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Lives of Doctor Wives: July 2013

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tasty Tuesdays: Summery Fruit Ideas

With summer in full swing, we can all use some quick/easy recipes to beat the heat.  I asked the LDW ladies for their favorite refreshing recipes including summery fruit.  Check out the post here.

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

  • My husband is an M4. As long as I've known him, he has wanted to pursue medicine. There are physicians in his family who have trained at brand-name programs. He went to a very competitive college for undergrad and graduated with high honors in a humanities field (while also completing his pre-med courses).

    His MCAT score was disappointing--enough to get him into medical school, but not in line with the background of academic excellence he and his family expected. His schooling has progressed normally. His USMLE Step 1 score was in the median range of US MD students. Just yesterday, he got his Step 2 score--he passed, but it was 5 points lower than his Step 1 score. He is so hard on himself, and I have a hard time not feeling angry at this whole process. I know how hard he has worked and that he has not done as well as he expects himself to do, and how the rest of the family expects him to do.
    When he has bad days (like yesterday) he isolates himself completely to "deal with it". As it happens, we have company right now. I work full-time, and yet last night as he was isolating himself, I was the only one doing anything with our guests--making dinner alone, entertaining them alone, and then cleaning up alone. He sat on the couch reading a journal the whole time.

    I was angry about this and, before bed, told him that I was mad that he left me to play host all by myself and embarrassed me in front of our company. He said that I had no idea what I was talking about, didn't understand what a big deal this test was, and said that maybe it's best that he's leaving next week for several months of away rotations, so that he can concentrate all alone on what he needs to get done.

    I'm hurt because I've sacrificed so much to support him in this process.... but I just don't know if I'm being unrealistic. At the root of my role in supporting him, is this just my place in our journey? To put on a smile, act like it doesn't bother me, and just do what I can to keep everything going? I just need help understanding how to help him through the disappointment without having unrealistic expectations that end up making me so resentful. I love him, and have no plans of not spending my life with him... but I'm just upset.

    So, to start with, and most importantly: It will never be your job to act like it doesn't bother you when he's unkind to you. Medicine is a worthy endeavor around which to create a life, but it is not a free pass to treat one's spouse poorly. You are not an indentured servant. If he wants to stay joyfully married to you, he needs to behave in ways that make that happen--and that includes putting aside his own hurt and disappointment when he has made a commitment to you that he needs to honor. Those guests weren't YOUR JOB, they were your shared commitment, and he dropped the ball. Frustration is absolutely legitimate.

    I understand the background you've given about his family of origin and the expectations and definitions of success that he has internalized. When you're from a family system that values prestige and social presentation as part of "success", anything that disrupts a smooth, flawless ascent to the pinnacle of the chosen field is disastrous.

    Your dh isn't a jerk or an adolescent, feeling sorry for himself that he didn't get what he wanted; he is a man who spent his entire life believing that he would achieve whatever he desired, as he thinks that his physician relatives had done before him, with enough work and willpower--and it is painful to realize that work and willpower are not always going to get the job done, or that maybe the job that needs doing isn't really what you thought it was. It's hurtful to feel ashamed, to feel not enough. He is feeling what he perceives as a deep failure and likely assuming that everyone around him sees him as a failure, too.

    The supportive-wife position here is a little bit delicate. He needs to feel deeply that you DO NOT see him as a failure, that you respect his accomplishments (even when he has a hard time respecting them), that you believe in the good he is doing and will do in the world with this work, that you see him as more than a test score. He needs to be reminded that academic excellence and performing excellently as a physician are not the same thing--and for every patient he'll ever talk with and touch, the clinical excellence is a vastly more powerful gift. He doesn't have to be the best multiple-choice test taker in America to be a good man, a good husband, and a good physician.

    At the same time, you do not have to lay down and take it in the name of "being supportive," when he behaves poorly. He is going to be hurt and embarrassed and disappointed and he is going to fail a lot (A LOT) in learning how to be a doctor. Patients will die despite his best treatment efforts. Disease will worsen. Residents and attendings will yell at him. He will forget things, and do things wrong, and miss things he should have gotten, and that is all absolutely normal. This process is painfully long for a reason: it takes an awful lot of failure to have exhausted how to do things wrong, enough that you know how to do them right.

    He will be hurt by this again and again. He doesn't get to take his pain out on you. So you can support him, and lift him up, and give him some space when that's reasonable and doesn't cost you something you can't bear to give up--as in the case last night, when he embarrassed and disrespected you by leaving you to flail through an obligation that you made together. But you are absolutely within your rights--and in my opinion, it will be the salvation of your marriage if you can find a calm & firm way to do this--to say, "I'm sorry you're hurting, but I am not a whipping post. Being nasty to me won't change THAT problem, it just makes a NEW problem." How to handle disappointment graciously, that will be his task to learn, and it's impossible to overstate what an important task that is. Your task is to love him through it without sacrificing your dignity and self-respect.

    It may help him as he absorbs this blow to really honestly assess what it is that he brings to the table as a residency candidate and, down the line, as a practicing physician. With his far-reaching mind, the odds are very good that he has an unusual gift at recognizing patterns and seeing a broader picture. He will have strength in translational work--applying scientific theory to live practice. His gifts in language and communication may give him an ENORMOUS leg up over his peers--the skillful scientists who become medical students and physicians are so very, very gifted intellectually, but sometimes struggle with having a heartfelt human conversation or being present with someone in difficult and scary times. A doctor who can chat, and who can tolerate discomfort, and who can meet a patient where he is--that doctor is worth his weight in gold.

    He *will be* successful. His success just may not look like his family's idea of success, exactly. That's good. There's no glory in walking down a path that someone else cleared for you; it's comfortable, but it's not always authentic. It's a truer power to recognize your OWN strength, and to make a life that utilizes your best self.

    Cristin has marched alongside her academic attending husband for 18 years, through medical school, eight years of residency + fellowship #1 + fellowship #2, four moves, four kids, and a crazy lot of laughs. You can submit questions confidentially to dearcristin@outlook.com.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Hunger Games: Med School Style

It came.

We both knew it would. But knowing it will come, and actually getting it are two different things. Reality hit us across the face and left us spinning like a boxer trying to get his bearings back in the ring.

We got our first rejection.

It was less than two days after sending the secondary in. UC Irvine, a school that we had discussed since we first started this crazy road due to its proximity to Disneyland…er…. home. Mostly home, but Disneyland down the street was a definite bonus for two annual pass holders who got engaged there.

We drove by it so many times, and each time, he would say, “UC Irvine… Maybe our future!”.
Not our future. It is officially off the table. 

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t his first choice school. It was a drag though to get. Who likes rejection? It did however, make a few things very clear for us.

There is no such thing as a guarantee on this road. Many people had thought we would for sure get UC Irvine, due to my husband’s high MCAT score and science grades. There isn’t an assurance of anything though. Each school is looking for their own criteria, and you can never really be sure of what that is.

Was it something I said?! Getting the rejection so quickly after sending in his secondary made him wonder if he had said something wrong in his essays. Did he talk about me too much? Did he send in an old file with typos? What had he done that made them dismiss him so quickly? The reality is, you can’t even be sure anyone really ever looked at your primary application, or really read your secondary, other than to see if you hit anything they are specifically looking for. That being said, I sure wish they would have looked a little harder at the primary application before taking our 80 bucks and that writing/editing time. That was groceries for a week! 

You are not Katniss Everdeen. The odds are ever NOT in your favor. There are thousands of people applying at each school for a 100 or so spots.  Those odds are affected by your scores etc of course, but I don’t think any of us feel that comfortable with those kinds of number games being thrown around. Which makes this CLEARLY DIFFERENT than getting into grad school. No matter what anyone trying to say “they know how it is”, thinks.

We are pushing forward. For that one rejection, we have also gotten 17 other secondaries that are still possibilities, and a few other schools we haven't heard back from yet. Those are the odds we are focusing on for now! It is a wild ride we are all on, isn't it?!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Show Off Sundays July 2013

It's that time of month again!  The time when you can SHOW OFF!!!  So link up, LDW ladies!  You can include up to five links from your blog, Etsy shop, whatever!  Please don't link up giveaways or other link parties.  Now SHOW OFF!!  :)

Friday, July 19, 2013

Anonymous stay-at-home-mom-by-choice of three, and wife of a resident story

Hi! I'm an anonymous stay-at-home-mom-by-choice of three, and wife of a resident. My husband was one of the few students in his medical school class married, with more than one child, the sole provider for the family, and with children approaching school age. This meant we had many more things to consider about residency than the standard applicant. I hope what we looked at will help some of you who may be approaching similar situations.

I am something of an expert in this topic because we've done this twice. Applied for residencies, I mean. You see, after what I had thought were a decent two years of one residency, he decided it wasn't the field for him after all and so we applied for one he felt had a better future and a better fit with his personality and we moved all over again. 

The first time we applied and moved, the kids were 0, 2, and 4. The second time they were 2, 4, and 6. We looked closely at the same types of things for both moves, though we had to make different choices of necessity. I'll show you what I mean. You may think all we did to prepare was overkill, and maybe it was, but peace of mind in both applying for residencies and creating rank lists was important to us. We'll do the same for fellowship programs if we decide to do one.

Once upon a time that seems far past now, Husband went to medical school in an inner city. That was fine for our young family because there were so many things to do with small children there, and we'd be through with med school before the school years. Straight up we knew it would be difficult for us to afford to stay there for residency, because once we had an income we'd have more things to pay than we did living on loans: like state and federal taxes, loan payments (circumstances here can differ wildly depending on deferment, the Federal Loan Forgiveness Program, Income-based repayment, etc), different insurance costs, needing another vehicle no matter where we did residency, the growing costs for feeding and clothing a growing family, kids' activities as they get older, etc. 

In our case, this ruled out all expensive big cities. This did mean that any big-name programs we applied to were the relatively few in more rural settings. Using the city-data.com we were able to assess costs of living in many places and thus determine where we could afford to live on a resident's salary. Also helpful in this were websites about property values and rental prices for 3+ bedroom houses and apartments. For rural programs we checked out what kind of shopping options they had nearby. We looked at tax rates in different states. And insurance costs, if they were available online. Even if they weren't available to us before application, we got definite numbers before creating rank lists after interview season. Research!  If you fail to plan, you plan to fail is an appropriate adage here for the single-income resident family.

We also researched safety. That same city-data.com website also includes crime rates and kinds of crime for a period of several years. It includes sex offenders per capita. It includes more mundane things like weather and education and property values and employment too.  The National Sex Offender registry, familywatchdog.us,maps out where sex offenders live if you enter an address so we would double check areas we'd want to live and make sure they were both safe and affordable to us.

We researched schools using greatschools.org, knowing our eldest needs a good school with motivated peers to thrive academically and home schooling is not an option with this child because of that peer motivation. All kids are different, of course, but it mattered to us and still does. We researched the religious community too. We're members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, otherwise known as Mormons, so we would look into how far away our church in a specific area would be from the residency program. 

Now, for the differences in our two residency applications. 

The first time, Husband had relatively flexible time as a med student to interview and we had saved some dispersed loans to cover the costs. The second time, he had to take time off work in his first residency program, meaning we had less time (and money, since this was a last-minute decision) to work with. Of necessity then, the second time around we applied to programs mostly within driving distance and included every program close enough that he could interview with only one day of precious vacation time. We were fortunate that his first program allowed flexible vacation days at all. 

Also, housing. The first residency we bought a house in a suburb. We had been renting so long and felt that the better school were in neighborhoods where homes weren't rented, not knowing of course that we'd only be there two years. Hindsight is 20-20! What's done is done, however, and we did what felt right to us at the time throughout. Can't ask more out of life than that!  The second time we couldn't afford to buy in any case and we saw that all three-bedroom apartments near where we had matched (also where the good school are) were being snatched up, so Husband rushed out (with another vacation day) and got the last one in town close to the hospital. This time we definitely chose proximity over living space and even cost of rent, but that's a choice we all have to make. We don't regret it: his hours here are much worse and we'd see far less of him if he had a longer commute - especially with icy conditions for nearly half the year! And we absolutely love the community.

Lastly, the time we had to adjust. Both moves we had family helping us for about a week, which is an immeasurable help in and of itself with children around. The first move we had a solid month of no obligations so we were able to move, get unpacked and settled in, start making friends, help our kids feel adjusted, etc. for weeks before Husband started working. Not the second time. Between quitting one residency and starting the next one we had more like 10 days to pack up, load up, drive, unload, unpack, get licenses and registrations and food and all. Yikes! I would not recommend this if you have children. We had rough adjustments this time across the board - with all five of us! So if you can avoid this (which I know may not be possible, especially for those beginning fellowships in a new place) then do so for all your sakes. But, you do what you gotta do and things will work out eventually even if it's rough at first. 

My sincere sympathies to all going through intense adjustment right now. Hang in there!

And best wishes to the up-coming applicants of all kinds!

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Monday, July 15, 2013

Survivor Stories: Your first post-training house

by Jennifer, Survivor in Pediatric Ophthalomology

You’ve pinched a penny within an inch of its life. You’ve clipped coupons. You’ve scrimped, sacrificed, and waited patiently. You’ve lived in cramped quarters, pinning ideas and filing away dreams for Someday. Finally your Dr. H has completed his training, and you’re ready to find your perfect house.

Whoa, Nelly. Don’t burst out of that starting gate quite yet. Let’s talk about your options.

Here’s our experience:
We completed training nine years ago and joined a private practice in an urban area. Armed with a file folder of ideas, we bought a custom house in a suburban master-planned community twenty minutes from his office. “Custom” in this instance means we chose a builder from a list of four that built homes in this neighborhood, then chose a house plan (which dozens of other homeowners also chose), then we went to a design center to select all the flooring, cabinetry, countertops, and upgrades—from a very short list. We ended up with a beautiful home in a great neighborhood with top-notch public schools.

During the next few years, we got to know the area, the neighborhoods, and the schools. We lived in our home and figured out what worked and what didn’t. We bought 2.5 acres and started paying it down. In the meantime, we went to an architect with a piece of scratch paper and a rough floorplan. He drew it out on his computer, made a few tweaks to optimize, and handed it back to us. Then we interviewed several custom builders, got their estimates, and picked one.

(Then the story gets really hairy...the city council wouldn’t approve our plans...economy tanked...builder went out of business...land developer took six months to build a freakin’ driveway...scrambled for a new builder...sold our house in one day...ended up in a poorly insulated rental home...I ran screaming for the hills…)

Finally (FINALLY), six years after starting his new job, we moved into our Forever Home. We like to say, “they’re going to wheel us out of this house.” The next time I move (according to my plans), it will be to the old folks’ home or the morgue. Either way, I don’t have to pack.

Your experience could be similar to mine or completely different, but whatever you decide, I would gently encourage you to NOT jump into your Forever House right away. I know it’s been a long time coming and you’re ready for more comfortable living space, but be patient. There are several reasons to wait.

  1. Your Dr. H will very likely see a big increase in income after a few years. If you can hold on a little bit longer, you will be able to afford a little bit more.
  2. If you are moving to a new area, you will want to live there for a little while before you commit to a neighborhood and a house. Getting involved in your community for a few years will teach you a lot about the people and the schools. There’s no way you can know everything you want to know by internet research alone.
  3. You need a few years in an interim house to know what you really like and what you can do without. Our Forever House has many of the features of our first house—with improvements. For example, our first house had a great 9-foot island in the kitchen that was perfect for hosting big parties and gatherings. But there was only 3-4 feet between the island and the counters, which during big parties with lots of people made navigating the kitchen pretty difficult. So when we drew up plans for our Forever House, we kept the island and made sure we had 5 feet of space between the island and the counters. We made several adjustments like that when we were designing our home.
  4. As much as we hate to think about it, the likelihood that your Dr. H will change practices after a few years is frighteningly high. It happens. You don’t want to invest in a really nice house and then have to sell it quickly.

If you can rent a home in an area you think you want to stay in—even better. Yes, you will have to move again, and if you’ve been married during medical school and training, the thought of packing and moving will curl your hair. But it will be worth the extra effort to be exactly where you want to be in the house that fits you best. (A good friend of ours even convinced his department to pay for their moving costs from their interim house to their big house. It’s possible!)

A doctor-in-training’s wife has delayed gratification down. We’ve made it an art form. We know how to wait, and we believe waiting will pay off. It seems grossly unfair to have to wait any longer, but trust me: it’s worth it.

What is your dream? And Survivors, please share your experiences, good and bad. What would you do the same? Differently?

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Friday, July 12, 2013


YAY!!!!  It is that time of year again!!!  July is the medial new year, is it not?  And so for the last few years our fearless leader Melisa has organizer a giveaway to commemorate the changing of the medical seasons.  This year she has turned it over to me, Sarah, and I am super excited for you guys to see all of the amazing things we have up for grabs.  There are FORTY-THREE prizes available!!  WOHOO!!!

Before I go through the prizes with you let's talk rules for a second.  First of all, you need to be a member of the Lives of Doctor's Wives FB group to win.  Sorry, but them's the breaks.  If you are not yet a member then feel free to request membership!  Our group is open to all females attached to an MD/DO student/resident/attending.  It is a wonderful, active support group of amazing women, and we passed 1,000 members this year!  Fun!

Secondly, this contest is open to US Residents only.  SORRY!  It is just too hard and too expensive to coordinate international shipping with all of these generous donors.

Lastly, I will be verifying entries, so please be honest about which requirements you choose to do on the Rafflecopter widget.  You can log into it through your FB account, and then just read the directions, follow them if you so choose, and click on them to confirm that you entered.  I know it is a bit of extra work, but you aren't required to do any of them for entry other than leaving a blog comment.  Going through the other options will earn you extra entries and give our amazing donors a little love.  I think they deserve it, don't you?!

This contest will be open for one week, at which point I will use the Rafflecopter widget to randomly draw winners.  Because the computer will be doing all of the drawing, EVERYONE in LDW is eligible to enter---including our donors, administrators, and even myself!  I don't choose the winners.  I just email them to tell them they won.  :)  I will email the winners once I have verified the entries.  If winners do not respond to my emails within 48 hours they forfeit their prizes and another winner will be chosen. 

The only other change from giveaways of the past is that you do not get to pick and choose your prizes.  SORRY!  There are too many prizes available.  I will simply be going down the list.  The first winner drawn gets the first prize on the list and so on and so forth.  If you do not want your prize that is fine, but you will not get another one.  You will simply be choosing not to win anything.  I apologize for any disappointment that this may cause, but due to the sheer volume of prizes I simply can not keep up with requests and switching around prizes this year.

Now let's get to the GOOD stuff: THE PRIZES!!!!  Check them all out and then be sure to comment and enter at the bottom!  WOOHOO!!  I'm excited, aren't you?!  Get ready, because this is a long, LONG list of goodies!!

·      TWO $50 Amazon Gift Cards donated by Scribes For You!  (Veena Jetti)

Scribes For You- Coming August 1st, 2013! Looking for a writing service to update your medical blog and keep your profession at the forefront of patient's minds? Visit www.scribesforyou.com to get blogs on any topic for pennies per word! Looking to make a little extra money from home? You can write blogs on a variety of topics and earn cash straight to your PayPal account!
·      $20 Shop Credit to Bombshell BlingJewelry donated by Sarah Westover McKenna

Bombshell Bling Jewelry is handmade jewelry from Sarah, Defender of Bling, McKenna.  Crystal, pearls, stones, and more!
·      A Stephanie Johnson Scarlett Satchel in caramel colored leather with fuchsia lining worth a whopping $382 donated by Clara Tsai.  (WOOHOO, right?!)
·      TWO sets of two handmade headbands for little ladies donated and made by our own talented Karie Moser.  Aren’t her girls the cutest?!
·      A Mary Kay Satin Hands Set donated by Sandi Chamyan, valued at $34

·      $20 Shop Credit to Blisstudio donated by Julie Merrill Jensen

Blisstudio jewelry is created by hand from our own talented Julie.  I love those bracelets!

·      TWO bags of Choffy donated by our fearless leader, Melisa Jones Mons.  (Two different winners, valued at $15 a bag.)

12 oz bag of Choffy for 2 winners! Choffy is made from 100% cacao (chocolate), beans roasted and ground to create a rich drink that provides long-lasting energy and whole-body wellness. Not only does Choffy taste good, it’s really good for you. It contains no sugar, dairy, or chemicals; in fact, all it contains is cacao. Richer and more robust than hot chocolate, it brews just like coffee. But unlike coffee, it supplies you with long-lasting energy without the crash or other negative effects of caffeine. The only thing that’s addictive about it is the taste! LDW members can email smile4choffy@hotmail.com with your order number from www.drinkchoffy.com/smile and I'll send you a free 4 oz bag of any variety.
·      The All in One Crossbody by Vera Bradley donated by Crisanne Barker, valued at $54
·      TWO cake toppers from Top It Off Gum Paste Cupcake and CakeToppers, owned and operated by Jennifer Fielding Ozuna

Our own Jennifer is an outrageously talented cake decorator, and she is donating two decorated cake toppers (one topper each for two different winners) or 24 cupcake toppers, with a total value of $40 plus shipping.  She does not do licensed images, but she is talented enough to make any theme work!
·      TWO copies of the book Surviving Residency:  A Medical Spouse Guide to Embracing theTraining Years written and donated by our own Kristen Math
·      One Ultimate Body Applicator Wrap donated by Tammy Behrman, valued at $25

Expect "ultimate" results with this amazing 45-minute body Applicator! The Ultimate Body Applicator is a non-woven cloth wrap that has been infused with a powerful, botanically-based formula to deliver maximum tightening, toning, and firming results where applied to the skin.  The Wrap promises to tighten, tone and firm, minimize cellulite, and improve skin texture and tightness.  Results can be seen in as little as 45 minutes, and progressive results are seen over 72 hours.  Made with natural ingredients. 
·      One black Coach Wristlet donated by Veena Jetti, valued at $50
·      A $15 Shop Credit to The SimplePerks Modern Typography Designs donated by Kristin Murphy

Our very own Kristin Murphy is a talented graphics artist who has created gorgeous prints that you can use to decorate your home, and many of them are customizable!
·      A $100 Dining Dough Gift Certificate donated by Veena Jetti
·      A $20 eGift Card from Powell’s BookStore donated by Tif Sweeney of Tif Talks Books

Our very own Tif Sweeney write a blog about books called Tif Talks Books.  You can find her on her blog, Facebook, or Twitter.
·      BABY SIGNING TIME VOLUME 1 DVD/CD donated by Melisa Jones Mons

Babies can use simple signs to communicate before they learn to talk! Toddlers and preschool children use signing to boost vocabulary and get ready for reading. Give your child all of the proven benefits of signing with Baby Signing Time. Signing Time was featured on Mommy MD Guides for its benefits for toddlers and beyond! LDW members can email signingwithasmile@hotmail.com for a 40% discount on Baby Signing Time materials until July 31st.
·      POTTY TIME DVD/CD donated by Melisa Jones Mons

Sing, sign and dance your way through potty training with Emmy-nominated host Rachel Coleman. This playful and positive approach supports any potty training method you choose. Includes DVD and CD. LDW members can email signingwithasmile@hotmail.com for a 40% discount (until July 31st) on your order of Potty Time!
·      “Brave” European Bracelet from Princess Cameos Etsy Shop donated by Mary Ann Clements

Princess Merida's fiery red hair and deep teal gown inspired this European style bracelet for the Disney-Pixar Brave fan. Three charms dangle from the end of the bracelet: a bear, a Celtic knot, and a bow and arrow. The bear and Celtic knot charms are silver-plated; the bow and arrow charm is sterling silver. The glass, cloisonné, and silver-plated large-hole beads are strung on a Dione snake-style chain. The bracelet has a removable screw end and a small extension to the bracelet.
·      “Tangled” Charm Bracelet from Princess Cameos Etsy Shop donated by Mary Ann Clements

With its chameleon and frying pan, this charm bracelet brings a smile to anyone who loves Rapunzel's story from Disney's Tangled. The five charms are a paint palette, a chameleon, a crown, a frying pan, and a saddled horse. The silver-plated chain has a lobster clasp.
·      Free Cosmetic Tele-dermatology consult donated by Amy Chabra, valued at $60+.

See a board-certified Dermatologist from the comfort of your home. Thinking about an anti-wrinkle regimen? Want to get advice from an actual skin expert? Then this give-away is for you! First, download the free app.  Second, submit photos of skin problem.  Third, get treated... If your suggested treatment includes prescription anti-wrinkle cream, lightening cream or prescription medication, the Dermatologist will fax a prescription to whichever pharmacy you selected. Regardless of who wins the give away, anyone can download the free app HERE.
·      $20 Shop Credit from EesaFashionista Children’s Clothing Boutique on Etsy, donated and created by Amy Nelson.

Our own Amy creates fabulous, unique clothing creations for little ladies!  I love her fabric choices!  This shop credit is good for 60 days.
·      One full-sized Scentsy warmer donated by our own Beka Dougherty
·      Colorful, one-of-a-kind handmade shawl, made and donated by our own talented Clara Tsai.  (Modeled by her neighbor, and valued at $80.)
·      TEN copies of Doctor’s Eyes Only donated by Larson Financial (So generous!)

Larson Financial is donating TEN copies of their new book. DOCTOR'S EYES ONLY: Exclusive Strategies for Today's Doctors andDentists is the missing financial guide that physicians need as a supplement to their ongoing professional training. These pages include basic financial wisdom that could end up saving you millions of dollars throughout your medical career. 
The strategies and advice contained are unique to the needs of high-income physicians and dentists. Asset protection, investment fundamentals, tax planning, and practice management are well covered by the leaders of America's largest financial firm that exclusively serves the needs of high income medical professionals.
·      Shooting Star Earrings, made and donated by Sandra Zeigler

These beautiful, unique earrings are valued at $30 and hypoallergenic.  They are handmade by Sandra and sold on her website, Earrings by Saturne.
·      A set of Kate Spade inspired earrings and necklace, donated by Melissa Stringham.

The winner can choose a set in one of the following color choices: black, white, yellow, pink, navy, green, or violet.  Valued at $19.99.  
·      Hand-knit Gregory Patrick Panda Bear donated by Clara Tsai, valued at $25

A lovely bracelet in the winner's choice of colors, donated by Ruth Ashlock, and made by the talented designer behind www.threescoopsofvanilla.com, who donates all of her proceeds to help animal shelters.

WOOWHEE!!  What an amazing haul, right?!  Good luck!!!  Enter below using the Rafflecopter widget, and don't forget to comment!  (If it is "asleep" just refresh your page.)
  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 11, 2013

We went out to dinner last night with a great friend who've I've known since we were girls. We were best friends growing up and she was in my wedding, and we were both in the pharmaceutical industry when I worked. I've stayed home for 8 years now and her career has taken off, she just had her first baby but is a working mom. At dinner, she and DH talked medical stuff during most of the dinner. I felt discouraged that I had nothing to offer, I'm "just a SAHM" :( Feeling sorry for myself. I'm happy for her, but I see where I could have been.......Advice? (Adapted, identifying information removed.)
Many medical spouses with kids are stay-at-home parents, because of the irregular and engulfing demands of medical life. It does smart to feel marginalized, for sure. I've seen eyes glaze and had conversations falter at hospital events when I say, 'I stay home with our kids." And it's an easy thing as a SAHM to feel like we're standing on the side of the road watching the traffic whiz past while we slowly, slowly wipe noses and slowly, slowly teach manners. Remind yourself that, as much as you may feel like your life is 3 inches wide, it's not really different for them to talk about their 3 inches of medical territory. Their inches may sound more impressive, but as her baby grows older and she's out of her depth, your hard-earned mastery of your 3 inches is going to be pretty darned impressive to her. Status is relative.

I combat the Just A Housewife by nurturing opinions about things beside medicine and motherhood. I listen to new music, read a lot (A LOT), cook and keep an ear to the tracks about local restaurant/food industry business, keep abreast of current events and local sports... I don't like being caught with nothing to talk about, since I don't have the default fall-back of work. I think this probably makes me MORE interesting, rather than LESS. Work is a naturally limited topic. Medicine talk is only really interesting to medical people, but everybody likes a good recommendation for a new band or restaurant, right?

I will confess, too, that I have some ego about my mothering & housewifery. I take a lot of pride in doing this job well; like every other career, it is not something that everyone can do with skill and passion. When I apologize implicitly with my tone and attitude, others respond in kind.  Conversely, when I present pride and accomplishment, people respond to that. A little swagger never hurt any mom.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Residency Roundup: Duty Hours

I have noticed several reoccurring questions on our LDW facebook group about residency!  LDWblog is a perfect platform to provide answers that will be helpful to current and future resident wives. 

This week there was some questions/concerns about residency work hours and restrictions.  While I'm sure there are differences between how each specialty applies the rules, I wanted to post and dissect the real ACGME 2011 regulations for your guidance and information.

Here are my 'favorites':

-Duty hours must be limited to 80 hours per week, averaged over a four-week period, inclusive of all in-house call activities and all moonlighting.   http://www.acgme.org/acgmeweb/Portals/0/PDFs/dh-faqs2011.pdf  for more information in their FAQs.  You get desensitized to the 80 hour weeks!  Its the weeks that push that four week average up that are brutal.  I overheard someone who works for the state department, joyously talking about how much overtime pay they received for working only 52 hours...wouldn't that be something!  The second link to the FAQs has some great followup examples and explanations.  I personally did not expect all the Journal Club, Dissection Lab, Tumor Board type meetings that keep DrH away from home that is not added into the '80-hour work week'. 

-A Review committee may grant exceptions for up to 10% or a maximum of 88 hours to individual programs based on a sound educational rationale. So what programs cannot justify the 88 hours? Although they are suppose to get permission first;)  I know of a program (not ours, I promise) that keeps to the 80 hr average but has 'volunteer shifts' that put the intern hours way above regulations.  

-Residents must be scheduled for a minimum of one day free of duty every week (when averaged over four weeks).  At-home call cannot be assigned on these free days.  Four a month.  Are weekends really two days long??

- Duty periods of PGY1 residents must not exceed 16 hours in duration.  Seemed like a good idea.  But it makes the other PGY years make up for the hours.  PGY2 was not awesome.

-Duty periods of PGY2 residents and above may be scheduled to a maximum of 24 hours of continuous duty in the hospital.  Programs must encourage residents to use alertness management strategies in the context of patient care responsibilities.  Strategic napping, especially after 16 hours of continuous duty and between the hours of 10:00pm and 8:00 am in strongly suggested.  I find this standard a tad humorous... strategic napping...where and when does that fit in? At the computer? On an extra gurney? Haha...who likes to nap when your ridiculously loud pager can and will go off at any minute? 

- It is essential for patient safety and resident education that effective transitions in care occur.  Residents may be allowed to remain on-site in order to accomplish these tasks; however, this period of time must be no longer than an additional four hours.  This is a huge one!  Although, it covers practically any variable that could keep DrH at the hospital, it defines what their real job is: patient care and learning.  They cannot leave after stitching up half an ear, or ditch the last clinic appointment because time is up!

Hopefully, as this year moves along we can focus on the time together and less on time apart!  



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Friday, July 5, 2013

Do you want to be the next guest blogger?

Do you want to write for LDW blog?  

If your answer is yes this the information you will need:
  • We have a guest blogger every two weeks. Anyone women attached to medical students, residents and practicing doctors, specifically MDs and DOs can write a blog post for us.  Your posts don't have to be only medical. It can be about a good day you had, a time you made it through board studying, attending a conference with hubby, what your kid says when they see dad at the hospital. Don't make it too hard on yourself!

  • Your post can have your name attached or it can be done anonymously.

  • If you have a blog and would like to submit one of your posts with a link to your blog, please let me know.

  •  If this seem like something you would be interested in please contact us at LDWguestwriter@gmail.com