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Monday, February 18, 2013

The Residency Money Pit

Just when you think residency has sucked as much out of you as it possibly can, you get a slap in the face to remind you that there's always something else waiting around the corner.  You might remember me bitching about all the residency-related costs we had to pay for back in December here.  Well, I thought after paying for the written Boards and all Jeff's fellowship interviews that the worst was behind us, right?  Wrong.

There's a Board review course in Chicago that all the Ortho residents go to in order to up their chances of passing.  Not required, but who wants to be the only one to not go and take that risk?  What if you don't pass and always wonder, 'What if I had gone to the Board review course?'  $1300.  Yes, that's $300 more than the actual test itself.  Oh, plus the flight to Chicago, hotel room, food, etc.  In the past, the residents have gotten a company to kindly pay for their expenses out of their education fund.  But it seems that since times are tough, funds are low.

Ok, that sucks.  But, whatever, right?  All of this will be worth it when we can sit back at graduation and share that much-deserved moment with our families and look forward to all that is to come!  Wrong again.  We were just informed that each graduating resident can only bring one guest (ME!) and any other family members that would like to come have to pay $150.  Are you freaking kidding me?!  That would amount to $900 for both of our families to be there (it's at the Ritz so I guess you're paying for the name, because I can assure you the dinner is not worth $150/person).  That is unless the program decides to have it somewhere cheaper.  But after 4 years of watching other classes graduate there, am I wrong to want Jeff to have that same experience?  Why should his be the class that has to sacrifice?

So to everyone in med school, or in the early years of residency- go ahead and save up a good $10K for your last year.  And don't be so silly to think you can use it to by a house, or perhaps reward yourself with a nice vacation when you're done.  Just go ahead and think of it as being lost forever to the black hole that is the cost of becoming a doctor.  Maybe if you're lucky, you'll have a couple thousand leftover to move for fellowship.  If not, there's always more loans.




16 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing! It is always good to hear of things to come... no matter how happy/sad/yucky they may be. We just got done with residency interviews and I felt the "black hole." I didn't know we had to do it again... I guess time to start rebuilding our buffer.

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    1. It's not all terrible! Just hard to see the good things sometimes when we have to deal with things like this.

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  2. ah, you are starting to sound like me (i am sorry). Does he want to do a fellowship:-)

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    1. Yes we're doing a fellowship next year. Yay.

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  3. Wow!!! I know you've heard "it will all be worth it in the end" but gah! That's terrible! they really suck every penny he has earned don't they?! That's ridiculous about only having one guest! :(

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    1. Yes, I hope it really is worth it in the end! So tired of building up our savings only to have it go to work-related expenses!

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  4. It all adds up so quickly!! It is super frustrating to always feel that we are forking out money for something else! Just repeat "there is an end, there is an end..."
    I have a new theory that residency forces you to spend more money in life too; so not only does it pay minimally, but because of the lack of time, it forces you to hire things out that you would typically do yourself. Grr.

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    1. In our case, I end up doing all those things he doesn't have time for :)

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  5. Ugh...thanks for the heads up. One day...one day we will look back and believe it was worth it. I hope. I am waiting for that post from you in about 2 years so I can have something good to look forward to :)

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  6. It never ends!! Somehow we didn't know that Erik had to register and pay for written boards until a week before the deadline. I was so upset! That stinks that his program doesn't pay for the review course. Erik's program pays to send the PGY5's to AAOS and the Miller board review in Denver as well. That written exam is a doozie. I don't remember, but will have you to move far for fellowship [we moved from Midwest to the West coast so it was a pricey move]? And has he signed a contract yet?

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    1. Synthes pays for the PGY4's to go to AAOS every year...he's not at a "rich" program so they don't pay for much. And if I hadn't been my crazy self and looked up the Board deadlines well in advance, I'm sure Jeff would have missed registration! Luckily, we're only moving 3 hrs away for Fellowship- staying in the South. Haven't even started interviewing for jobs yet. Can't wait to be in your position!

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    2. At least it will be a close move. Good luck with the job hunt. Not to be a downer, but that was more stressful than anything else. :-) Do you guys at least have a region where you hope to settle?

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    3. Anywhere in the South! If you hear of anything, let me know ;)

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  7. bahaha! I can relate to your article! Thanks for sharing! We're in our third year of ENT and juggling 3 little girls and residency. We're always penny pinching and new costs are always coming up. Looking forward to the end of the tunnel, but until then we trudge on!

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