Saturday, December 31, 2016

Residency Review: 18 months done.

A year ago I wrote a residency review - the first six months condensed to a few paragraphs - it was an honest look at how I/we were doing with the adjustment to residency life. It wasn't pretty. Now feels like a good time to do another review. A where are we now/how are we doing post of sorts. Currently we are halfway through Joe's second year of residency. Which is also the HALFWAY POINT for his entire residency!!! We are halfway done. Wahoo!!! And we are still swimming. Our heads are above water so I'm calling that a success. In fact the last year has overall been far better than the first six months of residency. My parents came and stayed with us for two months last winter. That definitely helped! And then over the summer the kids and I went on a 5 week road trip to visit family and friends in Minnesota and Wisconsin. And that by far was THE BEST thing for my mental health. To just step back and take a break from it all. Residency life can be all consuming and daunting. It was good to escape it all and see that life exists outside of this weird little residency bubble that we live in. I was able to come back refreshed, energized and thanks to some good thought-provoking conversations with friends with a new sense of purpose. I came back to Texas with a brand new mission. I was going to make sure that I was reaching out to as many residency people (new and old) as possible. I didn't want anyone to feel as lonely as I did the first year. I wanted people to have someone to talk to and somewhere to go when residency gets tough. I wanted to be available and welcoming to people. I had a newfound purpose. 

And Joe? He continues to excel. Second year is when things get real real for the residents. They are promoted to "upper level" resident and they are responsible for their own patients + helping the interns & med students. It took him a while to get the hang of balancing all those things. But now he is loving the added responsibility. He continues to be in his element at work.

And the kids? They are doing well. They have grown accustomed to Joe's ever-changing schedule. Or as best as anyone can:) This year I'd say has been better for them too because Joe's schedule has been more conducive to family time. Instead of having "weekends" in middle of the week Joe has had some weekends off on ACTUAL weekends!!! In fact once this Fall he had two ACTUAL weekends off in a row! It was amazing! We even went on a little mini vacation one weekend. (And by vacation I mean we drove a couple hours away stayed in a hotel for one night and visited a zoo. Wild & crazy times!)

PS On the drive home from the trip (pictured above) I was patting myself on the back and telling Joe that I thought I was doing so much better with handling residency this year. He then kindly reminded me that he had all of his "easy" rotations for the first half of the year and it will be the second half of the year that is challenging. So much for feeling proud of myself! Two trauma blocks and come!

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