Join in for Resident Awareness Week 2017
Blog Author: Melissa NilanPosted: Monday, February 6, 2017 - 10:47
During the week of 6 to 10 February residents across the country will be celebrating and participating in their 16th annual Resident Awareness Week (RAW). This week-long event aims to inform the public about who resident doctors are and what their role is in the health care system, as many patients are not aware of what a resident is. With 1300 resident doctors training in British Columbia this year, and that number continuing to grow as programs expand into new training sites, it is more important than ever that the public understands the role these doctors play in their medical care.
What is a resident?
Residents are doctors who are engaged in supervised training prior to independent practice. They have completed their medical degree and are fully qualified doctors; however, they must choose a medical specialty and complete intensive practical training in their chosen field before they can open their own practice.
Medical residency was first established over 125 years ago by one of Canada’s most famous physicians, Sir William Osler. Since then it has become widely adopted around the world as an essential component of medical training. Residency programs can take anywhere from 2 to 5 years to complete, and some residents may continue their training for up to 7 years if they choose to further specialize.
The term resident came about because, originally, residents would live in the hospitals—although this is no longer a requirement of their training, residents do spend a vast amount of time at the hospital. Residents are frontline health care workers who are often the first point of contact for patients and provide around-the-clock service in clinics and hospitals. In addition to a regular work week, they do call shifts, teach medical students, conduct research, and study for licensing exams.
Residents are hardworking, passionate, and ambitious about the future of our health care system. Residents who are supported and acknowledged in the work they do are better equipped to support their patients. Find out what Resident Doctors of BC is doing this week to celebrate Resident Awareness Week; visit http://residentdoctorsbc.ca/raw-2017 for all the details.
Board and Communications Coordinator, Resident Doctors of BC
This posting has not been peer reviewed by the BCMJ Editorial Board.