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Resident Defined-What is a Resident

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Updated June 10, 2014

surgical resident, surgery, medical resident

Surgeon & Surgical Resident at Work

Image: Jennifer Heisler, RN
Definition: A resident is a physician in training who has completed at least one year of residency. A resident has a medical license and is a physician, but is not board certified in a specialty.

Residency, including the first year during which a resident is called an intern, can last for 3 to 7 years, depending upon the specialty. Residents can practice medicine, but they do so under the observation of a fully qualified doctor.

Additional information: How to Become a Doctor

Also Known As: medical resident, surgical resident
Examples:
The medical resident examined the patient and determined the course of treatment, which was approved by the physician in charge.
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