Should Residency Be Somewhere Else?

Hi there Folks!
I was just accepted into a linkage program that will allow me to take the sciences that I need and then link into the DO program, providing that the MCAT scores are acceptable. I will start in the fall of this year and should be ready to enter the DO program–if all goes well–in fall 2006.
When you do a residency, should you try to do it in a hospital other than where you will end up working? I live in a small town and would like to work in the hospital here but am wondering if I should hike the hour north to a bigger hospital to do the residency when the time comes? I know it is a long way off but I am sitting here wondering how things will play out.
Thanks a bunch–this is a great group of people.

Where you do your residency will not only depend on where you want to do it, but where you match. As to doing it close to where you want to practice or further away, research both locations. See which one will give you the most well-rounded education and opportunites for growth and development.
I am sitting here right now thinking I will probably stay in the area where I am, but having options open at two other much more urban locations. Since I just finished my first year, I will wait until at least my 3rd year to make any decision. Then I will apply to all three, or maybe more, for my residency slot, and see what happens.
You’ve got lots of time. Once you’re in med school and have done rotations, you may even change your mind. Lots of folks do.
Best of luck, whatever you decide!

Erica, I echo what Linda said. Your residency is your most intensive learning time for your specialty, whether that be a medical or surgical subspecialty or primary care. You want the program that will educate you best for your practice.
I suspect you’re asking because you have heard that most physicians end up establishing practice in the area where they did their residency, and that’s true. But you don’t HAVE to do that, obviously - when the time comes for you to sort out the things that are important to you in a residency, the location certainly should be a factor but there are lots of other factors to consider.
As Linda said, you’ll get a better sense of this when you do your rotations during third and fourth year.
And if you need/want to, you can definitely make “location” a prime consideration. My family situation meant that i was unwilling to consider residencies that would require me to move far, and so I worked hard to be sure that the programs near me knew me well and wanted me, by doing ‘audition rotations’ with the two programs I was most interested in. (“audition rotation” - a clinical experience during fourth year that gives you 2-4 weeks in a program you’re interested in. If all goes well, you are impressed, they are impressed, and you’ve improved your chance of matching with them as a result.)

Would you be moving up north to the residency? I am currently 30 minutes to an hour from my hospital, depending on traffic. I have a fellow resident that drives a little over an hour to work. It is rough when you have just finished a long shift, you’re tired, and have to drive home. It also is hard when they want you to come in for an hour long lecture; it is a wasted morning. So, along with the wonderful advise that Linda and Mary gave you, you also have to think about your travel time.
Congrats on getting into school

I met with the director of the residency program and he was very pleasant to speak with. He offered to allow me to shadow him in his office this summer and praised the local residency program at our small hospital (Meadville). He suggested that one could do a residency here and then remain here. This sounds attractive but I was not sure if this would cause patients to question me, as it seems that so many do their residencies elsewhere and then move here.
The hospital is 4 blocks from my home…which is also attractive! LOL I could drive home blindfolded…that might be kind of interesting!

In my opinion, patients don’t care where you did residency. They may respect that you have stayed there, you will be their “local girl.”
When you interview they tell you that there are several reasons why people choose a program: reputation, people, and location. If you like those 3, you will be very happy.
Good luck