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Lives of Doctor Wives: OMG worst than residency

Saturday, April 16, 2011

OMG worst than residency

Hey I dont mean to be Debbie Downer but OMG this life after residency is not any better time wise.
I always thought that once residency was over we would fall into this great little life where we would have enough money to do the things we wanted and enough time to enjoy them and that is so not the case.
I understand why, I mean now my hubby has to make a name for himself and work toward a goal of growing his own group but seriously he is working more than when he was in residency.
We have been arguing a lot and its because well I never see my husband its hard to be an understanding wife when I am alone with my kids all the time and I have them complaining about why dad is never home and when he is he is on the phone with the hospital.
See now he is working basically everyday and on call all the time, annoying is the best way to describe it.
A few days ago we went out to eat in a restaurant and he received a call from the hospital and to make a long story short he was on the phone from the moment we ordered until after the girls and I finished dessert so we just sat there watching him eat his cold plate of food so that we could finally leave, not a fun night out.
Thanks for letting me vent!


Blogger Jeni said...

Such a great reminder that being a doctor's wife will most likely never be as easy as we hope. It most likely won't get "better" as far as time with our husbands so we need to live now and appreciate the time we do have with our doctor husbands, whether we're trying to survive medical school, residency or what comes next. We have to remember to live in the now. If we get our hopes up that the life of an actual doctor's wife will be so much better later we will most likely be disappointed. I know there are a few wives whose husbands will be lucky enough to work four days each week in a clinical setting, not have call and will be home a lot more, but for a huge percentage of us that won't be the case. That's what is so wonderful about this blog - we're all in the same boat, we all understand each other and can be a great support when we feel like we just can't handle one more call night alone! I can pout all I want and wish all I want that my husband had chosen some other career path, but he didn't. No matter how much I pout it won't change that (even though I had a nice little pity party earlier this week because q3 and q4 really suck for me). But it is what it is. I have to be grateful for the little things, like that sometimes he can come home and help me put the kids to bed and then do his notes on his computer, that that he's willing to do that for me.

My dad's a physician so I had a little preview of what this life would be like. I have lots of memories of him barely walking through the door and having to rush back out again, getting paged in the middle of dinner at home or in restaurants, in the middle of recitals or movies. They are slaves to their patients. But I do remember that my mom (by the time I could remember) had developed the ability to have a good attitude about it and show us as kids how to do the same. I hope I can do the same for my kids (and myself).

I'm so glad to be able to read other wives' experiences, though. Sometimes my best friend and my sister just don't get it.

April 16, 2011 at 1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, other spouses get it when the rest of the world doesn't. Sorry that you are going through this Mrs.D, I hope that you and your husband can figure out a way to negotiate a more acceptable situation. Your honesty is appreciated. Thank you for posting your experience so that others can benefit, if only not to feel as alone.

April 16, 2011 at 2:51 PM  
Blogger Elissa said...

Thinking of you! I know being a drs wife isn't always as glamerous as everyone else thinks it is. We, the spouses, are the backbone to our husbands and in their serving of others. It can get really lonely at times (even if you have lots of activities to be involved in and tons of friends - it isn't the same when your BEST friend isn't around all that much).

April 16, 2011 at 3:12 PM  
Blogger Residency Widow said...

*For some odd reason Blogger previously put my comment on another post but I think this fixes it*

So you're saying I should have picked the moniker of Doctor Widow or Medical Widow, instead of just Residency Widow? ;)

All kidding aside, I'm sorry to hear that so far life after residency hasn't turned out the way you had thought. I guess it's just one more instance of reality not matching up with what we planned. Hopefully with time a better work/life balance can be found.

April 17, 2011 at 4:19 AM  
Blogger Kelli Z. said...

What specialty is your husband in? Just trying to find out if I, too will get to look forward to that :(.

April 17, 2011 at 2:04 PM  
Blogger Jessica SG said...

We are in residency, and my hubby has warned me that this could be the case. I'm wondering if it's different for every practice (like if you are starting your own practice vs. joining an established one), or if on a whole, starting off just takes a ton of time?

April 17, 2011 at 9:08 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

My DrH finishes his second fellowship and will be starting his "real" job in the fall.

This post is timely because we've been discussing the "real world" time commitments. There's the call, the inpatient consults, referrals, clinic, procedures, etc. and in lieu of residents and fellows in a private practice setting, the workload could realistically be greater than in training...

It's good to be able to vent and provide a reality check for the rest of us. Though it doesn't make things better, it does help us re-adjust our expectations.

April 17, 2011 at 11:31 PM  
Blogger Lezlae said...

I am new to this blog, but thought I would throw my two cents in. My Dr. husband is 10 years beyond fellowship at a teaching hospital. When he was an intern, a very wise Dr. told us that it would never get better, only different. That has been very true. With the advent of limited hours for residents (which I think was a very good idea) my husband is working more hours now than he did then. I think the best advice it to enjoy the time your have, make the most of it, and don't get too caught up in what's around the corner.

April 22, 2011 at 9:24 AM  
Blogger Melisa said...

Sorry. That sounds rough. :o(

April 25, 2011 at 10:31 AM  
Blogger TheFamousStacie said...

It's funny, I imagine post-residency in the terms of death (but in a good way).

They've gone to better place...

Like the deceased, we never hear from them again.

I imagine their life to be mansions and name brand granola bars with out limits.

This message from the beyond is like a wigi board telling me that Heaven isn't all it's cracked up to be.

I mean all of this in jest : )

April 27, 2011 at 9:04 AM  
Blogger momndoc said...

My husband and I are 20 years out from residency. I have to admit I still wait for it to get better. My three beefs: 1. The system is willing to use Doctors up if they let it, 2. People resent us but need us too...very isolating and 3. It's hard to compete for the attention as a spouse when it's so reinforcing for them to be in their positions as physicians.

For many years I stayed home with the kids and gave up my career as a physician. I have just recently gone back. I do locums because I'm so afraid of getting lost in the "establishment".

I'm new here. I can so much relate to being as spouse as well as being a physician. I'm torn between being a physician and lonely wife of a physician.

May 1, 2011 at 7:42 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

I'm sorry to hear that you are still struggling after residency. I appreciate you sharing your experience, as it helps to give me a reality-check. I often feel like our entire relationship has been looking forward to the "light at the end of the tunnel", whether it was trying to get through med school, matching, and now residency. I think you miss today, when you are only looking forward to tomorrow. Thanks again.

May 17, 2011 at 9:31 AM  
Blogger SReiter said...

I am also new to this blog but I completely understand how you feel. My husband is two years post residency (anesthesia) and half-year post fellowship (critical care). We both thought that by him becoming an intensivist instead of strictly an anesthesiologist he wouldn't be stuck long hours in the OR. Instead...he is stuck long hours in the ICU AND the OR (can't let the skills get rusty). I gather the first few years out of training are hard years because they are "trying to establish themselves" so to speak, in a very competitive world. But I can attest to the fact that the "light at the end of the tunnel" peeks through every once in awhile but I've begun to realize like you said...things don't really get better, just different. It's a hard life to lead but unfortunately I think the spouses of doctors come to realize that nothing really changes far sooner than their spouse. My husband still seems to believe that "someday" things will "get better"...I try not to burst his bubble and help him live more in the moment, but it is very difficult. Does anyone have any advice on how to help them realize that the life we live now is pretty much how it's going to be and they need to start to accept/make the best out of it? I feel like he is constantly waiting..."after this board things will be different", "after I get this job things will be different", etc.

May 27, 2011 at 1:47 PM  
Blogger Mrs said...

Everyone with any sense has warned me that it does not get easier. It does get harder. Especially as they are establishing their professional reputation in the community. But not worrying about the bills helps. If you still like your husband, you will still miss him. You can help your kids adjust or you can make them resent their father's noble profession. They take their cue from you. Be a better example for their sakes and for your husband's remind him that should he ever fall deathly ill--his patients will go on to another doctor, the nurses will bug some other doctor and his colleagues will step over his dull lifeless body as they great the new guy that will take your place--but you and his children will be by his side to remind him that no one will ever take his place in your lives and that he is still the hero of your heart--no matter what. When he hears that and takes it to work, it will strengthen him to be his best at all he does--at work AND at home.

June 7, 2011 at 12:27 AM  

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