Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
Getting to Know Residents

Getting to Know Residents

getting-to-know-residents- image0The TTUHSC School of Medicine in Lubbock has about 200 residents. I recommend you make an effort to get to know some of them during the time they are with us. We have some terrific residents working with us.

As you know, a resident is a person who has an M.D. or D.O. degree, meaning they have typically completed four years of medical school. They have spent a good deal of time in the lecture hall and laboratory studying and learning difficult material. By the way, the term resident comes from the days when new doctors basically lived in the hospital caring for patients 24/7. That obviously has changed and we have strict rules regarding how long a resident can be on duty.

However, other things have not changed. Medicine is still learned on a sophisticated apprentice model in which residency programs last three to 10 years. During this time, additional knowledge is acquired and skills are honed under the watchful eye of an experienced faculty member. Residents learn medicine by caring for patients, interacting with other residents, being instructed by faculty, reading the latest information, and by attending lectures and conferences.

When you decide to initiate a conversation with a resident, remember that person could be:
  • Straight out of medical school
  • Have a year of experience
  • A week away from finishing residency and ready to “go out on their own”

A good icebreaker is to ask them, “What year are you and when will you complete your residency?”  And, a natural follow-up is, “What are your plans after residency?”  I think you will find most all of them more than willing to chat for a few minutes.