06 May 2013

Yr 2 Perspective of a Med School Wife: Me

Could it be possible that the second year of medical school is already coming to an end? The first year seemed to drag on for four years, so the fast pace of year two has caught me off guard. I'm not ready to watch friends move for their rotations or for the unknowns that come with year three! Nevertheless it is time for a med school wife review session. If you are just tuning in, here is a link to my Year 1 summary. There is also a link on my blog to all medical school related posts. I will be posting year in review perspectives this week from spouses and significant others of osteopathic medical students at Western University - COMP NW.

My Responsibilities
During this second year of medical school my responsibilities didn't change. While Scott was busy studying for and being tested on each of the body systems, I kept myself busy with work, school, church, and household chores.

Supporting My Husband During Year 2
Occasionally Scott would pitch in to do dishes, laundry, or take out the trash. I couldn't count on it and usually had to ask if I needed help because of his intense study schedule. I NEVER asked during a test weekend and learned from year one that it was best to keep myself busy those weekends with girls nights and shopping trips. Win-Win! When it wasn't a test weekend, Scott and I made a point to spend time together on the weekend, whether it was a game night with friends or dinner and a movie at home. Year two didn't take it's toll like year one, because I knew what to expect when it came to the hubby's study time. We have learned a lot about the importance of good communication as well, so I try to be clear about my expectations and ask him to define his. If you are a significant other of a medical student, you would probably agree with me that they fail to communicate school things. I had to ask what was new, when is the next event on campus, when will I know more about rotations and residencies. Scott often already knew these things, he just didn't realize I would like to know as well.

Preparing for Rotations
Possibly the biggest "trial" of this last year was preparing for rotations in year three. Since Scott is in the first class at this campus, we were guinea pigs to the new rotations staff and process. I wanted to know information often before it was available (love me some research). Sometimes the students would have a town hall meeting where they would learn about the rotation lottery or base cities, but I was invited and would hear about it first from other wives. If you missed my post on the lottery process at Western University - COMP NW, you can follow this link. When rotation schedules were released from the school for the lottery process, Scott and I sat down together to decide what our top lottery picks would be. We factored in the costs of moving, available housing, potential learning opportunities for the rotation cites, and schedule of electives and vacation. We decided to put the Samaritan Health System (primarily in Corvallis, Albany, and Lebanon) as our first choice because I could keep my job and continue school, moving would be optional, and Corvallis is a residency site so there is potential for great networking and residency-like rotations.

Advice For Those in Year 1
Breathe a sigh of relief! You survived year one, and year two will be a breeze in comparison. Continue to communicate with your med student, and be proactive with him/her or the school in getting the information you need for year three. Start thinking about residencies now as a family, because it will make a difference in how you select your rotations. Most importantly, savor your friendships in year two! Sadly for us at COMP-NW our groups of friends are split during the third and fourth years. Enjoy year two while it lasts because year three and year four bring the unknowns of boards, how to best support your med student during rotations, and how to prepare for the residency match.