Everyone knows that medical school and residency are stressful for young physicians. The AMA Alliance knows that the training years can be just as challenging for the physician's spouse. Our new blog offers resources to provide specific support for partners of physicians in training, as well as assistance in finding an Alliance in your area.

We know that support for the family of medicine is most comforting when it is provided by the family of medicine.

To learn more about the Young Member Connection please view our first blog entry here.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Millenials vs Boomers; A Healthier Approach to Work Hours?

A recent article in The Washington Post examines the effects of shorter resident work weeks on patient and physician health.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Thoughts on interviewing, the rank list, and the Match

At last—it is out of our hands. After months of interviewing, studying and discussion, our residency match rank list is submitted. What a relief! I am so happy to have the decision-making part over with that I almost don’t care where we end up. Almost.

Marilyn asked me to submit some thoughts on the match since it has been on all of our minds recently. Maybe it will spark some good discussion among us. How did you decide which order to rank your residency programs? What factors weighed the most in the decision? Was it an easy process for you? Was money an issue as you selected programs to interview? What ideas did you have to deal with that? And once you find out where you matched—would you go back and change anything about how your spouse interviewed? Are you excited for the residency years?

In case it is helpful to someone reading this at some point, I’ve described our application and interview process a little here, as well as how we figured out our rank list. I imagine our experience is pretty typical. When making our rank list, we had five programs at the top that were difficult to differentiate between—we loved them all. We felt they each offered excellent training and education, which is important to us. To help us rank them, some other categories we felt were important in choosing a residency are (in no particular order): ~Potential for future opportunities (inc. research), ~Exposure/Chance at fellowships, ~Hours/Schedule, ~Commute time, ~Reputation, ~Proximity to home/family, ~Cost of Living, ~Salary/Benefits, ~Research related to his engineering background, and ~“If we fit”. Again, to see more information and how we used these categories to help make our choice, click here.

Through all these decisions, one principle has seemed very important to me: trying not to influence my husband’s decision about which field to enter and which program he felt was the right fit for him. I strongly believe that once we’re in the thick of residency, it could be easy to question the choices that were made, and so I wanted him to be sure that they were his own studied-out selections. That way, in times of doubt he could rest assured that he made the most fitting decision he could, and proceed with confidence. That said, of course we took the time to carefully talk through everything and make the best choice together from all the knowledge we could gather—as I described here.

We feel we made an informed decision, but from our experience and others’, it seems there is something to that “gut feeling” about a place and how you fit there that is worth paying attention to. It’ll be interesting to see how things play out in a few weeks, but so far my feeling is that this strange process could, in fact, potentially turn out a real “match” so to speak. I’m looking forward to this next great adventure. I hope you’ll contribute your thoughts too! Best of luck to everyone…and may any tears on Match Day be those of relief, excitement, and a huge sense of accomplishment for all you have done and sacrificed, along with your student-spouse, throughout the last four years of medical school.

Julie Randall
Medical Student Alliance President