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Lives of Doctor Wives: Survivor Perspectives Q & A Continued...

Monday, August 12, 2013

Survivor Perspectives Q & A Continued...

Hello Ladies! I cannot believe it is August and my turn for Survivor Perspective! I will be answering the last of the questions asked in June.

How do you handle the relationships with people in your program if you stay and your husband becomes their "boss"?
This is one many of us who love where we trained and want to stay face! My relationships with the spouses of residents, nurses, etc... who are now underneath my husband's umbrella has not changed so much. I am still very close to certain people and not as close to others. This situation is not unusual in Academic Medicine-it is the natural cycle of events.  I have always been very careful   with whom I share, vent and discuss anything work-related. That bubble was in place before he was an Attending and is still in place now.  I think if you handle yourself the same as before, then people around you follow suit.

When nearing the end of training and talk of a fellowship arises, how should I approach Dr. H with concerns?
Be honest with your significant other. Find out the root of discussion.  In many specialities, a fellowship is just sort of a given, people assume you are going to do one. If that was not clear for you, or if your husband has not shared an interest in that prior, then ask what is the driving force in this desire for more training. Things change. The job market changes. Specialities evolve and the health care profession is in constant flux. Sometimes the need for a fellowship is truly that-a NEED. Holding that additional training in some specialities is a large difference in income or a job at all.

Find out the details-do your homework! Is this a one year or a three year commitment? Do we move? When do we apply? I think the biggest advice on this topic is to just listen and be open to information.
 Don't be afraid to express your concerns, but don't rule out his desire for this either. This is a decision to made together.

We have the Job and the House and the new schedule, what now??
I really love this question because it is one that I discuss with other wives a lot. During training, we get into a pattern of checking things off or living for the next part to finish. Intern year, we survived!! Now we have In-- Training exams, Now --Chief Year, Now --Boards, Now --Fellowship, etc.... So what do you do when you are finally done? You have nothing else to wait for, or to check off your list. It definitely feels a bit incomplete.
 Life does change in many ways, but it also stays the same. He is still a busy doctor. His schedule is better, but he still works a lot. You have more family time (or time to start one if you have not yet), but how do we all fit together? I think the first few post training years are all about finding your New Normal. The best part about that is YOU get to decide for yourselves what that is going to look like.  For the first time in many years, you and your spouse are in charge. ENJOY IT!!

During Medical School and our Residency, I handled the finances. Now that we are close to finishing, Dr. H has expressed an interest in taking that over. I am not sure I want him to. Do they have time to handle that in practice?
Over our 13+ years of marriage, we have handled the financial responsibilities all different ways. I found during the tougher years, that I handled most of the financial decisions simply because he was unavailable for immediate consultation. Whoever was the one in charge at the time, always carried that stress. We have found it best to share this responsibility equally. One person does not do all of it. My Dr. H has plenty of time to complete his tasks on his to do list. Sometimes, I do need to help him out if he is have a crazy week/month, etc... But for the most part, we handle it together.  Allow him to come back into the financial picture of your marriage, you can figure it out together. It will be a lot more fun too since you are close to getting a good paycheck!


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