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Lives of Doctor Wives: June 2009

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Survivor Saturday--When Your Spouse Is The New Doc In Town

I recently wrote the following post for my "Ask The OB's Wife" blog. It's all about something I've discovered since my husband became a practicing OB/GYN almost eleven months ago. Your experiences will vary as your spouses leave residency, but if you move to a small town or a place where your spouse's specialty isn't overwhelmed by other physicians, then you may find yourself in the same situation.

My husband's been out of residency and practicing obstetrics and gynecology for almost a year. When he was in residency, we lived in a medium-sized city, we didn't know very many people, and he really didn't have an established patient population. Then, he finished residency, found a job, and we moved to a new town. Where we currently live is definitely smaller than our last home city. It's also a big college town, so the population is pretty transient. Students move in and move out with the school year. Many people move into the community because they got jobs at the university, and they move out when they lose those jobs or find something else to do. There are also a lot of families who have lived in the area for a long time because the parents grew up here or went to school here. It's taken me some time to get used to the constant change of the area, but I think it's a wonderful community and a great place to raise a family. I've also discovered how "small" this community of around 70,000 people can be, just because my husband is now the "New OB In Town". Before we moved, I joined a large moms' group located here that is organized completely on-line. Even though there are about eighty members in the group, only twenty or thirty of the moms regularly attend organized events, and I've been able to make friendships with many of them. Through these meetups with the other women, I've been able to "advertise" my husband's new job in the community, usually in a roundabout way by explaining why we moved in the first place. In this way, I found out that the office he joined is fairly popular and the biggest practice in town. Of course, not all of the moms in my group go to his office for their care, but some of them have told me that they've seen him at the hospital for various reasons, like when he's covering call for their personal OBs. It's been both strange and exhilarating to hear about my husband from "the other side", especially when I hear he is well-liked and a "great doctor". I've already heard, from personal accounts, how his co-workers respect him as a surgeon and OB, but it's totally different when the patients are singing his praises. It makes me very proud of him and the work he's doing. I'm not sure how long it will take me to get used to the various iterations of "Oh, hey! I saw your husband at the doctors' office the other day!" that I'll inevitably run into while we live here, but that's okay. As long as the patients are happy with their doctor, it'll be just fine if I'm occasionally surprised when a pregnant mother apologizes to me for calling my husband at home in the middle of the night! It's just all part of the job.

That last part about a pregnant woman apologizing for calling my husband in the middle of the night is absolutely true! We saw each other at a play date, and she felt bad about possibly waking us all up with her emergency. I think my husband happened to be at the hospital already when she called him, so it didn't bother us at all. The fact that she apologized, though, was kind of sweet. It's good to know that some patients remember physicians have their own families and lives outside of the hospital, too.


Friday, June 26, 2009

Comment post

This was a comment made on a previous post. Just thought I'd open this up for discussion since it might not be discussed as a comment. And be sure to read back as there are some previous posts about finances and budgets. Here it is:

I'm new here and just wanted to say "hi" to everyone!! This blog is very interesting and brings up some interesting points! I also wanted to ask a question, how does everyone keep up with finances and budgeting when married to a med-school student?? My boyfriend and I are discussing marriage, however, he is worried about us making it while he is in med-school -- is it do-able?? Please give advice!
My boyfriend, Chris, has one more year of college left then he will (hopefully) be attending med-school fall of 2010. He is taking the MCAT next Thursday! Please keep him in your prayers!He and I know we are going to get married someday. If it were up to me, I would marry him next summer. Which, I think would be great as far as timing. However, he would like to wait until he is about a year or two into med-school because of the financial issues that we would/will have to face, but on the other hand, he thinks we should just go for it instead of waiting. Either way, that's fine with me. He's mainly just worried about financial issues.I currently live on my own, so I know all about living a frugal lifestyle :) However, I am moving back home with my parents so I can save money for when Chris and I start our lives together.

Only a few more days...

And our spouses will be in new medical training year (for the many of us who are still in training!) I can't believe we are about to start our final year of school! We are very excited to start applying for residency - we already have our "list" of programs narrowed down! (I am just a little nervous about the expense of applying and interviewing).

What will this year bring for you?


Thursday, June 25, 2009

It's Okay to Wine About It

Did you know that some vendors give discounts to those who work in the service industry? I'm a preacher's kid and remember back in the day when local retailers would give dad a break on our purchases because he couldn't have otherwise afforded them. Well, most clergy discounts are now considered tabu because of religious views, but now retailers are offering other discounts. All you have to do is ask.
I was in a local wine shop yesterday, walking the aisles as I waited for M to finish a phone call. A college student came in, grabbed a merlot, and headed for the cash register. She lamented over the fact that she couldn't afford as many as she would like. The cashier quickly explained that on Wednesdays, they offer 20% case discounts, and on Thursdays anyone in the service industry (including medical field) and current college students can ask for a 10% discount on any purchase. I flashed back to a fading memory of Ponderosa giving us a discount one day when M was wearing his ID. I had forgotten that.
After the girl left, I approached the counter and asked how they verified such status. She laughed and said that if they were dressed in scrubs, it was a given. If not, she would ask them a silly question just for fun and give the discount.
My point is... don't be shy. Ask retailers if they give any special discounts to physicians, service industry, military... whatever you qualify for. The most they can do is say "no."


Tuesday, June 23, 2009


There is a question posed about primary care physicians over on the Physicians in Training blog. Go over here to add your two cents. I think this is an important discussion for everyone, no matter the field your spouse is pursuing. Thanks!


Monday, June 22, 2009

Call nights

If we already talked about this and I missed it, I'm sorry. It has been a crazy couple of months. My question is, "What do you do when your hubby is on-call?" Specifically, how do you sleep?? I think Brad's pager went off 6 times last night. I know he's on call, but that doesn't mean I should lose sleep too. Or does it? Don't get me wrong, I am SUPER grateful that he has at-home call, and I wouldn't want him sleeping at the hospital or on the couch. I thought about ear plugs, but I am not comfortable with not being able to hear my kids or alarm clocks. I know I can't be the only one experiencing this, so what do you do? And again, if you already talked about this, sorry! Just direct me to the discusssion. :o)

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Survivor Saturdays: I'm a Spouse... Get Me Outa Here!

Residency may not require eating bugs and wading through swampwaters, but spouses certainly step into a big pile of, well, unpleasantness. I'm married to a physician (now physician executive), and I've had my share of moments when I wanted to scream, "Get me outa here!"

When my husband and I began talking about marriage, he made sure I understood that he was committed to medicine. I knew he was asking me to commit to it, too, but I had no idea what that really meant at the time - neither of us did. I tried to prepare myself by reading about others who had gone through it, but I found that many of them didn't survive the long haul! I read that physicians have a higher than average chance of becoming addicted to prescription medicine, and I read that time is often an issue with couples. But nowhere did it say that I'd be pushed to the very edge of my capabilities.

During the first few years of marriage, I felt so trapped. I worked a demanding job, only to have every penny spent on the mortgage and student loans. I had to cook, clean, care for the children, keep the finances, keep the laundry caught up, mow the lawn, even change the furnace filter... all for a small peck on the cheek as my spouse walked in the door and headed to bed. I nearly went insane. When one of the children became ill, Mark would remind me of some patient who was much worse off. I never seemed to rate high enough to get priority.

Those days were hard and resulted in years of resentment and anger. I used to keep a journal of what I wanted to say to him, sometimes pressing so hard I nearly ripped through the paper. Before he came home, though, I would tear out the page and make sure it was destroyed and then write a few sentences of why I fell in love with him.

We made it through those awful years, but not without baggage that would resurface over and over. It wasn't until recently that I could look back and see another side. While I was sacrificing time, energy, and career, my husband was sacrificing in his own way. He was determined to use his abilities to make a future for us all. He missed out on the first steps, the social outings with friends, and he missed out on me. He has holes where memories should be. I hear the sadness in his voice whenever he talks about it.

Not too long ago, another MD's wife lamented of her bitterness associated with being married to a doctor. I asked my husband if he had any insight to share. He reflected back and explained that he didn't WANT to treat me the way he did. He simply HAD to. It was a coping mechanism to survive residency without losing his mind. "It's like being in a war zone," he confessed, "with fighting all around, not a moment to second-guess yourself, and no control over what is happening." I started to flash back to my first experience of natural childbirth. I remembered how everything began to happen at once and I had no control. I don't remember Mark being in the room with me - just a hand holding mine. I knew it was a moment when I should have bonded with him, but I just wasn't able to... not until I caught my breath.That's when I realized how long Mark had sacrificid before catching HIS breath.

So, as a you attempt to reconcile yourself to the demands of your spouse's career, first understand that you and your spouse are both sacrificing for each other in different ways. He may not be able to explain it in those terms, but the truth still remains. Be prepared to have really ugly feelings that will take time to heal, and be willing to let them go when it's time. Don't keep bringing up how much you're suffering when your spouse can't do anything about it. Instead, flash back to memories of good times you shared together and remind yourself why you got married in the first place. Know that better times are ahead and suffering through this together will ultimately bring you both closer. Mark and I discovered (totally by mistake) that constantly reminiscing together about how we met and how he proposed, gave us something to cling to and kept us bonded. Now that we've survived the tough times, we bond together by reminiscing of how we weathered the storm of medical school, residency and the early practice days. We both speak of each other with deep appreciation and know the impact it had on our relationship. A word of warning, though: Nothing happens over night and your bad days aren't over with residency.

After residency, a new war begins. Your spouse will be thrust into a world where he is expected to be perfect. He will be brainwashed into believing that only he can fix problems and that he is called to do so without regard to self or family. He will be measured by his productivity, and he will constantly compared to his peers. Know this and carefully recognize aloud that you understand what he is up against. The less you fight it and instead identify the outside forces, the more likely he is to slowly recognize who has his best interest in mind. Let him explain his reasons for working hard, having to be at the office, etc. so he can reflect out loud. Be patient, and wait. How long do you have to wait for your life to get back to normal? After the first year of practice, you should begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. At that point, you should sit down with your spouse and establish what your family priorities are and how you both will live accordingly. Remember, your spouse will likely have forgotten how to be a good spouse and father. He will have to be reminded, and reassimilated into the real world.

by Kathi Browne

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Call Schedule

I know we have talked a lot about crappy schedules and our DrH being busy at work, but I really have no idea what is a "sucky" schedule, what is normal, and what is "I hate you- you are sooo lucky".

We just recieved Tommy's schedule for the first 3 months and every month so far he is on call 6 nights. He presents once or twice each month in lecture and is in clinic around 5 days a month when he is on OB. How does this rate with everyone else's schedule? I know all these dates are on top of his normal daily schedule which is challenging, but I really have no clue what others are experiencing.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Contract Info for Physicians

This is a great article I found when looking through my 2009 MD Career Path journal from the New England Journal of Medicine.  It highlights the importance of finding a lawyer who specializes in Physician’s contracts and also some key matters that make a contract harder on a physician who decides to leave a practice. 
Physician Job Contracts
This is definitely one to share with your husbands.  Also, peruse the NEJM Career center for some other great articles.

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Healthcare Reform

Like many of you, I have heard a lot more this week about Healthcare reform and the government, and how the AMA feels about it. I realize this issue is pretty personal for all of us and will/does affect us in many different ways. It interests me to hear other physician wives opinions on this matter though. Have any of you done research into how this might effect your husband’s specialty? I have been looking over lots of articles in the past couple of days and am discovering that this could have major ramifications for those doctors who enter into Interventional Pain Management—mainly because many of the procedures are voluntary and would most likely not be covered because they might not be considered necessary treatment.
What have you been hearing about your husband’s future in medicine? Are there any parts to the healthcare reform that you truly hope they really work on to come to a better solution for everyone? What concerns you as a doctor’s wife? What concerns you as a citizen?
Let’s try to remember that this is a hard issue to discuss. I encourage you to read over your words before publishing your comment. This discussion is not meant to offend—instead I hope we all can learn from it

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Internet Communities to Keep Us Sane?

It is part of our lives that we move around a lot.  Most people get to “settle” down and have a house and raise their children and have a sense of community for years, if not a lifetime.  With our lifestyles, we may move into a house and in 2-4 years find ourselves moving again. 

In the past several years, as the internet has become a place where we have more social networking, I have found that it has also become a place for me to meet and know a community of people that I never have to leave.  I am quickly finding that for me, being on the internet is replacing my phone use.  In years past, I used the phone a lot.  Now, I can just log onto my computer and communicate with people without using the phone at all.

I wonder how many of us, as people who are constantly moving our households, get sanity from the fact that the internet is the one constant that we have?  Does it give you a sense of community that you don’t have to recreate every couple of years? 

I then want us to think about this the next time we are thinking we are addicted to the internet.  Are you really addicted to the internet, or are you just using the internet more and the phone less?


New Blog!

I have gotten inspired to start my own cooking/household shopping blog.  Please come visit:  http://cookingcatastrophe.blogspot.com

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Survivor Saturdays - Moving

Kim asked:

I'm sure all you survivors could give a lot of good advice about moving- especially for those going through it all right now. ie: finding out where you're going, when to start looking for houses/neighborhoods, is it better to live as close to the hospital as possible, rent vs buy, moving expenses, when is the best time to move, aquainting yourself with a new area, etc. I'm sure there are many different perspectives- but all the better. :)

Kathi said:
M and I have moved more times than I have fingers. It’s never “fun” but there are benefits to having to go through all your junk periodically. It’s also great practice for your social skills. Here are my top ten tips:

1. Spend some time talking with your spouse about what to expect with the new position. How many hours will he likely work? Does that number include rounds and staff meetings? How often will he be on call? Will he have any early/off days? Will he be able to take your phone calls/texts while at work? By knowing all the facts, you won’t later be frustrated when he’s not available or unable to attend something you don’t want to miss.

2. Research your new community at places like http://www.city-data.com/ or http://www.indeed.com/forum/loc to learn what other locals think about schools, churches, and even contractors. Remember that many realtors frequent these sites, so get your realtor references outside of these sites.
3. If you’re planning to enroll children in school, meet with all school administrators beforehand and ask for a tour of the schools. Afterwards, go to the local parks, malls, and sports events and approach locals. They may give you a better idea about the schools and neighborhoods. If possible, rent before you buy so you’re not stuck in the wrong neighborhood.
4. Ask for phone numbers of other doctor’s wives in the area so you can invite them to coffee when you visit. This is a great way to gain more knowledge of the neighborhoods, service providers, and schools you may want to concentrate on. You’ll also know at least one wife the next time you appear at a social function.
5. If you have children, concentrate on finding a person who is willing to hold a party to invite several children your childrens’ ages. This way, they will know some children before school starts. This also is a great way to make your children’s transition easier in general.
6. When packing, don’t skip the step of labeling boxes with contents. Otherwise, you’ll be opening every box looking for the wine opener or flashlights.
7. Use an easy-to-spot marker to mark boxes that are most important to pack (your clothes, shower items, every day dishes). Pack one box with toilet paper, shower curtains, towels, and all the things you need to get settled in the first 12 hours.
8. Designate one room in the house/apartment to store unpacked boxes, or you may be able to put unpacked boxes in the closet of each room. Start unpacking the brightly marked boxes first and start feeling settled. With the rest of the boxes hidden, you’ll feel more in control as you organize.
9. Hold off on buying new things for the house until you are SURE you need it. You’ll avoid buying things you don’t use and you’ll have time to learn where the best bargains are.
10. Bake some cookies/bread and take them to your neighbors. Don’t wait for them to come to you. Most long-time neighbors don’t need new friends… but you do. They’ll remember your cookies long after you move in.

Every move is another chance to make friends!

Amanda said:
When it comes to moving for your spouse's training/career, I think it all depends on where you'll be moving and your financial situation when you get there. I married my husband before his second year of medical school, and we decided to rent apartments during that time because we had to move at least twice. His "classroom" years were in one city and his rotation years were in another. Financially, we were living off his loans and what I was making working full time in schools or medical offices, so we could only afford to rent at the time. Since we were still in our home state during those years, our parents helped us look at neighborhoods and apartment complexes, and we also relied on our knowledge of the area when we moved to Indianapolis, because we'd gone to college there. After we found out that my husband had matched to a residency program in Columbus, Ohio, we set up an appointment with a realtor there to start looking at neighborhoods and houses. We decided to finally own a home because we knew we would be there for at least four years, we wanted to start building some equity, and at the time, the banks were willing to give us a substantial loan because of my husband's career choice.

Because he trained as an OB/GYN, he had to be within so many miles of the hospital for the purposes of call shifts. We found a nice, small, affordable (for that area) home that needed a lot of work. My in-laws, who like to flip houses on the side, helped us turn it into a much more livable place, and though we didn't sell it for as much as we would have liked, we definitely had improved it. During all these moves, we moved ourselves with the help of our families. It was more cost effective that way. During his fourth year of residency, my husband signed a contract with an OB/GYN office back in Indiana, and we immediately found a realtor who helped us look at neighborhoods and houses. It was probably due to the housing crisis that we only looked at seven houses and found the house we wanted among those seven. Again, there were a lot of factors that determined where we were going to live, most importantly the proximity to the hospital and my husband's new office, because babies can come at any time, and he'd need to get there fast to deliver them.

We decided to go ahead and move into an older home, since we only had so much time between the end of his residency and the beginning of his new job to move and get settled. However, we found a home that's been kept up very well and that doesn't need any kind of work, except possibly some updating here and there. Also, because his office was willing to pay for it, we hired a moving company this time, and I'm so glad we did! They were wonderful, and they saved us a lot of time and pain getting our valuables safely from one state to another. We plan on staying in our current home for a little while and then, we hope to build a new house some time in the near future.

In almost eight years of marriage, we've lived in four different cities. It can be rough at first, especially when you move somewhere far away from your family and friends and you don't know anyone in town. I highly suggest looking up your new city's government website. It usually lists events around town as well as any pertinent information regarding garbage pickup, water and other utilities, and the parks/recreation department in the area. I also suggest you try to join a moms' or play group in your new city. I've found that being a part of a group of other stay-at-home-moms has helped me become more independent and find my way around my new home towns very quickly. Most of the time, these groups will have scheduled events that are free or cheap, and they're a way to make friends for you and your kids. If you don't know where to start, try http://www.mamasource.com/ or http://www.meetup.com/, and enter in your zip code or location information. They are both great websites geared toward helping people connect with others in their area. Good luck, and I hope my rambling helps a bit!

Jennifer said:

We’ve “only” lived in three cities in thirteen years of marriage – thankfully Michael did his internship in the same city as med school and fellowship in the same city as residency – but moving still took its toll every time. I remember thinking before each move, “It just can’t possibly be as great as the place we’re leaving,” yet in the end, our new home ended up being even better than the last.

We owned a condo during med school/residency and our first house during residency/fellowship. If your finances allow for it, this is a nice option, and you may end up making a little money when you sell. Having said that, both times we were in a location with huge annual turnover of med students/residents, and we sold our house and our condo within days of listing it. If you’re not planning to live in such an area, renting might be a better option for you. You certainly don’t want to be stuck with a house you can’t sell when you’re ready to move to the next place.

If you are moving to a place that has a high turnover of medical students/residents/grad students, you should start looking during March/April before he starts his program during the summer. In my experience, there was a window of time during those months when everything would sell very quickly.

Living close to the hospital is always a perk, not only for middle-of-the-night trips to the hospital, but for the sake of family time at home. If his commute is long, his time at home will be even more limited than it already is. The expense and availability will vary from city to city – in Iowa City, there were several homes within walking distance to the hospital, but as you would expect, they were much more expensive than the homes on the outskirts. Take into account, too, whether or not he will be spending time at satellite offices, how much time he will spend there, and whether it is worth living closer to those offices.

When we moved from Houston to Iowa City, we packed most everything ourselves, but we had the movers do a “partial pack” of our valuable, breakable things (china, crystal, etc.) The only way they will insure a box is if they packed it themselves – so I would highly recommend that. When we moved to start his practice, part of his new contract included a moving allowance, so the movers packed and moved EVERYTHING – something else I would highly recommend. Make that part of your contract negotiations if you can.

For me, the very best part of moving is the cleaning out. During Michael's fellowship year, I walked around our house thinking, "Do I want to open a box and unpack that? Do I want to have to find a place to put it?" If the answer was no, away it went. I got rid of A LOT of stuff that year. Amazingly, we STILL unpacked boxes of junk! We joke that we need to tell ourselves we're moving every year or so solely for the cause of cleaning out.

Before you move, check out the AMA Alliance. This is a national group of medical spouses, and they do some great things for medical legislation and philanthropic causes. Their blog for the training years has listings for medical spouses’ groups at different programs. Even if your program does not have an organized spouses' group, someone from Alliance can put you in touch with an Alliance member in that city who can help you adjust to your new home and community and give you great advice about getting plugged in.

Hopefully your new community will have a medical spouses’ group. I was a member of Medical Partners in Iowa City during residency and fellowship, which provided an immediate group of new friends. We had playgroups, book clubs, cooking clubs, scrapbooking clubs, and Mom’s Night Outs. It was a lifeline for me!

(I know that Medical Partners has a page on their website with listings for houses/condos for sale by the outgoing Partners – that’s how we sold our house in Iowa City. Check with the spouses’ program or the Alliance in the area where you are going to see if there is something similar.)

If you strike out with a spouses’ group (or even if you don’t), there are lots of other great ways to get plugged in. I am a huge fan of MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), which is an international organization – no matter where you move, you will very likely be able to find a chapter near you. Churches or other places of worship are great places to connect yourself within your community. If your kids are school-aged, by all means volunteer in your kids’ school and get to know the other parents. Or find a cause or organization you are passionate about and get involved. Whatever it is, you have to muster up the courage to put yourself out there and take the initiative to get to know those around you. I am naturally an introvert, but I have found that stepping up and getting involved in the leadership of different organizations is a great way to gain new friends quickly while using the gifts and abilities that fulfill me and give me a sense of purpose.

You may be tempted to think, “I’m only going to live here for X-number of years, and saying good-bye is always painful, so I’m just going to keep to myself and sweat it out alone.” Don’t do that. Life is meant to be lived in community, no matter the length of years, and some of your best friends just might come from the places you never expected.

Other resources:

International Medical Spouse Network - articles on relocation

Joy's Medical Mondays article on moving

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Please feed the animals

Hi ladies!

The Survivor Well has run dry, and we need your juice! So far, we've talked about applying for residency, finances during residency, not yelling at your husband when he attempts to do the laundry, and setting up fences. What else? What's on your mind?

Please leave a comment on this post with your topic ideas. Or if you're tired of hearing our weary voices and want us to give it up, you can say that, too.

Survivor in Ped. Ophth.


Hello again! I think I might officially be back into the blogging world now that I'm living with my husband again, have internet in our new house, and am getting somewhat settled.

I love the new town I'm living in, but truthfully, I really can't stand the house. But it is in a super school district and on a resident's salary we can't afford anything nicer. I guess it is "fair" that a single resident is paid the same as one with a family of 5, but it is still tough.

I'm fighting the resentment that comes from leaving a huge house that I loved in a town that I loved but I know that in the long run, this was the best move for our family. I'm think I'm just curious as to what you've had to give up in pursuit of the dream.

And I'm also looking for advice. I have an appointment with an ortho because my knee is killing me. I have no family in town (ha! I have no family within 1300 miles!), and haven't had time to make many friends that are available to watch 3 kids during the day. I've only been here 2 weeks. I don't want to take my kids to my doctor's appointment, but I have no clue what to do with them as residents don't get time off for their wife's doctor appointments, ya know?

Monday, June 8, 2009

For the MS1 and MS2s

My most recent post is about the Match process - most of you are already more than familar with the process but I know when I was the wife of an MS1 and 2 the process was always a mystery. For those who are interested: http://marriedtoamedicalstudent.blogspot.com/ I also post a few links that are helpful for learning about residency programs.


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Survivor Saturdays: When the Grass is Green... Put Up a Fence

It's an unfortunate reality that when you're married to a doctor, you're more likely to become the target of litigation and taxation. There is a misconception that doctors are disproportionately wealthy and deserve to be sued in order to share the wealth. Few people know that a primary care physician starts out making around $125,000 annually (ref) and carries educational debt of around $155,000 (ref). Until politicians consider reforming how the legal system treats physicians and how tax laws penalize those who work hard, physician families have to go to extraordinary measures to protect themselves from losing everything. The following are some steps to minimize your loss.

When possible (and legal), put assets in your name rather than the physician's name. This is a necessary step in protecting your family from losing your home or car in one of many lawsuits to come. Your spouse will be named in future law suits simply because he signed a sheet or was on the shift roster, so you won't likely avoid this ugliness. If you have more than one vehicle in the family, it is advisable to put one in each person's name in case one partner dies and their assets are temporarily frozen.*

Consider taking out an umbrella policy. Most homeowner's insurance has a cap on how much they will pay out if someone sues for physical harm while on your property. The same is true with auto insurance and home owners association board member insurance. Your spouse may have additional insurance coverage through his employment or through another group, but there is usually a gap between the two. Check to see if you need an umbrella policy to bridge the coverage gap between your own insurance policy and other policies you rely on.**

Examine your will, and if you don't have one... put one together. You want to have control over who takes guardianship of your children in the event of your death. Even the strongest family relationships can go sour when inheritance enters the picture. To further protect yourself and your family members, consider setting up a trust fund so your estate can go directly to your children (through the trust fund) without suffering unreasonable inheritance taxes and attorney fees. Some people also release inheritance to their children in stages; assuring the children will have time to mature before receiving the full amount.***

Using your spouse's knowledge of various emergency procedures, create a living will and durable power of attorney for healthc are. You don't want your life or suffering to be controlled by someone who benefits from you receiving or not receiving life support. Take time to listen to what your spouse wants, too, in case you have to be his/her voice. With a living will in place, you can both relax knowing you've communicated your preferences on paper.

Being married to a doctor has its benefits and it's downfalls. With a little proactive planning, you can enjoy the "green grass" around you.****

by Kathi (http://wingspouse.com/)

* When my grandfather passed away, the family vehicle was only in his name. My grandmother was not able to use the car until his estate was settled. If the car had been in her name or in both of their names, she would have had access to it without waiting for all the paperwork to be processed.

**You might be thinking your family doesn't do anything to invite a law suit but a simple slip and fall, swing set or trampoline injury, or car accident can result in an expensive legal battle. M and I were even named in a civil law suit around something as simple as a house closing. We never received a phone call before the papers were served.

*** Legal jargon varies by state, so draw up a new will if you move to another state. When we first set up our will, we didn't put in clauses for unknown future children who would later be born. We had to update our papers in a short time when I became pregnant with the second one.

**** This advice comes from me, a seasoned wife who is no longer dealing with the risks of a practicing physician. Laws change, so always seek expert counsel (which I'm not) before following the advice above.

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Friday, June 5, 2009

Hello :)

I'll start out by saying that I'm totally not a writer! I'm an RN by schooling (worked peds and NICU) which means I spent most of my time studying science and just squeaking by in English and writing! I will ask for your graces as far as my writing skills, thanks! I will try not to make my entries sound like a progress note in a chart...

My husband is finishing up his second year in med school. He was class president and worked with orthopedics this last year doing research and scrubbing into what surgeries he could. I stay at home with our two children a boy and a girl both under two years old. Yes, my life is very exciting to say the least! I was stoked to find this blog so I could connect with other women who are going through or have already gone through similar circumstances.

I'm wondering if you all have advice on how to research away rotations for 4th year. Has anyone gone as a family to these? Also looking for insight on what 3rd year is like having young children. We are already good at going to bed without having daddy home. I know he'll have early mornings and late nights. What else will be taking place this year?...


Thursday, June 4, 2009

2nd Response!

My husband got accepted for his second away rotation/sub-I (and this is the one I have been worried about because I know others had already been accepted)! And this program is kind of a long shot because it is such a good program but we figured our only chance (at matching there) would be if he got an away rotation to increase his chances - so its still a longshot, but I think rotating there will be beneficial. I am so excited for his away rotations I think they will be really good experience and he will be getting to do what he loves - surgery! I am gonna be a lonely but productive wife this fall since he will be gone for at least 8 weeks! Now we are just waiting to hear from one more program...


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Not a wife, yet..

Hey there!!!

I just wanted to introduce myself! I found this blog the other day and thought it was such a great way to communicate with others in the same position..for the most part.

I'm not a wife, yet. I'm dating MIGM (my nickname for him, pronounced MIG-um) a 3rd year, (almost 4th year) Medical Student, who is also in the Navy! Boards are in less than a month and we're both on the edge of our seats.. more so me..I'm a nervous wreck, ha!

The big kicker is we're in a long distance relationship!! I'm currently in Undergrad down in Florida.. he is in Virginia! I'm majoring in Family & Child Science.. hoping to be a 2nd Grade Teacher :) MIGM's heart is set on surgery! Trauma to be exact!

We definitely have a LONG road ahead of us, but I couldn't be more excited!

**I also have another blog.. you're more than willing to stop by and take a look..it's nothing special.. just random thoughts and what not...but you can get connected to some wonderful ladies..not related to the medical field :)**


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sexy Doctor Poll/ Maintenance

I know we have already discussed a lot of fun things on this poll, but I just wanted to see if there where anymore comments or things people wanted to add. I was shocked that McSteamy ended up winning as sexiest, not that I don't personally think he is very nice looking, but I really thought McDreamy would win with flying colors!!

We are just about to hit the July 1st mark where everyone will have another year of support experience under their belt, so please make sure your current status (MS__, PGY__, Practicing, etc) is correct, as I will be adding a year to everyone!!! Hooray! Please let me know if you have graduated, are now in practice, changed specialties or anything else exciting, I know I can't wait to have PGY1-OB/GYN by my name!!! You can email it to me or just leave it in the form of a comment on this thread.

Also, if there is anyone who needs to be added to the contributor list or has a question or an idea, please shoot it my way! Alexandra.howard@yahoo.com

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