry and other degrees (other than medical degrees) keep getting listed here. Can we have a poll/survey?

Do we wish to expand this article as a discussion about ANY/ALL "health care" professions who may complete a "residency". This could realistically include everyone from Doctors (MBBS,MD,DO,etc) to Dentists, podiatrists, physician assistants, vets, naturopaths, pharmacists, ad naseum.


Do we wish to maintain this article about "medical doctor" (MD, DO, MBBS, etc) residency training?Jwri7474 (talk) 05:04, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

The answer to your above question is "meh..." (talk) 16:40, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Residency match statistics --specialties with unmet needs[edit]

Hello, I've been trying to find information about the unmet need in certain medical specialties. After some searching, I found some documents on this website that give some stats about this topic. This 2005 document details all the available residency positions available by state/region and how many were filled. This 2007 document gives a better summary with percentages of unmatched specialties from 2001 to 2007. However, there is a lot of missing information and things that I don't quite understand in them.

I think such statistics on residencies would be useful to put in the article. If anyone has more insight on these documents or has others that are better, please share. I'd like to create a new section on this topic, but right now I feel a little too uneducated about it to write about things that I'm not sure of. Any help would be appreciated! --Tea with toast (talk) 04:13, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Options for matching[edit]

NRMP is certainly the biggest matching organization in the United States (hence the nickname "the Match" with a capital M). The article also mentions the osteopathic match. But there are other options: the SF Match for neurosurgery, ophthalmology, and a few others; the Military Match; Urology (which to my knowledge still conducts its own match). I am familiar with NRMP having used it to obtain my residency, but I'd like to see the match section of the article expanded to touch on the other matching options, by someone who has a bit more knowledge/understanding of how they work and differ from the NRMP. El piel (talk) 22:29, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

Medical residencies for non-physicians?[edit]

Is this page the appropriate place for details of medical residencies that are not intended for physicians? For example, residencies in medical physics are common and will be mandatory in coming years for clinical physicists. Should this be detailed here or on the page for medical physics?


I've removed some of the degrees from those listed at the start of the lead as those involving a residency because it's only the case in North America and doesn't represent a world-wide view. I've left just the medical degrees there, as this is accurate for the rest of the world. I'm not contesting that the degrees I've removed are "doctors" and wouldn't be against them being added to another part of the article with proper explanation of the situation, but I don't think they should go in the lead. Basalisk inspect damageberate 06:54, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

D.O. - physician in the US only or internationally?[edit]

Looks like there's a bit of disagreement on the subject of how to phrase this in the lead. Some say we should specify that D.O.s are only physicians in the U.S., and others believe we should include the degree without a disclaimer. I think part of the appeal in adding the disclaimer "US trained only" is the fact that osteopaths trained outside of the U.S. are not medical physicians, in any way whatsoever. On the other hand, D.O. physicians are recognized internationally in over 50 countries as being fully qualified physicians, and the page to which the degree links specifically discusses the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree, and the article includes a list of countries where D.O. physicians are offered full practice rights. I don't have particularly strong opinions on the matter, but I thought I would try to start the discussion. Rytyho usa (talk) 04:01, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

I think it's a necessary distinction. The similarity of the titles causes many people to be confused and many do not understand the difference between a non-physician osteopath and a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. So, we can say that D.O. physicians are only trained in the United States (but are permitted to work as physicians in the U.S and other countries) and if necessary give a little blurb about how they are different from non-physician osteopaths. That's my take on it at least. TylerDurden8823 (talk) 05:29, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
I originally removed DO when I was trying to standardise the lead, and some other editor added it back with "(US only)", which I thought was a useful compromise. I don't see any reason why the clarification detracts from the article, and omitting it could potentially mislead a reader into thinking all osteopaths are physicians when in fact most aren't. Basalisk inspect damageberate 16:29, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
Sounds like a reasonable compromise to me, too. It's definitely an area of confusion for a lot of people, and that seems like a good way to handle it. Rytyho usa (talk) 19:42, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
We need to change this somehow. Putting US-only is not a sufficient explanation. It comes off as reading that DO's are only physicians in the united states, which isn't true. (talk) 21:03, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
How do you think we should phrase it? I think if we had "US-trained only," that would be more clear. It is true that D.O.s are full physicians many countries, but only the U.S.-trained D.O.s. - I think there might be some international programs that offer a Doctor of Osteopathy, which isn't nearly as rigorous as the medical training that Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine receive in the United States. Do you think saying "U.S.-trained only" would effectively make that distinction?
I think that saying U.S. trained makes it clear. We can also just say somewhere in the lead that Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine are only trained in the United States though that's clearly more wordy. Still, I think U.S. trained will be sufficient to make it clear that they can practice elsewhere (or this can be explicitly stated) but are trained solely in the United States.TylerDurden8823 (talk) 02:01, 1 September 2012 (UTC)

Residency evolved in late 20th Century?[edit]

In the History section, the first sentence says "Residency as an opportunity for advanced training in a medical or surgical specialty evolved in the late 20th century"

Should this be "late 19th century"? Gwideman (talk) 22:30, 14 October 2013 (UTC)

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