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Lives of Doctor Wives: September 2009

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

all alone...

has anyone else ever lost their dr. h to an away rotation? mine is gone for the entire month (I'm in philly, he's in cleveland). if anyone has any good ideas on how to pass the time, that would be much appreciated! thanks.

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Monday, September 28, 2009


New poll up for your voting pleasure!

Any comments on last week's poll? I'm so impressed by how many exercisers are out there! It can be so hard to make time for exercise when there is so much going on. I go to the gym 5 days a week, but that is mostly so I have a chance to shower without my kids destroying the house. :o) That and exercise is supposed to be good for my rheumatoid arthritis. Oh alright, I like it too. LOL!


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Survivor Saturday--The "Family" Doc

Those of you with husbands in residency (or even some in medical school) are probably already aware of the phenomenon known as "free advice". Because your spouse is a physician, there are people in your life who will take advantage of that fact and will try to get his opinion on everything from the tiny little paper cut on their pinkie finger to the current health care crisis in America, regardless of his chosen specialty. Unfortunately, it comes with the territory, and I must admit that I'm guilty of it, too.

At no time was it more true for me than when I was pregnant with our son, since my husband was in his OB/Gyn residency then. Although I had my own OB to whom I went for my monthly visits, it was always much more convenient to turn to my husband when I had some question or concern weighing on my mind, like when I realized I had spent time in a hot tub before I even knew I was pregnant. I still occasionally go to him for advice, but I always feel guilty about it, since I've always had some notion that it's unethical to ask my own husband about such things. However, he's never seemed bothered by my concerns, especially when they really are something about which to be concerned. I don't know about your husbands, but mine never appears to get upset or anxious about anything. He's always been the calm, cool, collected one in our relationship, which is probably one of the reasons why I married him. He handles everything objectively and rationally, so when something doesn't seem to bother him, then I try to make certain it doesn't bother me either, even when we discovered our son was in a breech position late in my pregnancy and never turned before his birth.

It's probably my husband's calm, rational demeanor that gives some of our family members the idea it's okay to ask him about their particular medical conditions. If you haven't experienced this yet, it will definitely happen at some point after your husband starts practicing medicine. One day, he'll get a call from a parent or a sibling or a friend wanting to know what could possibly be causing this particular pain in this particular part of the body or why this particular thing is happening to this part of the body or whatever. I don't exactly know what our husbands are told in medical school or residency about how to handle these situations, but mine is usually fairly nice when it happens. He either gives his honest opinion if it's something that is within his realm of expertise, or he tells the person that he/she should seek the advice of another physician for his/her situation.

Sometimes, someone will ask your husband about his opinion on a medical diagnosis given them by their own physician. This has also happened to my husband, who told the person that they should seek advice from a specialist, and although nothing really came of it, it could have caused trouble, because the person went back to their physician and told him about my husband's advice. I'm sure no physician likes to hear that his/her patient is going behind his/her back for medical information, unless he/she recommends a second opinion in the first place. Of course, with the advent of the Internet and the massive amount of medical websites that are available to everyone, physicians are dealing with this all the time. But, I digress.

Another situation that may arise is a family member or friend may ask your husband for a new prescription or a refill on an existing prescription. Maybe someone else with more experience can weigh in on the ethics of this practice, which I have a feeling is illegal, unless the person is actually his patient. I, personally, have asked my husband to help me get a refill on my EpiPen (which still hasn't happened, because we both have been too busy to really think about it), but I go to his office for my medical care, so, technically, he is my physician. I still feel weird that I asked for it, though.

Any number of things can happen because your husband is now a physician. It can be much worse when he's a physician from a medical family. My husband's mother is a nurse, and his two sisters are both pharmacists. I'm not going to get into specifics, but I have heard so many arguments over certain drugs or the latest medical opinions on specific diseases or diagnostic tests that I sometimes just want to walk out of the room and find a quiet place to myself. It can all be so annoying and frustrating to the wife of a physician (and, most likely, the physician himself), but I think the most important thing is how the physician deals with these situations as they arise. If he knows when it's okay to speak his mind and when he should just walk away, then I think he's definitely cut out for the medical profession. But, of course, that's just my opinion. :)
Amanda--wife of an OB/Gyn and survivor

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Jury Duty in med school?

Hello ladies,

My husband, an MSII, has received summons for jury duty in October. Is medical school a valid reason for being excused? I'm guessing not... just wondered if you had any advice. He really just can't afford to miss with tons of tests the rest of the semester. I know one day isn't that big of a deal, but who knows how long the trial could go on if he is chosen. I've heard you can get called over and over... Advice? Experience?


Monday, September 21, 2009


New poll up for ya'll. :o)

Any comments on the last poll? Who is feeling brave enough to talk about their hair? LOL! I don't have gray hair yet, but I don't think it will bother me when I do. Growing up my mom always talked about how beautiful gray hair is, and it kind of rubbed off on me. Maybe that will change when I actually have enough money to spend on my hair. :o)


Private Blog

Ladies I just made my blog private because of all the news lately (missing/kidnapped cases) and I put a lot of photos on it to send to the Grandparents. I love being a part of this blog and if anyone here follows my blog and would like a invite just let me know and I will open it up to you.

Sincerely, Tammy

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Medical School Review Site

At a comment on the residency review site I posted about earlier, I have also created a Medical School review site.

I would love to have some more schools reviewed, so please see the Blog Post Directions to make a contribution.
So, I have been following the Lives of Doctor Wives blog for a while now! My husband is currently an engineer and will be applying to med school next year. The blog has really been a comfort to me (especially Survivor Saturdays!), as I am very nervous about leaving our comfortable lifestyle, uprooting from our family (more than likely) and just the logistics of the whole thing in general. I feel better because of the Doctor Wives blog. Who said people couldn't bless others through blogs?!

My question is this, how does health insurance work out during med school and residency? Is there a way to get insurance for our family through the medical school? Do doctors get insurance through their residency program once they are out of school? I am a teacher but don't plan on working (maybe just part-time if that) when we have children and plan to stay at home probably most of medical school and residency, so continuous coverage is not an option from my end.

Thanks, Katie

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Residency Review Siet

Hey everyone,

I have created a site that I hope will in the future become really useful to a lot of us. I have been doing a lot of research on the 40 different cities my husband has applied for residency in and have had a hard time finding specific information that tells what the residents families thought of the program. I know that there are a lot of resident spouse and a lot of spouses who have moved past the residency phase of their lives. I am looking to gather information on various specialties and cities around the country. This site is not just for me. It is my hope that it will become a great site with lots of information for spouses of resident applicants to gather information on their prospective locations.

Residency Reviews by Families

If you would like to contribute, take a look at the page. You can find a post about blog post directions here. I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks for your input!

Surivivor Saturdays - Raising Mini MDs

As of last week’s conversation in the soccer-dance class minivan taxi cab, all three of my children want to be doctors when they grow up. My ten year old daughter wants to be an M.D., Ph.D. in genetic degenerative disease (she hasn’t decided which one yet, but she’s considering Alzheimer’s). My eight year old son wants to be an internist (or a zoo keeper or a Jedi, depending on the week). And my four year old son wants to be a doctor who helps tummy aches. (He’s now learning how to pronounce gas-tro-in-ter-ol-i-gist.)

Just for the record, this is not my fault. I say nothing at this point, but you can be sure that between now and high school graduation, these brainy, ambitious tykes are going to receive numerous (gentle) reminders of what exactly is involved in this noble profession .

If you have kids or plan on having kids with your doctor husband, half of their genetic makeup comes/will come from him. And if he’s gotten this far, chances are he is pretty smart. That’s not an elitist statement – it’s just fact. Doctors have to possess an above-average intelligence in order to survive and advance their careers. So, logically, if your husband is smart and your children share his genes, then the odds are pretty good that you will have smart kids. Not always, but many times, yes. Again, this is not an elitist statement, but just one of probability.

And, since the other half of their genetic makeup comes from mama, they will not only be geniuses (because once you add mama’s brilliance to the genetic mix, these kids will be downright prodigies!), but astonishingly gorgeous and talented and creative as well. Beautiful, smart kids. Likely perfectly behaved, too. Oh, the doctor’s wife has it so easy, doesn’t she?


The topic of giftedness in kids is one that I’m passionate about because all three of my kids are crazy-smart, and while that’s great and something to celebrate, it comes with a whole host of issues. As a doctor’s wife, I am often left to deal with these issues alone. But just as my husband and I have never known anything other than a medical marriage, we have also never had “normal” children, so as in marriage, this is just what we do. I figured there are many of you with smart husbands and crazy-smart kids, too, and you can relate or will someday relate and could benefit from my experience so far.

First, as I have said many times when I feel like I have to defend my kids’ giftedness, there are Really Smart Kids, and there are Gifted Kids – and the parents of the Really Smart Kids have the better end of the deal. True giftedness not only involves intelligence, but thinking so far outside of the box that the box is not even recognizable. Gifted kids think differently, learn differently, relate to people differently. They are often misunderstood by teachers and peers, and they often struggle with “fitting in.” Additionally, their bodies do not keep up with their minds - a lovely little term called “asynchronous development”: the gifted child may have the intelligence of one many years older, but his body, his maturity and his emotions are still at his biological age – or younger.

In a nutshell, the gifted child does everything earlier than his peers (crawling, walking, talking, reading), uses advanced vocabulary fluently, thinks about and notices things that other kids don’t, have an acute sense of justice, may be ultra-sensitive, perfectionist, underachieving, and have a higher risk of depression and/or suicide. A gifted child could have all of these characteristics, some of these characteristics – or none of them. Think of it this way: if you put IQ scores on a Bell curve, the gifted child would be as far to the right as the mentally disabled child is to the left. They are, in their own unique way, "special needs" kids - which creates a big problem when the educational system teaches to the middle or to the lowest common denominator.

(This list of characteristics is by no means comprehensive, and there’s no way I could do it justice in a short space. Two great websites on giftedness can give you much more information: Hoagie’s Gifted and Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted.)

Whether you have a Gifted Kid or a Really Smart Kid, the most important thing you can do is advocate, and this is a delicate art – and as a doctor’s wife, it is a job you will often undertake alone. Getting to know and help your child’s teachers is key in raising a gifted/smart child. If at all possible, volunteer for your child’s teacher – hang bulletin boards, make copies, cut out 22 construction paper candy canes – whatever she needs. In this way, you are not only freeing time for your child’s teacher to have more time to spend with her students (especially your student), but you will have more opportunities to get to know her, get to know what your child is doing, and make sure that your child is getting what he or she needs in the classroom.

My mom was a teacher and an administrator for gifted education for years, so her advice to me has been invaluable as I have navigated these waters. She noted that teachers often will give more attention to a child whose parent she knows, especially one who has volunteered for her.

In advocating for your child, it is extremely important that you partner with your child’s teacher instead of demanding preferential treatment. My mom has guided me countless times in this area as I’ve prepared for parent/teacher conferences. I never, ever use the word “bored” when describing my child (that will put a teacher on the defensive and make her feel like she is doing a poor job), and I always tell the teacher “I don’t want to create any extra work for you, so please tell me how I can help you with my child.” I work with the teacher (and GT specialist and librarian) to create projects or assignments that will stretch my child to his or her potential. I go out of my way to thank the teacher multiple times for all she is doing to help and challenge my child. (Thankfully, every time I’ve said this, my child’s teachers have replied, “I’m just doing my job,” but from what I understand, many teachers do not share this gracious attitude.)

As in a medical marriage, you will need peer support. Many schools/school districts have parent support/education groups, and there are countless websites and organizations who can advise and encourage you as you struggle to raise and motivate your gifted child.

If you are in the preschooler stage (as I was during my husband’s training), take your kids to the library, to museums, to any free or low-cost cultural or educational experience you can. Sit down with them and read, read, read, read, read, read. Then read some more. And don't forget to read! Get to know them and their interests, and feed their knowledge in whatever piques their interest. When my daughter was five (and reading at a 2nd grade level), she was obsessed with China – because she noticed everything that was “made in China” – so we read lots of books about China, found videos on China, and - much to my husband's chagrin - cheered for the Chinese athletes during the Summer Olympics. Gifted kids have a tendency to hone in on one subject and want to know everything about it – so by all means, feed it.

Entire books have been written on the subject of giftedness, so I don’t feel like I can speak comprehensively within a single blog post. If you find yourself in this boat with me and need more encouragement or advice, please feel free to email me: jenniferhunt73 (at) verizon (dot) net. If you are an educator, I would especially love to hear your insight and comments below!

In the meantime, we now have yet another reason to be embittered and disillusioned. Just kidding.

Survivor in Pediatric Ophthalmology
Writer of From the Corner of My Couch
Mom of three future MDs ...or not.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Seattle, anyone?

Is anyone a wife of a anesthesiology resident or pain management fellow from U of Washington in Seattle?

Please let me know if you are.  I’d like to ask some questions if you don’t mind. 


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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Financing through Residency

I looked through some of the other blogs, but I wasn't able to find what I am actually looking for. My husband is an MS4 right now. We have submitted his applications to 40 different programs. Even if invited to all, we will not interview at all of them. But regardless, what I am really looking to find out is a little about finanacing in residency.

As a little background, my husband has been toying with joining the military once Match is over. (this would allow him to go to a civilian residency and be able to complete whatever residency he wants.) There are huge financial benefits. As a residency, in addition to the normal resident salary (avg 45000), he would also get paid an additional $45000 from the military, plus about 2000 every month. This would take our income for residency years from 45000 to about 120,000 ish. Obviously life would be much more liveable at that rate. They also pay back $150,000 in student loans once you finish residency. The drawbacks are the deployment after residency and moving every 3 years, and going wherever they say you go.

Quite honestly, the idea of 6 months away from Justin scares me immensely. I don't handle long seperations very well. Leaving for a week or a month is one thing, but 6 months, I just cannot wrap my head around. The moving is not a big deal, living where they tell us to, again, is not a big deal.

We have decided to go ahead and try starting residency without the military and seeing how it goes. I hear so many horror stories about residency and salary, that it scares me. I was wondering if some of you wouldn't mind giving a few details about finances. If you are willing to share the salary that they make, that would be great. I understand if you don't. Mostly, I am just trying to figure out what kind of budget we will be looking at monthly. What is take home pay after taxes? I know that this is a lot of personal info, so I understand if you don't want to share. If you would be willing to share, just not on the blog, please email me at jaidiclayton at gmail.com. Like I said, any info that you would be willing to share with me would be very much appreciated. Residency budgeting scares the bigibies out of me.

Thanks to all who can help.

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Monday, September 14, 2009


There is a new poll up today. Who is feeling honest? LOL!

Any comments on last week's poll? I have about 135 blogs in my Google Reader. Yes, it is a lot, but it seems like everyone I know has a blog! It certainly can take up a lot of time if I let it...


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Safety First!

So this past week, my hubby has pretty much been on call every other night meaning that my week was shot and that I spent many nights alone in bed. Many of us are at the point in our lives where our husbands are gone sometimes more than they are home it seems, and if you aren't there, you will be soon!

One of these nights, I had just gotten both boys in bed and headed back into the living room to finish tidying up and close down the computer when I heard a loud noise rustling out my front window. Both my dog Brinkley and I stopped and listened very intently on what was going on. It sounded like someone was messing with the car, was walking up the steps and then was on our front patio messing with something!!!

I quickly looked at the front door to make sure it was locked and looked around for something I could use to defend myself. How much damage do you think a Disney Mack Truck toy could do to a burglar? Well, I didn't want to find out, so I flipped on the porch light thinking that it might scare whatever it was away........well, much to my surprise, it was a HUGE skunk right in my front garden.....thank the Lord!

So that night, as I laid in bed, (a little rattled of course) I started thinking about what I would do if someone tried to break in my home. I thought well, Morgan is in this bedroom with me (we are still living in the nursery due to our master upstairs still being under construction), Grant is next door, and to exit to the nearest door you have to pass through the main hall and would be seen by the burglar....hmmmm. Then I remembered that since we had a very old, house none of our doors shut or lock, great(don't worry we are slowly remodeling everything). Then I remembered we finally had gotten the bathroom door to lock, SUCCESS! But then I remembered it has a tiny window that I couldn't get out of and neither Tom or I could get it open last week when it was nice outside. Great, now I'm locked in the bathroom with no way out!

I thought and thought about an escape route or even if I got out what I would do next. If I hid with the boys somewhere and called the police how long could I keep 2 rambunctious boys quiet after being yanked from their beds in the middle of the night. If I called Tom, there's no guarantee I would even be able to get a hold of him, as most the times I call he is busy with a delivery......well I finally fell asleep with these thoughts swirling through my head, thoughts that never had crossed my path while living in our town house in Tulsa surrounded by students I knew, or when living at my parent's house for the last 8 months (no one is going to mess with a 6'4" giant with numerous guns in his house, thanks Dad).

The next morning I chatted about it to Tom and then I thought of all you ladies and women all over the world who are home alone in the evening while their hubbies are off at work. What do they do, what would YOU do? Do you have a plan in place? Do you have protection? I would love to hear some ideas, what you have in place, or a great resource that comes to mind! Thanks for sharing!

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Physicians Stand Together

Today is the Physicians Stand Together Rally!
Please visit this site for more information and to sign the petition!!!
There is a blue link on the left hand side! Please pass this along to anyone you know!!
Together we can Take Back Medicine!!!


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Military Minded

Is there anyone out there who's significant other is doing medical school via the Military route? My MS1, Blake, is highly considering going into the Air Force. (For those of you who aren't familiar with this option, he would be a doctor in the Air Force and the AF would reimburse his tuition--and more, for paying back a certain amount of time.) He has family that have retired from the Air Force, but they weren't doctors. He has talked to people who have decided to go down this road, but wants to talk to someone who's actually been through it (or is currently going through it). He's a very family-oriented guy and has been told by Recruiters that the Air Force is big on family, too (i.e., keeping families together.) Another reason Blake is looking into the Air Force is because the bonuses and retirement benefits as a physician in the military are great.

My question for y'all is, have you been down this road, are you going to go down this road, or do you know anyone who has experienced it? Any bit of advice would be wonderful, or anyone to contact would be great, as well. We just want to know what we might be getting ourselves in to.Thankfully,Katie



So, let's hear it ladies! What did you get to do for the Labor Day weekend?? My parents came and visited me in Philly. It was awesome.

New poll up for your voting pleasure. :o)


Monday, September 7, 2009

Tips for Matching

I read this article (the managing editor is a good friend of ours from residency), and I thought it was really helpful and encouraging. Even if your husband isn't thinking about ophthalmology (and really, it takes a very special person to cut on eyeballs), I think there are some good tips for applying to any specialty.

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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Survivor Saturdays: Get Real

How much time do you spend wondering if you're meeting someone else's expectation? Doctors' wives are often judged by not only the outside world, but within their own circle of friends. Well, I'm here to tell you there isn't one woman out there who hasn't forgotten about an appointment, showed up to a nice event with spit-up on their shoulder, or failed miserably at making some fancy dish referred to by its French name. For some reason, we continue to perpetuate the myth that doctors' wives can do it all. Since I'm familiar with that pressure, too, I'm not going to tell you to ignore all of it. Instead, I'm going to share some of my secrets. I thought it would be nice if some of you chime in with some of your secrets, too. Let’s get real, ladies!

If you want to squeeze into a dress, but don't like your bumps and rolls to show... try Spanx. This undergarment is amazing and everyone wears them.

If you don't have much up top and don't want to undergo surgery, "cupcakes" do the trick. Slip them into your bra and you look sexy!

Keep a small pad of paper with you wherever you go, so you can jot things down as a reminder. I keep one in the car and one in my purse. I record people's names I just met, appointments I need to add to a calendar, grocery lists, and all kinds of things. If you have a place to write those kind of things down, you won't always be uptight about forgetting something.

Designate one cupboard, closet, or trunk for scooping up clutter when the doorbell rings unexpectedly. This is a life saver as long as you don't open the doors while the company is there. If your children are old enough, teach them to help you scoop up, too. They'll enjoy having a secret with you and you'll appreciate the extra hands.

Don't have time to whip together fancy foods for drop-in company? Follow some freeze-ahead recipes and keep them for the unexpected. Rules to follow: In a freezer, fish is good for about 2-3 months, chicken is good for about 6 months, beef is good for about a year. Potatoes don't freeze well, and vacuum baggies keep out freezer smells.

I want to share a new cookbook, Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms by Jane Doiron, that has just become available. I've been keeping an eye on this book after finding the author on twitter. I don't have a copy yet, but by what I saw on her website, this book includes easy meals you won't be embarrassed to serve company. She tells me there is a whole section on appetizers, too. I asked Jane if she would share a few quick appetizer recipes that appear in her book. She gladly provided the following recipes below. If you're interested in checking out the cookbook, go to http://www.makeaheadmealsforbusymoms.com


Healthy and delicious!

8 plum tomatoes, diced
4 large garlic cloves, minced
½ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
2 (4.75 oz.) bags Panetini Oven Baked Italian Toast (Garlic Parmesan)

~Prepare Up to One Day Ahead~

In a large mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, garlic, basil, oil, salt, and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Stir and drain before serving with baked Italian toasts. Serves 8.

Pear Bread

This is one of my favorites! It’s spicy, moist, and keeps well for days.

3 cans (15 oz. each) lite pear halves in extra light syrup, drained
½ cup canola oil
3 eggs
3¼ cups flour
1 cup sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray two 8 x 4 x 3-inch loaf pans with nonstick spray; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, mash the pears with a potato masher. Stir in the oil and eggs. In a medium bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the pear mixture on low speed until thoroughly combined. Pour the batter equally into the loaf pans. Bake for 70 - 75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

~Freezing Directions~

When completely cooled, wrap the bread in plastic wrap and place in a labeled freezer bag.
Freeze up to 2 months.

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Friday, September 4, 2009

His real job

The other night, Brad and I decided to snuggle and watch movies. No, not the latest romantic comedy. We watched something like this: ***warning, might be a little too graphic if you can handle looking up a nose LOL! ***

He was watching it, and some others, in preparation for a procedure he would be performing, a balloon sinuplasty. Maybe it is because I don't see him performing operations and working in the hospital, but sometimes it is strange to think what his job is when I see him helping with dishes and taking out the trash. But, if you asked Brad, I'd bet he would say his real job is being the amazing father he is to our children and the wonderful and supportive spouse he is to me. He is just that awesome.