Who is a resident doctor?

If you have watched a medical TV show, you might have heard the term ‘chief resident doctor’ before. Who are they? What do they do? Are they real doctors? We can answer all of these questions. A Resident doctor meaning is someone who leads a group of interns and trainees and works in a hospital or a medical setting while preparing for their Doctorate or Masters. One may obtain this ranking once they complete their medical studies and finish residency. Even then, there may be higher positions going to doctors with twice the experience.

Medical students should take the example of a resident doctor to learn and look at what they do and how to become one. A resident doctor’s work resides with others on their team to identify the patient’s symptoms, determine their diagnosis, and find a way to treat them. Their job is also to train the interns and medical students working under them and recruit others. They interview medical school students and determine which of them can work best for their facility. They also lead new medical students through their training exercises which are designed to help the trainees work more efficiently with their patients.

Yet, a Resident doctor is not a specialized doctor themself but a doctor in training. Even though they have graduated from medical school, have availed an MD degree, and are still training to specialize in a particular field, such as a pediatric specialist, or a type of surgeon. Residents are even referred to as interns in their first year of training.

What is the Meaning of a Resident Doctor?

A medical school graduate who is training in a specialized area of medicine is considered as a resident doctor. Residency doctors have a dual role in the health care system because they are learners as well as medical care providers, doing both jobs simultaneously. For their role as medical care providers, Resident doctors need to work with other members of the health care team in order to provide direct medical care to patients. As doctors, it is their primary duty to diagnose the patient’s medical problems and devise an appropriate management and treatment plan for them.

What is residency for doctors? Residency doctors have to undergo several years of training, depending on their medical specialty which they are pursuing. The training period lasts between three to seven years and with each advancing year, the Residency doctors are given increased responsibilities. Hence, there is a difference between the procedures performed by a Senior Resident doctor and a Junior Resident doctor, who may require their direct supervision or of an attending physician.

However, in order to be Residency doctors, one must have their final medical diploma (MD, DO, MBBS, etc.) signifying the completion of their medical school. As part of their curriculum, a Resident doctor may have experienced different kinds of direct clinical experiences. By direct clinical experience, we mean taking the medical history of a patient; performing and interpreting physical examination on them; communicating with them, their families, and other members of the health care team. Their experience may have also included ordering and interpreting diagnostic studies and to an extent, they would have even performed some medical or surgical procedures, but only under the close supervision of a senior doctor.

What is residency in the medical field? What is a medical resident? The job of a Resident doctor entails:

  • Training in a specialized area of medicine
  • Acting as both – a student and a health care provider
  • Working as a team with other health care members to provide direct medical care to patients
  • Diagnosing the patients’ medical problems and devising appropriate treatment plans
  • Performing surgeries if appropriate to medical specialty and their level of training
  • Having completed their medical degree in MD, DO, or MBBS
  • Under the supervision of a Senior Resident doctor or an attending physician
  • Duty to take medical histories of patients, physically examine the patients, interpret diagnostic studies, and perform some medical procedures under the supervision
  • The first point of conversation for newly admitted patients who can be in the ER, the ward, in a special care unit, or in an operating room.

On top of a Senior Resident doctor is a Chief Resident doctor who is the head doctor on staff in that specific department. One needs to be the best person for the job to be a verified healthcare practitioner of such rank, which they can get from high evaluations and reviews from the patients they attend to and the doctors under whose supervision they work. One needs to submit an application and go through an interview with the rest of the head doctors as well to be at this rank. Hospitals are allowed to hire from within, while others look for residents who can demonstrate proficiency in their job and belong to other hospitals in the area or even across the country.

What is a medical resident? Before you can become a Resident doctor, you need to spend several years in college. The first four years are to earn a bachelor’s degree, and a minimum of two years or more is required in medical school. After completing medical school, you need to gain experience working in a hospital and complete your residency. Once you gain experience working in different fields of medicine, you can complete your residency (at least one year), which can give you more training in a specialized field.

What is a Typical Day Like for a Resident in the Medical Field?

What is residency in the medical field? Residency doctors provide direct patient care while participating in their ongoing educational activities, including morning reports, and formal conferences. Apart from their duties, much of a Resident doctor’s work, as well as their education, occurs during their patient rounds. During their rounds, the health care team and physicians proceed from patient to patient to assess their progress, work on their response to treatment, diagnose developments, and refine their treatment plans. In case they are not doing rounds, Resident doctors may be involved in performing diagnosis, treatment procedures, or conferring with other consultants or members of the team.

Resident doctors also spend time seeing patients in outpatient clinics or in supervising physicians’ offices, which involves communicating with the patient’s family and coordinating care and services with other members of the health care team. Along with this, Resident doctors also spend a chunk of their time learning to be a specialized doctor and to keep their medical knowledge and training up-to-date. When considering the area of medical research in India, we find that quality research is limited in our country. The number of research articles published in the field of medicine is few. As per the data available till 2008, India holds the twelfth rank among other producing countries in medical research, consisting of 65,745 articles with a global publication share of 1.59%.

As per the Medical Council of India (MCI) requirements, resident doctors have to carry out a dissertation project as a part of their MD/MS curriculum. It is a common observation that a majority of resident doctors conduct research projects during the second or third year of residency. To encourage research orientation in resident doctors, currently, MCI has made it mandatory to not only attend one international/national conference but also give an oral/poster presentation and send the article for publication.

What are the Responsibilities of a Residency Doctor?

What is a resident doctor? What is a residency for doctors? The roles, responsibilities, and functions of a Resident Doctor, as per their training year, are as follows:

Year 1 of training – Referred to as interns, they are required to do the initial assessment of the patient and actively participate in all aspects of patient care. This includes an initial medical history and the physical, diagnostic, and therapeutic planning and procedures, along with interaction with the family. This is reviewed with the responsible Senior Resident doctor and the faculty/physician attending. Orders are written by the second-year Resident doctor. The second-year resident doctor’s role in student-teaching is primarily that they ensure active student involvement in the care of the patients, which the student is following.

Year 2 of training – The Senior Residency doctors are responsible for supervising both interns and students, to make sure they become familiar with the patients and are the principal resource for the attending day-by-day patient data. The decisions that need to be made regarding invasive procedures, change in plans, discharge, or problems are discussed with the attending physician of record. Senior Residency doctors are also responsible for maintaining hospital Medical Records and meeting the credentialing requirements appropriate to their postgraduate level.

Year 3 of training – The Senior Residency doctor continues the supervisory role under attending guidance practiced in their second year, with increased teaching, consultative, and research activities. They are responsible for maintaining hospital Medical Records and meeting credentialing requirements appropriate to their postgraduate level, in addition to responsibilities as the senior resident in-house.

What is a Medical Resident and How has Covid-19 Impacted Them?

What is residency in the medical field? Resident doctor meaning the phase of accumulating clinical knowledge, acquiring skills such as leadership and organizational skills in the ward and OP setting. Procedural and therapeutic skills, communication and counseling skills and also developing a positive attitude in clinical work. They need to reflect confidence, competence, and empathy to their patients. The Residency doctors are required to build a positive work culture and keep better interpersonal relations in the complex hospital environment. The time period of a Residency doctor provides a unique opportunity for medical students to gain expertise in clinical workmanship and develop intimacy with their patients. It also helps the Resident doctors to understand the intricacies of the health care system and national health program development.

COVID-19 has not only impacted frontline healthcare workers majorly but further strained healthcare resources, which is why resident doctors have campaigned for better pay and benefits. Most Resident doctors are paid a stipend despite working longer hours than verified doctors most of the time. During this crucial time, most of the states are not adhering to the guidelines set by the Medical Council of India (MCI). A resident doctor is to be treated as an employee on a contract according to the Medical Council of India. But the stipend amount varies from state to state as they are not following a uniform norm. This problem has arisen due to the fact that although the MCI has rolled out these guidelines, the states have also been given the authority to decide the quantum of stipend.

Only the central government medical colleges and institutes at present are following the MCI guidelines who follow the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations. An estimate of a resident doctor working in a central institute would have a salary component varying between Rs 85,000 to Rs 90,000/per month. The official salary includes basic pay, a dearness allowance, house rent allowance, transport allowance, and medical allowance. But the stipend is only a lump sum amount decided by the state which varies from state to state.

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