So you’ve decided to begin your medical residency, but you’re confused about what program to choose and in what specialty. Your confusion is very understandable; selecting a
residency is like choosing a life partner. If it doesn’t work out, you always have the option to get divorced, but you would have already invested a good portion of your time and other sacrifices.

It’s not easy to break away from a marriage, the same way it isn’t easy to break away from your residency once you’ve committed yourself. So here are five things you need to consider before taking the plunge to apply to a medical residency program.

  1. Consider the specialty: There are many different residency programs all over the country, and many will be offering your desired specialty. However, not every institution will treat every specialty the same. You want to select a program that provides the best in your chosen specialty to be sure that you are getting the optimum experience in your chosen field.
  2. Consider the location: Choosing where you will do your residency has implications on where you will spend the rest of your medical career. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, roughly half of residents who completed residency
    training from 2007–2016 are practicing in the state where they did their residency training.
  3. Salary expectations: The average salary for a resident in the UK ranges from about £40,000 to £50,000. For residents living away from family or with several family and lifestyle obligations, you will have to make certain concessions to avoid living above
    your means. Thus, before deciding on a program, it is essential to find out how much you will earn and if it will be sufficient to cover all current and expected expenses that might arise during the duration of the residency.
  4. Program reputation: Another essential factor to consider before applying is the reputation of the residency program. Having a strong residency is the foundation of a successful medical career. Thus it is essential to choose a program with a good reputation in whatever specialty you have chosen. If you aim to veer onto the academics or research, you should select a program that provides those options.
  5. Speak to current residents: Ultimately, one of the only ways to know if a residency program is the best fit for you is to speak to residents who are currently in the program. Make a list of all your questions and concerns and reach out to them to get their feedback. You will learn more about the program from them than any information found on a website or in a brochure.


In summary, before choosing a residency program, ensure to conduct detailed research on the program, the location, how much you will earn, and the reputation of the program in your chosen specialty. Finally, look for past or current residents of the program and speak to them
as first-hand information is always more authentic than packaged and edited profiles on a website.

It might seem like a lot, but the alternative to not carefully selecting your choice of medical residency is far worse. Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions, make lists and do careful findings before making a decision; the rest of your professional career, and life, depend on it.

Have you been having difficulty searching for a residency program? What areas have you been struggling with during the application process? If you’re still stuck on selecting a specialty, taking up locum work can help to give you some perspective. Let ProStandardUK Limited help you find what’s right for you.