Residency Wrap-up Checklist

As you prepare for graduation from residency, there are many things you must get done in order to meet residency requirements and also to launch the next stage of your career. Start with this list, and then check with your program director, program coordinator, and others to see what you've missed.

Looking for a Job

Make this a priority. One resource for career opportunities is the AAFP CareerLink( Narrow down your choices by choosing the practice model that best fits your goals, lifestyle, and interests.

Negotiating Your Contract

Seek advice from faculty or other practicing physicians whom you trust, as well as from appropriate legal providers. An error at this step can be costly in many ways. More about negotiating contracts »

Staying on Track for Graduation

Have you met all the residency program's requirements, including, but not limited to, patient numbers, deliveries, and completion of quality improvement and scholarly work? Check with your faculty advisor and residency coordinator to be sure you're not forgetting anything.       

Preparing for the ABFM Board Exam 

Have you met the requirements that make you eligible to sit for the exam? Completion of fifty (50) MC-FP points is required, including:

  • At least one (1) Part II Module (SAM)
  • One (1) Part IV Module (PPM or approved alternative)
  • One (1) additional module of your choice (Part II or Part IV)

 Now is the time to prepare for the exam. Explore AAFP Board Review Resources »

Getting Your Credentials in Order

You will face a deluge of paperwork which may include licensure, applications for privileges, signing up with Medicare, Medicaid, and various insurance providers. Be sure your curriculum vitae is up to date and you have documentation of clinical procedures and experiences. Take the documentation with you when you leave your residency program.

Getting Ready to Relocate

If you're certain of your plans to move, you will soon want to take steps toward selling and/or buying a house. Are moving expenses included in your new employment contract? Do you have a spouse or children who will be seeking new jobs or transferring to new schools? Your new practice partners may be able to help.

Moving to a new state? Check out the requirements for state licensure( right away. It can take months to get a license application approved in a new state.

Contributed by Stan Kozakowski, MD

After a time in private practice, Dr. Kozakowski spent 24 years at the Hunterdon Family Medicine Residency Program in Flemington, New Jersey. He served as faculty and associate director, then as program director for his last 15 years there. Dr. Kozakowski joined the American Academy of Family Physicians as Director of the Division of Medical Education in 2011.