Do You Get Paid for Residency?

The average pay for a general practice physician in 2009 was $186,044.
The average pay for a general practice physician in 2009 was $186,044. (Image: Hemera Technologies/ Images)

"Residency" is the term applied to the clinical training a student doctor must complete before he's eligible to earn his license practice medicine on his own. Before residency, a medical student must pass four years of college before going through four years of medical school. After graduating from medical school, he enters residency under a skilled physician in a real medical setting.

Residency Pay

Medical residents are paid, according to the University of Alabama. As of 2011, residents with the University of Alabama earn between $45,443 and $54,915 a year, or between $3,786.92 and $4,576.25 a month. Pay depends on where the student is completing his residency training. Residents with the University of California, for instance, earn $48,259 in their first year.

Residency Length

Residency terms are based on the specialty the student chooses, according to the American Medical Association, and can last from three to seven years. For example, a medical student interested in specializing in family medicine or pediatrics will enter a three-year residency, while a student interested in general surgery will enter a five-year residency. Regardless of specialty, residents are paid for the entire term.

Pay Based on Residency Year

According to the University of Alabama, a resident's pay grade is based on the year of his residency. For example, his first year he's paid $3,786.92 a month, or $45,443 a year; in his second he earns $3,835.17 a month or $46,022 a year. His pay increases gradually with each additional year in residency.

Other Benefits

A resident can take advantage of other benefits, depending on where he completes his residency. Residents at the University of Alabama are given $4,500 a year for three years to help offset educational and supply costs, as well as paid parking and free equipment. Residents with the University of California get $500 a year to offset education expenses, $2,500 a year to offset housing costs and $600 a year to pay for licensing.

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