July 7, 2010

My Final Answer

I know it may not look like much is going on here in this blog, but I continue to get e-mails from people asking the same question:

As a doctor, when's the best time to have baby? Before or during medical school? How about during residency or as an attending physician? Which specialty should I go into based on my desire to have kids?

I think I have my final answer, really, the end all be all answer. It's beyong cliché. . . but here goes: Accept your callings in life.

If you're a family wo/man, have a family. If you always saw yourself with six kids, think about how much time that would take and subtract it from the latest you'd like to be pregnant and go to it. Something will work out, it alway does. Yes, it will be unbelievably hard, but chances are if you signed up to become a doctor you're a glutton for punishment anyway.

This blog has been brutally honest (as I've been told) about the challenges of becoming a physician while trying to start/raise a family. So long as you go into this process with your eyes wide open, good coping skills, and at least one supportive buddy everything will turn out fine.

Deal with the fact that you'll miss 'firsts.' -You should have known that when you sent in your medical school application. Since none of us remember if mommy and daddy were there when we began walking, just remember that you're more likely to suffer emotional damage than Junior when it comes to absenteeism in the first years.

What children need, says me, are parents who give them their best selves in their formative years (generally accepted as age 3 and beyond). This doesn't necessarily mean, but doesn't exclude, staying at home with them. If you were called to be a homemaker, do it. If you were created to be a doctor, do it. It really doesn't matter what occupation you find yourself in so long as you set a good example of using your talents and giving examples of service. Consider the opposite: A mother who resents her children because they kept her from her career aspirations, or the work-horse who returns home too burnt-out and bitter to enjoy her kids.

The trick here is to choose a specialty (or profession for everyone else) that will build you up to be a better person. -This is where the caveat to my final answer comes. If God blessed you with the skills of a surgeon, but the lifestyle would make you and everyone else miserable, don't do it. Pick the next thing on your list of favorites. Trust me.

Finally, doctoring isn't always the thorn in the side of parenthood. The one perk to being a resident mommy is that when I have to say goodbye to my son, I can always tell him that I must go help others who are less fortunate. I was on-call last night and missing my little guy terribly when I was summoned to see a six-year old boy who was complaining of pain at his gastric-tube site. On the way to his room I saw several children with broken skulls and displaced eyes. You better believe when I came home I held onto his perfect little body longer and with more appreciation than I would have otherwise.

Coming eventually:
  • Patriotism and Decluttering - A match made in heaven.
  • Living life pre- and post-call
  • Are women the cause for the healthcare crisis?
  • The "I can't seem to lose this stomach so I'll just have another baby" option.

July 5, 2010

Suits & Résumé

I totally passed my licensing exams, all three of them.
Now it's time to suit it up, get my résumé out there and control my destiny. First, I need to update my wardrobe. Do you like any of these?

This may seem like a silly question, but have you ever worn a suit before? If so, doesn't it make you feel more powerful and dynamic? I really dig 'em. (Click on the pictures so see where they came from.)

June 29, 2010

Unclutter My Life, Please

Courtesy of Peter Walsh for Unclutterer.

The past seven years of my life have been spent studying, working, studying, working and recently trying to raise a baby. It is safe to say that in this mix my domestic life suffered. Oh, don't worry about the marriage part, I have the most loving and patient husband ever. I'm talking about cooking, cleaning and just plain having a routine.

You'd think that after nearly 7 years of being married, we'd have some semblance of a routine. But it seems like everytime we've got something under control, things change on us. Take for instance my schedule. Every 1-2 months my job duties and hours change. -THAT is the life of a resident. To make matters even more complicated, a growing boy adds extra variety. One day you can leave him in the bouncy chair while you make lunch, the next he's flipped it over and is trying to crawl.

I realized we needed a set routine the other day when I was running up and down the stairs in only a towel while trying to find baby's shoes & food, and my white coat, and Daddy's phone. I forgot to mention the shades were drawn and we have HUGE front windows, so this must have made for an entertaining show.

In the next week I hope to come up with some organizational tips that will streamline my life, if at all possible. And as I always say, if it works for Resident Mommy, it will probably work for you, too.

June 20, 2010


A monumental time.

I have a year's worth of experience being a mother! Can you believe it? One of the quickest lessons I learned was that you can't juggle it all. Hence the HUGE gap in posts.

During my absence from the blog world I took my 16 HOUR board licensing exam and faced several other trials that I can't even get into here. I have lamented my choice to be a resident and mother at the same time, but I wouldn't trade my son for anything. As I spent many long days at the hospital, lost countless hours of sleep, and missed meal after meal I questioned my career choice, too. Then something happened yesterday. . .

My adult cousin choked on her food at the birthday party.

I was sitting at another table enjoying my meal and having fun mommy-to-mommy discussion when I heard: "HELP HER!!!" I turned around to see my family swarming around my cousin who was in obvious distress. Here is what happened next, in step-wise fashion:
  1. I think "Is this really happening? People over-react all the time!"
  2. I approached my cousin quickly to judge for myself.
  3. I can hear my name being yelled to do something, anything.
  4. Iasked my cousin if she can say something, anything.
  5. She puts her hands around her throat and shakes her head desperately.
  6. I think "Ohhhhh man, this is REAL."
  7. "Call 911!" I tell them.
  8. No one moves, everyone (30+) is staring at me.
  9. My cousin is turning blue and remains silent.
  10. I think "She's going to die. I'm not in a hospital. I can't page anesthesia."
  11. I tell myself "All you can do is what you've been trained to do."
  12. People keep staring at me.
  13. I think of all the children around and tell God it would be cruel if tragedy were to strike here, in front of them, and on my little boy's birthday.
  14. I perform the Heimlich maneuver three times.
  15. My cousins gasps for air and begins to speak.
  16. I make sure she's OK.
  17. I sit back down and my uncle says "That med school tuition was worth it!"

May 2, 2010

I Am Not Dead

But this blog is close to expiration, no?

I will resurrect it when I'm done studying for Boards (June 8th), thanks for your patience. . . and prayers!

March 1, 2010

This is What I do When I'm Stressed

OCD much?

I painted the backdrop of those shelves black and organized my books by color. I think it's better than doing drugs, and such.
Full view of the fireplace/bookshelves can be found here. If you're curious to know what that white pile is in the hearth, it's my white coat from intern year that I plan to burn very soon.

February 19, 2010

Had Enough?

I was having this conversation with a friend:

Friend: I'm coming out and telling people now that I'm going to do a fellowship.

[A fellowship is at least one more year of training AFTER residency. For those of you keeping count, that's about 25yrs of education.]

Me: Oh, good for you if that's what you want to do.

Friend: How about you?

Me: I feel like I have to choose between doing fellowship and having another child. These eggs aren't getting any younger.

Friend: Yeah, you're right. That's the reality of the situation. If you're going to do fellowship, that's gotta be your main focus for that year or two.

Me: Didn't you want to have another one?

Friend: Yes, I'm going to try and crank one out while I'm still in residency.

Me: Good luck with that, too.

Does it bother anyone how unnatural this child planning business is for female doctors? What about this idea of being 'in school' forever?