One of the KEY parts of residency is the “Middle years”. Its a time when many residents are at risk for both getting “to big for their britches” and also where they may get knocked off a healthy trajectory towards graduation and a healthy EM career. Yet, everywhere you look there is advice for interns and graduating residents, with NONE to be found for the PGY 2 (of a 3 year program) or a PGY 3 (of a 4 year program). Drew, Tanner and Andy discuss tips and tricks to avoiding the #SophomoreSlump of EM training.

Episode 10: #SophomoreSlump


Tips to Avoid the #SophomoreSlump:

  1. Remember/Realize you have the skills/abilities to do this.
  2. Embrace the Change (its good to not be an intern anymore), this will prepare for the other changes in your future. Understand that the way you handle the change will help shape your standing in your program.
  3. You are still just a second year, you do not need to operate like your seniors.
  4. Don’t make your second year a competition. You will blossom into the right role over the course of the year.
  5. Have increased awareness; to where you are in your training, how the intern you are working with is doing.
  6. Find a mentor; this can be an attending, a senior resident. You need someone who will give you positive feedback, but can also give you honest feedback.
  7. Remember you are not alone in this. Even residents who are deemed “Rock Stars”, they too are probably struggling, but are putting on a good face. Lean on them to help you find solutions to your problems.


Tips for folks who work with middle year residents:

  1. Give specific/timely feedback.
  2. Give praise where is praise is due. Focusing some time on the positive goes a long way.
  3. Be a resource and a mentor to your residents, their development and growth may depend on it.



Episode 10: #SophomoreSlump

Leave a Reply