The musings of ME:
SAH mother of 3 kids, spouse of a doctor-in-residency, caretaker and teacher of random children.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

only 1.5 yrs of med school, and then what?

Ben has decided that he wants to be an Emergency Medicine Dr. He thinks he wants to do a fellowship in Pediatric ER Medicine, but that depends on how long the fellowship will be. It varies depending on the residency program he gets into. Some programs have a one year fellowship and some have up to a 3 year program.

He has decided that his top 5 choices are: #1 the MD residency in Tulsa, #2 the MD residency here in Fort Worth at JPS hospital, #3 the DO program in Tulsa, #4 the (MD?DO?) residency in Joplin, MO, #5 the (MD/DO?) residency in Oklahoma City. I can't remember, but I think he said that there is supposed to be a 75% chance that he will match with one of his top 5 choices, but just in case he doesn't, he has to declare 10 choices. He hasn't gotten that far yet.

Although Ben will graduate as a DO, he would rather be in an MD program than a DO program because typically the MD programs aren't as many years, the salary is higher, and they get more paid days off. Also some DO programs require you to do studies and write papers and stuff that Ben doesn't want to have to do anymore. (Can you blame him? Poor guy has been in school almost 25 years!)

Here's where it gets complicated. Forgive me if I butcher this, but it is very confusing and I don't have a perfect understanding of it in the first place. We are still new to all of this procedure!

The potential residents and the programs are all entered into a match system, much like the system Ben entered into when he was interviewing for med schools. There are MD programs and DO programs, but the DOs make you declare ahead of time if you want one of their programs. Doing so means you automatically match with that school if they pick you, and you don't get to see if you could have matched with an MD program later. Since Ben doesn't want a DO program if he can help it, (his top 2 picks are MD) we have decided NOT to declare a DO program and take a gamble in hopes that we will get to go to Tulsa or stay here in Fort Worth in a MD program. If we don't get one of those picks, it may be too late for us to match with one of his DO picks because they may already be taken by people who DID declare DO. If this happens, we really don't know where we might end up. It is called a Scramble. Ben said most likely we would end up in some place like Michigan because no one wants to go there. (YYYYUUUUCCCKKKK!!)

So...that's where we are at in this crazy med school process. My first hope is that he matches with one of the top 2 because I really want to go home while he is in his residency since we'll never see him. I'll get to be close to both our families if I ever need anything, and he will only have a 3 year residency for basic ER Medicine and then he is DONE (unless he does the Pediatric fellowship)! OR if we stay here in Fort Worth, that would be okay, too. We are settled here, we have an established business here, we have friends here and some family that can help us if we need anything, we won't have to move, and we can build equity on our house. I love our house, and we have plenty of room to grow into it, and lots that I want to do to it still, so that is okay with me.

If we don't get one of the top 2, then obviously choice 3 (DO-Tulsa) would be great for me, but not so great for Ben (an extra year, less salary, etc..) and choice 4 or 5 wouldn't be a bad alternative. Yes, we'd be starting over, but we'd be very close to Tulsa. Joplin is 1.5 hours away and OKC is about 2 hours away and there is a temple there, too. (The one we married in, actually.)

I PRAY, PRAY, PRAY that we don't have to go anywhere else, especially not to Michigan. I don't want to have to start all over, and I certainly don't want to start all over somewhere where I'd basically be a single mom AND my family is nowhere near me, especially since we'll probably be having another baby that first year of Ben's residency, and I may still have to do the preschool if Ben's salary isn't enough for us to live on.

And that's what we know so far. Next year Ben will be doing elective rotations so he may be spending a lot of time in those places and I'll be a single mom, running the preschool and I already have full enrollment for the 10-11 school year. Sounds like a lot, huh? Keep us in your prayers, please. I may have a nervous breakdown before it is all over.


nikko said...

Ugh. I don't envy you. What a choice you have to make.

But, I have to put in a good word for Michigan. The economy up there is pretty depressed right now, but we moved here from Michigan -- we lived there for about 2.5 years and LOVED it! It is so pretty and there were so many things to do!

Holly said...

You'll learn to love any place that you end least that is what I have to keep telling myself. And as for the whole residency match, my advice would be to not worry about it too much until you have more of the variables figured out. i.e. Step 2 board scores, elective rotations done and over with, etc. He may do a rotation with Tulsa and find he hates it, but it is good to have a plan, the hardest part is nailing down what kind of medicine he wants to practice and you've got that checked off...hang in there chick 4th year goes by very fast and then the real work begins!!!