Residency Tips and Tricks

Dear Residents,

Welcome to Western! We know that these are tough times for everyone, but especially difficult for those of you transitioning to residency in these unprecedented times. We hope that we can pass on some tips to help you through your first weeks as a resident. We look forward to meeting you all in person in the near future.

Residency Tips and Tricks

  • Book vacations early and don’t be afraid to use them!
    • Residency is a busy time and it's often easy to lose track of whether you've had enough food or sleep. Use vacations to recharge and as something to look forward to after the draining long nights in hospital. Once you finish your vacation, start planning the next one!
  • Let your patients speak
    • Clichés aside, they truly are the best teachers of medicine. An American survey from 2008 (1) shows that those who spend less time with patients are more likely to have burnout. Some of your most memorable moments in residency will be when you get to know your patients so well that you can talk about anything medical, or non-medical. Remember these moments when you're going through the tough times.
  • Ensure a good social network inside and outside of residency
    • Stay in touch with old friends and be sure to attend social events to make new ones. With some restrictions being lifted for COVID in London, we hope to get everyone socialising in person soon. Reach out to your chiefs if you have ideas for outings!
  • Find your “I can do that!” moments
    • You may find yourself feeling overwhelmed with the amount of work in front of you, whether that be in the clinic or during overnight calls. Always make a to-do list. Complete a task, celebrate your achievement, and move on to the next one. You can do it!
  • Have your UWO email forwarded to your regular mail
    •  You’ll be getting a TON of emails in residency. Stay on top of your academic, administrative (and of course FMRW Council) emails using this feature.
  • Stay on top of your logging
    • You are NOT going to want to do all of it at the last minute. Your graduation can be held back if you're not caught up, so consistency is key!
  • Ask for help whenever you need
    • Remember, you’re here to learn. Your supervisors, chiefs and fellow residents are here to support you.
  • Treat yourself often
    • You worked hard to get into Medical School, you lugged your suitcases across Canada on your CaRMs tour and now you can enjoy the fruits of your labour. Explore the city, take yourself out for a nice cocktail or dinner every now and then! (and don’t forget about that massage coverage from Manulife)
  • Get involved 
    • The program needs your input and creativity to continue to improve. Get involved with your Family Medicine Council and bring your ideas to the table. (Elections for the Council will be announced soon!)
  • Wellness is key
    • Stay active and healthy (mentally and physically). If you feel burnt out, or have any concerns about your mental or physical wellbeing, reach out to your supervisors, your chiefs or the wellness office: (


We hope you enjoy your time here at Western. As always, reach out to us for anything. We are here to support you!



Your Chiefs and Resident Council


  • Alexander, H., and J. Lang. "The long-term retention and attrition of US medical school faculty." AAMC Analysis in Brief 8.4 (2008): 1-2.