By Cathy Lu, MD, CCFP
After 3 years of working as a full-fledged family physician with special interest in the elderly, I decided to return back to residency for further training in Care of the Elderly.
It took a great deal of deliberation to make that decision, including consideration of financial sustainability, how would resident schedule work with family schedule, and what I hope to gain from a Certificate of Added Competence (CAC).
For each physician, the factors to consider would be very individual.
Once I’d made the decision, the process itself was quite streamed lined. I applied for my program of choice, went to an interview and was accepted. As I hope to still work part-time or locum here and there during my residency, I did not need to notify CMPA, CPSA of my going back to residency for 6 months.
The process of adjusting back to be a resident was difficult. As a physician, I made my own decisions and took responsibility for the outcomes. As a resident, sometimes the supervising physician made different calls then I would’ve made and I would need to decide if I want to discuss or simply follow. The call schedule also made it difficult for family life. I wanted to quit in the first month, but my husband and other family members were very supportive and pulled me through the most difficult adjustment period.
I feel that I learned a lot through residency. I’m certainly more confident in my skills as a Care of the Elderly physician, scholar, teacher and patient advocate.
Obtaining my CAC has also meant access to more opportunities in the field of Care of the Elderly.
Adjusting back to be a full fledged physician was very smooth compared to adjust to be a resident. There were no additional paper work to be done as I did locum during my residency training and all my hospital privileges were still in place.
I am very glad that I made that decision to go through with additional residency training to obtain my CAC. I’m also very thankful for all who supported me through it.