newportjen

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Hi. My name is Jen, 1'm a 31 yr old mother of two (ages 6 and 3). I work full time as a social worker in a nursing home. My husband was my college sweetheart. I've known him for 13 yrs and have been married to him for 7 yrs. He is starting the 3rd year of his residency in internal medicine. Life has been a real struggle, but I don't have to tell you that. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Well last week, he announced that he would like to specialize! My first thought was no way, I'm done. Now I'm wondering if the investment will pay off in the long run. I need opinions from people who have been in my shoes. Thank you for listening to me. I will do the same for you.
Jen
 

JAMMAN

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newportjen said:
Hi. My name is Jen, 1'm a 31 yr old mother of two (ages 6 and 3). I work full time as a social worker in a nursing home. My husband was my college sweetheart. I've known him for 13 yrs and have been married to him for 7 yrs. He is starting the 3rd year of his residency in internal medicine. Life has been a real struggle, but I don't have to tell you that. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Well last week, he announced that he would like to specialize! My first thought was no way, I'm done. Now I'm wondering if the investment will pay off in the long run. I need opinions from people who have been in my shoes. Thank you for listening to me. I will do the same for you.
Jen
The benefit that you need to consider is not an increase in income. The true benefit is that he will be a happier person in the end. Wouldn't you like him to come home happy every night? This will translate to happier times for both of you and your children as well.


He has already put in a tremendous amount of time training...it began long before he met you. One more year to him probably doesn't seem like alot of time...and it really isn't. For example, think about your life one year ago. An entire year has passed. Did it seem like forever? Do the hard times you went through last year still seem so bad?

I hope this helps. :)
 

jennie 21

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I'm still a med student, so I don't have firsthand experience of this, but from talking to doctors and fellows, I get the impression that fellowship (in most specialties anyways) isn't NEARLY as bad as residency training. I work with two endocrinology fellows who both seem pretty happy and manage to get off work most of the time by 4:30 or 5:00 in the afternoon. So, if your husband decides to pursue fellowship training in order to specialize, it probably won't be nearly as bad as residency was. Fellowship is more like a regular work-week, the same kinds of hours he will be working once he finishes his training and gets a real job. Of course, the pay during fellowship isn't very good, but then again specialties usually pay more than general internal medicine so in the long run it balances out. I wouldn't worry about it too much...the lifestyle of fellows seems pretty good to me, at least in the fields I've seen. Cardiology and other highly competitive fellowships might be different though, I guess it depends on the specialty. Good luck with everything--it won't be that bad.
 

double elle

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Just something to consider....

The subspecialties available to internal med grads are almost endless, which I find extremely fascinating (I am a married, female, 4th year student going into surgery - oh - and have a 2 year old). I am assuming his residency was pretty much hell. Depending on what kind of practice he goes into as an internist - his life could be just as bad as residency was. Unless your hubby decided to NOT do hospital work and only do office....well...I'm not sure you will see any change from residency to attending. However, if he's interested in one of the subspecialties that may provide him with a more family-friendly career.....that would certainly be worth the extra couple of years in my opinion. Just something to think about.

And, (Keep in mind, I know nothing about you, your husband, or your marraige)....your husband has worked hard to get where he is. Your entire family has sacrificed. It would be a shame that everyone has been a part of this long journey...and he didn't end up doing what he really wanted to do. Some fellowships are WAY more intense than residency - I've heard that interventional cardiology is one of those. However, I've also heard that some fellowships are pretty much bankers hours ...I heard hem/onc was like that. Now, I don't know if those things are true...but the situation will be dependent on what he wants to do.

When my husband and I discussed what I would be doing the rest of my life - he said those exact things to me - "you've worked too hard to not do what you want in the end".

Anyway - my point is this - it may mean more training for a couple of years with barely enough money to live on...but he either 1)has fallen in love with a career that he knows he could spend the rest of his life doing....or 2) he has his eye on a career that would enable him to spend more time with his family in the long run 3)both - which would make him a very lucky person.

Good luck.....and don't forget to simply communicate with him your ideas, fears, concerns. Also, simply ASK him why he's thinking of this....
 

Argante

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What specialty is he thinking about? The amount of time/stress for a fellowship depnds on that. Although in general, fellowships are much less demanding than residency. And, as someone else pointed out, you have to consider the fact that if he wants to do this, he'll be way happier in the end if he does.
 

MJArt

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JAMMAN said:
The benefit that you need to consider is not an increase in income. The true benefit is that he will be a happier person in the end. Wouldn't you like him to come home happy every night? This will translate to happier times for both of you and your children as well.


He has already put in a tremendous amount of time training...it began long before he met you. One more year to him probably doesn't seem like alot of time...and it really isn't. For example, think about your life one year ago. An entire year has passed. Did it seem like forever? Do the hard times you went through last year still seem so bad?
I have to agree. My DH has only recently graduated from medschool - so I know that we have a long way to go. When we were discussing programs and specialties I had to think back to his rotations. He was miserable doing Family Practice - even with the short hours. He was ecstatic doing surgery - although he was gone for horrible hours. He brought each home. I would much rather be with him while he was happy than miserable.

The children even responded differently to the varying rotations (we have 4 children).

I hope this helps.