Tips for Post-Graduate Residency
I graduated from PA 17 years ago in 2004 and that year only one of my classmates did a post-graduate residency and it was kind of by mistake. She followed a fiancé far from home, hated her first job, and took a dermatology residency spot out of necessity when her engagement broke up and she had a lease in a city with no job. She ended up loving dermatology and still practices it to this day. Residencies were just not commonplace ‘back then’.
When I started on the University of Iowa faculty in 2009, they were still relatively a rare occurrence but they have gained popularity in my tenure on faculty. We graduate 25 PAs each year and in those first 5 or so years, we had 1 maybe 2 students choose a residency over a job. In the last 5 years, we have had a least 5 students (out of 25) go into a residency program. So still these aren’t huge numbers, but it is definitely an increase. According to a recently published article, they estimated 200 graduates entered residency in 2020 out of the 10,000 PA program graduates which I feel like is a low-end number and this article doesn’t explain their estimation rationale. My anecdotal gut says it is probably ~5% which would be more like 500 graduates out of 10, 000.
There also has been a big increase in the number and variety of programs. The Association of Post-Graduate PA Programs has compiled the following list of their member programs. This is not a complete list as it only reports members of their association. According to their website, “active program members shall be postgraduate programs with a curriculum, including didactic and clinical components, which trains National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) eligible/certified physician assistants for a defined period of time, usually a minimum of twelve (12) months in a medical/surgical specialty. Programs must award a certificate or graduate academic credit or degree”.
There are lots of reasons to choose a residency after graduation. There are just as many reasons not to choose one. Here are some pros and cons to read through as you consider.
- EM Post Grad Residency
- Hematology Post Grad Residency
- Peds Post Grad Residency
- Psychiatry Post Grad Residency
- Family Medicine Post Grad Residency
Whether or not you choose to go into a post-graduate residency program after graduation, know that there are lots of options for you and new programs opening up every year. As always, reach out to us with questions and/or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the love of medicine,