Thursday, June 25, 2009
Congrats to ...... US!!
We did it!! Today was Strangers last day as a resident!
The last three years have been so much harder than we ever imagined that they would be. And we did it! We knew that residency would be hard - but we vastly underestimated the strain that it would on our lives...our marriage...everything. Add the hardship of this job and it's huge lifestyle impact with losing four children in three years and holy cow the last three years have been rough. But, we made it and the three of us are still together.
Stranger celebrated the day by wearing his favorite pearl snap shirt to work with his super cool new belt buckle:(Yes, those are rhinestones!) Can you even imagine what the patients think of that? What a way to instill confidence, right? 8 ) (And, Yes, it was a gag gift but he keeps wearing it to work!)
We celebrated at home with a nice home cooked meal and a treat for dessert - ice cream with sprinkles from the local dairy bar. Yum!
What's next for Stranger? A three year fellowship. Some have asked what is the differece between residency and fellowship and what he will be doing. Here it is:
You can think of medical school as learning a little bit about everything. The students rotate through all branches of medicine - peds, internal medicine, surgery, ob/gyn, family medicine, psychiatry, etc. Then the students can figure out which branch of medicine they like the most so they can specialize in one field. When they finish medical school, they are a doctor (MD), but they have to do a residency to learn how to actually treat patients and become licensed.
In comes residency - residency is picking one discipline and learning about all aspects of just that one field - be it peds or surgery or ob/gyn. Different residencies take different amounts of time - from two to three years to six or seven years! For the last three years, Stranger has done all aspects of pediatrics - general peds (like going to the pediatrician), working in the ED, working in the ICU, cardiology, nephrology, etc. He has rotated through almost every department in the hospital. Some of them two or three times.
Now that he is done, he could go out and get a real job - and become a neighborhood pediatrician, but what's the fun in that? Seriously, it's not like we have any debt to pay off....or an adoption to pay for. 8 ) Instead, he will be doing a fellowship in pediatric emergency medicine. So, for the next three years he will work mostly in a pediatric emergency room. He'll do some months in the ICU and some months working in an adult ED (why in an adult ED I have no idea) but he will mostly be in the pediatric ED. Then in three years he will FINALLY be done and go on to get a REAL JOB!!! I'm sure that if he wanted to, he could do another fellowship and further specialize within peds EM ..... but he won't. 8 ) I'm just sayin'.....
The most exciting thing about fellowship is that there is very little call. For most of the past three years, Stranger has been on call every four days. As in, go to work at 5 or 6 am on Monday morning and stay there until noon on Tuesday. Go to work on Wed around 5 or 6 am and come home around 5 or 6 pm. Same for Thursday. Friday, go to work around 5 or 6 am and stay there until noon on Saturday. Repeat that over and over and over - staying at work for 30 hours every 4 days. It's REALLY FUN! Seriously. You should try it! 8 ) So, for fellowship there is very little call. Yay!! Unfortunaly, when there is, it is call every three days. Boo hiss! So for the next three years (and beyond) he will be doing mostly shift work.
Seven years down - only three more years of training to go!