While you may have to be the best and brightest in medical school to nab an otolaryngology residency, intelligence alone won’t get a physician through the grueling, sleep-deprived years of residency. Being competitive may propel a medical school student forward, but competing with fellow residents will probably have the opposite effect.
Here’s how otolaryngologists survive—and yes, thrive—during what some have described as the most exhausting, fun, and intense years of their career and, perhaps, of their lives.
Be a team player. Medical school students spend a lot of time alone, studying and absorbing knowledge. As a resident, however, applying that knowledge means transitioning to working well with colleagues. “Healthcare now is very much about teamwork with other doctors, [as well as] nursing and ancillary staff,” said Jeffrey M. Bumpous, MD, J. Samuel Bumgardner Endowed Professor in and chief of the division of otolaryngology at the University of Louisville School of Medicine in Kentucky. Dr. Bumpous advises first-year residents to channel those competitive urges into competing with themselves to know as much as possible.