Hi Kate the Almost Great readers! I’m Olya, and I blog over at The Siberian American. My husband is currently in his last year of medical school. When he first started medical school, I had no idea what to expect. It was fun being a total newbie to the medical field and starting this adventure with him.
There is nothing better than watching your significant other work towards his passion. The past three years have been rewarding, crazy, sleepless, interesting, exciting, and, sometimes, just plain hard.
Today, I wanted to share the five unexpected things I have learned as a medical school wife.
People ask me about their health problems:
I knew people would come up to Chris and ask him medical questions, but I had no idea that people would ask me for advice. I am an editor. Unless it is a health problem that Chris and I happened to have discussed, I can’t help. Shocking, I know.
My husband’s computer is off-limits:
This is for my sake rather than his. Recently, Chris and I were sitting next to each other on the couch so I looked over to see what he was doing. Oh, you know, just watching an open-heart surgery on YouTube. Fantastic for him, disgusting for me. Lesson learned: never look at his screen without asking first.
People often think we’re super rich:
Honestly, I can’t even begin to describe how crazy this makes me. I hear it all the time. “You are so lucky your husband is a doctor. He must make a lot.” Or someone will joke “Wow, did you marry your husband for his money?” My husband is a medical student, and after that he will be a resident. He is still a long way from making a doctor’s salary, and even then, it’s a weird conversation starter.
Residency match is complicated:
I assumed residency programs are like colleges, where you apply, get accepted, and then get to pick the program you want. Silly me. The match is much more complicated than that. I’m not going to get into the whole process right now, but residency match is nothing like I thought it was going to be. First, Chris has to do an intern year before he starts a residency in his specialty so we might have to move twice. (What?!)
The schedule constantly changes:
I knew Chris would have a crazy schedule, but I thought it would be consistent. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Sometimes he’s at the hospital for 48 hours, and other days it feels like he has a normal 8-5 job. One day he’ll wake me up at 2 a.m. (coming home or leaving, it depends) and the next day he might get up at 6 a.m. The hard part is that you can’t get used to a schedule when there isn’t one.
So far I’ve learned that med school wife = crazy life, but it’s an adventure that I wouldn’t trade, and I am eagerly looking forward to the next step in the journey.