Residency is an important time for professional development. With some careful planning and a little bit of diligence you can position yourself to be a top candidate for any job. Here are a few tips for each year of residency:

Post Graduate Year 1 (PGY-1):

  • Be respectful, attentive and develop relationships with your program director, attending physicians and senior residents. You can learn a lot from those around you, and the relationships you develop now may end up being the key to future opportunities, letters of recommendation, etc.
  • Re-apply with the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) as a resident (resident application) – membership is free during your residency.
  • Start looking for opportunities to publish an article, give a presentation at a conference or conduct research – these types of activities will set you apart from other candidates when it comes time to job hunt.
  • Review the Council on Podiatric Medical Education (CPME) 320 document. It outlines all the standards for your residency training and will give you a guideline for your development over the next few years.
  • Create a habit of documenting your training and education in the relevant electronic logging system such as PRR or similar database.

Post Graduate Year 2 (PGY-2):

  • Be engaged as a learner and a teacher – help the PGY-1 residents. Teaching experience will expand your professional vocabulary.
  • Get involved! Whether it’s writing case studies, giving poster presentations at conferences or preparing PowerPoint lectures, these activities will not only add to your education but will add to your value as a potential employee and your credibility as a podiatrist.
  • Augment your education by reading on your own – it will help you understand and experience your daily activities in new ways. Consider additional educational resources such as PRESENT Lecture Hall and APMA REdRC.

Post Graduate Year 3 (PGY-3):

  • Continue assisting with training of the PGY-1 and PGY-2 residents. This will help solidify or refresh what you’ve learned.
  • Consider a fellowship for a fourth year of training.
  • Network in the area where you plan on entering practice by attending State Association or National APMA meetings near that location.
  • Take the American Board of Podiatric Medicine (ABPM) and American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery (ABFAS) qualification exams.
  • Ask for letters of reference from professors from your podiatry college, your residency director, attending physicians and other podiatrists you may work with during your residency. Excellent references can really set you apart when applying for jobs.

Resources:

  • Surf the ABPM website and read the resident newsletter.
  • Surf the APMA website
  • Use the APMA Young Physician program benefits and services.  These are tailored specifically to your needs. Become familiar with their career center and participate in their networking events and opportunities.
  • Attend the APMA Young Physician Institute offered every Autumn. The lectures and workshops are designed for Young Physicians, and it will give you a valuable opportunity to network or maintain relationships with your peers.
  • Once you are Board Certified by the ABPM, get involved as a Young Physician. Being involved in your profession helps you develop both professionally and personally.

Thank you to Nichol Salvo DPM, APMA Director of Young Physicians for her contributions to the content of this article.