× Family & Parenting

Reality of residency

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13 years 6 months ago #51148 by azmom3
Thank you so much you both have been very helpful !!! I just spoke with another friend today and her DH is in ER residency and LOVES it. I really believe I would just love it too. I agree Texasrose that being a happy Mom makes a difference. Right now I am just surviving my days. I really want to spend my time learning and living medicine. I appreciate your life experiences sooooo much! Ormd you are right on about my friend’s DH. I really think he went into medicine for the wrong reasons and that is why he is so disappointed now. Yet nobody wants to put that much time and energy into anything and have regrets. I know the only way I would have regrets is to hurt my family through this process. I really believe the process of becoming and being a Physician would fulfill me … Oh how do you reconcile family and personal dreams :boggled: ???

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13 years 6 months ago #51149 by ormd

I know the only way I would have regrets is to hurt my family through this process.

how supportive is your husband and is he really really supportive in a concrete manner? is he ready to be the primary caregiver for your children, handle the household chores, prepare meals, pay bills, and do the laundry? you can absolutely follow your dream, but you have to be realistic about your expectations in order to avoid disappointment. and your spouse needs to be 100% on board, otherwise it can be so difficult.

you sound like someone who's not afraid of hard work, and i commend your attitude. pursuing medicine AND raising a happy family, however, is demanding and requires the full commitment of both spouses. that being said, my parents raised me while working 16h days, and i hardly saw them when i was growing up. they never attended sporting events, school plays, or chaperoned class trips. this doesn't mean that i felt deprived or that they loved me any less. so i wouldn't put TOO much stake on quantity time over quality. as texasrose also said, if you're happy and fulfilled, your family will benefit as well. you just have to accept (and not feel too guilty!) that the majority of hours you spend a week will not be with your family but rather in the hospital/classroom.

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13 years 6 months ago #51150 by efex101
It is SO very important to be crystal clear with your spouse about this process. Like ORMD stated the road is LONG and ARDOUS and you *must* have the support of your SO 200%. Today my husband said to me "I hope this eventually gets better because I cannot see myself doing this for much longer"...and he is/was aware of what this would entail but at times it gets to bee too much! he is doing EVERTHING pretty much from grocery shopping to cooking dinner every night, to taking kids to appts, etc...this was NEVER the case before where I did most of these actitives. I do help when I CAN which is not often. I am only a second year (although technically I am done with second year and studying for boards) so I am assuming residency will be WORSE than medical school with more hours away from my family. The good thing is that my kids are older (teens) but they need a lot of supervision/help during homework and beyond but they are highly self-sufficient. This is not a process that should be taken lightly (not saying that you are) and both partners need to agree 100% on what will happen and how. Expecting your husband to kind of "know" what will happen is not enough. You must sit down with him and ask him are you "willing" to take on MOST of the household duties while I pursue this? and you need to be crystal clear that this mean everything from cleaning to cooking to shopping. Now, you can always help but he cannot expect you to be able to do it ALL like you probably have been doing....This process *is* doable but it come at a high price. You will NOT spend as much time with your family as you have been, you will not have as much time for yourself, you will not have as much time for your friends, you will be studying a lot, you will be spending a long time in the hospital (which is not as glamorous as it sounds), as long as you KNOW all of this and your SO is onboard you CAN make it work.

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13 years 6 months ago #51151 by azmom3
My DH is 100% supportive. In fact, I have had him read the replies to this post. I really believe he gets it. That is not to imply that we think we will always be enjoying or even liking the process, oh no, it means we know we will be hating life at times. Currently he is pursuing an MBA (he works full-time too) of which I am 100% supportive yet I have my days of wanting to pull my hair out. What is great about my DH is he never complains about anything (and he KNOWS I was not given that strength). I think part of what makes us so comfortable with school is this is his second masters so we have never really known life without school. We were married in college and here we are 3 babies later still going …

As far as taking care of the home I figure the only way to survive is finding someone to cook and clean. I am a little more particular about cleanness than DH is, so to preserve some sanity... And if you’re going to go in debt for medical school what’s a couple more thousand,right?

I have a question about shadowing … how do you find a doctor to shadow. The doctor’s I have good relationships with and talk to all the time are my Rhemotologist and the children’s pediatrician. I believe neither doctors would be appropriate (although the ped is aware of my desire and very supportive asking me how things are going all the time). What is the appropriate procedure to shadow? Right now I am volunteering in the NICU but as far as really seeing doctors do their stuff it is not happening.

Thank you so much for all of your helpful thoughts and suggestions!!!

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13 years 6 months ago #51152 by doc k
Hi there. I felt I should respond as my husband is finishing his 5 yr surgical residency in just a couple of months, then I start my 4 yr res! And we have a 5 month old baby.

There have definently been hard times, but I think the fact that we both understand the demands and the motivations we each face helps a lot. Also, since free time is so scarce, we really enjoy whatever time we can spend together. It's really hard to get bored or take each other for granted even after 4 yrs of marriage. We also have very little baggage because there is just no time to sweat the small stuff. But, we're also aware that there is no time to let the bigger stuff smolder- issues have to be dealt with right away.

So I would say that residency has forced us to be a very bonded family.

One quote someone told my husband at the beginning was, "you work really hard in residency, and you work just as hard in your relationship". I think it is so true.

And about being miserable in residency- my husband definently has been at points. He would tell someone like you not to go into medicine. But his attending pointed out that is a resident's point of view. He (the attending) loves what he does and encourages premeds to go into medicine all the time. It's all about perspective.

Good luck

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