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Lives of Doctor Wives: What's on your mind?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

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


Blogger Trisha said...

A lot of us talk about how we plan on paying off student loans when we are finished. What worked for you? Do you have suggestions?

Thanks so much!

April 28, 2009 at 10:50 AM  
Blogger Tasha said...

Student loans is definitely a good one, but I wonder how much will change with the new law that goes into effect for those who don't start residency July 1st of this year.

I'd like to know more about getting into residency. I think I understand how the match works, but what about the interviews and such? How important are boards/grades/connections in getting into a residency?

April 28, 2009 at 11:47 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

What is the new law that is going into effect regarding student loans? We haven't heard.

Also I was wondering about financing during residency. It seems that a residents salary is so minimal and that it's almost impossible for us wives to work while the hubby is in residency (those of us with kids at least). What advice do any of you have about how to make ends meet during residency life. Did you have to take loans out to survive? We never carry balances on credit cards and hope we won't have to!

April 28, 2009 at 12:48 PM  
Blogger Married to a med student - Marissa Nicole said...

The new law eliminates the three year economic hardship deferrment (where you did not have to pay and interest did not accurue) and has put in place an income based repayment plan.(http://www.ibrinfo.org/) So far I do NOT like what I am hearing about these changes...

I am hoping that the upcoming graduates may be able to give us some advice on this in the future.

April 28, 2009 at 2:22 PM  
Blogger Davita said...

I think the importance of boards/grades/connections depends on the specialty and the program. At E's program, once you make the cut off, it's all about personality and how you'll fit in with the program. They have a dinner with with the residents and spouses and during interviews, the spouses take the applicant spouses/SO's to breakfast and show them around the "city." And the program really values the feedback from those events.

Since E, applied for ortho, he applied pretty broadly, 32 programs, mostly west, a few midwest, and a couple eastish. I did not want to live in the east coast, we figured if we were going to live in a high COL, it might as well be back home. And I did not want to live in the south. He went on 13 or so interviews and ranked 15 spots. When interviewing and making the rank list, we considered geography, COL, pay, and cost of medical insurance. There were some programs that got put on top that I had no desire to go to, but because it was a "chance of a lifetime" program. Although, insurance wasn't a deal breaker, I was surprised to find out how many programs don't pay for insurance, AT ALL, and had delayed coverage start dates. With kids that can be really important. Anyways, I'm rambling now. We didn't really get to be too picky since it was ortho. We lucked out, KS has a low COL in terms of housing. Produce and groceries are outrageous compared to CA. And where we live, we have access to great public schools. We live a little further than most of the other residents. E's program has a 30 minute radius housing requirement since they take home call.

In terms of finances during residency. It is tough. It depends on where you live and how much the program you end up at pays [wages and medical/dental insurance]. We so badly wanted to go back back to CA and we were devastated when E matched in the middle of his rank list, but being in KS has really worked out. It is a stretch [and we have some family help] but I stay home with our three kids. We own our house. Ours is by far the smallest amongst the other residents. Many of the wives work. Out of 16 residents, all but one are married, 6 of them have families and half of those wives SAH. The three that work, use day care and one family has a nanny. Our cars are old, but goodies [knock on wood] so we don't have car payments. I plan and cook our meals, E takes a lunch, and we rarely go out. We do get out though, just not nearly as often as the other couples, which is fine. It's a sacrifice that allows the kids to have at least one stable parent at home, especially since our families are thousands of miles away.

E is a PGY2 and his loans are still in deferment. I did his paperwork for the new "economic deferment" and he owes so much, makes so little, and we are a family of 5, I don't think it will be an issue. Some of his private loans are still in grace until next year. When we run out of deferment, we will do forbearance. I just keep telling myself, that this is all temporary. There is an end. Some people live like this with no end in sight. I don't know if that was helpful. Sorry about the rambling.

April 28, 2009 at 2:35 PM  

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