Rounds to Residency

Residency Q&A w/ Greg Rodden DO – Life of a Resident

Chase DiMarco talks to Dr. Greg Rodden about work-life balance during residency, managing student loans, and how living expenses and taxes can affect your residency journey.

  • [01:59] Work-life Balance During Residency
  • [06:40] Finding Time for Hobbies and Extracurricular Activities
  • [12:24] How to Find Reading Time During Residency
  • [13:14] Coexisting with People with Different Views from Yourself
  • [17:18] Side Gigs and Extra Income
  • [18:27] Managing Student Loans
  • [24:30] Why Living Expenses and Taxes Should not Affect Your Residency Location
  • [26:51] How to Approach Insurance Covers
  • [29:07] Transport Costs and Saving Money
  • [32:30] Do Resident Doctors Need to Invest?

Work-Life Balance During Residency

As mentioned in parts one and two of this series, as much as you’d want to spend most of your time reading or at work, it always pays to take care of your social life. Unfortunately, most students don’t get this, and that’s where they go wrong. We understand that you’re a little short on time, but you can always squeeze in an hour or two per week to spend time with your loved ones. And by quality time, we mean uninterrupted time engaging with a friend, a relative, or a spouse where you don’t worry or talk about work-related stuff.

One of the hardest things about residency is not having control over your calendar. This might mean all your plans are based upon how things are scheduled at work. However, one thing should remain constant, your sleep time. Always have at least seven hours of sleep every day if you want to stay productive.

How To Find Reading Time During Residency

Finding time to read when on a busy schedule can be a daunting task during residency. Nonetheless, it would help if you could find time to read at least 30 minutes a day. This keeps your mind active and prepared for any incoming exams. The good thing is that residency is all about learning; thus, every day presents an opportunity to learn something new.

Even with an 80-hour-week, some people still find time to get into side hustles, which is a good thing because it keeps your mind occupied with other things. Nevertheless, before you add anything to your busy schedule, make sure you’re 100% passionate about that particular hustle. You shouldn’t sacrifice your sanity and free time on something you don’t care about, all while chasing an extra dollar.

Living Expenses, Taxes, and Loans During Residency

Most students get through medical school on student loans with interest rates of about 7 to 10%. Once you’re done with school and into the job market, the first thoughts are often about how to start financing the loans. If it’s a government loan, you can opt to join the army. All in all, you need to start paying the loans as quickly as possible because the longer you wait, the more interest you’ll pay.

When it comes to choosing residency locations, most students factor in living expenses and taxes, which makes sense because it’s always beneficial to live within your means. But, that’s not a good enough reason to fancy one hospital over another. Choose somewhere you’re going to get the best training possible and a place you’d fit in seamlessly.


Check out the:

White Coat Investor

Find a Rotation website

Sceptics guide to the universe

Science-Based Medicine blog

Student Loan Planner Podcast

Prospective Doctor episode on student loans

Financial Residency Podcast


Sign up for a Free Coaching session with Chase DiMarco, sponsored by Prospective Doctor! You can also join the Med Mnemonist Mastermind FB Group today and learn more about study methods, memory techniques, and MORE! Do check out Read This Before Medical School. Like our FreeMedEd Facebook page and find our Medical Micro Course, Blog posts, and Podcasts at! Feel free to Email any Questions or Comments.

Chase DiMarco

Chase DiMarco is an MS, MBA-HA and MD/Ph.D-candidate. He is the founder of MedEd University, a free medical education resource, the host of the Medical Mnemonist & Rounds to Residency podcasts creator of several medical education platforms, and CEO of FindARotation clinical rotations service.

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