As you enter PGY2, take some time to reflect on intern year and how far you have come. Write down what you consider to be your strengths and challenges. Be proud of your strengths! Be okay with the challenges that may always be a struggle for you, but consider ways you can manage the stress it causes. Consider scheduling time to sit down with your program director or mentor to talk about your challenges. Meeting regularly with your mentor helps keep you on track during a very busy time in your life. 


Now is a good time to start thinking about post-residency plans. Here are some tips to help schedule and plan for your 2nd year: 

  • If you are interested in fellowship, try to schedule your electives in the desired sub-specialty early in thyear. If you cannot get an elective rotation, reach out to a faculty member and tell them you are interested in fellowship in their specialty and would like to schedule a time to talk about fellowship training and applications. 
  • Begin to think about what setting you want to work in and try to get exposure to these settings (or set them up for your 3rd year of residency). For primary care, consider settings such a suburban vs. rural vs. urban, federally qualified health centers, academic primary care, or urgent care. Also think about nursery and/or hospitalist work as part of your practice. If you are at a big academic center, try to work at a smaller hospital where there are fewer pediatricians. 
  • Consider other aspects you want to incorporate into your career (e.g. advocacy, research, medical education, global health) and seek mentors and hands on experiences in these areas.  
  • Take on patients and cases that make you uncomfortableNow is the time to learn and fill in knowledge gaps. 

Leadership Development 

Second year is the first time when you will step into a leadership role within a medical team and will be managing the workflow of several medical students and interns. There are a handful of aspects to consider during this time: 

  • Developing your own personal team management style. Critically think through what type of leader you are/want to be. Who were your favorite senior residents that you worked with as an intern and how can you emulate them? How can you support your interns while also providing room for growth/autonomy?  
  • What skills can you hone when it comes to interacting with junior trainees (interns and medical students) that help you grow into the educator/supervisor you want to be? Consider taking time to write a "User Manual for Myself" - pearls that you can share with your team about your priorities and personal work style.  
  • Think about time and task management, as well as building camaraderie within your team.  
  • With regards to teaching styles - do you enjoy formal structured lectures, clinical pearls after each patient on rounds, or chalk talks after rounds? 
  • If you plan to be in academics, it's great practice to start implementing education on a daily basis in quick sessions of important pediatric topics/highlights. If you plan to practice general pediatrics or in non-academic settings, you will still have the responsibility to teach your patients and their families.  


If you haven’t already started a research project and you’re interested in going into a subspecialty, then you need to start one now.  

  • Research is an objective way to help set you apart from other fellowship candidates.  
  • Case studies or even a quality improvement project can help improve patient care, as well as add to your resume/experience. 

Board Prep 

It’s never to early to start Board prep and as a 2nd year, you have more time and capacity to learn. Here are some tips for your 2nd year of residency: 

  • Use this time to get in the habit of reading more Peds in Review articles 
  • Complete PREP questions through PediaLink 
  • Dedicate more time to learning about patients' diagnoses. 
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American Academy of Pediatrics