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Medical School to Residency

In honor of the recent Match Day 2019 — a list of things no one ever talks about when transitioning from medical school into residency!


  • Moving costs: you will probably have to put it all on a credit card for a while.

    • Consider van lines if you are moving out of state - great prices that include loading, unloading, and driving your items from point A to point B

    • Consider renting a Penske truck and convincing a friend/family member/significant other to trek across the states with you (cheaper)

    • Move with plenty of time (at least 1 week) prior to starting orientation if possible - allows for time to unpack/settle in/explore

    • Some residency programs will allot stipends for moving, so save all of your receipts!

  • Mail forwarding

    • You don't want things to get lost in the mail while you're moving - especially bills

    • On the same note - make sure to change your address on your credit cards, subscription accounts, etc

  • Transfer of driver's license / register car license plate

  • Register to vote

  • Budget: monthly costs to consider (especially to save for that first month)

    • Auto insurance

    • Renter's insurance

    • Apartment/house rent, utilities, trash, water/sewer

    • Cell phone

    • Health/vision/dental insurance

    • Food! Even if your hospital has free food, you'll need some basics at home (and let's be honest, it's a little depressing to eat at the hospital 24/7)

    • New work shoes / surgical loupes / study material (some programs subsidize these things vs give you a stipend) - you may even be able to write them off on your taxes

    • Relaxation: whether it be a monthly massage, scheduled hair appointments, mani/pedi’s, or making dates with friends monthly, make it happen. Take a look at each month at the beginning of the month and decide


  • Invest in a financial planner to help you figure out all of the jargon! Even if you think you know what you’re doing, there is so much more to it

    • There are many different options, including REPAYE and income based repayments. You must apply within 120 days of your first payment

    • State and Federal taxes are based on your location (varies)

    • Budget per month after taxes + necessities taken out (i.e. rent)

    • Try to pay more than the minimum payment if you are trying to make a dent in your interest - any interest is capitalized and added to your total sum

    • Consolidation (do it early if you want to pursue it)

The Process:

Moving for residency, whether it’s the next town over or across the country, is an exciting but stressful time…especially if it wasn’t exactly what you had in mind. My approach has always been to prepare as much as I can, so that the rest can be lived out authentically. It’s an opportunity for an adventure that you’ll never have again in your life —without settling down for good, buying a home, etc. After all of the excitement wears off, just know that you’re not alone. Everyone is learning, everyone is struggling in one thing or another, things will not always be such a struggle to function…and to remember that one day, all you wished for was what you had today.

Chase the dream.

Chase the dream.

Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.

Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.