Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Loan Repayment During Residency

A long time ago I tried to write about residency repayment. Well since then I have learned a lot.

Here are two excellent posts about repayment in residency:

Financial Aid - Part II

Now that we are actually in repayment, I can also help explain or answer any questions you may have, but I figured I would just link to the post because it explains everything pretty well.

Also if you haven't made it over to my new blog, please check it out at:

champagneandbonbons.blogspot.com and you can still email me at: marriedtoamedicalstudent@gmail.com or now at champagneandbonbons@gmail.com regarding any questions on loan repayment, applying to residency or any other questions you may have!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Please Vote!

A good friend of mine is in the running for a Pepsi Refresh grant of $50,000. I'd appreciate it if you would go to the following link and vote for his organization!

You have to provide an email address or you can vote through facebook. You can vote everyday. In the past few weeks they have moved from close to 200 close to 110 - but they need to continue to move up!


End Homelessness

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Officially a "Doctor's Wife"

So we made it, we survived medical school! And my darling husband is officially a doctor!
As promised I'll be starting my new blog this month (June) and you can find me at:

I'd appreciate it if you all follow me over there. I'll also start following blogs under that username as well (Mrs. Dawkter). We're on vacation right now, trying to spend a little quality time together before the dreaded residency begins! But when we get back I promise I'll update on graduation, finishing up work, moving and everything else we've been up to! I look forward to returning to blogging and catching up on all of your lives as well!

My Blog Featured!

I was surprised to get an email that my blog was featured among other blogs written by medical students. Here is the link in case your interested in checking out the other blogs!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Time is Flying

I still cannot believe it is May, and its flying by! We've been super busy, Drew's winding up school, I'm busy with work, then we try and fit some packing in at night, and we're trying to get everything ready for closing, as well as schedule some updates to be done before we move in. Oh, and I'm also trying to look for a new job. That's not going so well, and with the expenses of closing, and moving adding up, I've had a few meltdowns, freaking out about money and making everything work. Unfortunately the job hunt is very time consuming and I've only had time to apply to about a dozen jobs. Each cover letter and application takes more time than I anticipate, so I just haven't done as much applying as I'd like. And then of course I've only even gotten two acknowledgements of my applications - which is not too encouraging. For now I'll keep applying and try not too freak out too much until we're into July. I'm hoping after we move I can devote more time to the job search in June. So not too much to report here.

This weekend we'll be mortgage owners, next weekend I'll be a dawkter's wife, and the following weekend we'll be residents of a new location.

And hopefully next month - I'll debut the new blog!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Next Chapter

Thank you all for your thoughts and advice regarding my blog and what exactly to do.

I am still leaning toward starting a new blog. The reason is because when I started my blog I figured it would only be read by close friends and family and therefore it is linked up with my personal email - so right now I can't really reply to everyone's wonderful comments. For that reason I really want to start a new blog and set it up properly so that I can respond to everyone's comments. My thought is that I would post a link on this site and those who want to follow me over to my new blog could.

I also have a title of a blog that I think I could take with me throughout and changes. But I thought I would again get your thoughts.... so my thought is to call my future blog:

Champagne and Bon Bons
The glamorous real life of an attorney and doctor's wife.

For those of you who are attorneys or married to medical students or doctor's wives you can understand that people often make assumptions regarding you life, one being that your rich, or that your life is cushy. And from what I hear, residency is anything but champagne and bon bons.

And also to address some of your comments about why my blog is currently married to a medical student, or why I would want my future title to include something about being married to a doctor. Its not because that is all I am. I know that I am more than a wife. Being married to someone in medicine, doesn't make me who I am, but it does say a lot about me. Being married to someone in medicine means being willing to sacrifice, and to put someone else's career before yours and supporting your spouse through some highs and lows of a long educational and training process. For us, it will mean 4 years of post graduation education and at least 7 years (if not 8 or 9) years of residency or training. Furthermore, my blog has been a way to meet other medical spouses and to try and be a resource for other med student spouses, just as many doctor's wives have been to me. I also want to continue that, and to try and shed a little light on what it is like being married to a medical spouse, and perhaps dispel some of the myths associated with being a "doctor's wife."
So what do you think?

Harder than I thought

I am still here, just very busy. But I figured I’d try and spend some time to post a quick update of what has occurred in the last month or so.

First, that housing I was talking about... well, we are hoping to purchase a place but I was nervous to actually say that until we got a little further along in the process. You never know what an inspection will show and we weren’t sure if we would be able to get the appropriate financing. But right now it looks like it just might happen! In about three weeks we should be mortgage holders!

So for us right now, I am job hunting (no luck yet). Drew is finishing up classes. We are looking to close in 3 weeks. We are also trying to order flooring/carpeting for our new place because the current stuff is about 25 years old and completely disgusting (I want new stuff installed before we move in). Graduation is in 4 weeks. And we plan to move in 5 weeks.

I am a little overwhelmed to say the least. And to be totally honest, this whole process is a lot harder than I thought it would be. I guess I figured this would be an easy transition considering we are moving somewhere I want to go. But I still find myself struggling some days to accept all the change coming our way. I think part of it is that I am overwhelmed about all that has to get done before now and moving day, and part of it is just because I don’t do well with change.
Now that I am finally comfortable with Springfield, have come to enjoy the area, and it has come to feel like home, I am being uprooted and transplanted somewhere else. It will be a new home, new neighborhood, new church, new bank, (hopefully) new job.

Don’t get me wrong, I am very excited about starting the next step in our journey, but I still find myself struggling with letting go with our life here. Its so odd because this is the last thing I expected considering where we are headed. I had anticipating struggling if we were moving a location I did not want to go, but we are staying in the midwest, and going to a city I am excited about. I never expected there to be such a disconnect between my head and my heart. I'm almost upset with myself for struggling with it so much. It feels silly to be so sad at times.

I guess the best way to describe it is bittersweet, and right now it seems a lot more bitter than sweet... but I know that once we get there, and I adjust, it will be very sweet.

Monday, April 5, 2010


in a less than two months, my husband will be graduating medical school. And I will no longer be "married to a medical student." So I was hoping to get some feedback and advice. What should I do? Should I continue blogging? Should I stay with the current title? Should I start a new blog? Any advice? Any suggestions?
Unfortunately marriedtoaresident marriedtoamedicalresident, adoctorswife, thedoctorswife are all taken with blogspot... and the sad part is most of them are blogs that haven't been written on at all or haven't been written on in months. I have also pondered titles that don't have doctor or resident in the title. I'd like to continue blogging, both as a means to document our life and also to serve as a resource to other spouses of medical students and (in the future) residents. So . . . please tell me your thoughts, I'd love to hear them!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Sunday

Today we celebrated another wonderful holiday with our family. Easter Sunday is a particularly special day for me... not only because of what the holiday representes, but also because it was the day Drew proposed, four years ago. Here are a few photos from the day....

Ophie playing piano


With the family

There was a lot of delicious food, I ate entirely too much, but it was a much needed relaxing day with family (things just haven't slowed down since match day!)

Hoping all of you had fabulous weekends as well!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Traveling to our future home

This past weekend we headed to our "new home." On Saturday we looked at nearly fifteen places to live with our parents. Then we drove around and explored the area and checked out the hospital where Drew will start working on July 1, 2010. Unfortunately I didn't have my memory card with me and didn't get any pictures at the hospital or of the area. I consider myself a photo-holic because I am constantly pulling out my camera and snapping photos all the time... so I am a bit ashamed that I didn't take any photos to document our first visit to our new home. After exploring all day on Saturday and seeing so many places I was absolutely exhausted and overwhelmed (and a bit overtired from a busy week). Luckily after getting a good nights sleep Drew and I had clearer heads and decided on a place to live! We are very excited and I cannot tell you how much of a relief it is to found a place! Again, no photos (hangs head in shame), but maybe we'll get some next time we visit. So that's all the news I've got, but its pretty big news to us. Hopefully if all goes well this week we'll be able to cross "housing" off the to do list!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Very Thankful Thursday

This Thursday we have a lot to be thankful for! I cannot tell you how incredibly thankful we are for matching, and for matching exactly where we did. We truly feel like we beat the odds matching in neurosurgery coming from a school that didn't even have a residency program. We just feel so fortunate.
We do know some people that didn't match, and it broke our hearts, as they are great people. We can only hope that their new paths will end up better than expected, but there is no doubt that they are having a challenging time accepting the unexpected. Unfortunately with "match," crap happens. Every year there is always at least one, if not several unexpected results. (And I swear I am not trying to scare any of you), but there is always a qualified applicant who for some reason doesn't match, or there is some rock star candidate who matches at their #9 even though everyone thought she was going to her #1. It just happens. I am not trying to scare anyone, just reminding you that no matter how certain something may seem, there is no certainty, in medicine, or in the match. So if you can, let go and accept it for what it is. Out of your control.
For Drew and I it meant a lot of praying, both in deciding his specialty and in applying and ranking our programs. Most importantly though, is how we prayed. We didn't pray for program X, or to be in state K. We prayed that God's will would be done, and that we could accept whatever that would be. And therefore we truly are at peace (and excited) about where we are headed. We feel that we are going exactly where we are meant to go. (Hopefully I will still feel that way in seven years!). And my motto: expect the worst, hope for the best.
And finally, for those of you who are third years, or married to third years. The anticipation of match is much worse than the actual thing. Last year, the night before match, Drew and I couldn't sleep, we were horrified that next year it would be our year. But oddly enough we actually were able to get some sleep the night before match day this year. So as scared as you are now, really it only gets better, because with time you learn to accept the uncertainty and all the possibilities. And also, it flies by! Before you know it you will be looking back and wondering where your fourth year of medical school went!
And being thankful for matching, here are a few more photos from last week.
After we found out the news we made calls to our family and friends to share the good news.

Drew with my fabulous sister and my awesome nephews

Wearing our awesome t-shirts! Thanks again Lindsay!

The soon-to-be doctor and me

Taking shots with my girls Lindsay and Shannon

At the beginning of the bar crawl

We are so thankful, I cannot tell you how blessed we feel.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Out of sorts

Ever since match day I've lost our routine and I just feel out of sorts. I've been eating junk food, not working out, and not being very productive. Don't get me wrong I had a great time with family and friends Thursday thru Saturday, but I haven't been able to get back into a routine even after our guests left.
It was nice to at least go to work today to get back to some sense of normalcy. I spent hours in front of the computer this weekend researching our future home and all the various neighborhoods. I've been house/condo/apartment hunting and I just haven't been able to stop. It's horrible. Although we finally know where we are going, I still feel like I have absolutely no control over my life. I think that is why I am trying to get something figured out or settled. We are going this weekend to explore and checkout our new location, so I am definitely looking forward to that. But I do need to figure out how to get back into a routine again, otherwise I am going to be 300 pounds, out of shape, and have a messy messy apartment and no clean clothes! But seriously, I still feel very disoriented and can't totally wrap my head around all the changes that are ahead of us.
Thank you all for the congratulations, and I am sorry I kept you in suspense for so long!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Match Day!

The past two/three days have been a very busy blur! Our families came in town Wednesday night and we the festivities began with dinner at a local pizzeria.
I was able to get a little bit of sleep Wednesday night because I was too busy worrying about where I had misplaced an SD card to think about the next day (I still haven't found that SD card). Thursday morning began with morning mass with all our guests, followed by breakfast and mimosas at our apartment. At around 10:35 Drew, his dad, my dad and his cousin all headed over to pick up the "match day envelope." The rest of us headed over to a local restaurant. We didn't participate in the school's match day event because it only allowed each student to bring two guests (which wouldn't have allowed Drew to bring both me and his parents).
When we got to the restaurant we made sure we had a few people on speaker phone and then we opened the envelope!
As you can see we were surprised! Drew was hoping for anything his top 12, I was hoping for anything in our top six. I really thought we'd match either with our 1 or with our 5, so I was stunned when we matched with our #4. For some reason no one in either of our families thought that was where we were headed, but being that it was in our top six I was ecstatic!

Once it all set in I did a lot of crying; tears of joy, of course! I know a lot of you would like to know where we are going but because medicine is such a small world I'd rather not post to the Internet and the entire world where we will be going. But I will say that we are staying within the Midwest. For those of you who comment often and may be in the area you can email me your guesses and I may just tell you if we are in the same vicinity.

The rest of the day was spent celebrating and after going out to dinner we took part in the medical school bar crawl. Lindsay (Drew's cousin's wife) made these awesome shirts for all of us to wear! They were quite a hit. (And on the back she wrote where Drew matched).

The last of our family left this morning. I still am in shock and am excited, but not quite sure where to begin with all the changes that will be coming!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Cost of 2 new suits = $600.00

Cost to interview at 16 programs = $5,012.98

Getting the email that says "Congratulations you matched!" = PRICELESS!

Praise God for the good news! We went out to lunch to celebrate! My stomach is in knots and I'm not sure if its from the greasy lunch or from worrying all morning! Thank you all for the encouraging comments this morning! Now we just have to wait until Thursday to find out where! I'm still in a little bit of shock!

It's Black Monday

Today we find out IF Drew matched.....

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I won!

Not a contest, and not the lottery, but the case I argued in front of the appellate court back in July! I represented the appellants meaning we were trying to get the case overturned, and the Appellate Court finally came back with a ruling.... in my client's favor! I am still in a bit of shock as it was an administrative case, which rarely gets overturned on any level of appeal, and also because I had figured we had lost since the Court was taking so long to write their decision!
I'm so excited, it is such a great feeling. Just another reason I love litigation, although it takes a lot of patience and time, there is nothing like winning a motion or a case!

Monday, March 8, 2010

And the Countdown Continues

... the Countdown to match day that is! Its 7 days until we find out if he matched and (then if he matched) 10 days until we find out where (hopefully)!

And fortunately things have really picked up around here. Work has been very busy, and there is a lot to get done. Especially considering I am hoping to take next Thursday and Friday off because our families will be in town for match day.

This past weekend we were out of town to see Drew's college friends and also celebrate his Dad's Birthday so nothing got done around here. So I am looking at a little over a week to get my match day goals done... and get ready for company!

But I have gotten the first two things done of my list. The pantry was cleaned out and organized! Although I cannot take credit for that - Drew did it. But I did go through my entire closet and clean it out.

Here it is before:

And after:
And here are some of the clothes and shoes that I will be donating (plus 2 suits and 2 dresses)

So I've definitely been staying busy, and the time is actually going by quite quickly. I am shocked at the fact that I don't seem to be too nervous or antsy yet. This is very unlike me considering I am the biggest worrywart ever! But I'm not complaining, in fact I am so grateful that I am doing so well with this waiting game!

But, because I am so busy, and because I still have so much to do and work is so busy, I might not be blogging as much. So I apologize in advance for my lack of presence on the blogosphere. So you know, it's nothing personal if I'm not reading/commenting on your blogs right now, its just that I have a lot on my plate! I hope you understand, its just that blogging is a hobby, and I cannot let it get in the way of my responsibilities and priorities right now.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Dear Blogger,

You suck.

(I spent about 2 hours writing more answers to your questions and the sneaky thing told me it was saving... and it wasn't. Although I wasn't logged into the right gmail address... but still... grrr!)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Bloggy Love

Okay so I am a little slow on responding, but better late than never.
Fantastic Stephanie also known as Army Wife on a Mission was so kind as to give an award!

Just Because award. No Strings Attached...

All you do:
* accept award.
*post it on your blog
*Link it back to the person
*pass it on if you'd like...
It's Just Because...

And I'll pass this one along to:

AMS of Surviving Long Distance Love

Katherine Anne of Medical School Mrs

Elle at Completely Preppy

Ms. Pretty at Pretty Woman and Classy too

Gucci Mama at Mama still wears Gucci

Courtney at Starting Out

Dede at Weathering the Storms


Then awesome Elle, from Completely Preppy gave me this Happy 101 award!

You're supposed to list 10 things that make you happy and try to do at least one of them today. My ten things:

  1. Spending time with my husband
  2. Spending time with my family
  3. Spendng time with my friends
  4. Sunshine
  5. Running/walking/biking outside
  6. Sunbathing/relaxing in the sun
  7. Babies/kids (spending time with them)
  8. Eating icecream
  9. Baking/cooking
  10. Crafting

I'll pass this one on to:

Happy Dash of Happy Day World

Mrs. D at Life of a Doctor's Wife

Little Miss Dreamer at the Soon to be Mrs. C

Mrs. Stoneking at Meet the Stonekings

Jenny at Life of a Med Student


Then the very funny Mrs. D of Life of a Doctor's wife and me the Beautiful Blogger Award!

And I'd like to pass this one on to:

Stephanie at Army Wife on a Mission

Jennifer at Pour l'Amour de

Kelly at the Startup Wife

Jessica at Acting Adult

Kristin at the Waiting Game


And from the sweet Happy Dash of Happy Day World I got this one:

"This award means you're really going places, Baby. You'll still be blogging about your great adventures 10 years from now, and I'll still be reading them."
The Rules:
* Link back to the blogger who sent you this award
* Post where you would like to be in 10 years
* Pass it on to 10 other special bloggers!

In ten years, I hope that Drew is finished with his residency and fellowship training (probably only by a year or two), and that he will finally be an attending. I hope that are both in good healthy and that we have at least two beautiful healthy children. I hope we own a home and our on our way to paying of his medical school loans. Hopefully that's where we'll be in 10 years, I don't think that's too much to hope for?

I'd like to pass this award on to:

Alyssa at Bloggin2Noggin

Kelsey Claire at Lavendar, Leopard and Lace

Ashley at As a Matter of Opinion

Law School Wife at Life of a Law School Wife
Sorry this wasn't a very exciting post, but its something I'd been putting off for a while, so it was about time I got to it! I hope you get a chance to check out these great blogs!

Friday, February 26, 2010


is not my strong suit. I'm actually incredibly impatient. So here we are three weeks, or 20 days out from match day. And there isn't much to do but wait.

Speaking of waiting, I've also been waiting on the court to rule on a Summary Decision that was filed this past summer, as well as the appellate court to make a decision on a case that I appealed last July. The legal system moves quite slowly. The wait time on the summary decision isn't too much of a surprise because it is an administrative case (meaning its before an administrative law judge rather than in a regular court of law), and we were told that they wouldn't get to the decision before January. But as far as the appeal, it is somewhat frustrating because the average decision time in the appellate court is 6 weeks. Unfortunately its been seven months and still no decision. Which probably isn't a good sign, but there isn't much I can do but wait.

Which brings me back to my original topic, waiting for match day. Its a somewhat awkward period because interviews are over, but you cannot start planning for your future because you don't know what or where you are planning for. Rather than drive myself crazy I've decided to set a few goals for myself to keep myself distracted. Not like I am bored, but my life could use a bit more productiveness. And since I'm not always good at follow through I figured I'd blog about a few of my goals to keep myself somewhat accountable. And I must confess, some of these things have been on my "to-do list" for a long time. So in the three weeks, or 20 days, however you want to count it, I'd like accomplish the following:
  1. Clean out/organize the pantry (it is totally disorganized right now)
  2. Clean out my closet and donate items to Good Will (I have too many clothes that I never wear).
  3. Clean off my desk and "desk area." I'm embarrassed to say that I have a several stacks about a foot high of mail, paperwork, bills and filing that need to be organized, filed or shredded. And even more embarrassing is that there are piles around and underneath my desk as well. Photo courtesy of: http://www.greenberg-art.com/.Illustrations/.Humorous/MessyDesk.html
  4. Organize pictures and put them in frames. (This is somewhat related to my desk issue as I have a huge basket of pictures and frames that need to be updated and organized)
  5. Scrapbook Drew's whole match experience (I made him take pictures at each location).
  6. Lose those 5 or so Thanksgiving-Christmas-Vacation Pounds

I'm hoping that by blogging about these goals, I might actually follow-through with (at least some of) them? Well here is to hoping I have a very productive 3 weeks/20 days and that they pass by quickly!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Thankful Thursday - February 24

This Thursday I am thankful for the days getting longer! I am not particularly a fan of winter, and I am ready for spring to be here already!
Photo courtesy of Kitchtography at photobucket,
Sunshine on a winter day makes the cold a little more bearable. I appreciate the extra bit of sunlight we get as the days are gradually getting longer. Leaving work when there is still a sliver of sunshine is like a reminder and promise that spring will come.
What are you thankful for this Thursday?

Make sure to link to your actual POST and not just your blog! Thank you in advance for sharing your stories! Thanks in advance for playing along!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Answers - Part One

Okay so as promised here are a few of the questions that were asked:

Q: My question to you, without getting too specific, is are you guys likely going to have to relocate very far for residency? I'm curious because we lucked out in the sense that there are more residencies in the NYC metro area than in some entire states, so our move will only be a matter of a few miles, and I know that is not the case for many residents and their families across the country. How will this affect your career?
A: One thing I had no clue going into this process was just how little control I would have over my future. I am a total control freak that absolutely hates change! I seriously went off to college because I knew all of my friends were leaving and I didn't want to be left behind, but I was scared to death to go. And then when college was over I think what made my decision to go to law school so easy was that I was scared to enter the real world - I figured law school would be an extension of college (boy was I wrong!).
Anyways, when I married Drew I knew I would have to follow him to medical school but I figured that once he was done we would get to "pick" where we wanted to live. Unfortunately with applying to residency, certain specialties aren't located everywhere, and then there is the whole matching process that really takes things out of your control. Although I was weary (probably an understatement) to move to Springfield, Illinois, I have really grown to love it here. Unfortunately due to Drew's chosen specialty, the only way we will stay here is if he doesn't match in neurosurgery. There is no neurosurgery residency program here, and in fact there are only about 100 programs in the entire country. Then when you factor in the fact that it is a highly competitive specialty, you really have to prepare to go anywhere you can match. I try not to think to much about leaving my job because I absolutely love it and the people in my office. I also am still worried about matching, so until we get word on March 15th saying that Drew matched in neurosurgery, I won't make any career plans. If, heaven forbid, he doesn't match, we would stay here and figure things out for a year. If there was a neurosurgery program here, we would absolutely considering staying.
Also as an attorney I am only licensed in the state of Illinois, which means if we match anywhere outside of Illinois, I will have to take another bar exam. Another thing I am choosing not to think or stress about, I will deal with that after March 15th.
No I do not want to leave my current job, and I do not want to take another bar exam, but ultimately we put a lot of thought and prayer into Drew's decision to pursue neurosurgery and I feel like it is his calling. Therefore I feel like God already has the next steps in our journey planned for us, I can only hope that that plan includes a new job for me that I enjoy half as much as my current one.

Q: I was wondering if you knew of any great blogs or resources for med students husbands? I can't imagine the preppy boyfriend dropping by one of ya'lls blogs, but I do think that it would do him good to hear some of what other people go through... like for instance, he doesn't believe me when I say that during the clinical and residency years, it is entirely possible that I will spend 24-36 hours continuous at the hospital.
A: I did spend some time searching last night and unfortunately I couldn't find the blog of a male medical spouse. I do think you will spend 24-36 consecutive hours at the hospital, but most of the time that will be because you are on-call for the night and therefore you will have some advance notice of when it is going to happen. The good news is that a lot of programs have what is called "post call" so that when you worked all day, and were on call all that night, you get to leave the hospital by a certain time the next morning (usually by noon). Your hours will greatly vary by your specialty and by your med school and residency program. A good resource to check out is FREIDA program search. Programs fill out surveys yearly and one of the questions pertains to the maximum amount of consecutive hours on duty. Another resource for him to check out is the International Spouse Network, although most of the members are female, there are some male spouses as well. It is a good resource to ask questions, and also a place where medical spouses can chat with other spouses who actually understand the stress and time constraints a medical career can have on a family. (I say that because the average person thinks a doctor's life is cushy because they are "rich," they don't always realize the time commitment involved).

Q: My question is if your costs counter for applying for residency are accurate? Currently it is at $900 and I have been told by some fourth years at our school to save up $10,000 to be on the safe side. I am sure that it may be more expensive for us since there are no programs my husband (or most students) are even interested in in our state but I was just curious since there is such a discrepancy and I have seen you mention how expensive it has been.
A: No that amount was not correct. We got so busy with interviews that I didn't keep up with my tally of expenses, but now my costs should be up to date. Applying to residency can be between $1,000 and $15,0000 depending on how many programs you apply to, how many you interview with and where the interviews are at. We were lucky in that although he took 16 interviews (he applied to 42 programs and was offered 23 interviews) he was able to drive to 10 of the interviews (he probably should have flown to one of those though). We also saved a lot of money with having him stay with friends and family whenever possible. Some locations (such as Dallas) were also a lot more affordable to fly in and out of. My expenses do not include the cost of any meals or snacks and I may have missed a few baggage fees in my calculation.
Here is a brief breakdown of our costs:

ERAS Fees: $655.00 (to apply to 42 programs).
Interviews: $4,307.98 (Hotels, plane, car rental, gas, airport parking for 16 interviews)
NRMP Fee: $50
Total = $5,012.98

Although that is a lot of money I still think it is on the low end. The two most expensive interviews were $811.62 and $717.16. One of our interviews was "free" in the sense that Drew didn't have to spend any gas money because he was already in town from an interview in the same city the day before, and he stayed with family so there was no hotel bill. Two programs also covered the hotel cost and he stayed with family/friends for five of the interviews. I have spoken with two other wives who applied in ortho (another competitive surgery) and their spouses did 18-22 interviews and their costs were closer to $10,000 and $15,000 (I know one of them said the cost to change two flights was very expensive!).

I apologize as my answers were longer than expected but hopefully they were helpful to someone! I still have more to answer but I figure that was more than enough for one blog post!

Monday, February 22, 2010

So to update on last week's "laundry incident" . . . I was able to quickly throw my shirt in the washer again and it appears that most of the pink is gone. So the shirt was saved, and I can now laugh at the humor in the situation. I guess what really irked me is that I know my husband knows how to do the laundry, and normally he is a very detail oriented person, who would freak out if I wasn't careful with his clothes. But it was a mistake, and I'm over it, and my husband has forgiven me for my mean outburst as well.

And to follow-up on that expensive shower cleaner my husband purchased . . . well that "power sprayer" that provides a continuous stream of cleaner so that you don't have to exhaust your finger pushing the trigger . . . well go figure, it makes you go through the cleaner a lot faster! The bottle is already empty. It was a genius marketing plan, not only is it more expensive, it also makes you consume more product!

And if you have a moment, make sure you go checkout Mrs. Stoneking's blog for a super nice giveaway!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Rank Order List

Well, Drew and I have made several lists for the past several months. And I think we finally have our final, rank order list! We sat down today with my parents and Drew's Mom over lunch to discuss our final list. (Drew's Dad was supposed to join us but it a busy season at work so even though he had someone to cover his shift he was still called in to work all day.) Below is a photo of all of us after lunch.

We basically went through the list and discussed the pros and cons of each program and went over why we ranked each program in each spot. It turns out we were actually much more confident in our list than we thought. We didn't end up changing anything, after discussing it with them and it just confirmed that we had done as much researching, thinking, praying and discussing as possible. I don't think we could be any more prepared. So I think our list is final!
Drew certified it tonight and we plan to forget about it (or at least try to). Technically you can certify your rank list as many times as you wish, and the NMRP just uses the last list you certifiy. That way people can certify it and still change their mind and recertify it. But we plan to just leave our list as is and not touch it (even though the deadline is not until Wednesday night). Our fear is that if we do any changing of the order at this point it will be a rash decision which we will later regret.

It feels good to have our list finalized. I feel like I can exhale a bit!

I intend to get to some of your questions this week! I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Thursday, February 18, 2010


So I have a little confession. I had a small meltdown/spaz/freak-out on my husband tonight. And in my defense I am very tired, and I had an odd day at work.

Many of you may sympathize with the fact that when you ask (some) men to help out around the house, sometimes you just have to bite your tongue. Like when I sent Drew shopping a few weeks ago. Sometimes they just don’t do it exactly how you would, but like I said, you have to bite your tongue, because they are helping out. And if you complain when they are trying to help, they aren’t going offer to help anymore!

Drew was just about to leave for what his school calls senior night, but its not what you think, because every Thursday is "senior night." It's basically just going to a different bar every Thursday. And like I said, I am tired, so I had already decided I wasn’t going to go along.

As he was walking out the door I noticed that the last two loads of laundry were no longer on the floor in the living room. I realized Drew must have been so sweet to do them. And my first thought was, I hope he separated my cream shirt from the darks. I run the washer and open it to find my BRAND NEW beautiful cream Anne Tayor loft shirt in with my red, purple and blue tops.

The beautiful cream top was PINK! I was fuming! I immediately start screaming.

"Get out! Get out of here right now!" I tell him. I knew I was about to blow.
Instead of taking my cue to leave Drew comes up and starts to apologize and tries to hug me.
I was so angry, I continue to scream, "You want to be a brain surgeon and you cannot even figure out how to separate the whites from the darks?!"

Needless to say, it was not one of my finest moments. He eventually did leave and gave me a few minutes to calm down. He called to apologize again, and don’t worry I apologized for my horrible behavior!

I think it might be a good idea for me to get to bed early tonight!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Thankful Thursday - Feb 18, 2010

Is it really Thursday already? This Thursday I am thankful for our parents. Drew and I are so incredibly lucky to have the most loving, supportive and wonderful parents.
I feel so fortunate to be blessed with such great in-laws. They have always treated my like I was their own daughter, and they make me feel like I have always been a part of their family. They are there for us for whatever we may need, whether it be that Drew is stranded with a flat tire and he needs them to come bring him a tire iron, or if we need to be moved on the hottest day of the year (it just so happens they moved us on both the hottest day of the summer and the coldest day of the winter). I love them not only for all that they are, but also for what they aren't. They are never overbearing, bossy, intrusive, judgmental or negative. They are only supportive and loving in everything they do.
I am also thankful for my parents. They too are incredibly supportive and loving to both Drew and I. They too are always willing to help us out or come to our rescue. They encourage us in our endeavors and support our dreams. They always lend a listening ear, and give us an honest an opinion when we seek advice. There isn't anything they wouldn't do for us.
Drew and I are so fortunate to both have parents who have set amazing examples for us in our marriage. Through their marriages they have shown us selflessness, sacrifice and unconditional love.
Even though we are grown adults, and have been long out of the house they still take pity on us and let us tag along on their vacations. They make sure we are well fed any time we go home to visit, and always offer any help we may need.
Our parents are a big reason I feel comfortable with all the potential upcoming change. I know both our mothers will seriously, drop everything to help us in anything we may need, whether it be with finding housing, cleaning, shopping or packing/unpacking. I know our parents will make any potential changes as smooth as all possible.
Although our parents would never tell us how to live our lives, we do value their opinions and their life experience. Which is why we will be sitting down with them again this weekend, one last time, to review our rank list before our final submission. I know most couples would never dream of asking their parents for help, in fear of getting just too much advice, but in our case, our parents input will help us feel as comfortable as possible in making our final decisions. I just don't know what we would do without are amazing parents.
What are you thankful for this Thursday?
Make sure to link to your actual POST and not just your blog! Thank you in advance for sharing your stories! Thanks in advance for playing along!

Monday, February 15, 2010

I won!

So being the overly involved wife that I am, I periodically check up on the website and chatboards for neurosurgery. The doctor that has created the Handbook for Neurosurgery, also known as the "Neurosurgeon's bible" is coming out with a new edition. To further explain this book, it is something that every neurosurgery resident owns! It was the book that Drew read every night (for as long as he could keep his eyes open) when he was on his away rotations. And now Drew is trying to read it cover to cover in preparation for residency.
So today I was checking out the neurosurgery website and saw that the author, Dr. Greenberg is having a contest to promote the newest edition. I decided to sign up to follow his blog so that I could follow the giveaway. This afternoon I got an email asking if my husband was hoping to go into neurosurgery. I quickly replied explaining that he is hoping to match in neurosurgery next month. Then when I got home from work tonight I got an email from him offering me a copy of the latest edition! Needless to say, I am so excited! The book is still in print, but I will get a copy as soon as it comes out! Being that we just spent all our money on interviews, we didn't think we would be able to afford the book right away, but now we don't have to worry about it - he will have the latest edition just in time to start residency! I know I am a dork, but I was just so excited I had to share!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Q&A Session

There are several reasons I started this blog, and one of them was because I really felt like as a medical student spouse I was somewhat in the dark as to what medical school and medical training would involve. And I cannot even blame this on my husband, because honestly he didn't know what we were really in for either. I feel like most premed students don't even understand what the process involves, all they know is that they want to be a doctor. So one of the many reasons I started this blog was to give some insight into our lives as a medical school couple, and to shed some light on the whole process. As many people have generously offered their advice to Drew and I, I would like to do the same for others.

Although I am always open to questions, I wanted to take an opportunity to specifically invite you to ask me any questions you may have. Either leave them in the comments, or email me at marriedtoamedicalstudent (at) gmail (dot) com. I'll try and address the questions next week (if anyone has any). I'd also like to encourage you to say hello, if you are a lurker. One of my favorite things about blogging is meeting new people and reading new blogs!

I hope you all had a fabulous Valentines Day!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Counting down, Anxiety update, and a giveaway to check out!

Today, Drew had his FINAL interview! Wooooo hooo! Thank goodness they are over because we seriously cannot afford one more! It also means that we can start to seriously put together our rank list! Rank lists must be submitted by midnight on February 24th!
Today is also five weeks, or 35 days (or however you look at it) from Match Day!

And I wanted to write that in the last two weeks I really have felt a great amount of peace. The anxiety has almost magically subsided and my stomach issues have calmed as well! I'm also starting to get excited about Match day instead of terrified and anxious. I can't exactly point to what has caused this change but I think I can contribute some of it to writing down all my fears, and perhaps some of it to yoga, and of course the power of prayer. I am so thankful that the Lord has given me a sense of peace and serenity knowing that He has a plan, and He will take care of us! Now I am just hoping this calmness remains for the next 5 weeks!

And last, but not least, Bloggy Blog Designz is doing it all over again! They are giving away blog designs and all kinds of goodies. Plus ALL entrants will receive 15% off their purchase! Be sure to check out their website (www.BloggyBlogDesignz.com) for more information, or to enter yourself. The giveaway will close on Feb 14 at midnight.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Thankful Thursday - February 11, 2010

In honor of the upcoming Hallmark Holiday, this Thursday I am thankful for my sweet, sweet Valentine!

Of course, I'm always thankful for my sweetie, but this week, I'll explain a few reasons why. Hopefully I won't bore you or cause you to be nauseated.
Drew is always calm, cool and collected. He is laid back and almost never worries. When I am a complete nervous wreck, somehow just his presence will ease my nerves. He manages to balance out my natural tendency to be a high strung, worrying, control-freak. Somehow with him by my side the largest challenges, or biggest unknowns, seem manageable. Drew is also extremely motivated. Sometimes he's stubborn, but for the most part it is a good thing. He loves a challenge, and is constantly pushing himself to conquer something new, accomplish more, or improve something. Being married to him inspires me to try and do the same. I've been willing to try new things and expand outside my comfort zone since he has been in my life.
Another one of my favorite things about Drew is how selfless he is. When friends or family need help and its something I cannot do, he never minds when I volunteer his help. Even when he doesn't have the time, he manages to lend a helping hand. Never once has he ever gotten upset for all the times I commit him to help without asking him first. And he is also a good sport - like when I dressed him up as the cookie monster for Halloween this year....
Drew is also absolutely wonderful with children. I think it's his fun-loving, silly nature and the fact that he will always be a kid at heart (much like his Father). It just warms my heart when I watch him throw the football, play video games or roughhouse with my nephews. I have no doubt he will be a wonderful father some day!

And I could go on and on about all the reasons why I am thankful for my husband, the love of my life, but I think that is more than enough for one post!

What are you Thankful for this Thursday?

Make sure to link to your actual POST and not just your blog! Thank you in advance for sharing your stories!