To fully investigate all aspects of my experience, I'd like to welcome my wife as a guest blogger for this week's post. Consideration of those friends and family members who are affected by my decision to attend medical school is important - especially since I'm married.
Thanks for the invitation, Josh. Here's my two cents on, Life as a Medical Student's Wife:Thanks for sharing Willow, you have been extremely supportive and flexible. To see what she has been up to lately, check out her Fresh Squeeze.
I was fortunate Josh knew he wanted to pursue medical school when I met him six years ago. Witnessing the satisfaction he received from previous involvement in the field has been crucial in helping me to be continually encouraging throughout the constant requirements and expectations that school demands. Although I'm not the one sitting in front of a book every night trying to soak in endless pages of information, medical school for me has been equally demanding of my time- and lack of time- with my husband. It has been crucial that I involve myself in my own career, community and personal interests as diligently as he is involved with school. Without my own schedule, having a husband in medical school would never work for me.
Moving to a new location, regardless of the field of study you are entering, always integrates a period of transition. Fortunately my career moved with me, so I did not have to find a new job, but socially it has been difficult to find women in the Las Vegas area who are not solely interested in clubbing on the strip, shopping or eating out for entertainment. Since I work from home as a designer for a company out of state, the ability to connect with women in the work field is difficult. So, I started teaching yoga at a gym and have found many interesting people from all walks of life congregate for fitness. Having an additional social outlet outside of my marriage has been integral in keeping my personal sanity during medical school.
In my Utopian ideals, I believe you should connect with your spouse on a daily basis. Early in our marriage I read it was important to have at least 20 minutes alone everyday with your spouse without interruption in order to maintain a healthy relationship. That usually happened. Since medical school, I have learned to be flexible regarding how, when, and where that connection happens. All the wives I've talked to dread block weeks- I am lucky if I get five minutes of undivided attention. I'm also left doing all of the "chores" on my own, and suddenly I realize just how often Josh really does the dishes. The school let us know up front that the schedule would be demanding, and our relationship has had to adjust to those demands. Having that forewarning has helped us keep the demands in perspective and adjust our needs appropriately. Sometimes this happens more easily than others.
Tools of the Trade
Learning clinical skills requires knowing how to use the tools at our disposal. Diagnostic sets that include an otoscope and ophthalmoscope come in many shapes, brands, and styles. Welch-Allyn tends to hold the gold standard in this arena and rightfully so. They guarantee their products to students as long as they are in medical school or residency. With that, the prices don't seem so bad.
Although my wife is greatly supportive of my endeavors, she still has a hard time swallowing how this small package of tools can be so costly. Thanks for sitting patiently as I used my new equipment to practice my exams, did I mention how great your eardrums look?