He's an MS3!

Yes, it's true!  My husband is officially a third year medical student.  He had his first jam-packed day of orientation yesterday.  About five minutes in, I received a text from my husband containing the number to the thing I believe I've dreaded the most regarding medical school.  

The pager.  Excellent.  I can't wait to chuck this out a window sometime ;)

Aside from pager-receiving, there was a lot of paperwork, HIPAA and BBP training, and learning how to write admission orders and prescriptions.  My personal favorite was flipping through a little book that previous 3rd year students put together of helpful tips for clinical rotations.  There was an important note about footwear in the OB/GYN rotation.  Pay special attention to the "Shoes are the word" section:

On that note, we went on an impromptu shopping trip last night to purchase a pair of easily washable shoes last night. 

Thank you all so much for your kind words about Step 1.  We are grateful that it is behind us, and are waiting patiently to receive his score sometime in the next 3-5 weeks.  268 or bust!  (kidding...obviously!)


USMLE Step 1 - Complete!



Five weeks of intensive studying (400+ hours!) were condensed into eight hours and 322 questions today.  My husband has officially completed the Step 1!  I'm endlessly proud of his dedication and determination.  We should get his results in the next month or so, but I'm confident that he did well! 

The Step 1 is pretty much the most important test he's ever taken.  This single test, in essence, determines the rest of our life: a ton of weight is placed on Step 1 scores for granting residency interviews ---> where you do residency interviews directly impacts where you'll be placed to live, work and complete your training ---> many residents stay in the general vicinity of their hospital once they've completed their training ---> that, obviously, impacts the rest of one's medical career, and thus, entire life!

On a side note - do you think I sent enough food along with him to take his test? 

We won't talk about how much or how little of that was consumed ;)  If "food" was a love language, it would be mine!

Should you need my husband sometime in the next week, you'll find him in a hammock somewhere, incredibly relaxed ;)


Enduring the Pre-Clinical Years

The first two years of med school


The first two years of med school are an uphill battle.  Med students are attempting to amass more information than anyone ever should, at a faster rate of speed than they likely thought possible.  They are attending lectures, dealing with the politics of their school, going to small groups, writing papers, taking countless tests and trying to remember why they signed up for this whole med school thing.  

Throughout the last two years, there have been several things that have really helped to make the long journey through pre-clinicals a bit more bearable for my husband.  (We were in no way compensated for recommending any of these - unfortunately!)

  • Amazon Prime Membership:  When my husband started med school, Amazon was offering their Prime service (read: complimentary 2-day shipping) free of charge for students for an entire year, and boy did we ever utilize it.  Not only for getting the necessary books and study tools for school...I loved it for Christmas shopping too!  When that first year of our Prime membership ended, we wandered around the house, trying to figure out how we were to continue surviving without it.  It was rapidly added to my husband's Christmas list, and thankfully he received it as a gift!  Students get a discount on Prime after they've had their free trial, which brings the price down to $49-ish per year.  I don't think we'll ever be without it again, unless we move to Africa. 
  • Noise Canceling Headphones: This is the pair that my husband has, but I don't think they're available anymore.  Despite the lacking reviews, they have performed well for him the past 13 months. A lot of my husband's peers have the Dr. Dre headphones, but we just weren't quite willing to spend that much.  My husband uses these everywhere - at school to keep from getting distracted, in the car while I'm driving so I can listen to music while he studies, and even at home if I'm here when he is studying and I'm breathing being too loud.  Unless you can study without getting distracted by the noises around you, noise canceling headphones = a lifesaver. 
  • Bookstand: How nerdy is this?  ;) My husband actually has TWO of these book holders.  It can hold Robbins or the largest coursepack in a 3" three-ring binder without any buckling, and the stand folds completely flat.  Being able to not look straight down all day long while studying has helped to alleviate a lot of neck pain.  
  • Pens: Oh, the pens.  Pretty much every med wife that I've commiserated with talked to says their husbands are the same way - incredibly picky about their pens!  These TUL pens in black/medium point are my husband's favorite.  But...to each his own!
  • A comfortable pillow: Some of my husband's classmates like to give him a hard time because he tries to get seven or eight hours of sleep each night.  "You're going to DIE when we get to the hospital and don't get to have that much sleep!" Our philosophy: just because he's not going to get to sleep much in the future doesn't mean he shouldn't be well-rested now!  As long as he can get everything done that he needs to and do well on it, there's no point in him staying up until 4am.  When he needs to function on less sleep (like in two weeks when he's elbow deep in ob/gyn), he will.  
Additionally, my husband wanted to add in two tidbits as he read over my shoulder, both of which are pretty self-explanatory.  
  • Get to know someone in the year ahead of you.  
  • Stop comparing yourself to others. 
It's been a long two years in some ways, but completely short in others.  Certain intense weeks might have felt like forever at the time, but looking back at the past two years as a whole - they've flown.  My husband takes his Step One Board tomorrow, and we are both excited to have this test over with.  Here's to the next two years!


2012 Graduation Gift

We only have one high school graduate to celebrate this summer.  And the graduate's party (super sadly) lands on June 16, the day that my husband takes his Step 1.   It's for my cousin's son, and they live in North Carolina...so...we don't get to go.  Which is such a bummer.  But in lieu of our presence, we're sending this present:

The graduation card and graduation gift are inspired by the always lovely eighteen25.  If you have never stopped by their sweet site, I highly recommend it. 

Can you tell what's inside the jar labeled "Your hard work has PAID off!"??

Oh yes!  Show me the money ;)  What else does any other high school graduate want??  

I'll be sharing this 2012 graduation gift with these fun link parties this week!