Sunday, March 31, 2013

Medical Mondays- Looking Back

Happy Medical Mondays to all who found their way here through the blog hop.  I'm glad to have you stop by and would love for you to leave a comment so I can get to know you!  I'm Chrissie and I'm literally 4 days away from finishing my PhD in Neuroscience.  My husband Jeff is in his final year of Orthopaedic Surgery residency.

The past 5 years have been an interesting ride.  I've wanted to quit a million times.  I've struggled with wanting to continue doing something that offered such little reward.  During my 3rd year I actually applied for a job, and might have dropped out of my program if I had gotten it.  That year was probably the hardest to get through- feeling like I had accomplished so little and still had so far to go.  But here I am, posting this on my final week of graduate school!  There were so many times that I wasn't sure if this day would come.

Being married to a resident has not been easy, and I don't think anyone other than other doctors' wives and military wives can understand the unique challenges we face.  Living apart for 9 months in 2012 for away rotations, 6 of those being in our first year of marriage, straight up sucked.  I dreaded every time Jeff had to pack up and move 1.5 hr down the road and counted down every day he was gone.  I felt like life was so unfair.  I just wanted to live in the same house as my husband, was that so much to ask?!  Then on the months he was home with me, there was call to take, early mornings, and late nights.  But looking back, I think those challenges are what allowed me to get to where I am today.

I reminded myself that if he could get through residency, surely I could suck it up and finish my PhD. One thing about being alone a lot is that it will make you realize that you need to have your own life and to do things for yourself.  So, I just kept on going.  Plus, I didn't want Jeff to be the only doctor in the house...couldn't have him getting a big head or anything, right?  Only sort of kidding.

In a way, I'm thankful for all the time Jeff was gone because it made me a stronger person.  I can't believe I'm almost done and for as much as I've wished these years away I'm starting to want things to slow down a bit.  Don't get me wrong, I will never, NEVER miss the rat behavior testing and the hours spent in the lab re-doing things over and over and over again just to get a negative result.  I'll never miss having to be away from my family on holidays, especially the precious ones that Jeff actually had off.  And I won't miss the feeling of failure after spending 6 months on a project and not get any publishable data from it.  But I realize now that these years have been special in the way that I will probably never do something so big only for myself again.  These years have allowed me to be selfish in that respect.  Yet selfless in regards to all that I feel we've missed out on that "normal" couples get to enjoy.  A double-edged sword, that residency.

So yes, these past 5 years have been a windy, tortuous, wonderful, frustrating, rewarding road.  I'm glad they're almost over, but I'm glad they happened.



  1. Congrats Chrissie, that is such an amazing accomplishment! The challenges that we go through on this medical journey make us that much stronger than the "normal" couples (isn't the divorce rate for "average" couples 51%?).

  2. Thanks for linking up with us again at Medical Mondays! Only 4 days left!!!!!!!!!

  3. 4 days!!! That's awesome. I can't imagine the stress of working on a PhD, being separated from your husband, AND being married to a resident. If y'all can make it through that, I feel like there is hope for the rest of us!!

  4. visiting from MM. congratulations Dr! what an awesome achievement.
    im in the neuro field myself and you did decide on the right path. More power.

  5. Congrats on your PhD and congrats on residency almost being over!!!

  6. Congrats on your PhD! I'm a fairly recent PhD graduate myself- so glad to never have to worry about dissertations/defenses again. :) Although, I'm a little jealous that residency will almost be over for you- we are just beginning that process this summer! (medical school is a second career for my hubby).

  7. Thanks for stopping by the blog!

    2 doctors in the family, eh? Congrats on finishing your PhD!!

  8. Loved this post!
    Also, I'm a follower of your blog and nominated for you for the Liebster Award! Check it out and if you have time, do it!

    1. Thank you Kandice! I just joined your blog!

  9. Visited from Medical Monday - CONGRATS on being almost/all the way done with your PhD! Super amazing accomplishment and I totally understand how easy it would have been to just quit in the middle - these years have been and continue to be hard, but I completely agree about being glad their almost over, but glad they happened! Not everyone gets what this life is like, but it really does create a stronger relationship if you let it!

  10. Glad you stuck it out! Very proud of you...Nice Easter picture. Love you Dad.

  11. Wow! Congratulations - at this point I think you only have 1 day left!!

    Found you via MM Blog Hop!

    Wishing you and your husband the very best.

    Ray Doc Wife


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