We often get questions from optometry students about the importance of residency. There are so many reasons but the best have to do with learning how to apply the knowledge and skills you’ve learned in school to real patients, situations, and settings.
Should I Do Residency?
One thing that I always say in optometric insights is that your optometric career is a marathon not a sprint, so if you think about your residency years as getting on a catapult and being launched vigorously into that marathon, it can significantly put you ahead with you clinical skills. However, there are scenarios where you may not want to do one. For instance, if you have a family and you need to get out and start producing a larger amount of income. Personally, I feel that my residency was well worth the time and finances I invested in it.
What should I do My Residency In?
First, you need to think about what you’ve enjoyed doing in a couple of months or a year or two before you get to where you are in your fourth year when you start thinking about that. There are a lot opportunities out there and you need to decide what really interests you. Along with that you need to understand who your mentor is during your residency, as this is a key part of your learning. Learning and hearing from other residents who have done that residency before and then taking the interview process that you go through very seriously can be the key to your success.
I have done a residency, and I would consider it to be the most enjoyable year of my life. I learned more in that year than potentially any year before or since. It was just a great accumulation of knowledge, because I saw patients to my specialty. I think the value of residency is huge, and it is an option that should be considered by all optometry students.
– Dr. David Kading