Networking As A Resident

Cory Smith, MD

August 23, 2019


Networking? Seriously?  As a resident, we have to care for patients, prepare for surgeries, study for exams, attempt to balance life outside of the hospital and now we have to network? The answer is absolutely! Let us explain.

As residents, we have taken vastly different paths from our contemporaries who entered the workforce and job market immediately after college. We studied for tests and board exams, built our CVs, and ultimately got a residency spot through a computer matchmaking system. Meanwhile, our friends in many other fields were shaking hands, establishing connections and climbing their career ladders one conversation or phone call at a time. They understood early on what we must learn now. Networking is essential for building a career; we explore a few of the reasons below.

1It’s Not (Always) What You Know

Many orthopedic surgeons find various job opportunities because of a phone call from a colleague rather than a research paper or an award on a CV. Developing these relationships can be helpful to catapult your career with regards to academic research, or job opportunities.  Establishing these relationships both at and (more importantly) outside of our home institutions can require extra effort.

2There is Strength In Numbers

It is important to remember that relationships with other residents and young surgeons are of utmost importance as well. Whether you are building a referral network in a new city or looking for partners for a multicenter research study, it is often those climbing the same rungs of the ladder that make the best partners. Our co-residents and peers can be invaluable as teammates, so reach out and make these connections early!

3You are Not Alone

Finally, these interconnections with our colleagues can prove much more valuable than jobs, referrals or research. They are whom you call to discuss a complication or talk about a difficult patient, brainstorm about potential fellowship opportunities or just to discuss the ups and downs of life as a young surgeon. Relationships with our contemporaries are vital for us to survive and thrive in our first few years of practice and beyond.

Now that you know the importance of networking, it is time to get out there and start building these relationships. There are countless opportunities to start networking at conferences, meetings, journal clubs, etc. One of these opportunities unique to residents is the new Resident Networking Event hosted by the AAOS in cities across the United States. These events were created to allow residents to meet and make these connections.

As a part of AAOS’ Innovation Series, these resident-only events allow residents to meet and greet over food and drinks while providing hands-on experience with new technology provided by innovative vendors. Residents will also be able to learn about the benefits of AAOS membership and advocacy opportunities within the Association. There will also be time for feedback on how the AAOS can better support and empower residents.

We would like to formally invite all residents in the Los Angeles area to our next event on September 12th, 2019 from 7:30-9:00 PM. Details are outlined below. To RSVP and to learn more, please visit: https://connect.ajrr.net/resident-event. Take advantage of this time to network and build relationships that will enrich the residency experience and beyond.

Los Angeles AAOS Resident Event Details:
When: September 12, 2019
Time: 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Where: State Social House, The Attic Room
8782 W. Sunset Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069


DISCLOSURE: Dr. Smith reported nothing to disclose.

Read the AAOS Discussion Group Terms, Conditions and Disclaimers HERE


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