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I Wish I Had Known: The Importance of Life Outside of Residency

Life for much of my residency,

I struggled to find the right balance between the formidable amount of reading expected of derm residents, and maintaining a healthy life outside of residency. In fact, this was the greatest source of stress for me as a resident. I wish I had known that derm residency is a marathon, not a sprint. So, as tempting as it may be to shoot for ridiculous amounts of study time during the week, DON’T DO IT. You run the risk of burnout and you won’t retain anything. Instead, shoot for a modest 10-15 hours per week of reading as a first-year, 5-10 as a second-year, and 5-15 as a third-year. That way, even when the reading is at its most intense as a first-year, it is manageable and will allow you to have a healthy life outside of residency. Here is my recipe: two hours of reading on four weeknights, with one weeknight completely off and seven hours spread across the weekend. Make your own recipe and enjoy derm residency while having a life outside of work! You’ll be a more balanced human being and better dermatologist for it.