Oct 19, 2013
Medical Student
I know that residency is, for many people, the most challenging (emotionally, mentally, physically) portion of training, but I've definitely heard some individuals say it was also the time when they were happiest. Has anyone visited any programs where they felt the residents were very happy?
Dec 16, 2013
Resident [Any Field]
Yes I have. Sometimes it is not just the work load or the stress levels but instead by serendipity the program has the right mix of residents who all mostly gel very well together. You then notice the happiness and true friendships in that environment. There are not putting a show, you can instead see the true happiness.


Staff member
15+ Year Member
Mar 13, 2002
Attending Physician
There are undoubtedly some programs where residents are mistreated so that they are unhappy due to that. I believe that to be uncommon currently in pediatrics, but would hardly claim it doesn't exist. On the other hand, "very happy" is a term that I don't think can really be applied to folks working 80 hours/week in any training program, even pediatrics. I certainly don't think one can figure it out from an interview day or from an internet discussion board. Keep in mind that some programs are, by the nature of their patient population, going to be more intense than others. Sorting out whether one likes a community vs large children's hospital or emphasis on primary care pediatrics can somewhat be done in the selection process, but even this is questionably accurate.

Bottom line is that I do not think that there is any way to meaningfully identify a good solid program where residents are pleased with the program and one where the residents are "very happy." I strongly think it is much more dependent on the individual than the program. So, do look out for evidence of a rare "bad" program, which is hard to identify, but you might get some clues, but otherwise use other characteristics to select your ROL.
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