As the medical school provides a student with an excellent knowledge-base in the areas of anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, pathology and the basics of medical practice, chances for practical application of these skills are few. Residency programs give a recent medical school graduate the opportunity to see a lay down procedure performed many times, and to practice that procedure under supervision of a physician. More so, a resident who serves in a hospital is exposed to the different specialties of medicine, which can help her to refine her further education and career goals.
# A resident works extremely long hours, often up to 48 hours straight of duty, in addition to being on call. A resident works, on average, between 60 and 130 hours. This leads to a chronic lack of sleep that can not only cause danger on the resident's personal life and well-being, but makes him open to impaired functioning that can affect patient care. Residency programs that are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) are now required to limit resident's work weeks to no more than 80 hours per week (as averaged over the course of a month). The American Medical Association has strongly recommended that other programs are to be followed accordingly.
# A hundred level resident works in internal medicine, seeing patients with a variety of conditions. After the first year, the resident moves on to a program synonymously to the specialty that he is after. The minimum length of a residency is three years, after which the resident is eligible for licensure. The total number of years for a residency is determined by specialty. Neurological surgeons and plastic surgeons spend the longest time serving as interns--between seven and 10 years total. Other types of residency programs include allergy, anesthesiology, critical care, emergency medicine, pediatrics, preventive medicine, general and orthopedic surgery, obstetrics, pathology, ophthalmology, psychiatry and others.