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CardiacLion

2+ Year Member
Nov 13, 2014
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Hi Folks,

Looking for some sage advice regarding the possibility of adopting an adult dog this year. I'm a rising intern, hopefully soon to be matched into an EM residency.

Wondering how many of you would say this is something that is possible to do.

Background: my family owned a dog when we were younger, I have worked with multiple fosters/rescues to foster dogs this year. And I work closely with a dog behavioralist now to learn basic walking skills, obedience training, etc.

Obviously I'll have a better idea of my schedule once/if I match into a specific program, but at best it will be 9 hour shifts and at worst 12 hour shifts during ED months.

My SO and I live together currently, and is willing to help with the dog, but on more of "need to/cover you" level. SO is a PA who works 9-5 shifts, with 12 hr shifts mixed in 1-2/week. She likes dogs, and is happy with our foster pup now - and is agreeable to a dog with his personality (is very mellow, well trained, and basically sleeps all day lol).

Planning on rescuing an adult dog (who we will have fostered first, to see if it's an appropriate fit for our lifestyle) at the tail end of fourth year (in May/June) so I will have a few weeks for it to decompress and get used to a routine.

How many of you had dogs during residency, and if so, was it worth it?
 
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OneTwoThreeFour

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Oct 10, 2012
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If your SO doesn't have 100% buy-in to be a co-owner of the dog do not do it. There are going to be so many pulls on your time-particularly if you do 12's-that it will become a yoke rather than a labor of love.
 

gro2001

SOCMOB
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Jul 4, 2006
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Hi Folks,

Looking for some sage advice regarding the possibility of adopting an adult dog this year. I'm a rising intern, hopefully soon to be matched into an EM residency.

Wondering how many of you would say this is something that is possible to do.

Background: my family owned a dog when we were younger, I have worked with multiple fosters/rescues to foster dogs this year. And I work closely with a dog behavioralist now to learn basic walking skills, obedience training, etc.

Obviously I'll have a better idea of my schedule once/if I match into a specific program, but at best it will be 9 hour shifts and at worst 12 hour shifts during ED months.

My SO and I live together currently, and is willing to help with the dog, but on more of "need to/cover you" level. SO is a PA who works 9-5 shifts, with 12 hr shifts mixed in 1-2/week. She likes dogs, and is happy with our foster pup now - and is agreeable to a dog with his personality (is very mellow, well trained, and basically sleeps all day lol).

Planning on rescuing an adult dog (who we will have fostered first, to see if it's an appropriate fit for our lifestyle) at the tale end of fourth year (in May/June) so I will have a few weeks for it to decompress and get used to a routine.

How many of you had dogs during residency, and if so, was it worth it?
Don't do it until you are a few months into residency and have a good sense of how much time and energy you have left over. Not just for your sake, but also for the sake of the dog and for the sake of your relationship.

In residency there were some folks who have had dogs, although not many. The ones who did mostly had help from a significant other who had a better schedule.
 
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NITRAS

2+ Year Member
Mar 26, 2018
856
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Don’t forget to think about the real cost of pet ownership. Pets limit your living situations. I’ve met people who paid $10-20k more in rent over 3-4 years because they needed a place that allowed dogs...or bought a house that was 15 minutes further away.

Personally I wouldn’t do it unless you were willing to get rid if the pet. I also believe pets are pets. They aren’t that big a deal to me.
 

Groove

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Hi Folks,

Looking for some sage advice regarding the possibility of adopting an adult dog this year. I'm a rising intern, hopefully soon to be matched into an EM residency.

Wondering how many of you would say this is something that is possible to do.

Background: my family owned a dog when we were younger, I have worked with multiple fosters/rescues to foster dogs this year. And I work closely with a dog behavioralist now to learn basic walking skills, obedience training, etc.

Obviously I'll have a better idea of my schedule once/if I match into a specific program, but at best it will be 9 hour shifts and at worst 12 hour shifts during ED months.

My SO and I live together currently, and is willing to help with the dog, but on more of "need to/cover you" level. SO is a PA who works 9-5 shifts, with 12 hr shifts mixed in 1-2/week. She likes dogs, and is happy with our foster pup now - and is agreeable to a dog with his personality (is very mellow, well trained, and basically sleeps all day lol).

Planning on rescuing an adult dog (who we will have fostered first, to see if it's an appropriate fit for our lifestyle) at the tail end of fourth year (in May/June) so I will have a few weeks for it to decompress and get used to a routine.

How many of you had dogs during residency, and if so, was it worth it?
Not a good idea. Wait until after residency.
 

Birdstrike

7+ Year Member
Dec 19, 2010
7,253
7,291
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Hi Folks,

Looking for some sage advice regarding the possibility of adopting an adult dog this year. I'm a rising intern, hopefully soon to be matched into an EM residency.

Wondering how many of you would say this is something that is possible to do.

Background: my family owned a dog when we were younger, I have worked with multiple fosters/rescues to foster dogs this year. And I work closely with a dog behavioralist now to learn basic walking skills, obedience training, etc.

Obviously I'll have a better idea of my schedule once/if I match into a specific program, but at best it will be 9 hour shifts and at worst 12 hour shifts during ED months.

My SO and I live together currently, and is willing to help with the dog, but on more of "need to/cover you" level. SO is a PA who works 9-5 shifts, with 12 hr shifts mixed in 1-2/week. She likes dogs, and is happy with our foster pup now - and is agreeable to a dog with his personality (is very mellow, well trained, and basically sleeps all day lol).

Planning on rescuing an adult dog (who we will have fostered first, to see if it's an appropriate fit for our lifestyle) at the tail end of fourth year (in May/June) so I will have a few weeks for it to decompress and get used to a routine.

How many of you had dogs during residency, and if so, was it worth it?
Don't do it. Wait until you're done.
 

WildcatS11

10+ Year Member
Jul 17, 2009
137
154
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Hi Folks,

Looking for some sage advice regarding the possibility of adopting an adult dog this year. I'm a rising intern, hopefully soon to be matched into an EM residency.

Wondering how many of you would say this is something that is possible to do.

Background: my family owned a dog when we were younger, I have worked with multiple fosters/rescues to foster dogs this year. And I work closely with a dog behavioralist now to learn basic walking skills, obedience training, etc.

Obviously I'll have a better idea of my schedule once/if I match into a specific program, but at best it will be 9 hour shifts and at worst 12 hour shifts during ED months.

My SO and I live together currently, and is willing to help with the dog, but on more of "need to/cover you" level. SO is a PA who works 9-5 shifts, with 12 hr shifts mixed in 1-2/week. She likes dogs, and is happy with our foster pup now - and is agreeable to a dog with his personality (is very mellow, well trained, and basically sleeps all day lol).

Planning on rescuing an adult dog (who we will have fostered first, to see if it's an appropriate fit for our lifestyle) at the tail end of fourth year (in May/June) so I will have a few weeks for it to decompress and get used to a routine.

How many of you had dogs during residency, and if so, was it worth it?
All the above posters are crazy - if you want a dog, get a dog. Getting a dog was my #1 outside of work wellness factor in residency.

My wife works 12 hour shifts, but the benefit of ED is most of your shifts end up being swing shifts (most patients arrive in the afternoon/early evening, so typically most docs scheduled at that time - obviously this varies by program and site). This helps to limit the amount of time said dog will be alone. Also, there are plenty of dog walking services for 15 or 20 bucks if the shift times line up poorly.

Now I WOULD avoid getting a puppy, unless you have significant SO buy-in and help, which it doesn’t sound like you do.
 

CardiacLion

2+ Year Member
Nov 13, 2014
213
185
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Yeah I don't know. I've been wanting a dog for a VERY long time. I've fostered many over the past few months, and have even spent my leisure time working for a **** dog company just to spend more time with them. Going on walks with them is an awesome way for me to decompress, it gets me out of my own head, and more importantly even gets me exercise.

Right now I walk dogs from 11 AM - 4:30 PM religiously, three times/week - and love pretty much every minute of it. I love my regular dogs, they are so sweet - and I can't wait to have that for my own forever dog.

I know I can make it work if I really want to, I'm just worried residency is going to be that much harder than I expected (I know it will be tough, but I'm sure there will be lighter months too). Will re-evaluate this decision in April/May when my schedule for intern year is more concrete. For now however, I'm going to foster onwards.
 
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dchristismi

Gin and Tonic
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Dec 4, 2003
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Why not do what most foster families do? (Ahem, a foster failure. Especially if current foster is chill and well trained...) Sometimes it happens. Ok, a lot of times it happens. And SO gets to vote. Do you get a say in your fosters?

I worked closely with 2 rescues while in residency, although I did have significant assistance from the other half at the time. If it had been just me, it would have been a lot harder. Still, I'm a dog person, so I get it. I am also one of those people who spent way more than I needed to for housing because of said dogs. I don't think I would have done foster/rescue, but I still would have had a dog or two. Or three. And a backyard to throw tennis balls in. Heck, the dogs outlasted the marriage. Priorities.

But... I don't have human children, and have now married into some adult steps (and a grandson) and my dogs are not just pets.
Are you a cat person? Cats are significantly lower maintenance. My cats came into my life when I started med school because I needed *something* and didn't know if I could manage a dog. Well, I brought home a big GSD rescue the day of my last final first year of med school. They've been staggered ever since, although I'm down to a single 18 year old cat and a 12 year old rescue border collie at the moment, having lost my heart dog in August to cancer.

Good luck with this decision, but things happen. Foster failures are ok, which is what you sound like you're setting yourself up for.
 

Frazier

Palliative Emergentologist
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Nov 12, 2009
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I have 2 dogs in residency.

They are great and I would trade them for nothing. As a resident, your SO needs to want them even more than you do...Or else, it will all crash and burn with a neglected dog and a resentful SO. Double fail

If you are single, forget about it. There are plenty of suitable people that can take your spot as owner and give the attention these pups need.
 

Backpack234

5+ Year Member
Feb 22, 2014
119
66
I'm an attending and want a dog, but the SO is still in residency working 14 hour days. I think when I was a resident working 8's a dog would be great. Now that I work 12's, I'm afraid that both of us would be gone for too long to leave the pup alone. Even though I have more than half the month off, I think those days would lead to lots of poo in the apartment or sad pup syndrome
 

surely

MD Class of 2018
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May 9, 2010
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Got a dog during MS1, and I'm an intern now. I say wait. I want to echo what the person above me pointed out about how having a dog often means spending more on rent... Or having less of a selection of pet-friendly apartments, which may mean living with a much longer commute and further away from social activities with your coresidents. Definitely limits how long you can be away from home for things like trips out of town. If a friend or family member asked me if they could take my dog off my hands and give her a loving home, I think I'd take them up on it at this point. It'd be worth it to recapture some of the freedom I've given up. And I love my dog! I really do!
 

GaBulldog

2+ Year Member
Feb 8, 2017
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Intern here. I adopted a dog when I was 19 and had him all through college and med school. He's a pretty chill geezer these days. I have needed help during my ICU months when I'm gone for 12 hours or in-house on call. I just paid a neighbor to come by and take him out. Since you have a SO, this shouldn't be a huge issue. Definitely no puppies though. If you want a dog, just get one man. I feel like it's one of the most important factors in my well-being. Another post brought up issues in finding housing. Here's what I did: get a letter from one of your MD faculty or mentors, preferably psychiatry, saying you need an "emotional support animal". They don't have to invent a diagnosis or lie. Then get online and buy a legit-looking service animal ID and vest for the dog. BOOM! You've got a service dog. Can live anywhere and take the dog anywhere. Also can't charge you pet rent. PM me if you have questions.
 
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ThoracicGuy

7+ Year Member
Jun 11, 2013
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Intern here. I adopted a dog when I was 19 and had him all through college and med school. He's a pretty chill geezer these days. I have needed help during my ICU months when I'm gone for 12 hours or in-house on call. I just paid a neighbor to come by and take him out. Since you have a SO, this shouldn't be a huge issue. Definitely no puppies though. If you want a dog, just get one man. I feel like it's one of the most important factors in my well-being. Another post brought up issues in finding housing. Here's what I did: get a letter from one of your MD faculty or mentors, preferably psychiatry, saying you need an "emotional support animal". They don't have to invent a diagnosis or lie. Then get online and buy a legit-looking service animal ID and vest for the dog. BOOM! You've got a service dog. Can live anywhere and take the dog anywhere. Also can't charge you pet rent. PM me if you have questions.
 

GaBulldog

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Feb 8, 2017
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Bruh, try finding a decent apartment with a 60-pound pit bull terrier...in a city where pit bulls are illegal.
 
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Keladry

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Mar 6, 2014
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It's doable if you make it a priority. I ended up with a 3 year old dog at the start of intern year, live alone/single, and make it work. Dog does okay when I'm gone for 12+ hours, and for 24s on off-service rotations I get a dogwalker in the evening. I have a co-intern who got a puppy at the end of 4th year so they could train the pup before intern year, but their dog has a lot more energy (and is a lot bigger) so I think they pay a dogwalker every day they're working to go on a midday walk, which would destroy my budget.
Happy to talk over PM, but long story short - it's definitely doable. Not easy, but doable.
 

CardiacLion

2+ Year Member
Nov 13, 2014
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Bruh, try finding a decent apartment with a 60-pound pit bull terrier...in a city where pit bulls are illegal.
Who said anything about Pitbull? I’m not at all against pitties, but it’s not the breed I’m looking for. Won’t have to worry about that.
 

Hamhock

10+ Year Member
May 6, 2009
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IAnother post brought up issues in finding housing. Here's what I did: get a letter from one of your MD faculty or mentors, preferably psychiatry, saying you need an "emotional support animal". They don't have to invent a diagnosis or lie. Then get online and buy a legit-looking service animal ID and vest for the dog. BOOM! You've got a service dog. Can live anywhere and take the dog anywhere. Also can't charge you pet rent. PM me if you have questions.
Agree with Thoracic. This is disgusting and shameful.

HH
 
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ridethecliche

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Intern here. I adopted a dog when I was 19 and had him all through college and med school. He's a pretty chill geezer these days. I have needed help during my ICU months when I'm gone for 12 hours or in-house on call. I just paid a neighbor to come by and take him out. Since you have a SO, this shouldn't be a huge issue. Definitely no puppies though. If you want a dog, just get one man. I feel like it's one of the most important factors in my well-being. Another post brought up issues in finding housing. Here's what I did: get a letter from one of your MD faculty or mentors, preferably psychiatry, saying you need an "emotional support animal". They don't have to invent a diagnosis or lie. Then get online and buy a legit-looking service animal ID and vest for the dog. BOOM! You've got a service dog. Can live anywhere and take the dog anywhere. Also can't charge you pet rent. PM me if you have questions.
You don't have a bloody service dog. And posing your pet as a service dog is lying.
 
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ridethecliche

Meep Meep Meep
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Damn is this the EM thread or what? Everyone chill out LOL. Went 0-100 real quick.
Apparently misrepresenting a pet dog as a service animal gets even chill people riled up.
My favorite part is an intern trying to call out an attending for getting triggered when they're the one with an emotional support animal...

Even I think that's hilarious... And I'm going into psych lol. Ah delicious irony!
 
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