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Lives of Doctor Wives: March 2009

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What I Have Learned About Being A Doctor's Wife

Hi everyone,

I'm Jennifer, and my husband is a pediatric ophthalmologist. He's been in practice for almost 5 years, but we married during his first year of med school - so it's been a very long road for us!

I've read a lot of your stories this past week, and I started thinking about what I have learned about this crazy medical marriage business. I wrote down my thoughts here. I hope this brings you some hope and encouragement today!

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Just can't get enough?

If you are just loving all of the doc talk on here and want some more, go check out another blog for medical spouses.

http://physiciansintraining.blogspot.com

They are looking for more contributors too, so if you are interested, be sure to let them know!

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Monday, March 30, 2009

Physician Mortgage Loans go bye-bye tomorrow

Just a friendly warning that the Bank of America physician mortgage loan program (the one that ignores our obscene debt to income ratio) is being phased out April 1st. This leaves one day to get a contract on new home OR:

Here's the official scoop from the horse's mouth -

"Stacie, I wanted to touch base with you regarding the Bank of America Doctor loan. We have been advised that affective April 1st, 2009 we will not longer be able to offer this program. However, I wanted to make you aware that we do have a "Buyer Ready Lock" program which allows you to lock your rate now for 30 days. During this period you can continue to look for a home and as long as we add a property to your file in 30 days then the rate you lock in at will be preserved. You have an additional 45 days from the day we add a property to your file and lock your rate to close on your home. Example: If you Buyer Ready locked on March 30th; you would have until April 28th to find a home. Once you had the home under contract you would have an additional 45 days to close. This means you could stretch this lock until around June 12th at the most.

If you would like to consider this option, please let me know as soon as possible. I only have until Tuesday evening (March 31) to board your loan to guarantee the Buyer Ready lock option. It’s at this time we will also collect part of your application fee ($75) which, of course, will be credited to you when we collect the rest of the application fee after you find a home and we are ready to order the property appraisal. I regret this pending policy change, but I am doing my best to insure you are able to take advantage of this program while it lasts. Thanks again!"

Here's who you can contact for this loan:
David Benson
Physician Loan Specialist
Bank of America Mortgage
(336) 714-5806 (direct)
(866) 517-2217 (fax)
william.d.benson@bankofamerica.com

I ran off the Tennessee this weekend and managed to get a signed contract on a home TODAY and got in the program by the skin of my teeth, but their is still hope with the "buyer ready program" Good luck y'all!
Stacie

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Does Your Husband Explain or Warn Your Child When He is Going to be Busy for a While?

Our oldest child is 4 1/2, and one of the things that we have found helpful for him is to have Daddy sit down with him before his schedule is really going to get hectic and explain to him that Daddy is going to be busy. It helps explaining why Daddy cannot play as much with him and his younger brother. He takes it much better and although he doesn't quite understand everything, it seems to help.

My question is: What do your husbands do when it comes to this (if they have done anything)? Some of you may have children who are still to young...so, if you cannot answer...maybe it will give you ideas for the near future. :)

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Stereotypes

Today in Medical Mondays at a blog I look at often, Joy wrote about stereotypes and it really is something that I deal with a lot. I actually have heard from close friends things like aren't you afraid that he will cheat on you, since you know doctors always cheat, those things are hurtful and even though I trust my husband it still bothers. I also get "oh a doctor that must be nice" referring to all the money I must have (but dont)from people I don't know very well. Its simply annoying.

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Laundry: White lab coats

For me the white lab coats are a nightmare, they get stains and then on top of that I have to iron them etc...
Anyone have good laundry tips for them?

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Dealing with his 'escape'

I recognize that everyone needs to 'escape' life once in a while--my dad would read the newspaper when he got home from work, my mom would read a good book, etc. I just really have a problem with my hubby's escapes--I don't know if it is the content or the amount of time he spends 'escaping' that he could be spending with me. He checks sports almost every chance he gets to see if a new article has been written and also now plays computer games (which he never did before we were married). What do you all do to be okay with your hubby's escapes? Do you tell yourself something or have you and the hubby found a balance? I just feel like I work hard doing all of the housework, cooking, etc. to lighten his load and to see him spending the time he might of spent folding clothes playing on the computer drives me crazy!

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

my 'But he's a doctor' rebuttal.

I was reading an article the other day regarding slaries of teachers in Oklahoma. Curious, I grabbed my calculator and plugged in numbers to compare B's PGY3 salary to that of the 'average teacher salary'.

Yup.

We make less than an average teacher.

8 stinkin years of college, and gazillion hour work weeks, and we make less than a teacher.

Seems fair, right?

Those who hold the minds of our children, and those who hold the hands of those who are ill should be the poor ones, right?

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

How do You Spend Your Time Without Hubby?

I'm curious. How many of you like to do tons of hobby-type stuff? I just had a thought that in our lives as wives of doctors, we have to learn to keep ourselves entertained many times because our husbands are absent. I realize that people do it in different ways, but what do you do?

Personally, I love to play on the internet (blog, facebook, news, TV, etc..), crochet, cook, puzzles, and reading. I also started picking up knitting this past winter, I have sewed (I just don't do it with both boys around now), scrapbooked (see last reason for not doing it), digital scrapbooking (I've decided blogging it is better), and many other things.

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Is it only me?

To give you a quick background, my husband switched from general surgery to ENT in October. It all happened very quickly and at the beginning of the housing crash. Needless to say, we haven't been able to sell our house. He has now been living in another state for nearly 6 months. Believe me, I will no longer complain about call weekends. ;o) We talk every day, but there are just some days... Here is the story:

It was a late night, and I got distracted, so it was nearly 11pm before I called Brad. I expected he'd be sleeping, seeing as surgeons are doing rounds by 5 am, and I'd leave a message apologizing for not calling him sooner. But it was nothing that I expected. A woman answered his phone. Our conversation went thus:

"Hello?"
"uhhhhh...." (I was in a bit of a shock that a woman answered the phone and my head was trying to come up with logical explanations)
"Hello? Hello? {Dr Mons, I think it is your wife.} He's in surgery, he'll have to call you back."
"uhhhhhhh..... thanks....."

I figured out what the situation was before she said something, but I confess to being momentarily stunned. It isn't every day that a woman answers your husband's phone. He wasn't even on call that night, so I didn't expect him in surgery at 11 pm. Naturally, I made sure that his phone was on his belt holder and not in a pocket, because then I'd have to chew him out. :o)Seriously, I can't be the only one this has happened to, can I?

I want to hear some good stories! They can't all be ER stories about SOCMOBs (standing on corner, minding own business). ER gets all the funny stuff. ;o)

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Does my husband have time for family?

When I introduced myself yesterday, Tasha left this comment: "So was there a light at the end of the tunnel? My aunt's an OB and she spends so much time working (I know she makes bank, but I'd prefer my hubby to money). Does he have more time for you and your family?" The answer to that is, "YES!!!". Our situation is probably unique to most physicians and their families. Then, again, maybe it's not? When my husband started looking for jobs around the beginning of his fourth year of residency, he had an idea of location and what kind of practice he wanted to join. He didn't want to work on his own (at least, not right away), because I think it's pretty expensive, and he wanted to establish a patient base. He also looked at the offices call schedules. What he found and applied for (and was accepted to) is perfect for us! He works with five other doctors, and although one of them is currently only doing gynecology and is not taking call, the rest rotate and share call during the week. That means, my husband is only on-call one night a week, unless vacation schedules change the need for coverage. Also, with the rotation, he's only on-call one Friday a month and one whole weekend a month! Another great thing about the call for his office is the doctor on-call is THE doctor on-call. That person does all the surgeries and deliveries in the hospital, takes care of any emergencies that may arise, and takes patients' after office hour calls. The other doctors get to go home from the office and spend time with their families without having to think or worry about their patients. The best part about call is the post-call day after. Once the on-call doctor is finished with rounds in the morning, he/she can go home and have the rest of the day off! This is so different from residency, where my husband would be on-call all day and then, spend the next day putting in an entire shift at the hospital. Also, when the on-call doctor is on for an entire weekend, he/she doesn't even have to round on Monday morning! That day is considered a day off for him/her! With this schedule, there are always a couple of doctors in the office seeing patients, one doctor on-call, and one doctor post-call. It's been so nice for us. We've been able to see our family and friends more, we have time in the evenings to spend with each other, and we can plan to do things together, like my son's MusikGarten class. My husband's schedule is still a little chaotic because his call rotates, so it's usually never the same night each week. Also, even though office hours are set, like all doctors' offices, things can get hectic, and my husband can sometimes get home late depending on his day. For the most part, though, it's been great for all of us. Because I stay home with my son, I still try to stay busy by being part of a local moms group, reading books, and learning new hobbies. The great thing is I can do things like take sewing lessons on my husband's post call days and know that I don't need to hire a babysitter for my son! Like I said, ours may be a unique situation, but I have a feeling there are a lot of doctors' offices that are trying to do the same thing. I hope this helps give you an idea of what to think about when your spouses start looking for jobs!

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hello from Texas!!

Hello to all of you! I am Jennifer, and I am the wife of a 3rd year (almost 4th year) Anesthesia resident. We have been married for 8 years and have 2 boys (4 and 1). We were high school sweethearts and he always knew what he wanted to be. I am a certified high school math teacher, but I no longer teach as a full time job. I stay at home with my boys and I also work 2 part time jobs from home: Online Math tutor with Tutor.com and Administrative assistant for Avon in our area. I can pretty much do both jobs in my pj's and I love that I can schedule them to work around my time with my family.

We are currently at a stage where hubby is working non-stop and applying for fellowships and working on a research presentation and moonlighting---in short, it's a ZOO! I am so happy to stay at home and be able to be there for my boys when he cannot be. I know he is happy that he doesn't have to worry about us because of it.

For instance: I am leaving to go to Walmart right now to get wood for the fireplace...we apparently are about to be hit by a blizzard! I'm in Texas...that is unheard of. You can tell I am really well prepared right? It's 11:24pm and I am just now going to get some wood. :)

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Why I love third year (for MS2s)

I cannot speak too much as to first year because my husband and I were 365 miles (a 6 hour drive or a 12 hours by a short car ride with two train rides to allow for adequate study time while I was in law school) apart. But I can speak in regards to second and third years of medical school. Second year the days were long (but manageable) but the excitement and nervousness of first year had worn off for Drew. While he was still excited about his dreams of becoming a doctor he began to get worn down with the long days of his nose in a book. The only change from studying and lectures was to practice on fake patients. Drew didn't really enjoy this first year and then only to continue it in second year to advance to doing pelvic and rectal exams was no improvement. The year dragged on for Drew and he was often exhausted.We were worried to start third year; we had heard it was going to be tough, long days, busy weekends and very little free time. I guess with all the worrying about how "terrible" it was going to be we weren't really prepared for Drew to enjoy it.Once Drew got past the orientation part of his rotation he would come home each night so excited. He was different, it was like someone had relighted his fire and passion for medicine. Drew started with "longs" which are Internal Medicine (IM) and Surgery (and are called longs because they are 10 weeks, rather than the rest of the clerkships which are only six.) Typically the "longs" are considered the most intense and most demanding. And while they most certainly were, I still can say that Drew (and even I) have been so much happier than last year. Internal medicine usually started at six or seven and he was usually home by six or seven. He was gone Saturday mornings but most of his Sundays were protected (meaning he had the whole day off). Surgery was a little less consistent. Most days he started at five or so and was done by five-ish but there were the occasional days where he got out in the early afternoon or other days where he went till 8 or 9 at night. Weekends were the same is internal medicine. While this seems miserable keep in mind that Drew's "shorts" psychiatry and Oby-gyn thus far have been shorter days and offered him most weekends off.Although the schedule of IM and surgery seems intense, it was really quite bearable. I kept myself busy by visiting friends some weekends and we made every Sunday our day, all day, even if it meant laying down on the couch all day. I have also learned to love even simply times like when I lay in his lap while he studies. While I have gotten a little off-course (thanks for staying with me here) the point of my post, is that I have found third year to be the most rewarding. There have been so many days where Drew has come home so excited, and although exhausted he couldn't wait to tell me what he got to see, hear, or do that day. For us it was like all that time that he had spent with his nose buried in a book had finally paid off. He has finally gotten to see so many of the things he had only before read about. He is actually working with real patients, with real problems. It made the idea of becoming a doctor a little more real. My favorite of course was surgery because each night I could watch his eyes light up with such awe and enthusiasm as he spoke about his day. It didn't matter what he spoke about, it wasn't what he said, it was just so wonderful as a spouse to see the one I love find his passion. It was the acknowledgement and satisfaction that all his hard work (studying and self-discipline) had paid off. I think it also provided a huge amount of joy and relief for him to not only know that medicine really was his calling, but also to know what your calling is.And while finding the right specialty can be stressful for some, when they do find it, there is just a huge sense of relief and contentment. So if your spouse struggles to find something they like my advice is to try and calm their fears and encourage them to just learn from what (rotation/clerkship) they are in, even it means learning that they never want to do it ever again!So while third year takes some accommodation and adaptation, it is a very exciting time - especially as a significant other getting to watch your spouse transform from a student to a future doctor.

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The purpose of this blog

I have a confession to make. I don't want you all to get mad at me; I just need to be honest for a moment. When I meet someone and find out they are married to a doctor, do you know what my first reaction is? According to the world at large, it should be jealousy, or resentment, or a snap judgment on how materialistic she is. But my first reaction borders on pity. A part of me hurts for that poor woman knowing some of the things she is probably going through. This is an embarrassing thing to admit because I am crazy in love with my husband and wouldn't trade him or our life together for anything. And I certainly don't pity myself for the things I've gone through. They've made me a stronger person. But I feel for that woman because I know that being married to a doctor isn't what society seems to think it is.

I was hopping around the blogs of some of our new contributors and I ran into one called The Secret Lives of Doctor Wives, written by Gail Konop Baker. I got her permission to use the first paragraph of her first entry.

"Welcome to my new Secret Lives blog.... I've been married to a physician for more than 20 years and as sexist and archaic as it may seem, many people think that marrying a doctor is like the Harvard of marriage. The myth is that the doctor's will be financially and physically set. The children will be smart. Life will be easy. The truth is that many doctor's wives suffer in silence, afraid to complain about the loneliness and emotional deprivation and inability to develop a life outside the home because of the demands of their husband's professions. Afraid to speak out because it doesn't seem possible in this day and age for women to still be living in such traditional and at times oppressive roles. Afraid to speak out because others think the doctor's wife won the marriage lottery. Who are they to complain?"

Who are we to complain indeed. I wish I knew the lady who left the 15th comment on that post so I could use her whole comment. I will steal this sentence though and hope she forgives me: "Being a Dr's wife is like being a single Mom with a part-time lover and financial stability." Most of us still know nothing of the financial stability aspect. Most of us are still in the 'struggling to get by and can't even afford basic cable' stage.

For me personally, I don't feel like I'm stuck in a traditional or oppressive role. I love staying home and supporting my husband as he supports our family. I do, however, take issue with the whole "getting married to a doctor is the marriage lottery" concept. In some ways, I find it hard to blame them. Probably from the outside things look peachy. Sure, the doctor is driving a nice car or lives in a gorgeous house, but did they see the YEARS of sacrifice, blood, sweat, tears, and prayers that went into each brick of that house and each mile in that car? People told me before we started med school, and I believed them, that it would be hard. But until you experience it, you have no idea how hard it truly is. It is like trying to explain the love of a child. Until you experience it, you just have no idea how all consuming it is.

I started this blog with a few of my friends because I am tired of seeing so many of us out there struggling and not feeling understood. I know how many times I feel like I can't complain because when I do I hear the "Oh, but you are married to a doctor" brush off. I know I can't be the only one experiencing this. I know I can't be the only one who avoids telling people what her hubby does because of the reactions. The only one who has experienced going out to eat with new friends and when asked point-blank what it is DrH does, have every jaw drop for that split second and stare at you.

Believe me when I say it is not all miserable. I love it just as much as the next girl when DrH can diagnose or fix something and I can avoid a trip to the doctor's office. This path in life has many many blessings too and I embrace those as well. I just wanted us all to have a place to go to talk about all of the different facets of being married to a doctor. A place to embrace the good and bad. A place where people understand exactly what it is you are going through.

At times I wish this were a private blog so we could freely share our feelings. But then we would miss the chance to reach out to other women who are struggling and looking for a safe harbor.

One last thing and then I'll shut up. I was asked recently to give my opinion on being married to a med student. This is what I told her:

"Okay. You asked for the whole truth and nothing but the truth, right? I'm going to tell it to you, but it ain't gonna be pretty. :o)

It sucks. It is super hard. And it stays super hard for many years. Chaos becomes your "normal." You better have lots of hobbies because you will not be seeing a lot of your hubby. Get used to the idea of him missing birthday parties, date nights, and other major events like weddings and possibly even births. His life will no longer be his own. Accept the fact that if a pager rings, even if what you are doing is important, he'll have to leave. And a set schedule? You can throw that out the window now. He can tell you when he thinks he'll be home, but he can't always know when an emergency comes up. It isn't his fault, it is just out of his control. I can't even tell you all of the vacations and family reunions he has missed.

No, there never is enough free time. Usually our date nights are spent with the kids because he has so few days off, and the kids really need his time. He sometimes went days without seeing them.

In my personal opinion, I wouldn't really recommend it to anyone. If there is anything, and I mean ANYTHING, else he could possibly be interested in, I'd pursue that instead. If medicine isn't an absolute passion, it is not worth it. The money definitely isn't worth the sacrifices they are asked to make. So, if the money isn't worth it, why do they do it? Because they love it. It drives them. It calls to them. There is no other profession that could make him this happy. And for that reason alone, it has all been worth it for me. I'd do it again in a heart beat. I can't even explain how it suits him so perfectly. It is just his element. But I have quite a few friends who, if given the chance to go back in time, wouldn't go through this. That is a hard realization to come to after 8 years and hundreds of thousands in loans. (think over $200,000).

My recommendation? Do a lot of shadowing. Be in a hospital as much as possible. Talk to as many doctors as possible. Experience as much as you possibly can before you get started. Just the time and money spent on MCAT and application fees is astounding. Better to find out before you get in too deep.

Does that help? Did I answer all of your questions? Feel free to ask me anything at all. But remember, you asked me to be honest. :o)"

I do not want to come across as negative. If asked to go down this path again, I'd do it in a heart beat. This is an experience like no other. My husband's passion is for medicine. My passion is to give the wives a place to feel loved and accepted and validated. That is why I'm willing to open my thoughts up to scrutiny and expose myself to potential humiliation. If my vulnerability helps one woman see that she isn't alone in this journey, it will be worth it.

I'm sorry for the long and rambling post, truly I am. I know my writing skills leave much to be desired, but I hope that my emotions will be conveyed regardless of my weakness. Thanks to each one of you who have joined us and I hope you find the support you are seeking.

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Hello from Ginny

I'm not sure why it has taken me so long to post on this site, but alas I am here! My name is Ginny and my husband Kody is a MSIII at OSU in Tulsa. He is currently on rotations and has loved every minute of it. Kody has wanted to be a doctor since he was five years old and always thought he would go into pediatrics until he got accepted to school. He started throwing around the idea of orthopedic surgery after shadowing some surgeons in college. He loved his surgery and OB/GYN (OB surgery...GYN not so much) rotations. This month was his first orthopedic rotation and he has 100% fallen in love with bones. :) Now we are on a mission to find a great program and God willing get accepted.

We met in college at Oklahoma Christian. Got married, worked, got accepted to school and moved to Tulsa. We have a dog and she is our baby. I work full time as a media buyer at a fabulous Tulsa casino. I love my job and I love working. Neither one of us is ready to start a family so right now it is just us and the dog! I have had a great experience so far through medical school. I prepared myself for the worst and it has turned out to be pretty great. I think the key is to make sure you have your own life. Always have your life together, but have your own as well! We all know we'll spend a lot of time without our spouses over our lifetime so this is as good of time as any to learn to be content while they are away. I am OSU's SAA president. I have really enjoyed getting to know all the first year student spouses. Being involved in SAA over the past few years has been a tremendous blessing and has helped prepare me for what lies ahead. I'm excited to get to know all of you!

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Hellooo

Hi! My name is Davita. My husband, E, is a R2 in orthopedic surgery in KC. We have 3 kids-- J who just turned 8, Meimei [4], and Eó who is almost 10 months old. We're originally from California-- me from the north, E from the south. We've been together for over 12 years, we met freshman year in the dorms. Been married for almost 9 years. I graduated with a B.S. in Human Development and Education just THREE days before getting on a plane to move to Saint Louis for E to attend medical school. He was wait-listed at two schools-- UCSF and SLU. With the prospect of reapplying seeming more and more like a reality, we were more than thrilled when he got the call from SLU.

Adjusting to life in the midwest, medicine, being a SAHM, and having no physical familial support has been challenging at times to say the least. E is Irish American and I am half Chinese, half black [born in Taiwan, raised in CA]. Due to many factors [mainly finances] I have not been back home in almost 3 years. Match Day was one of the most surreal and devastating days of my life. I still get ill thinking about it. I wrote a piece on our match experience, I'll have to try to dig it up and post it. I love reading about other's match experiences and life experiences in general.

Aside from being away from family [and enduring the match], medical school wasn't too bad. It was actually good times for us. E received great teaching and clinical experiences. The first two years, E kept to a nice schedule of going in early and studying and was usually home by dinner every night. There were some rotations that were hard but nothing too terrible. The aways and his home ortho rotation were the worst in terms of hours gone. But, we had a great support group and an awesome circle of friends. Even though everyone was moving on, saying good bye to all of our friends was so sad.

The first six months of internship were pretty depressing. It took me a good six months to get out of the funk of not getting to go back home for residency. E's hours weren't too bad. A few services aside [NSG, Vascular, & Ortho trauma], intern year was pretty cake for us, pregnant and all. I've made a few really good friends, but I still greatly miss the sisterhood that I had during medical school.

In another life, I was a residential treatment counselor for emotional disturbed boys. One of the most challenging and rewarding jobs I have ever had. Some days I miss it. Wow! I've written a book. Thanks for allowing me to contribute. I'll do my best to do my part. I'm looking forward to getting to know all of you.

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Hello from a MS2 Spouse!

My name is Tasha and my husband is finishing up his second year of med school and the University of Nebraska Med Center. I'm graduating this semester from BYU and am excited to be done (but think I'll have a hard time finding a job with the recession and all). I did get accepted to PA school, but am thinking about becoming a mom...

I am very excited to have found this blog--lately I've been getting so mad at the hubby for not spending time with me (my love language is quality time, which is hard to do when he doesn't have any time), so it's nice to not feel so alone. A big question I have is which year(s) are the worst for med students/residents? I'd like to know what to expect and brace/prepare myself for the demands placed on him in the future.

The hubby is wanting to do rural family medicine and I am NOT a fan. I grew up in a city of 250,000 and just don't know what I would do without more options for being social, taking hobby classes, going shopping (I don't want Walmart to be the only store), etc. He hasn't done his rotations yet and I hope he changes his mind, but his class rank isn't the best so I'm afraid that he may be forced into it because of that (please let me know if there are other specialties that aren't crazy hard to get into that he could do). Can't wait to hear your responses!

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Hello From The Wife Of A Practicing OB/GYN!

Hi! My name is Amanda, and I'm married to an OB/GYN. He started practicing medicine about six months ago, so we're both new to the idea that he's actually "working" (though, I know that residency is a very BIG job!). We moved back to our home state of Indiana after my husband finished his four year OB/GYN residency in Columbus, Ohio. Prior to residency, he went to medical school at Indiana University. We met each other WAY back in 1996 in undergrad at Marian College (soon to be Marian University) in Indianapolis, Indiana. He studied biology/chemistry, and I studied early childhood education. We got married in 2001, in between his first and second years of medical school. Although I tried to teach after college, we moved around a lot, so I ended up leaving the field and working as a receptionist while he studied in medical school and, later, while he did his residency. In August of 2006 and at the beginning of his third year, I gave birth to our son. My husband started moonlighting at another hospital while doing his residency, so I could become a stay-at-home-mom. We moved to our current home town last July, and he started practicing as a general OB/GYN at the beginning of August. It's been a wild ride, full of ups and downs, but, as I say on my new blog "Ask The OB's Wife!", it's all been worth it! I'm so happy to have found this great blog. I understand what most of you are going through right now, and I hope I can help answer any questions you may have, especially about residency, since it's still so fresh in our minds!
Good luck to you and your spouses, and I can't wait to get to know all of you!
Amanda

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

life. money. hope.

I know several of you have mentioned that you are Dave Ramsey fans. Thought I would pass this Life Church series on. He has a three-part message you can watch online. I watched the first one today. Good stuff.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

PA school?

Does anyone have experience with Physicians Assistant school or know someone who has? Do you know any where to go to get information on it? Perhaps a blog? ;o)

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I have a Question Already...

I hope this doesn't seem nosy and I don't have to know any details but I see that some of you work and some of you don't. I realize that there are some small "cost of living" loans associated with med school but what do you do to make up the difference? Private loans? Also, for those of you that are at home what do you do in regards to health insurance? Just curious because I do hope to work but I don't think that whatever I do will equal my husbands current pay. We are planning on selling the house etc. before he begins his post bacch - I just don't know how we'll make it! I know that the Lord will provide but I guess I just worry a lot...

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Monday, March 23, 2009

What would you do?

Okay so I was reading a post by Joy and it got me thinking.... Click here. So although I think it was meant to be encouraging, I must admit I found it absolutely horrifying (quite similar to some of your stories about applying to medical school). And I couldn't keep the post to myself so I had my hubby read it - much my my regret I made him drop to the floor in a fit in which he yelled at me for showing him that post. He was explaining to me about how he would always wonder what would have happened had the mistake not occurred and does not understand how Joy and her husband do not feel completely cheated. And I will also admit that we are now worried about having such an experience ourselves. (In fact I wonder if it happened to one of the neurosurgery candidates this year who had terrific stats and yet matched nowhere!). I know this is my legal nature but part of me wonders if there could be a lawsuit for this - I mean you truly are putting your lives in people's hands and for them to be so careless and negligent as to LOSE an applicant's information seems so wrong! I know most of us here are worry warts - so sorry for spreading the paranoia but I just am so bothered by it I had to share!

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Radiology is Rad!

Hey y'all! I'm Stacie and my husband Chad is a surgery intern at OU this year and starts Radiology Residency at the University of Tennessee July 1st. We have 3 kiddos: Cougar 7, Juliet 3 and Brock 7 months.

Surgery is just the worst. The alarm is set for 3:30 am so I really should go to bed, because I know I won't be able to go to sleep after Chad gets up and leaves for work.

I can't wait for Radiology to start! In 24 hours I am leaving for TN to "scramble" to find a house before the physician mortgage loans go bye-bye on March 31st. I always thought Chad and I would search for our first home together, BUT no such luck. Surgery is a life sucker and I have to go by myself. : (

Nice to meet you all. It's great to know I'm not alone! video

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Wheels

I read this post this morning and now I am curious. What kind of car will your hubby be driving when the money finally starts rolling in? Does he already have it picked out?

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Complications

I don't know if any of you have had a chance to read Atul Gawande's books, but he is awesome. Complications is my favorite by him that I have read so far. It is a really good read to get an idea of what your husband will be going through. So, if you are home alone, or hubs is studying and you want a quiet activity, go pick it up!

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Contributor List

Hey everyone! I hope you are all still enjoying being a part of this fun and educational blog!

Now that we are growing and there are friends of friends of friends on here - if you are new and would like to be added to the contributor list on the right side of the page and have a link to your personal blog, please send me an email(alexandra.howard@yahoo.com)including your name, year/specialty, and the website address that you want linked to your name!

Thanks so much, just trying to stay on top of things! Please let me know if there is anything you would like to see or have any ideas for our blog! -Lex

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Another New Person!

Hi! My name is Steph and I am the wife of a Physician Scientist student. My husband, Joshua, is wrapping up his second year at The University of South Dakota and getting ready for his Step One in June. We met at the U four years ago. Like many he had the doctor dreams since he was about five. We were married before his first year and moved back to where our families lived, about 50 miles away from the school. So he has to commute about two hours a day.

I regret a lot that we didn't stay closer to the school. I know he was willing to move for me, but I feel we missed out on the bonding with other medical families. I try to understand what he is going through to the best of my abilities, but I grew up in a business family, knowing nothing about the medical professions. He also tries to keep school at school so it doesn't interrupt our time together. I missed out on getting to know other wives going through what I am going through. Someone to talk to, relate to and know I am not alone with what I am feeling.

In about four years, after his lab time and clinicals we will be needing to move for his residency. I plan, at that time, to throw myself into the role I should have been playing from the beginning. I feel like I support him from a distance, but I want to be there through the whole thing and be involved. I also want to meet others who we can both relate to and make some lasting bonds. Since he has to commute, he also doesn't get that bonding time with his fellow students.

So I guess the main reason I wanted to get involved in these blogs is to meet others and be able to vent about what we, as the supporters, are going through. And to hear about everyone elses tales. Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? What works to keep the relationship going when schedules and hours are completely different? What methods do others use to keep themselves busy, but continuously available for support? Any suggestions to relate more to my husband about his passion without having to have the same medical background and knowledge?

Thanks for reading and I hope to get to know some of you a little better!

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Hi everyone from med student spouse!

My name is Megan, and my husband of a year and a half, R, is an MS3 here in the Bronx. As an NYU alumna from Indiana, I never thought I'd be living in an outer borough, but I must say we have a great view, our rent is cheap and our studio apartment (by Manhattan standards)
is huge (about 400 sq ft, haha). We're both 25 and from Indiana but didn't meet until the spring before R moved out here for med school.

While I was pulling for ENT or Ophtho, R has decided to go into orthopedic surgery. From what I've heard, I guess that means it's a good thing I like to have my own life, interests, activities and friends separate from my husband because I'm going to have a lot of time to occupy while he's working. :)
He seems like he's in a comfortable position in terms of matching, but I guess we'll see. He applied to away clerkships at Northwestern and IU. Hopefully that works out for him/us.

As for me, I studied entertainment business in college, and while I did produce an Off-Broadway play the summer I got married (<1 month prior, actually), I no longer see myself in an entertainment career...Mostly because I want to move back to the midwest where there are virtually no theatre jobs. So, I'm now at FIT getting my AAS in Fashion Merchandising. I could get into an executive training position at Macy's with my bachelor's, but before I started at FIT, I really didn't know enough about fashion to feel confident doing so. It's pretty stressful on top of work and such, but I'm learning a lot and making some good contacts.

Well, off to church! Great to *meet* all of you.

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Hi Everyone!

My husband, Jeremy, just turned 30 (I'm soon to follow). We have been married for almost 8 years and have four kids: Isaac Michael (10), Isabella Rose (5 almost 6), Olivia Leigh (3.5) and Lola Grace (1). After college my husband and I both found jobs but after the birth of our second child I became a stay-at-home mom! Jeremy has been working at the same company for the past eight years and has recently decided that he would like to pursue a career in medicine! His BA was in Economics so he has many prerequisites to take. We live fairly close to the University of Rochester which offers a post-baccalaureate in pre-medical studies which he is currently applying for admission to. If he gains entrance he would be leaving his job early next year and taking classes full-time for a year and then applying to med schools. Obviously, this whole process is a little scary for us especially given the fact that we have four kids! I've just started working in real estate and am more than willing to become "the sole breadwinner" if need be but our whole lives will be so changed! Anyway, I hope you all don't mind me being on here but it really helps give me a little insight into what life may be like for us soon!

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Night Shifts

Melisa posed a question to me:


I have a question for you Leann. ER seems like such a tempting


specialty because it is shift work and there is no call. It seems like


you'd have fewer shifts a month than regular specialties. But I


wonder, if they spend the following day recovering from a night


shift, it is technically like they are gone for a whole day instead of


just a shift, essentially losing double the time from the family. Is


that how it is? Are you glad he is in ER because of the shift work


and no call? Or does it not seem worth it? I know it would be great


to not have call. You can't plan anything. I always assume that if


Brad is on call, he is gone. I'm kind of like Pavlov's dog. I hear a


pager buzz and my heart drops.




I will do my best to answer your quesitons. I'll try to explain some of his residency program, but I have to admit, it is hard to know how to compare crazy ER shifts to being on-call. Brian's program, unlike other residency programs, has them working no call hours at all. He hasn't been on-call since med school.




When he was deciding what specialty he best fit into, he came to the realization that his ADD-ness, and inability to get stressed-out were particularly useful in the ER and in OB. Those were the two he narrowed down to. He LOVED OB. The office visit portion was not his cup of tea, but managing labor/delivery excited him. Having a mix of office/action/surgery was a perfect fit for him. There were 2 major downfalls to OB, though. (We'll leave out the GYN part. We all know that sucks.) The malpractice insurance. He was concerned with the portion of his paycheck that would be deducted to cover malpractice. The second reason was because of the hours.




The ER offered a similar mix of office/action, without such a high insurance rate, and with shift work. However, he would have to let go of the OR, and the rush of delivering a baby.




In the end, it boiled down to office hours + call hours vs shift work.




Shift work won hands down, and we are both glad for the decision that we made.




One thing I love about shift work is knowing when Brian will be coming home. The rotations that he does in other specialties drive me nuts. I dread seeing 'surgery' written on the family calendar, b/c I know that means staying late. With the ER, there is a new set of doctors walking in the door at 6:45. Patients are handed off to the next physician. Brian walks out the door.




There have been a just few times that he has stayed late, maybe 3x a year. The reasons are usually a patient who has labs returning quickly then will be discharged, or a patient who is about to be transferred to another floor and explaining the case would not be worth just staying and managing the patient.




One of our big concerns about the ER was the required night shifts. The night shifts do put a wrinkle in the family routine, but we are learning to adjust. It is getting easier as the boys get older. Nights are hardest on me as I dont sleep well, and have to go into a 'survival mode' of sorts. However, the night shift is the one that allows for the most time spent with the boys.




Here is one of his schedules from a 31 day month. His work schedule is written in black. His home routine in red.




Day Schedule


1--7p-7a


2--off sleep from 8a-3p. awake from 3p-about 2am to stay on night schedule.


3--7p-7a awake @ about 10a. family time until he leaves at 6p.


4-- 7p-7a sleep from 8a-3p. family time from 3-6 when he leaves for work.


5--off sleep from 8a-3p.


6--off attempt to stay in 'night shift mode'


7--off sleep from 2a-about 10a


8--off


9--off


10--7p-7a leave for work at 6p


11--off sleep from 8a-3p, stay up until 2a


12--7p-7a sleep until 10a, leave at 6p


13--7p-7a sleep from 8a-3p, leave at 6


14--7p-7a ditto


15--7p-7a ditto


16--off sleep from 8a-3p, go to bed at normal time


17--off "normal" day schedule


18--7a-7p Leaves for work @ 6a, arrives home @7:30p


19--7a-7p reads 4yr old a story before he goes to sleep


20--7a-7p most often the baby is already asleep.


21--7a-7p Brian does not see the baby on most 'day shift' days. 4 straight days here.


22--off


23--7a-7p and sees the 4yr old only long enough to read him a couple books.


24--off


25--off


26--7a-7p he also does not get to eat a meal with us on day shift days.


27--off


28--off


29--7a-7p


30--7a-7p


31--7a-7p





He keeps reminding me that his residency program is really resident-friendly. His program does not allow their residents to work more than 12 hours in a 24 hour period *in the ER*. And they are not permitted to work more than 24 hours in a row when in other rotations, or when moonlighting.




He does have twice weekly meetings from 7a-9a on monday/wednesday. These meetings are required attendance unless they have a really really good reason for missing. If he has just come off a night shift, he must stay for the meeting. ((these meetings are a thorn in my side, and I think I am most excited about getting rid of them when he graduates. forget about any of the other perks. lol))



His first 2 years, he worked mostly in rotations. They covered every area of the hospital, and a few in a neighboring hospitals. The last 2 years are even/odd--even months in the ER, odd in a rotation.








um... I kinda got off on a rabbit trail there. sorry.


Back to your question. Is the hassle of a night shift/night shift recovery better than being on-call? I don't know. I think the answer would be different for every doctor, every family.


My husband actually preferrs the night shift. He has even dared to call it a 'perfect fit.' He gets to work during the busiest part of the day, and it allows him the most time with our kids. Now, if we could just figure out how the two of us could survive on night shifts without having to enter survival mode.... it would be smooth sailing.

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Ready to POP!

So, as I have stated before, I am due with #2 baby boy on June 21st, they are thinking that we can induce earlier like we did with Grant, however, we spoke to the PD yesterday and wanted to know if there was anything we could do ahead of time to prolong the time that Tom could stay home with the 3 of us. The PD said, "Not really but I don't think it's in any one's best interest for you to start your residency July 1st, would you like to start August 1st? September 1st?" The program director has been great from the get go, so while this was shocking, it followed in the pattern of his kindness.

My question is, has anyone dealt with this before or what does this mean in terms of when we finish or vacation/FMLA? My fear is that Tom will be viewed "behind" or the other 3 might get to be really close and then he will be seen as the "straggler".....do you think these are valid concerns or do you think he should take the time that is offered? I was thinking maybe he could take off until July 15th or August 1st, at the latest, or do you think we should just start on time and suck it up?

Sara R, I don't know if this is an option for you either, but know that you are due the week after me.....have you talked to your PD about any of these concerns?

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Residency Forbearance

I noticed in a post by Melisa that she mentioned that loans can be deferred for three years. This somewhat alarms me because I thought there was forbearance during residency (meaning interest still aquires but you don't have to make payments).
I am running off to work so I don't have time to rehash my worries but I had worried about this before see this post of mine please to help explain. And then I thought I had read somewhere about forebearance and my worries were calmed. Now I am freaking out again - do we seriously have to make those ginormous payments in residency? (My DH's residency will be 6-8 years).

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Just for laughs

This is Dr. Og, your anesthesiologist

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Married to a Hoya MS2

My name is Shannon and my husband is MS2 at Georgetown. We met while undergrads at Boston College, and got married last July between MS1&2. This has been a rough year and I cannot wait for it to be over!
I really enjoy reading all of the posts, especially those that describe what lies ahead.
Some of my questions:
-With Step One coming up in June, I think this is the final stretch for this year - - any suggestions on how to be the supportive and calm wife for Boards? They are making me nervous!
-My husband has wanted to do orthopedic surgery since undergrad, so his score has to be really great. Eeek. Any wives of surgery/ortho residents with any advice on Board scores, matching and realities of residency please share!
-Babies...how in the world do you make it work financially and emotionally while in MS or during early residency years? We both would love children but the reality of 1 income, loan payments and MS responsibilities make it seem unattainable.

Great to meet you all and thank you for starting this!

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Night Float

Does anyone else absolutely hate it? Damian started the night float on Sunday and it will last 2 weeks and I cant stand it! Especially since he just had 2 weeks last month too.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

WHAT?!

Oh. my. gracious!!!! Have you guys heard about this?! http://www.med.ucf.edu/

Free! As in NO LOANS!!! Wow. I'm speechless. What do you guys think about this?

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Avi aka Doc's Girl

I'm Avi...fiancee to J, a 4th (soon to be 5th) year orthopedic surgery resident.

Ya'll know that I talk up a storm so I'll keep it brief.

We're busy...life is chaotic...but we wouldn't change a thing. :)

J and I live together with our 1 year old pug, Moe. I'm a full time student at 3 different colleges, work part time at the same hospital as J, and I love thrift stores, chocolate, and sleep. :)

J's American and I'm Indian...and we always get stares from Indian people in grocery stores...when they look at our cart and realize that people who live together jointly purchase laundry detergent. :-P

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There's No Place Like Home, There's No.....

So I have a question....for those of you who have relocated to a fun new location for residency(or not so fun), what are some important things you learned along the way that you wish you would have been told before your move? Is there anything about moving in itself that you would recommend or something you wish you had done when you got there or before you left home? Is there anything totally unexpected that you had to deal with or something funny that happened that the group might benefit from hearing about?

We are just about to move from Tulsa, OK to Muskegon, MI, a town that I personally have never seen. I don't like the cold, so I'm not really excited about where we are going but I am excited about the new adventure we will have in this town, the great experiences we will have together, and all that Tom will learn at his new job!

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Stories

Since match is tomorrow, I'm hoping we'll hear where some 4th years are going! Does anyone have any good match stories to share?

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Hi-ya!

I'm Jessi, wife to Randy for 6 years and mommy to Josiah (2 1/2) and Alayna (10 1/2 months). Last June, we made the trek cross-country from VA to South Texas for Residency. We Randy is a PGY1 in Family Practice, and so far, is really enjoying it. Whew!

We, too, are a bit older (31-me, 36-Randy) since Randy took his time and enjoyed the "scenic route". While sometimes I do wish we weren't so "old", I'm glad to have been able to take the time to enjoy life prior to medicine...because as you know, once you enter the medical vortex, it's what your life is ALL about. *wink*

I'm excited to be a part of this blog, a place where questions can be answered, and opinions and feelings of doubt, excitement, and even bitterness can be shared knowing that someone has probably been "there" too. I'm looking forward to getting to know everyone.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hey yall!

HI! I'm Allison and I'm married to John Michael. (I usually refer to him as JM.) We have a 15 month old little girl, Jenna. John Michael is a physical med & rehab resident here in Kansas City. We started dating during his undergraduate years so I've been though everything (medical related) with him. I followed him to Tulsa where he went to med school at OSU. We got married in between the summer of the 2nd and 3rd year. After Tulsa, we went to Corpus Christi, TX for a year for his internship. And now we are here in Kansas City for his residency. And I think that about wraps us up in a nutshell. :)

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I'm Leidy

I'm married to Damian a PGY-3 Internal Med resident, he will be starting an Infectious Disease fellowship in July.
We live in NJ, we moved here from FL because its where he matched. We really like it here and plan to stay.
I am a SAHM to my 2 daughters Lulu 6 (well 7 next week) and Mia 4. I just recently started blogging (Journey Unscripted) and I really like it...
I look forward to getting to know you all!

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Checking in!

I'm Desiree, and my husband is an MS-I. Yes, we are the baby med student family among everyone - though definitely not the youngest (he's almost 34, I'm 30). I'm a lifelong Oklahoman, though new to the Tulsa area, and Minsu and I met when he came to study in Oklahoma 7 years ago from Seoul, South Korea. We've been married almost 5 years.

Until last August I was the "sugar mama" and worked as an ESL school director in central Oklahoma while Minsu earned a second degree and prepared for med school. A year ago we had our first child, Alexander, who is 11 1/2 months old and into everything. Right before he was born we decided that I would give up my career to become a work-at-home mom and move to Tulsa together as a family. I currently have three part time jobs from home but still manage to take pretty good care of "my boys".

This has been a big transition for me and I definitely couldn't have done it without support from my husband and family, and of course, my SAA friends - these girls are fantastic! I was recently inspired by their blogs to start my own, and I am thrilled with the idea of this new blog where we can "meet" and support each other through our journeys.

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Hi from Bea

Hi ladies! My name is Bea and I'm married to my high school sweetheart, J, who is a PGY-1 surgery resident. We're in Philadelphia for 5 years while J's completing his general surgery residency. J wants to specialize so we'll see where that takes us after Philly. We're expecting our first child (a girl) in late June. I graduated from law school in May and I'm working at a small firm in Philly, mainly in environmental law.

I am excited to "meet" new wives/significant others of doctors through this blog. Since I'm married to a doctor I'm committed to learning about how to have a successful medical marriage. In fact, I decided to start a blog on medical marriages, just so I can record things I've learned, books that have helped me, and advice that I've heard from others in the know. Through my blog I've met a group of wonderful medical spouses. It is an awesome support system and I hope this blog can be a continuation of that support.

So there you have it! Looking forward to hearing from others and supporting each other in whatever stage we may be in!

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Hi. It's Trisha.

Hi there.

I'm Trisha. I am married to Kyle, a first year surgery resident here in Oklahoma. We both grew up in a small town and plan to move back there after residency to practice. We've been married ten years and have three kids, Hayes (almost 5), Embry and Ellie (2 1/2). I stay at home with them and try to cook, take pictures and blog as much as they will let me!

We are a little older than most on this path. 32. Kyle took some time trying to figure out what he wanted to be when he 'grew up'. He graduated with a journaism degree, went straight into studying guitar for a year, got a journalism job, then decided there was no way he could sit at a desk for the rest of his life. So here we are.

It has been an interesting journey with starting med school with a baby and then having twins during CORE of his third year but we wouldn't trade it for anything. With all of the challenges we've faced (just like you guys have), we've really discovered who we are as individuals and are stronger and happier for it.

Excited to get to know all of you! :)

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Does the year matter?

I'm just curious as to the year you thought was the hardest. I've heard 1st yr, intern yr, PGY2... I'm just wondering what your thoughts were on the hardest year.

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Howdy Ya'll

Howdy everyone! My name is Lex I'm married to a soon to be 1st year OB/GYN resident Tommy. We are from Tulsa, OK and are just about to move up to Muskegon, Michigan to relocate, so we are very excited about our new adventure. I'm a SAHM or "household engineer" as we like to joke, to our 2 year old little boy Grant and we are expecting our second little boy in mid-late June just weeks before residency starts, so never a dull moment! I look forward to learning more about you and your family! I hope that everyone that joins this group can learn a lot from each other and gain some insight into each others lives. It's nice to have a place to vent and ask questions of other!

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Hi, I'm Cindi ~

These intros always feel like AA meetings...haha
My husband is a Radiology Resident, and Lieutenant in the Navy (inactive until residency is complete). We have been married seven & a half years and have 3 wonderful children - boy, girl, boy (just born last month). We have moved around for med school, rotations, internship and residency so it kinda feels odd not to be moving this summer. I stay at home, taking care of the kids and my interests are blogging, baking, traveling but the kids keeps me busy most of the time since I'm still getting used to having three :0

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Monday, March 16, 2009

I'm Marissa

I'm a relatively new attorney, married to a third year medical student. We currently live in central Illinois. My husband will be applying for residencies in neurosurgery this fall. We are hoping to end up in Chicago (closer to family) but since it is a competitive field, he will be applying throughout the Midwest and in Florida. I love kids but we don't have our own so I love to hear about other people's children and especially to see pictures. I am a huge worry wart and control freak so I have tons of questions and look forward to meeting all of you!

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Melisa's intro

Since ya'll are being shy, I'll just start it out.

I'm married to Brad, a PGY-2 in ENT. He is working in Philly and loving it there. We have 3 kids, "Jamo" is 7, "Roo" is 5 and "Stinkerbell" is 2.

It will be fun to chat with some other ladies who have had similar experiences! I look forward to meeting you guys!

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Welcome!

I thought it would be nice if we have a private place to talk about the things that are involved with being married to a med student, resident, or attending. Feel free to link this or invite anyone else in this situation. We could all use the support from each other!

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