Hi tumblr world! Holy moly, it’s been over 6 months since I’ve been on tumblr. I attribute that to a busier work schedule on my end as well as a better schedule on Doc Star’s end, and I apologize for going dark for such a long time. I thought of this blog tonight as Doc Star just started his surgical ICU month and was supposed to get home 3 and a half hours ago - so I was reminded of intern year ;-)
Anyways, nothing too new or crazy in our world. This year, CA-1 year of anesthesia residency, is so much better than surgical intern year in my opinion. Doc Star is doing what he loves and coming home excited about what he is doing. This month is going to be the toughest month of the year, but I feel like we can make it through just about anything now. Only 2 years and 4 months left of residency!
Hoping I can check in a few more times in the next few months (and catch up on all the blogs I follow). :)
We’ve “survived” our 1st year of med school - but it feels like my being at school all the time has caused my spouse to fall out of love with me. Neither of us do the little things we used to do for each other. Any advice on how to fall back in love with each other?
Sorry for taking a while to get back to you, anon. Starting medical school is a huge change in life, especially if you have also just started your lives together (I don’t know how long you’ve been married, but I’m guessing it’s less than 10 years, probably even 5). A lot of couples go through something similar, so know you are not alone. Remember that feeling when you first met your spouse and wanted to spend every single moment together and you couldn’t stop thinking about him/her? That is what some people call “love sickness”.
I remember that time well. Doc Star and I would do crazy things for each other to prove our love. When I studied abroad, I wrote him a note to read for every day I was gone. Do you know how long it took me to do that? But I was in loooove :). Yes, today we still do little things for one another, but that isn’t how we know we love each other. I remember reading somewhere that romantic love, on average, lasts only three years. Well, DS and I have been together for 7 years, so I guess our “romantic love” has been “gone” for quite some time. But something else (and better) has replaced that. Deep, meaningful love. It’s hard to explain, but it doesn’t require DS to bring me home roses every week. It forms as you go through different experiences - good and challenging - and you come out stronger.
Med school was one of those. It was new and challenging. Doc Star had to study a lot. But we did it. Our relationship was tested, but we prevailed and grew closer. Then intern year happened, and a lot of things that seemed tough in med school maybe weren’t as tough as we thought. But med school molded us to persevere through intern year. And now we are already in year 2 of residency, and intern year has prepared us for this year (see a trend)!
If you feel this “in-love” feeling has waned in your marriage, put it in perspective and do a little work to renew it - it may take a little more work than it used to, but it will be worth it. Set aside a regular date night, write a love letter to your spouse (it doesn’t have to be long). Try to be creative in the ways you show affection to each other. Remember, as you work on your marriage it will probably result in a deeper love and respect for one another.
Also, don’t be afraid to seek professional help or look for counsel from a mentor couple. Hearing the perspective of others is often times very encouraging, especially when you can relate.
You are in a tough situation where have to put almost all of your energy in to school. However, it’s up to you to decide whether or not to put that our your spouse first, and if you do, it’s up to you to make sure that he/she knows that. DS made this very clear to me - and he sacrificed some study time or sleep once in a while to talk about our relationship.
Finally, I have a couple of book suggestions (one I have read and another I haven’t gotten to yet).
The first is the 5 Love Languages, which I think all couples should read. This talks about five different ways we each feel loved, and each of us usually has a primary “Love Language”. These languages are quality time, physical touch, words of affirmation, gifts, and acts of service. For example, let’s say your primary love language is quality time, but your spouse’s primary language is gifts. He/she may think that he/she is showing love to you by buying you a gift, but that may not mean the same to you - you feel more loved when your spouse and you get to spend time together. Seriously, this is a great book and eye-opener!
Next I suggest taking a look at the book The Medical Marriage. It’s on my “to-buy” list and covers some great topics that and unique to a medical relationship.
Finally, I want to make sure you’ve brought up your concern with your spouse. That’s really the first step you need to take. Does he/she feel the same way you are feeling? What are you going to do to make it better? Open communication is one of the most important aspects to any marriage.
And remember, those “little things” that you do for each other are great, but what you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.
Just got an email that this blog turned 2 today! Pretty crazy that it is also Doc Star’s LAST DAY OF INTERN YEAR!!
We are ending the medical year with a bang: dinner tonight with some family and friends, DS’s 10 yr high school reunion tomorrow, and leaving Sunday for an all-inclusive beach vacation where there will be no 3:30 am alarms set, no rounding, no 14 hr work days, but lots of relaxation (and some fly fishing).
Looking forward to writing an “intern year in review” post, but that probably will come after vacation. So proud of my Doc Star! 1 year down, 3 to go!
Wow, it’s been a while. Intern year is over in 15 (yes 15) days!
Today/tonight is the end of year party/formal for the residents to celebrate the graduation of the 5th year residents. It’s also a sort-of farewell to the interns who did their PGY-1 year in general surgery, but are going into a different specialty (i.e. anesthesiology, radiology, etc).
I’m planning on writing a longer post that will look back on the year, but I am just so proud of Doc Star and all of the other residents. Cheers!
50 days left of intern year!!!!
(I know I’ve been MIA lately, but this was definitely something worth sharing!)
Two years after the 16-hour mandate was established for doctors in training, studies on the outcomes are being published, and the results reveal one thing: Maybe we should have thought a little harder about the arithmetic.
No one is joking when they say that being a 21st century doctor is hard. The new rules on hour restrictions and the poor way it has been addressed with ‘floater’ schedules and the like has been discouraging. I haven’t started my clerkship yet, but this is definitely something on my mind.
With Doc Star being a surgical intern, this really hit home. I can’t tell you how many times he’s told me that there is just not enough time to get everything done and not enough people to do it, especially at night.
Others adopted a “night float” system that meant a resident just a year out of internship had to carry the work of as many as 12 interns at night, looking after more than 100 patients and fielding questions about those patients at best every 20 minutes and at worst every 11 minutes throughout the night.
His very first night as an intern, he worked a Friday night and was expected to cover 40+ patients and know everything about them. He carried 4 pagers and constantly being paged. Last month he had a whole month of night float. He alone had to personally carry all the pagers for the vascular, cardiovascular, and neuro patients, which of course were the sickest patients. His pagers were constantly going off and the nights were just crazy. And after running around all evening and morning, he is expected to present every single patient on A.M. rounds.
Another point is DS wants to take advantage of his vacation days, but he can’t help but feel guilty when he leaves more work for the other residents when he is gone. He’s been left with 3x the work when others are out, so he understands. He needs days off, but knows that he’s leaving someone else with more work than they can handle.
Bottom line is they are understaffed. I agree: “Until we address the problem of overwork, we’re just playing a shell game.”