Transitions to and within residency training

Promotion G. Galema

Unraveling the importance of social interactions and networks

This dissertation of Gerbrich Galema explores the journey of medical students transitioning into residents and their experiences moving from one rotation to another during residency. Residents’ challenges do not only consist of how to perform their tasks and duties, but also to integrate into their new medical team, department, and specialty. One of the challenges is mastering the unwritten rules: knowing when you can leave work, how to approach various supervisors, and how to collaborate effectively with nurses. This process is known as organizational socialization. Gerbrich Galema investigated in this dissertation the strategies residents themselves use to adapt to their new environment (such as observing, asking questions, experimenting, building social relationships, and seeking information) and how they cope with challenges in collaboration. Despite encountering barriers in interacting with certain supervisors and program directors, residents were found to have an extensive social network to achieve their goals.

Furthermore, Galema examined the impact of other healthcare professionals and organizational factors on residents' transitions, identifying various preferences among residents for socialization strategies. Four types of residents were distinguished: dependent, social capitalizing, autonomous, and development-oriented residents. This diversity underscores that one approach to guidance is not sufficient and that healthcare professionals and departments should tailor their strategies to the individual needs of residents for a successful transition. This dissertation provides practical guidance for residents, healthcare professionals, hospital departments, and teaching hospitals on how transitions of residents can be optimized.