Monday, May 19, 2014

the last 9 yards... I mean, 9 weeks...

Everyone told us this would be the hardest year.

Well, that's not exactly true. Everyone said that the last year of residency would be the hardest. Apparently we made it through that year fine though. Well... that was actually a very trying year that I have mostly tried to forget... but somehow we dug deep enough to invite another year of training. Maybe we wanted to prolong that last year of training? - or double it? Revel in it? Whatever our reasons - or lack of reasoning - we added another year. and my husband is doing a fellowship. And right now, only nine weeks until he is completely finished, things are getting interesting.

We had no idea it could be this challenging.

Mentally. Financially. Emotionally. Physically. Intellectually.

Ok, let's start with the financial aspect of it, (because we all know that financial stress messes with and exacerbates all of the other things listed above).

This is an expensive year. Extremely expensive. We, (well, I - my husband does not agree) should have applied to at least two credit cards last year, when our credit scores were awesome.

We should have sat down and looked at all of the projected expenses for the year. The interview costs (ohmygoodness!), the expenses of the Boards (books, travel, $2,000 exam fee, etc.), moving costs, attorneys fees, licensing fees (how many of these are there??), etc. etc. etc.

Somehow we should have foreseen that our van would need over $5,000 in repairs this year. We also should have predicted that our family would require over $2,500 in dental treatments - (what??? - I know!) We should not have put our two older kids in ski school.

It feels like we are on a roller coaster, but not a very fun one. This roller coaster just continues going down a steep drop. And while we know there is a bottom to our reckless and exhilarating drop, it is not an enjoyable feeling as we now keep waiting and anticipating to hit a curve or a bend... or something - just so that we can take a breath and recoup.

But it doesn't come.

Nine weeks.

So that is my advice. Get an extra line of credit before the last year of training. One with no fees for a year. Or something. Just in case. Maybe you won't have to use it. It'll just be there for you - in case.

The other night my husband said, What are we going to do? I said, Let's just try to be nice to each other.

So we are being nice. And that is good advice too for the last year of training. I think. There is so much going on inside, so many worries, thoughts, expectations, etc. Yes... just be nice to each other.


From A Doctors Wife said...

I've missed your posts! The last year, especially when it is a fellowship year is hard, expensive, and painful. But now that we are a year out of fellowship it is a distant memory. I recently heard "hardtimes made us", what an applicable quote for those of us who are and have been there. Hoping this next year brings peace and rest on as many fronts as possible.

Jamie Lamb said...

You always have the best advice. :) I remember we got an extra credit card in residency just for all the crazy, unexpected stuff that kept happening. As long as you're careful with it, only use it when you have to, and pay it off's a lifesaver.

And also the being nice thing...gooood advice! In a couple years, all the stress of residency really will be a memory.

Good luck with the last nine weeks!! So glad the end is near!

Anita Chung said...


I am dating an MD who is 2 months into his fellowship.
We met online while he was in his last year of residency and have been a long distance couple for 2 years.

he is the love of my life and he refers to be as his soulmate. But there has been a strain and I cannot distinguish whether it is the stress from his program or from me.

After 2 years I am not at a place where I would like to be - engaged to be married. We have discussed marriage seriously throughout our relationship but lately I have been voicing my needs to meet his family and set a time line.

I am supportive of his career and sensitive to the pressures he faces. But my friends all are angry with his lack of commitment.

Do I wait or should I move on without him?
Does a career in medicine mean all other life events are on hold?