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Lives of Doctor Wives: Does my husband have time for family?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Does my husband have time for family?

When I introduced myself yesterday, Tasha left this comment: "So was there a light at the end of the tunnel? My aunt's an OB and she spends so much time working (I know she makes bank, but I'd prefer my hubby to money). Does he have more time for you and your family?" The answer to that is, "YES!!!". Our situation is probably unique to most physicians and their families. Then, again, maybe it's not? When my husband started looking for jobs around the beginning of his fourth year of residency, he had an idea of location and what kind of practice he wanted to join. He didn't want to work on his own (at least, not right away), because I think it's pretty expensive, and he wanted to establish a patient base. He also looked at the offices call schedules. What he found and applied for (and was accepted to) is perfect for us! He works with five other doctors, and although one of them is currently only doing gynecology and is not taking call, the rest rotate and share call during the week. That means, my husband is only on-call one night a week, unless vacation schedules change the need for coverage. Also, with the rotation, he's only on-call one Friday a month and one whole weekend a month! Another great thing about the call for his office is the doctor on-call is THE doctor on-call. That person does all the surgeries and deliveries in the hospital, takes care of any emergencies that may arise, and takes patients' after office hour calls. The other doctors get to go home from the office and spend time with their families without having to think or worry about their patients. The best part about call is the post-call day after. Once the on-call doctor is finished with rounds in the morning, he/she can go home and have the rest of the day off! This is so different from residency, where my husband would be on-call all day and then, spend the next day putting in an entire shift at the hospital. Also, when the on-call doctor is on for an entire weekend, he/she doesn't even have to round on Monday morning! That day is considered a day off for him/her! With this schedule, there are always a couple of doctors in the office seeing patients, one doctor on-call, and one doctor post-call. It's been so nice for us. We've been able to see our family and friends more, we have time in the evenings to spend with each other, and we can plan to do things together, like my son's MusikGarten class. My husband's schedule is still a little chaotic because his call rotates, so it's usually never the same night each week. Also, even though office hours are set, like all doctors' offices, things can get hectic, and my husband can sometimes get home late depending on his day. For the most part, though, it's been great for all of us. Because I stay home with my son, I still try to stay busy by being part of a local moms group, reading books, and learning new hobbies. The great thing is I can do things like take sewing lessons on my husband's post call days and know that I don't need to hire a babysitter for my son! Like I said, ours may be a unique situation, but I have a feeling there are a lot of doctors' offices that are trying to do the same thing. I hope this helps give you an idea of what to think about when your spouses start looking for jobs!



Blogger Melisa said...

Thank you so much for posting this Amanda! It is so great to hear from someone who made it through!

March 27, 2009 at 10:36 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

I'm glad to be able to share some of my story. I know how hard it is during medical school and residency to be able to see (or even think about) "the other side". There are always exceptions to every rule, and I hope I can provide some positivity about being married to a physician. It CAN be a wonderful experience. I just wish I had such a great blog to turn to when I was in all of your shoes!

March 27, 2009 at 3:51 PM  
Blogger Alexandra said...

Nice to know Amanda! I really appreciate you shining some light on the after residency lifestyle! It sure gives us all hope that what we have all worked so hard for and sacrificed for was worth it and is paying off!

This is how our personal OB's schedule pretty much is and how it was when Tommy worked for him, so that would be really nice to work for him after residency or a similar practice.

March 27, 2009 at 9:36 PM  

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