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Lives of Doctor Wives: Survivor Saturday--When Your Spouse Is The New Doc In Town

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.



Blogger Old MD Girl said...

It's going to be weird if one of your friends ever has a bad outcome or decides to sue your husband. I hope that never happens.

July 6, 2009 at 7:36 PM  
Blogger Melisa said...

Brad did surgery on a couple of our neighbors. That was kind of funny. But does it get a little awkward since he is OB? I might not want to go to my friend's hubby for that type of thing. It would feel weird seeing him in social settings after he's seen more than a friend should see. LOL! Okay, maybe I'm totally over-reacting. haha!

July 9, 2009 at 2:45 PM  

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