A post about medical school (say what?)

Past due, I'm sure, but hey, shaking countless toys in front of our (almost) 7 week old's face takes priority these days ;)  I figure Medical Monday is the perfect time for this catch up post. 

My husband is now a fourth year medical student!  He completed his final third year rotation through family medicine when Liam was a week and a half old.  I had been (rightly) quite concerned about how flexible the school would be with "paternity leave."  It turns out they are not flexible at all ;)  We had Liam on a Wednesday around 10pm, left the hospital at noon on Friday, and my husband was back at his doc's office by 1pm on Friday.  Oh, and he worked the next day on Saturday too.  Rumor has it that he nodded off during a particularly boring patient history, but there's no evidence to confirm that ;)  

With third year completed and behind us, fourth year is in full swing.  Like many of his classmates, my husband took his first rotation to study for and take his Step 2 boards.  I could write another rant about the cost of boards, but I'll spare you.  Just know that it's ridiculously expensive (>$1k) for no foreseeable reason.  

Step 2 is a two part exam - half clinical skills (CS), half clinical knowledge (CK).  CS came first for my husband, where he traveled to Chicago (CS is only available to take in Chicago, Atlanta, LA, Houston and Philadelphia - hopefully you don't have to buy a plane ticket in addition to paying for your test!) to face 12 simulated patients, having 15 minutes to interview and examine each patient, followed by 10 minutes to write up their differential diagnosis.  His test ran from 3p-11p, and hey, that's Chicago time, not Michigan time!  Someone should have mentioned that to exhausted new parents.  At least they are an hour behind us...CK was here in town.  It's a glorious nine hour exam of 352 questions that slowly wreck your brain.  Don't worry though, they do give you thirty minutes worth of breaks.  

The exciting thing about having Step 2 behind us?  There are exactly ZERO more tests for my husband to take in medical school.  How crazy is that?!   Until Step 3 rolls around (likely after his first year of residency), he is done with tests!

Now my husband has officially started his first rotation of fourth year - emergency medicine, which he would currently tell you is his second choice for residency options...subject to change at any given moment.  The bummer about this rotation?  It's technically an away rotation, being at a hospital about an hour away from home.  Totally commutable, but obnoxious.  Luckily for us, my parents live about half an hour from said hospital, so we'll be utilizing the bed, breakfast and baby holding services at Grandma & Grandpa's this month.  

There are definite obvious benefits to EM.  My husband is only scheduled for 14 working shifts for the month (though he still has five other days that he has to commute to the hospital for 3-4 hours of lecture without a working shift afterwards...obnoxious).  Also, it's shift work.  There are always doctors scheduled in emergency, so unless there is some catastrophe, being called in is less likely.  However.  The negative to that is the same as the positive - it's shift work.  Out of my husband's 14 shifts, nine of them are second shift, either 3-11p or 4p-12a.  One of them is an overnight 11p-7a (really shouldn't complain about only one!).  Four of them are weekend days.  He only has two day time 9-5 shifts that fall between Monday-Friday.  There will be a little man and a mama who really miss seeing their favorite fourth year med student for dinner.   

A tease of Liam's newborn photo shoot...eventually a post will come!
Go join in the Medical Monday fun!  


  1. OMG! LOVE that photo! So incredibly cute! I'm so happy you linked up for MM! I wish my husband was in EM for the schedule. I hear it's so much better than surgery! :/

  2. I love reading your blog. I'm a RN and I've always been kind and respectful to MDs (and all people, regardless of profession) but reading about all the stupid crap they go through just to get out of med school (and I hear residency is worse) makes me feel kind of sad for them.

  3. Oh yeah, I remember this. My son was born the first week of husband's med school and my daughter was born during his only month home from a 4 month string of away rotations..... it sucks. Luckily we are in residency now and I hear it gets better (though I have to admit I'll believe it when I see it.)

  4. Welcome back:-) What a beautiful picture. Congratulations on starting the last year of Medical School! Don't get me started on boards either. I hate them. Our last one is this November. Thanks for linking up with Medical Mondays!

  5. Only two days off for new baby/mama?! Boooo!!
    Congrats on getting through Step II, we pass that hurdle next week. Woot woot!
    Fantastic picture of your mini-man!

  6. There is no paternity leave in a MED/PED residency either, although I've heard rumor that some of the "nicer" ie more time friendly rotations like psychiatry have paternity leave. When we had our fourth kid she was due January 9th, so we scheduled a vacation week for January 7th-14th. Imagine our surprise when my water broke October 16th and then after two weeks of hospital bed rest was born October 29th. One of the first things hubby did in the hospital room after they got me settled was to call the chiefs to tell them he would be missing work the next day and to call his department chair to tell him about our situation. "Well Dr. J," his chair tells him, "You can take your last week of vacation but if you need more than that you'll have to go on unpaid medical leave. You can get six weeks of it, but you have to tack it on to the end of your rotation." I was in sort of a fragile emotional state at the time and was yelling from the bed, "Are you kidding me you jerk wad?" We had a detailed discussion after that about how we would pay our bills (including the mounting hospital ones) if he wasn't working and how I didn't want to have to spend a second more of my life with that DB director then I had to. Anyway long story short my mother-in-law flew out the next day. I wrote her a detailed schedule and for six weeks she cared for all the daily needs of my other three kids. After she left my mom came out for a week and then my brother flew out for two weeks. Hubby ended up missing exactly three days. Two days when my water first broke getting his mom acclimatized to the schedule and then one night shift the day I actually wend into labor. He would visit me on the way home from work and the way back to work for a 1/2 an hour or so and he pretty much just kept going. One sweet mercy, one of the months my daughter was still in NICU he was working in the nursery of the same hospital, so he would come and see her after rounding. Anyway I guess I'm just saying...being the wife of a doctor can be hard and certain specialties don't make it any easier. Cute pic of your baby. Someday if he is anything like my kids he'll love flip through those medical books to look at pictures of our insides :)


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