Who are you?
I am you… about 10 years ago. My name is Walter Nguyen and I grew up in Southern California. I attended UC Berkeley for undergrad (Go Bears!), and on somewhat of a whim went to a Caribbean medical school known as American University of the Caribbean (now owned by DeVry). After doing my two years on “the rock”, I did my clinical rotations for 3rd and 4th year back in California. I devoted a whole post to my take on Caribbean medical schools and a part 2.
The most important thing about medical school is that I met the woman who was to be my wife. I matched into my specialty of choice (radiology) and she matched into hers (psychiatry) and overall, things are great. I have two beautiful children and I live in a place I like with a job I like. Overall, I really can’t ask for more.
As my wife and I made our journeys through internship, residency, fellowship, and have now started our lives as young attendings, we’ve made some good decisions… and some bad ones. I’ve seen my colleagues (and hers) make good decisions, maybe even great ones… but we’ve also witnessed extraordinarily bad ones. Our experiences are not uncommon and I believe they should be shared and learned from.
More here – Who IS Sensei?
Why should I believe you?
You shouldn’t, at least not without your own research. I am just a young physician trying to navigate life after finishing residency/fellowship.
Anything you read anywhere on the internet should be taken with a ton of salt.
However, I assure you that I am a living, breathing, practicing physician. Doximity
Anything I say on here is not supposed to be taken as the end-all be-all guide to life after medical school. I just want to provide the framework. I want to share my experiences to help those who come after me. If you think I am wrong, feel free to comment and correct me. I always want to learn more. These are just my experiences and the knowledge I’ve gained from my own research. However, things change and evolve as time goes on, just like the practice of medicine.
That said, I do my very best to research any content I put on this blog to the best of my ability. I also try to include any important source links which I think are relevant to the post.
Why are you doing this?
My wife says I have this irrational need to help people who are younger than me with things that I have experience with. Apparently I get frustrated when people do the wrong thing when I could have prevented it. She is probably right… she IS a psychiatrist. During residency I tried very hard to teach my junior residents about our specialty, but also, about the non-medical related things in life. I found great gratification in helping them and took great pride in shaping them both as young physicians and young professionals.
This website is my outlet to do more of the same on a larger scale. In general, life is about finding the things you like to do. Medicine, like any other job is something you will grow and become more experienced in as you age. However, medicine itself will never really cause you to reinvent yourself or to learn to do something really new. This is my attempt to learn something new… create something new.
What do you hope to accomplish? What is the end game?
Hope to accomplish? My goals are both meager and lofty.
First, this will be a place to collect all my thoughts and experiences. I want to share this collection with others or perhaps my children if they decide to become doctors. I am sure there are a wealth of websites about getting into medical school, doing well in medical school, and obtaining your dream specialty… and living happily ever after. However, this isn’t a fairy tale and life doesn’t end after medical school…that is when it really begins. There are also websites dedicated to medical school debt, financial advice, insurance, etc. So then… what void does my website fill…?
I would like this to be a place where all medical students come to for some sort of guidance about “real life”, a place that the 4th years tell the 3rd years to visit after Match Day. I want it to be a place that interns, residents, and young physicians will visit and revisit every now and then to see if they are on track. They will come here to make sure they didn’t miss or forget anything along the way. I want it to be constantly updated with the new challenges that will face those who come after me, and who come after us.
Health care continues to change. Medical school debt continues to increase. Training continues to get longer. Reimbursements continue to decline. All of these things effect young physicians coming out.
I want to prevent people from making the mistakes I did. I want this new generation of physicians to not be afraid to talk to each other about things other than medicine. Doctors are people too and we have problems just like anyone else. However, asking for help is looked down upon in our profession which makes no sense to me. I want this to be a forum to learn and keep learning. I want people to ask questions, and if I don’t have the answers, I want to research them and figure them out.
Those are my primary and more immediate goals.
Long term, I would like to call to attention just how ill-prepared medical students and those with extended schooling are to handle the real world once they finish. I would like medical schools and other professional schools to rethink their 4th year curricula to include some sort of seminar for the last semester of 4th year after the match. I hope they will add a course to aid their students with this transition.
”Be the change you want to see in the world”… right?
Why does this website look “unfinished” and “unpolished”?
Easy. Because it is both unfinished and unpolished. I kind of decided on a whim that I wanted to create this website. Given that I haven’t messed around with making websites since back in the Stone Age (the age of yahoo, geocities and AOL and such), it took a little bit of time for me to decide on how I wanted to do things. I am also extremely grateful to my friends who are much more experienced than me who pointed me in the right direction.
This website will continue to change until I decide on the proper setup for what I am trying to do. It’s hard for me to say exactly what that is because I have no idea yet. The only thing I have that is concrete is that I want to share my experience with those who come after me, so they can learn from my mistakes.
Why “seniorresident.com?” Why “sensei”?
I don’t consider myself to be an expert in life after medical school. I am a young attending physician trying to navigate my way through life, similar to you, sans the “attending” part. Essentially, I am quite simply just an older version of you. The only thing that separates us is time. As such, I felt it was fitting to be considered your “senior resident”. You will come to understand that in our profession you never truly stop learning. There will always be someone who knows more than you and you should always take that as an opportunity to learn from them.
“Sensei” has dual meanings in Japanese. It means both “teacher” as well as “doctor”. Here, I try to act as both, so I felt it was fitting.
Disclaimer: I am not Japanese and do not pretend to be. Although I do like sushi and sashimi a lot, if that counts for anything.
Who made your ridiculously cute mascot?
I commissioned bunny sensei from CaptSugarSpice. Her page is here. Everything she creates is absurdly cute.
I hope to have a few variations of bunny sensei to spice up the website a bit more in the future.
Do you have any disclosures?
All disclosures here are in chronological order with as much transparency as possible.
I am an Amazon Associate, so you may seen some links sprinkled throughout the site, usually on Whatever Wednesdays. From my understanding, clicking on one of those links drops an Amazon cookie that might give me a few pennies if you buy something from Amazon, at no charge to you of course.
If you decide to refinance your student loans and use one of my links, then I do get a “finder’s fee” of sorts. This is, of course, at no charge to you.
I am going to try to develop a stronger affiliation with these (and hopefully other) refinancing companies to try to get you some kind of discount.
For more information, you can check my State of the Blog reports.
For more about me, I did a guest post/interview for Physician On Fire:
All of the opinions here are my own individual opinions and do not reflect the opinions of any past, present, or future employer. I am not a professional financial advisor, accountant, lawyer, or insurance agent. I do have a license to practice medicine, but nothing stated on this website should be construed as medical advice.
All the information provided here is done for purely informational purposes as a means to share my experiences. Nothing on this site constitutes financial, accounting, legal or medical advice. By using this site you agree to not hold me responsible for any decisions(s) you make related to your future.
Please, supplement your own research about any of the topics you find on my site.
Also, if you find something that you disagree with me about, please let me know. via firstname.lastname@example.org