13 May 2015

Yr 4 Perspective of a Med School Wife: Kristy

When Kristy sent me her fourth year perspective, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't the teensiest bit jealous. Her student, Josh, was able to set up great rotations around his family so they were able to spend most of the year together... and they got their first choice residency. What?! AmazAZing! Kirsty's perspective just goes to show that fourth year isn't inherently deadly.

Thanks, Kristy, for sharing again this year (1st year and 2nd year posts)!

Residency: Internal Medicine in Pueblo, CO

Q: How did you support your med student in year four?

A: One thing that I really had to focus on this year was not making him worry that the kids and I were struggling with him gone so much on rotations. I stayed as positive as I could about it all, and kept things running at home the best I could. I helped him with arranging housing options while he was away, and asked him about aspects of the audition sites that he doesn't always think about, but that I knew would affect his experience during residency. As an outside observer, there are things that I could see that he wasn't really seeing which made a difference in the end about where we chose to go for residency.

Q: Did your family move for fourth year?

A: For fourth year, we moved to Idaho to live with Josh's parents. It was a challenge to be sure, but financially it worked out really well. We felt like if we saved money on rent it would make traveling expenses for auditions less of a stress, and that it would ease my burden since I would have some help while he was away. It was a really good thing for us. Josh set up hospital affiliations in Idaho, so for the majority of the year he was able to do his rotations and be with the family. I love that we got a lot of time with him this year since that won't be the case once residency comes.

Q: What did your student consider when selecting residencies for applications and the match?

A: It was a hard decision for Josh on what kind of residency that he wanted because he was torn between a couple of specialties.  I really left that up to him because I wanted him to go into something he would really love in the long run. As far as where we would go, we focused on staying in the western states to not go to far from extended family. We looked at the list of sites available and eliminated places/cities where we didn't want our family to be, hospitals that were not compatible with Josh's long term career goals, or places that we just didn't feel right about. Josh applied for auditions that were the closest fit to his goals, and for interviews at other places that seemed okay as well. In the end, it was a matter of a lot of prayer and deep conversations about the future. The residency Josh matched into was our first choice, so we are really excited.

Q: What was the most frustrating part about Yr 4?

A: Finding a surgical sub-internship was pretty frustrating since we would think it was working out and then it wouldn't. Also, if I'm being totally honest, it was difficult to work with the school with a lot of things. It felt like they were hindering our efforts rather than ever being helpful.

Q: Any advice for medical student significant others who are approaching this stage?

A: Get an early start on planning rotations and always have a plan B, or C, or D... And really, take advantage of all the time you have together whenever it happens. It can be a fun time and is really exciting even though it's pretty nerve racking at the same time. So much of the future is figured out during this year, and that is the fun part!