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Lives of Doctor Wives: Fellowship Match Day

Monday, April 20, 2009

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....!!!! :)

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Blogger Jennifer said...

Such an exciting time for you! You can see the "end" in sight!

The one thing I remember hearing about the job hunt: Be careful of headhunters. Often (but not all the time, I'm sure) the practices that hire headhunters have had a hard time filling a needed position for one reason or another, and it may not be a great practice situation. What I have heard is that the best jobs will come from word-of-mouth, Academy meetings, etc. Go there first. I would guess as a fellow, Jason will go to the annual Academy meeting, and this is a great place to network and find out the real story about some of the places he's considering, and likely a great place to find out about really good practices that are looking for someone.

We go into medicine assuming that all doctors are in it to help people. Unfortunately, there are some practices that want to use a fresh young doctor to make money and don't really care how it affects him. Having said that, there are some really tremendous, wonderful opportunities out there and doctors who really are in it for the best possible reasons. So just be wise and aware as you consider all the options.

I wrote a little bit about our story here: http://5merryhunts.blogspot.com/2009/02/from-corner-of-my-couch-issue-29.html

So excited for you! Good luck, and keep us posted!

April 20, 2009 at 12:53 PM  
Blogger Doc's Girl said...

Thank you so much for your comment and link to that wonderful post that you wrote.

I think, unfortunately and fortunately, with our specific life experiences, Jason and I always seem to be weary of people and offers that seem wayyy too good to be true. I guess I'm wondering what the big red flags are from the bad organizations to look out for... It's all very scary, especially when you'll probably be signing a contract for a few years.

We'll see how it goes...and we'll definitely have Jason dad (who is a lawyer) involved in deciphering the various offers/contracts in the future! :)

April 20, 2009 at 1:26 PM  
Blogger Married to a med student - Marissa Nicole said...

Congrats - I am so jealous that you are so far along in the ride! What type of fellowship is Jason seeking? Also you mentioned something about matching his fellowship salary - do fellows make good money - I just assumed they made a tiny bit more than residents. If you stay in MI when are you due to be done with school? I look forward to hearing about your match results!

April 20, 2009 at 1:37 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

The link doesn't post radiology positions, bummer. But good luck with the fellowship! We're facing that decision right now too.

April 20, 2009 at 2:27 PM  
Blogger Alexandra said...

What an exciting and stressful time for your guys. I hate match time for anything, hopefully it will all pan out. I think it is so wonderful that you have such a great relationship with your in-laws and being able to stay by them sounds like where you want to be, hopefully God will open that door a year from now and you guys will be set! Can't wait to hear your results!

April 20, 2009 at 2:49 PM  
Blogger Davita said...

I am so not looking forward to another match. I will keep my fingers crossed that you guys get your top pick. Fellowships are such a pain. Moving twice in a year. We have 3 kids, two of them will be in school then. E wants to do upper extremity/shoulder and elbow. May 1st will be here before you know it. Is this the first year for the match?

April 20, 2009 at 2:59 PM  
Blogger Doc's Girl said...

Marissa - I believe a fellow makes just the same base salary as a resident...but if you count out the moonlighting that they can do later on in residency, technically, they are taking a pay cut. :( I'm hoping to be done with school in May of 2011, a few months before we'll, more than likely, move for his job.

Laura - Good luck with your search! :)

Alexandra - When I replay the last couple of years...I realize that everything really has worked out for the best. :)

Davita - My heart goes out to you--I feel lucky that we have more options in moving around now because we don't have kids yet. The only downside is that we seem to have no time whatsoever to fit in a wedding somewhere in the mix. ;-) We're like the Brangelina of our hospital (I got a job at the same hospital as him about two years after we met). Everyone bugs us about when we are going to get married. :-D

April 20, 2009 at 3:16 PM  
Blogger Melisa said...

Avi, just move with me. :o) Just think of all the food we can make and Bollywood we can watch. ;o)

April 20, 2009 at 7:55 PM  
Blogger Kathi the Wingspouse said...

Wow. Lots of good advice here. Wish we had this resource when we looked for jobs. Jennifer gives some wise advice. Get yourself involved in any interview you can. If they don't invite you, go along and check out the community. Go to community shops and strike up conversation about the hospital or practice. Go to the hospital cafeteria and create an opportunity to chat with staff who are in line. There are some great hospitals, and some that will work him to death. Look for the red flags and get EVERYTHING in writing. My husband was offered a salary above others because of his reputation, but got paid standard salary when he couldn't prove it was promised. Another time he was promised paid CME but was never approved to go at their expense.

We were in Michigan for 3 years. Would love to compare notes.

April 20, 2009 at 8:45 PM  
OpenID joz1234 said...

I'm so jealous because you have a match for fellowship and find out where you are going already!!!
My husband is planning on getting (hopefully) a fellowship in Pain Management and it is like a job interview for us. No match date. Most of his apps are just now being accepted and we may not know anything until the first of the year.

We have one interview so far in August at Johns Hopkins. Nothing else so far.

April 20, 2009 at 11:19 PM  
Blogger MW said...

Congrats and good luck!

I was actually just about to ask the "When are you squeezing in a wedding?" question, but I guess you get that a lot! :)

Anyway, I think it's great that you have such a good relationship with his parents. Like you, I also want to be close to family.

April 21, 2009 at 10:43 AM  

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