The ProspectiveDoctor Podcast

Navigating the Unknown: A Guide to Surviving Your First Year of Residency

Dr. Erkeda DeRouen talks to Dr. Kelvin Liao, an Internal Medicine resident interning at the University of Maryland. They talk about ways for new residents to deal with impostor syndrome, improve their skills, and succeed during their intern year.

Time Stamps

  • [00:36] Introducing Dr. Kelvin Liao
  • [5:45] Recommendations for New Residents to Succeed in an Intern Year
  • [8:56] Dealing with Impostor Syndrome
  • [10:37] How to Ask for Feedback Better
  • [15:38] What Interns Should Avoid
  • [17:03] The Importance of Self-Care
  • [19:50] What Dr. Kelvin Liao Change in Healthcare
  • [23:06] Wrapping Up

Dealing with Impostor Syndrome

Dr. Liao understands how in the first few weeks of the internship, you’ll still feel like a medical student. Regular tasks may feel daunting. To get over this fear of inadequacy, Dr. Liao recommends throwing yourself into things and asking for help along the way. Remember that the tasks that seem challenging now are going to be what you’ll regularly do as a doctor later on. Believe that all the people who helped you through medical school have prepared you for those moments.

Why You Shouldn’t Treat Residency as a Competition

Dr. Liao understands that medical school is competitive, but that isn’t the case in residency. He believes that some of the residents are the ones who go out of their way to help others. You don’t look better when your co-interns look worse. Remember that you’re working together on the same team for the same patients.

The Importance of Self-Care

Many residents in medicine focus too much on the work that they forget to care for their own needs. Dr. Liao believes there’s been a shift in medicine culture that prioritizes personal wellness and that everyone should play a part in it. Residency can take a toll on you, so it’s important that you check in on yourself often to ensure you’re feeling okay. He also recommends seeking out resources your program has to help you feel better.

You can get in touch with Dr. Liao on Twitter @KelvinLLiao

To learn more about how MedSchoolCoach can help you along your medical school journey, visit us at Prospective Doctor. You can also reach us through our social media:


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Erkeda DeRouen

Dr. Erkeda DeRouen is a graduate of Hampton University with a B.S. in Biological Sciences, followed by completing medical school at the Boston University School of Medicine. She then completed residency at The University of Maryland Family and Community Medicine Program. After that, she worked at an underserved community health center, and currently is an Associate Medical Director of a telemedicine company. She recently became one of the first 1,000 lifestyle medicine certified physicians in the world! Her areas of interest include: health equity and eliminating health disparities, service of underserved populations, HIV management, transgender care, mentorship, and lifestyle medicine.

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