This Page

has moved to a new address:


Sorry for the inconvenience…

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
Lives of Doctor Wives: April 2009

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


(sorry this is not exactly a discussion question) but I was wondering if any of you MSIII wives have spouses going to Northwestern's program this weekend (its an informational on their residency programs).

What's on your mind?

Survivor Saturdays is off to a great start! Thanks again, Kathi, for your great article on the interviewing process.

To keep things rolling, we need your input! Take a sec to search those frazzled, bewildered corners of your brain and post your question in the comment section below. What are you dying to know about Life On The Other Side and how we got there? What advice do you need to get through training? We want to know! Depending on how many questions we get, we'll probably dive into one or two per week. We've been where you are, and we have SURVIVED (and dare I say "thrived"?), and we want to encourage you and spur you on through the crazy training years.

Thanks, ladies! We're looking forward to hearing what you have to say.

Survivor in Pediatric Ophthalmology

Monday, April 27, 2009

Medical Movies

As a follow up to the post on medical sitcoms, do any of you have medical movies you'd recommend?

I've only seen documentaries (Sicko and Doctor's Diaries on PBS), which are thought provoking and good, but I'd like some lighthearted entertainment, more along the lines of Scrubs or Grey's. Apparently one medical movie is Flatliners, although I've heard it's a bit disturbing.

So, any other ones that are worth checking out? :)


Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Inside Scoop on Interviewing

I still remember the first interviews my husband had when he finished residency. I remember discussing which states were acceptable and then rating them first choice to last. When my husband went on his first interview, it was a real eye opener. I wasn’t invited to come along, but that didn’t stop me. My husband spent the entire day in interviews (even over lunch) and I was left to fend for myself. As I walked around the hospital block over and over, I began to notice drug deals taking place outside the building. That one observation taught me that a second pair of eyes is always good when considering a new job.

Now I’m on the other end. My husband is the one who hires and fires physicians. When he’s recruiting a new surgeon or radiologist, I come along to meet the spouse. I can learn a lot by talking with her (and sometimes him), and I can share things about the community that she should know. My husband and I believe that if a community isn’t right for a physician’s family, it’s best to find that out BEFORE the contract is signed. A recruiter may disagree with that statement, but my husband doesn’t want to invest his time in filling a position twice.

Mark has worked for several hospitals, each with a different set of strengths and weaknesses. Some employed their physicians. Others had cordial relationships with practices. In nearly all cases, my husband and I were a part of the interview dance. While he spent the day meeting with the physician, I took the wife to lunch to answer questions about the community. My first goal was to establish if she was interested or reluctant to move to the community. Then I would find out if her interests matched up with what the community had to offer. I also loved to ask the question, “so how did you and your husband meet?” Not only was it fun to hear the answer, but the way in which the story was told said a lot about their relationship. Mark always avoided the strained relationship that could become a distraction. (Ladies, if you get asked this question, realize that you’re being interviewed and think before you speak. Sharing that you started out having an affair is NOT a good answer.)

Realtors usually worked with administration, too. Oftentimes, a realtor would be asked to give a physician’s wife a tour of the city. A few neighborhoods would also be in the plans. This was a great way to see what kind of lifestyle the wife was expecting. If she only looked at the very top end homes, it could be an indication that the salary range wasn’t a match. The realtor also had an opportunity to find out some things about the candidate and his family. That information was usually passed on to me in preparation for the next day’s luncheon. (If you’re offered a realtor, accept the offer. If you aren’t, ask for one. Ask to see a wide variety of prices and styles, and use her as another resource to find out about schools, sports, and local politics.)

Sometimes there were existing physicians who liked to ruffle feathers when a “new kid” came to town to interview. It was their way of sabotaging the practice’s expansion, or in some cases just causing trouble. To avoid an undesired encounter, preemptive meetings were sometimes scheduled so only some of the practice physicians attended. At a minimum, the disruptive physician was never left alone with the candidate. (Wives, make sure your husband goes to the practice and talks with every physician on staff. If they’re not available, phone calls are a smart alternative.)

Some candidates only wanted to come if certain promises were met (a new building, a new procedure, better benefits). As much as my husband wanted to guarantee something, his promise was only as good as the current hospital budget. (Tell your husband if a condition is a deal breaker; don’t take a job where it’s not already in place.)

My husband’s worst nightmare was the physician who thought he was smart by getting an attorney involved with a contract. In most cases, the stall tactics and nitpicking of the attorney made the candidate seem less desirable. Sometimes, the attorney would fight for something that was illegal and Mark would have to give an ultimatum and prepare to offer the job to another candidate. By the time negotiations were over, the relationship was damaged. The best negotiations were hammered out over a few meetings and phone calls and put to paper in a civil fashion. Notes of the agreements were then drawn up in final contract language and reviewed by an attorney. (Ladies, having a final contract reviewed is smart, but warn your husband about getting an attorney involved in the actual negotiations. They’re just going to drag it out to rack up your bill.)

So there you have it… the inside scoop from a CMO’s wife. I hope these tips help you as your family looks for the next opportunity. There are more specific tips on how you can influence an interview on my blog.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Medical TV shows

So, after tonight's Grey's and Private Practice, it got me wondering....How many of you also watch these? I should also include Scrubs in there as well. JM and I used to watch Scrubs re-runs every night during his last year of med school. (We still do, just not as much.) And I also have to admit that I love how JM sits on the side while watching Grey's and Private Practice trying to pretend he's not watching, but then he makes those doctor comments like tonight's was "that was the fastest ekg ever done" and "she wouldn't really need an iv bag..." (I think he secretly likes to watch too...) :)

So, anyway, do you watch any of these? Love them or hate them? Do you think it has anything to do with being in the medical field? Any other thoughts or opinions?

As for me, I think I'm just a huge tv junkie and I would watch anyway. Personally, I love all the sappiness and the drama and Scrubs was just so funny!

Pittsburgh Help

Anyone have any info on Pittsburgh PA? My husband got an interview for fellowship there and I have been researching the city with not much luck in the way of where to look for places to live in a good school district with minimal commute and rent for less than $1200 for 2-3 bedrooms. We want to be in a nice area hopefully with other kids and families. Prefer a suburbia-type feel...but can adjust to city living (I think...I've never lived in the middle of a huge city). Oh, and the kids will be 3 and 6 when we are there. (so, 1st grade)


Labels: , ,

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Introduction: Christy

Hi ladies! My name is Christy and I am married to a PGY-2 Psychiatrist, who I refer to as Dr. D. We have been married for a little over 7 years and have a 3 1/2 year-old daughter. That really doesn't even begin to describe our journey together though!

We were both born and raised in the same small town in Southeast Arkansas, but we didn't meet until we were in high school (incidentally, the same school as Allison and JM!). We started dating at the end of my junior year, and after a year apart (he was a grade ahead of me), we were back at the same college. We got married as soon as I graduated in December 2001 (B.A. History). Dr. D had a few more classes to finish in order to round out his degrees (yep...he got two diplomas), so he graduated in May 2002.

Med School took us to Little Rock, where we had many good times and many good friends. We had a very tight group of friends in med school. We both feel lucky to have found these folks. In fact, we returned from a trip up to Boston where we visited some of our med school friends!
Because our daughter was born in November 2005 (Dr. D graduated May 2006), Dr. D decided that he should take a year off to do research instead of having our young family move across country. I completely supported/agreed with this decision. He took a research position with the hospital in Little Rock while continuing to learn about residency programs across the country.

A year passed, interview season came and went, and we found ourselves patiently (ok, not so patiently) awaiting match day--again. I tell you, no one should ever have to do that twice! Fortunately for us, he got the school he liked the best and landed at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. It has been a great move, and I would totally do it all over again! I never thought we could be this happy being so far away from "home".


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

New Feature!!!

Hello Ladies!
Some of our wonderful practicing physician's wives have volunteered to host a new feature for us! Survivor Saturdays!!!!

On Saturdays, they will either be answering a question that you submitted or they will be posting some important topic of interest that they think we could all grow from knowing more about! Please give them all a round of applause for volunteering to do this and helping us out by sharing important information that they may have learned the hard way.

Our three hostesses so far are Amanda, wife of an OB/GYN, Jennifer, spouse to a Pediatric Opthalmologist, and Kathi, whose husband specialized in Med/Ped but is working now as a health care consultant. Thank you ladies for sharing your knowledge!

To kick off our new feature, Kathi will be posting this weekend about what she and her husband learned about the interview process and what he looks at every time a new candidate comes through the door. It should be very informative! Thanks Kathi!

Please post your questions for the ladies in the comment section for this feed so they will always know where to look for them. I really hope everyone enjoys Survivor Saturdays, I know I am really looking forward to them sharing their insight!

Labels: ,

Monday, April 20, 2009

In Writing

Earlier this weekend, I said something that reminded R of my infinite wisdom (I can't remember what exactly, could have been anything, really :)), thus prompting him to declare that he should listen to me more often. I made the trite, old joke that I'd like to get that in writing.

The next morning I woke up to find this next to my computer (redacted for obvious reasons):
Thought you might share in my amusement! Though now I'm wondering if I should have required him to have it notarized... ;)


Intro: Julie

Hi everyone!

My name is Julie and I am married to a first year orthopedic surgery resident. I met my husband when we were freshman in college, and I must say that being a doctor was the furthest thing from his mind. He was an athletic training major and was having a good, stressfree time. After we graduated, he began working for an orthopedic surgeon as an athletic trainer. It was then that he began thinking about becoming one himself. I was so young and dumb (j/k) that I actually encouraged the idea and helped him take the necessary prerequisite courses and fill out the applications. The good news was that he got into medical school. The bad news was that I would be leaving my friends and family to go with him. We moved and got engaged at the end of his first year. We married at the end of his second year. It was insane because he took his boards on June 26th, we got married 5 days later and 4 days after that he started his third year (rotations). He is now in the middle of his first year of residency and I am a little freaked out b/c I have heard that 2nd year is even harder (How can it get harder? He works 100 hours a week now!).

I am a teacher and have a lot more free time on my hands then he does. I think this drives my husband a little crazy b/c I am always planning things I want us to do together and he is never around to do them. It has been really hard on both of us, but I am trying to be more supportive. I am so glad that Bea (thanks!) told me about this board. It feels so good to know that there are others out there dealing with the same issues that I am. I look forward to getting to know everyone better.



Blog Business

Hey everyone! I hope you are all doing well. Now that we are growing larger, I just wanted everyone to check to make sure I have everything correct on their information under contributors. Please click on your link and see if it goes....well, where you want it to go. I think on some I have them linked back to this blog, due to the fact that they don't have a web page that they want listed, some may be links to their emails, some wanted it that way, and some info I may have wrong and it may just send you out into the great unknown. Please do me a favor and check your link and info and if anything needs to be updated or changed, please drop me a line at alexandra.howard@yahoo.com or comment with your correct info! I will be changing everyone's year status soon, so make sure your current standing is correct, because I'm just going to be adding a year to everyone! Yay, another year under our belts! Have a great week and keep up the great postings!

Oh and if you are new, please write an intro and tell us about yourself!!!!


Married to an MSIII

Like all of you ladies, I'm in love with a doctor-in-training/MD. My name is Heather, and I'm married to my high school sweetheart. Mark and I have been together more than eight years, braved a long-distance relationship for over 5 years, and have been married for two and a half years. We are proud puppy parents of Jinx and Ceazer...our adorable, trouble making duo. I currently work as a research coordinator at university.

Mark took Step I last week, and starts his first rotation as an MSIII in May. He's wanted to be a doctor and save lives for as long as I've known him, and I honestly can't imagine him doing anything else. Mark is in a rural medical program, which means after completing MSI and MSII in the city, we've moved to a smaller town for MSIII and MSIV.

I was thrilled when I stumbled upon this site a few weeks ago. As the wife of a medical student adjusting to a new town, I was looking to connect with women who have been there, done that, and survived. Thanks to everyone for sharing their experiences!


Fellowship Match Day

It's been a very interesting year for us...because all of the changes that Jason and I (Avi aka Doc's Girl) talked about happening when we first started dating...are right around the corner! :)

I know that it's hard to imagine what lies in store for our partners when they are done with residency, but
this is a fun website to see what job openings there are around the country. It's one of the few websites where you don't have to register to view them. :o)

Currently, Jason and I are waiting for fellowship match day on May 1st, where we will learn where we are going to end up for his fellowship. His fellowship will start in August of 2010 and is 1 year long. Out of all of the choices that he had, we're really hoping on staying here in Michigan for two main reasons:

1. It allows me to comfortably finish my bachelor's degree in psychology and sociology instead of having to take 20 credits per semester in order to finish or transferring to another university...if we have to move.

2. We can add another year of equity to our place and not have to go through the nightmare of selling it, moving, finding a new place, etc. When Jason is done with everything, we'd be more comfortable taking a hit on our place to sell it as opposed to now when we are strapped for cash.

Jason added his resume to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (
AAOS) and he is already getting calls from places around the country, desperate for someone of his future speciality. (Some of these recruiters are called "headhunters." Once we see how credible they are in about a year or so, when we'll seriously consider these offers, I will definitely post about Jason's experience with them for everyone to read. By the way, if anyone has any experience with this, please write about it! :-D) It's kind of neat because it seems like he has gotten a lot of initial interest already since his speciality is desperately needed everywhere. We'll basically have our pick of where we want to end up in the country, all with some nice perks. Some places are offering loan forgiveness, bonuses...and even matching his fellowship salary. :)

So, as many of you know, both of my parents are deceased...and I am extremely blessed to have a fabulous relationship with Jason's parents. In fact, his mother and I spoke for almost 2 hours on the phone yesterday. :) Ironically, Jason and I share a lot of the same values even with growing up in different environments. I came from a pretty traditional Indian family...and he grew up in a small town in Ohio. The topic of job offers came up last night with Jason's mom and it was a pretty serious discussion between her and I. (A very good one, by the way, where she dropped a ton of hints about wanting to spend time with her future grandchildren. :-P)

At this point in time, Jason and I are entertaining the idea of moving to a warmer climate for his future job and he has said that his parents stated that they'll move where ever we go.

However...the truth of the matter is that I think Jason forgets that his parents are quite established where they are. :o) They love their community...they have close friends...but, they also miss their ONLY son who has been in a different state since residency. The idea of moving to a warmer climate is nice...but, the reality of the situation is that I want Jason's parents around as much as possible...especially when I think about our future children. Asking his parents to pack up and move from an area where they have been their entire lives (and are happy with) just seems like a bit much...

My siblings and I always felt like we missed out on the joys of having grandparents close to you. My family moved here from India and, when my grandparents came to live with us here in the United States many years later, it was just plain awkward. It was hard to communicate with them, they had a ton of health problems...and, all in all, there was just a big difference in cultural views. (For example, my grandfather used to get annoyed at me that I didn't serve all of my friends tea/food EVERY time that they came over to hang out. It was hard to explain to him that, sometimes in the US, people just come over to hang out... He just thought I was a bad hostess and I'm actually an excellent hostess, by the way! :-P)

Jason will probably start interviewing for future jobs during his fellowship...so, we still have some time to think about things. But, the good thing is that I know that Jason will probably realize on his own as time goes by that it's not all about the money...or the weather... I know this will happen because we're not about having a big home, expensive cars, or even taking exotic vacations. At the end of the day, we're all about the little things in life, living a comfortable life...and enjoying the important things like time spent with the ones you love. :) (On a side note--one of things Jason and I bonded on initially was the fact that he almost lost his father about a year before we met. His father is now in better health and progressing wonderfully...)

We're also both aware that his parents are older (in their 60s)...and we want to cherish all of the time that we have with them... As sad as it is to admit, I really just don't want to live far from them... I'm just praying that a miraculous offer in Ohio pops up in about a year. :)

Anyways...10 more days to go until Match Day. (Note: Depending on specialties, fellowship match day is different for everyone.) Even though there is a 99.9% chance that we are staying in Michigan...I just can't seem to relax until we get an official answer, you know? Our lives seem to contain many stories of how things can/will go opposite to what we plan for. :-P

The suspense is just killing me....!!!! :)

Labels: , ,

Intro: Kim

Hello wives! My name is Kim. I am married to my college sweetheart, who is currently an MSIII, going on IV. We have been together for 8+ yrs and married for 4. We have a 3yr old daughter and a son who is going on 18 mo. The two of them keep us VERY busy and active. I work part-time nights as an RN in L&D. I think it’s the best job ever because I love it and still get to be home with my kids everyday! Even though I work we still have all the loans everyone else does- just no extra ones. Unfortunately southern CA has an extremely high cost of living. I am thankful that I can still work right now, but if (probably more like when) we move next year we will be nowhere near family and I can’t see how working will be an option. So, financially that scares me!!! I feel lucky that as an RN I can understand a lot of what J goes through and what the demands of a hospital are like. However it doesn’t make the hours he’s away from the family any easier.

J just finished his surgery rotation last week and boy am I thankful that’s over! But, since it’s what he’s going to go into I guess it was nice to get a little taste of what is to come (boo). He has wanted to be a doctor since forever. His mom says he started telling everyone when he was 3 yrs old. It truly is his calling in life. There is nothing else he has even considered doing and so from the moment I met him I knew this would be our path. I can also honestly say that even though the road has been and will continue to be unbelievably hard there is nothing else I would rather see him do. Medicine suits him, it fulfills him, and I love him. I may be a bit partial but I think his future patients will be lucky to call him their doctor.

Let me just say that I think this is such a great idea for a blog! I think we all know that no one really knows what we all go through unless they are also going through it. Pretty much just like anything in life I guess, but I think it is so important to have fellow women who can understand, be there, and provide guidance and advice on this very specific journey we are all going through. So in advance, thank you!


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Stay-cation Anyone?

Since our current poll just closed, I thought I would ask about every one's vacation plans for this year. I see there is a great spectrum of where people are headed and would love to know specific plans and of course we will need pictures once you get back, hehe!

We will be moving to Michigan and having another baby so that's enough of a trip for me this year, so just sitting on the couch and relaxing together sounds like a lot of fun! I know.....I'm a loser!

Can't wait to hear about your plans and hear about your adventures!

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Back from Vacation!

Okay, actually I was back Sunday, but between the jet lag and the catching up with work and school, I'm just now posting. :)

I went to India with two of my friends from high school. It was amazing. First and foremost, I love those girls - there was zero drama - which I haven't had on a trip since high school. Second, it's beautiful.

My favorite part was Jaipur. The people were great, and I got to ride an elephant and a camel. (see below).

Funny story - halfway through the trip, my friend who currently lives there (the one I'm with on the camel) got a call from R. He wanted to ask if I remembered to put the dates on his choices for one of his away applications (I had). ...I have a feeling 4th year is going to incredibly nerve-wracking for him! Should I start the countdown to match day now? :)

Labels: ,

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Moving Mayhem!

Since relocation seems to be the name of the game in this field of work.....does anyone have any fun advice or helpful hints they have learned while moving numerous times due to your hubby's school/work? I moved to college, then to an apartment with Tom after we got married, and then put everything in storage for the 3rd move and all have been inside Oklahoma very short distances. They were more like gradual transitions over the period of weeks more than actual moves, so this moving 850 miles across time zones and to other climates really has me uncertain. While I know we are heading where we are supposed be and are very excited about remodeling our new home and moving in, obviously the unknown is a little scary.
Also, any helpful ideas besides, stay busy and find other mom's to hang out with for once we relocate to this new home? Did you learn anything during your relocation process that you wish you had been told or found out before?

Labels: ,

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Fellowship Interview!!!

We got notification that Ed's been invited for an interview for a Fellowship at Johns Hopkins!!! Yay!! We would be there in 2010 if he gets offered the position.

Labels: ,

So, The Question Is......

After reading the comments to my last post, I came up with this question for all of you.

Does he pull his weight around the house when he has time off?

I have to say mine absolutely does. Just this week he had some time off. He didn't help around the house with cleaning, but he helped with the boys, mowed the yard and worked on sealing all the windows in the house. He also showed me how to put a new air filter on the car (Ha! So I can do it when he cannot) and did the dishes and cooked once!! I ALMOST had a sort-of vacation too!

Time off ROCKS!!!

Labels: , ,

Sunday, April 12, 2009

To Those of You Who May Become a Doctor's Wife

Sometimes I feel a little like this:

A good woman to be spouse of physician in training. Applicant should expect to take care of the following duties:
  • All housekeeping
  • All home maintenance
  • All car maintenanace
  • All Home expenses
  • Children (to include the following: feeding, bathing, playing with, entertaining, teaching, doctor's visits, playdates, sick children duties as well)
  • Grocery Shopping (this includes managing to stay under budget for the doctor who has certain tastes and expectations that will often put you over budget for each week. Plan ahead for this)
  • Planning all vacations, trips home
  • Planning birthday parties and house parties/social events
  • Attending social events alone or with only your kids
  • Sleeping alone in bed sometimes weeks at a time
  • Talking only to kids for days at a time when kids are ill
I happily accept all these duties including the big ones:
  • Giving up ALL control to the scheduling of your time...it must always defer to the physician husband. Whether it means that you must take extra days off from work to take care of your sick child when your husband still has 20 days he could take and you are completely out and/or not work at all...whether it means you cannot send out your son's birthday invitations without either giving your guests days notice or having your husband not be able to be there because he is on call...Whether it is because it is April 5th and you still don't know your husband's April schedule...
The list goes on and on...some things are more frustrating than others--but all mostly understandable and adaptable by us. We get used to it and it grows on us. Our kids tell us things like: "Mommy, I cannot play right now...I just got called out with my pager. I have to go to work. We can play in a little while." They too get used to the life. We learn to enjoy our husbands all that much more when they are available...and love them from a distance when their minds are consumed by their jobs. We learn that if we don't get a call back from our husbands because they are in surgery...that they will call eventually. We also learn to rely on ourselves all the more. We befriend other physician's wives for comfort and understanding...and we welcome any woman willing to commit to this type of life with open arms.

The life of a doctor's wife is one of ultimate self-sacrifice for the family that they provide for. We may not provide financially, but we do provide our families with everything else they could possibly need...warmth, care, and love. We are the dependable glue that holds everything together. (you can call me Crazy Glue, if you want to)

So, when I feel like I am drained and just another person who answered that job ad...I think and breathe and realize that I did sign up for it...and I love my life.

Labels: ,

Thursday, April 9, 2009

and more on stereotypes...

so some of the previous posts (and comments) have gotten my wheels turning...to the topic of specialty stereotypes. it is common knowledge that the general public makes assumptions about doctor's, their wives, and their life. however, in our journey we have encountered more assumptions and stereotypes FROM the medical world than from the outside world (probably b/c we aren't in the outside world yet). You know the common ones...
surgeons- jerks; family medicine- nice but come on, bottom of the barrel as far as intelligence (like that is all they could go into); pediatrics- what the *%#@! are they thinking they aren't going to get paid crap; internal medicine- full of themselves when really all they do is diabetes...and so on and so on....
now i will admit that some of these stereotypes have guided our journey and decisions. like i tell my husband...they are wrong...no doubt about it, but do you want to spend your life battling that? in reality, day in day out, it sucks. and sadly, the reality is you fight these stereotypes with your colleagues. that is the most sad thing to me. it is with your peers that this crap comes to play. didn't they all get the same initial training? walk the same path in school? i think it is very sad. and like i said, we are not perfect, we could do the completely right thing and not consider these attitudes and stereotypes...but we haven't, we have considered them quite a bit in our journey. and the cycle continues. you ask your hubby (if they are in a field of one of these "classic" stereotypes), how quick they go on the defense when they are presented with this type of situation. or maybe they are just used to it and sluff it off. so weigh in...what experiences have you and your husband had with specialty stereotypes? how does it compare to the public's assumptions of our lives? did you consider these stereotypes in your decisions?


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Counting Our Responsibilities AND Our Blessings

I wrote the following post on my "Married To The M. D." blog way back on July 21, 2008, soon after my husband had finished his residency, and we had moved to our new home town. I think this is a good time for many of us to remember the ways in which we are blessed, especially if "Match Day" results aren't exactly as we planned them to be or medical school feels like it'll never end! I totally remember those days and wish I had thought to count my blessings even then. Although my husband is done with residency and practicing medicine, my list of blessings hasn't changed at all.

I think this particular bit of advice is hard for a lot of people to remember, me included. When my husband was in residency and working all the time, I took on a lot of responsibilities that were probably shared between us before. I did almost all of the grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning around the house, gardening, paying bills, taking care of our son, and running various other errands. Before we had our son, I also worked full-time in an office, so I had that added on top of everything else. I even learned how to mow the lawn after we bought our first house and found that it could be a stress relieving experience! It's not that my husband wasn't capable of doing any of these things. He was just very busy with work, and most of the time when he came home from the hospital, he brought work with him. There was very little time left in the day for him to do any of the mundane things at home. All of that added responsibility made me very stressed and unhappy some days. Sometimes, I just wanted to throw in the towel and forget about everything I needed to do. However, my house and (later) my son were a constant reminder that nothing magically takes care of itself and that really, my situation wasn't as bad as I kept making it out to be. I had to remember that I was blessed with many opportunities, people, and things in my life, which I was taking for granted because I was letting all the little things get me down. I still have to take time out now and then to count my blessings, so I'd like to provide a list of them here in the hopes that I'll come back and read it every so often to keep me in the correct frame of mind.

I'm blessed in life because:
1. I have a wonderful husband who takes care of me emotionally, psychologically, physically, socially, and financially. He has a lot of his own responsibilities in life, and I think he takes it all in stride in a way that I wish I could emulate. He is able to work to provide for our family, and he knows how to have fun and keep things lighthearted and spontaneous. I love him dearly and hope he knows it every day.
2. I have a beautiful baby boy who reminds me constantly how precious life can be. He's physically, mentally, and socially healthy. He keeps me young and reminds me that I have to take time to play every day. His giggle is my favorite sound in the world, and I love that I have the opportunity to stay home with him and watch him grow and develop in every little way.
3. I have TWO families who love me and wish all the best for me and my husband. I'm talking about both my immediate family (Mom, Dad, my brother, and my sister) as well as the family I married into (my mother-in-law, my father-in-law, and my two sisters-in-law). They've all been supportive of our endeavors and have been pretty understanding about all of those times when we've missed holidays and get togethers because of B's work schedule. We're very blessed to have all of our parents still alive and enjoying life, and our son is blessed to have four grandparents who love him deeply. They'd all do anything for us if we just asked, and I have to remember that they have more life experience than I do, so their advice should always be taken to heart. All of our sisters and brothers are wonderful people with their own talents and personalities, and they make life fun and exciting for everyone. I am truly blessed to have so many amazing people in my family!
4. I have lots and lots and lots of friends living near and far, who care deeply for me and my family and who bring fun and joy into my life. Whether they're other parents like me or my gaming buddies or college friends who've been through thick and thin with me and B, each and every one of them has a special place in my heart. I really couldn't have gotten this far in life without my friends, and I love every single one of them for who they are and how they've touched me in some way. Since I have the opportunity to do so, I'd like to thank all of them for being a part of my life! I'm not going to name names here, but I think you all know who you are. ;)
5. My family has a beautiful home, a pantry and refrigerator full of food, comfortable beds, and enough money to pay our bills and to take care of our basic needs and wants. Our current living situation is not lost on me, especially now, with gas and food prices at all time highs and many people struggling to live day to day. We are truly blessed to not have to worry about where we'll be sleeping, where and when we'll have our next meal, and how we'll be paying for everything we need to survive.
6. We live in a safe, quiet neighborhood free of violence. Our son will never have to be afraid to go outside and play, and he'll have many opportunities to make friends, learn new hobbies, and develop new talents as he grows older.
7. Most importantly, I'm physically and mentally healthy and able to take care of my family and my home. I still have the ability to have more children when I choose to have them, and I'm still young and active enough to keep up with my son. My brain is still active and always ready to learn something new. I have so many opportunities for my own personal growth and development, and I hope I don't waste a single one of them.

There are so many more blessings I could list, but I think these are the most basic and important for me to remember every single day. After I post this, I'm going to take some time to enjoy my family, since I'm blessed to have my husband home with me and my son for a couple of more weeks before he starts his new job.
Namaste and blessings to you all,


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

How much do you see your husband Poll

I was telling my hubby about this poll and he asked, "So, of the people that answered, how far are they into training/practice?" I am curious about this too.

I chose 10-15 hours. I assumed that if he was sleeping or sitting on the couch working that it didn't count as time with him.

Now, what about you all??

Labels: ,

Monday, April 6, 2009

Intro: Marissa K

Hello! First let me say that this blog has truly been my saving grace. I am so thankful there is a resource out here like this for women who are in relationships with medical students and docs. I have been dating my 4th year medical school boyfriend for 2 ½ years now, and since then I’ve been pining for other women in similar situations to talk to. No one really “gets it” unless they are “in it”, so please know how thankful I am for each of you strong ladies!

I met my boyfriend when he was a 2nd year – he was 23 and I was 27. We fell in love fast and I wanted nothing more than to be with him, and though I felt the relationship itself was wonderful, the circumstances were the most difficult I’d ever endured in any relationship. 2nd year was tough because there is so much studying involved, and my boyfriend wasn’t happy unless he got honors on every exam, so during those intense study periods (which were almost every day!) I was virtually non-existent to him. We barely went on dates, and the ones we had consisted of Chinese take-out in front of the television, or going over flashcards in prep for a test. I had no inkling of how difficult it would all be, and I questioned more than a few times if it was really worth it. After all, I was looking for someone to build a real relationship, and life with. Though the love was there, it certainly wasn’t a 50/50 partnership like I’d been hoping for my entire life. I felt that I was trying very much to be a part of his life, but he couldn’t be part of mine at all. He could rarely come out with my friends, or attend important family functions, weddings, etc. It felt pretty one-sided.

But, with a lot of communication, patience and understanding, we did manage to make it work. When he did get some time off that first summer, in between his 2nd and 3rd year, we finally bonded in ways I had been desiring since we’d met. We took a trip together, had actual dates, and even the minor things that most couples do every day, like errands and cooking, felt gloriously wonderful! I was just excited to be spending time with him in the real world, and away from his textbooks!

We've been through a lot since then. He was by my side when I suffered a life-threatening burst vessel in my brain (I'm 100 percent fine now), and was a tremendous support to me when my father suddenly passed away last year. He truly is my best friend. He’s now in his 4th year, and has just matched at one of the top programs for general surgery in the country. I know he isn’t comfortable with my divulging where (he’s much more private than I am), but it’s in the Midwest, which is where I’m originally from (we currently live together in New York – his hometown).

Though we are not engaged, I do plan on going with him if we can work out some pertinent issues that are currently plaguing us. The problems are indirectly related to residency, but really more“life” stuff, and are unfortunately make-or-break. I am hoping some compromises can be made, because the love is there (stronger than ever) and I don’t want all the hard work we’ve put into this relationship to be for nothing. I want to accompany him on this journey (as well as make it my own journey too—I can’t wait to start life anew, and enjoy new adventures!), and though I know it will be tough at times due to his line of work and the fact that our future family, and my needs/goals, will probably always come second, I do want to build a future with him. Time will tell how the future will unfold, but regardless, I am very proud of him, and all he has accomplished thus far on his medical path.


Sunday, April 5, 2009

personal blog

In your personal blogs do you use your real names or nick names?
I initially used our real names then thought it would be better to use nick names but Damian thinks I should just use our real names and not complicate things. So im not sure what to do...


It happened again, only weirder

Brad is on call this weekend. I got to talk to him a little this morning and he mentioned a big surgical case coming up this afternoon. I wished him luck and told him I would talk to him later. I am pretty tired after a lack of sleep last night, so I was on the couch taking a nap while my SugarPea was taking her nap.

I was roused from my nap by the phone ringing.

"Hi, did you call Brad's phone?" (male voice this time)
"Uh, what?" (I'm still groggy and trying to figure out if he meant 'is this Brad's phone' or what was going on since I know I didn't call Brad)
"Are you trying to reach Brad?" (light bulb comes on in my head)
"Oh! My kids must have tried to call him. Is he in surgery?"
"Yes, he is all scrubbed in."
"I'm sorry for the trouble."
"No problem."

I then told the boys this wasn't a good time to be calling daddy. Obviously, I can't fault them for wanting to talk to him. They didn't know he had surgery this afternoon. Oh, the joys.


Friday, April 3, 2009

Intro: Sarah

Hello. My name is Sarah. Ben and I have been married for 8 years. We have two wonderful children. Our daughter is 4 years old. Our son is 2 years old. We love being parents. Ben went to medical school in Iowa. Ben is doing his residency Ohio. I stay home and play with the children. Our family loves to play on the boat, go bowling, go to the park, and ride horses. Ben and I like to water ski, wakeboard, snowboard, and watch movies together. We stay busy our with little family. We are all happy and loving life.


just happy news to share

As I mentioned before Damian will start an infectious disease fellowship in July which means 2 more years before we are done but he had been toying with the idea of doing two additional years of critical care after Infectious Disease, which I supported even though I didn't really like it, because that would have been 4 more years until we were done. Well, last night he told me that he wasn't going to do critical care. so YAY! the end is closer!!!

Labels: ,

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Holidays When There's A Doctor In The House

I was replying to a friend's email today and mentioned the fact that I keep forgetting Easter is just two weekends away. Part of the issue is that my husband and I just moved and currently do not attend a local church. I'm only reminded of the upcoming holiday when I enter a store and see all the Easter candy, baskets, bunnies, and eggs. However, I also realized that I haven't talked to my husband about whether we're going to do anything for our son, or not. He's 2 1/2, so he's not really fully aware of Easter yet, and my hubby and I have agreed that we're not going to make a big deal out of holidays until our son is old enough to understand what's going on around him. For the past several years (even before our son was born), most gift-giving holidays involved us trying to find a couple of hours to just be able to sit down and unwrap maybe one gift from each other. Even this past Christmas, when my husband actually had the day off, we still only gave each other a few things, probably because we just got into the habit of not going overboard. I remember one Christmas during my husband's residency when we didn't even put up a tree. We were going to be spending our entire holiday away from home, so we didn't even see the point of putting it up if we weren't going to enjoy it. I know how cynical that sounds, but it's really how our lives (and priorities) have changed since my husband started residency (or maybe even before that during med school). Holidays are special times to spend with family and friends, but when your significant other has to spend that time working and away from you, it's kind of hard to get in a celebratory spirit. I remember going to many family get togethers in our home state without him because he had to stay close to the hospital while he was on-call. I also remember missing many celebrations because of the very same reason. Do I regret it? Not in the least. My husband dearly loves what he does, and even though we've both made sacrifices along the way, it's still been worth it. This past Christmas, he actually had the day off, even though he's technically the low man on the totem-pole. However, he had to work a 1/2 day on Christmas Eve, so we decided it was a good time to try to start our own Christmas traditions at home (most of our previous holidays were spent traveling to families' houses). Actually, it was a good thing we had to stay home, because we all ended up getting a stomach virus, but that's beside the point. I think having my husband working in a profession that can't really take time off for "special days" has really helped us in a way. We've learned to look past the materialism and the stress and the overabundance, and we've learned to see the central reason for celebrating: just being together and loving each other. So, really, I don't care whether or not the Easter Bunny visits. I'm just so glad my hubby will have the weekend off to spend with us!

Labels: ,

Funny Column

Re-posting this from my blog, an hilarious and sadly mostly true article about dating/living with a med student:

How to Date a Med Student

Sorry for the drive-by post. I'm off on vacation! *See* you later. :)


Remembering Match Day

I found the piece that I wrote about our match day experience. Man, even though it's been two years [and we really ended up lucking out], it's still so raw.

Match Day was a strange day for me. For 3 + years the anticipation of this day has built up. D-day-- destiny day. It’s supposed to be the day where you finally begin to see all the hard work pay off. When you open that envelope, it’s like magic is supposed to pour out and envelop you, taking you to that “place” you’ve been dreaming of. I imagined that moment over and over in my head-- the outpour of relief and happiness upon reading the words stating that we would be going home. Matching would signify that we had made it through medical school and we were getting ready to take that next step. For me, in my mind, that next step meant going back home to California. While our time in Saint Louis had been pleasant, the prospect of going home for residency was what kept me sane. We had to go home. All this time I had been telling myself that I just had to get through these four years and then I could go back home.

I should have known that going home wasn’t really even a possibility. After all, E wanted to an Orthopod. Despite his doing everything “right” (honoring most of his classes, lots of research, lots of pubs, high board scores, extracurriculars, and being AOA), everything seemed to be going wrong. It was one blow after another. Wasted away rotations. Rejections. When all was said and done we had three chances to go home and ten chances to not. I tried to be grateful that he had as many interviews as he did and focus on the importance of just matching. I tried to keep my secret wishes to myself, knowing that once you say them out loud they instantly become selfish desires, unworthy of being fulfilled. After all, I was truly grateful.

The weeks [and days] leading up to Black Monday were stressful, anxious times. When we saw “Congratulations, you have matched” across the screen, I couldn’t help but want to cry. Everyone was excited. My mother in law was beside herself. He did it. E had matched into orthopaedics. You would think that with so much excitement on Black Monday that Match Day would have been greeted with the same enthusiasm, but Match Day was a strange day. The energy and anticipation in the room was suffocating. Waiting and waiting for his name to be called. I couldn’t breath. I couldn’t think. I was just there. When they finally called his name, everything seemed to stand still. He let me open the envelope. I was so nervous. Inside that envelope was a piece of paper with words on it that would change our lives forever. My heart sank as I read the words. The words telling me that I would not be going home. I got through the four years and I would not be going home. I stepped outside to make the calls. I didn’t cry. I’m sure I was numb. Our family and friends were still excited for us. That meant a lot.

A couple of weeks have passed since Match Day and now there is excitement and eagerness to start the next step. While we will not be going home, E will get to train at a great program and he will be an Orthopod. Although, I can still clearly see myself at that table reading those words, feeling my heart sink, we are finally beginning to see all the hard work pay off.

Physician's loans

I have confirmed through a friend who is looking into it...Compass bank still has their physicians loans. The interest rate is higher, but they will overlook income to debt ratio for doctors (residents, fellows, and practicing).

Drew Daniels
512-419-3435, email is Drew.Daniels@compassbank.com


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Loan Repayment

Okay so I like to obsess and worry and I am seriously trying to figure out this loan repayment stuff (I know I only have a year - right?) So I admit I'm crazy, but I posted about how I think used to work out and how I think it works out right now - but I am pretty sure I am possibly way off.... if you ladies don't mind would you please stop by my post and give me some feedback so I can put things together? Thanks in advance!

Labels: ,

Decisions, Decisions

I'm wondering what routes your husbands took that ended them up in Med School and what specialties they thought they might want to do before they ultimately deciding what residency they wanted to go into. (some of you are not to residency, but you can tell us what they are considering)

For instance: My husband always wanted to be a doctor. He participated in an organization that took him to the local hospital in high school to learn about medical fields. He got his first job in that same hospital after high school. He went through college earning a BS in Biology and Computer Science (his backup if Med school didn't work out), and got into med school after working for one year as a computer programmer for the state. Upon entering med school he toyed with the idea of becoming a surgeon (heart surgeon was one I remember him talking about) and then we had our son and he decided that was too busy for him. (He really likes his naps and family time). He wanted to do procedures and still be able to be in the surgery room, so he looked into Anesthesia--Pain Management specifically. He is now a PGY-3 in Anesthesia and applying to Interventional Pain programs...and loves it.

Labels: ,

call room

A few of us have recently posted pictures on our blogs of our husband's call rooms. I thought it was fun to see everyone's luxurious living conditions while on call. Do you have any pics you want to share? Here is a post showcasing Kyle's home away from home. Try not to be jealous. :)

Girlies who have already posted pics... wanna add your link in the comments so everyone can see? The Mr. Linky thing would be ideal, but I'm too tired to figure it out!