The Match

For many people, medicine is a mystery. As I try to explain here & there, exactly the process that we are going through right now, it’s quite clear that unless you have a family member involved in a career in doctoring, most people just don’t understand the path to become one. It’s not a process you hear about every day–and since I have been asked so much I thought maybe I would share here, so you know, in part, why I have been so physically & emotionally unavailable to blog regularly.

First comes medical school, then comes residency. We all know this. Any practicing physician does at least three years of residency–and to get that residency, he/she is required to “match.” This involves interviewing (and funding travel to interviews) and eventually a “rank list.” Programs rank medical students, and medical students rank programs. If they “match,” then everyone is happy. But you can see the obvious issue–and the reason for all the suspense–it is rare to match exactly where a med student wants to, because there are always limited “spots” at any given residency. So some people get at the least, the specialty that they want. Some “scramble” if they don’t match, and find programs who will take them for a year, until they can find a spot the next year if someone drops out or washes out. Not everyone makes it through residency. & some people continue on beyond residency.

So this is where our story continues. My husband is very close to being done with residency. Five years down. One to go. & he has decided to sub-specialize even further. Which requires three more years of even-more-intense training. (omg omg omg, is right.) So here we are again. Another “match” ahead. & there have been ten interview trips, done post call (meaning he skipped a night’s sleep & flew out to spend a night & day with a program, then returned to work.) Which also means, he went ten weeks without a day off. & skipped ten nights of sleep.

Still with me? Yeah. So you can see why I have been just a little busy.

I have recently noticed that many of my friends who have husbands who work with mine have degrees in counseling. Like, psychotherapy counseling. & I totally see why. Add the daily life & death stuff that we deal with as spouses (yes, they bring it all home), with this schedule and yeah. I can certainly see the value in earning that kind of degree. Maybe some day. So anyway…

We’re a couple of weeks away from the big day. The day where we learn how this match settles. It’s a whole lot different from residency–because there are very few programs and most take A fellow. (that’s what you are called after you complete a residency, most of the time.) So ONE. One person, maybe two, get to train at the prestigious programs. On rare occasion there are up to four fellows, but the point is that it is HIGHLY competitive. Only thirty-something people a year are trained for this particular job. & the process is a painstaking one. & the actual work hasn’t even started yet.

So help me, GOD.

So rank lists are in. They become final in a couple days. & then…we wait. TWO WEEKS. We wait. & pray and take comfort in the fact that every step in this journey across this country has put us exactly where we are meant to be during each phase of life. We pray the place he picked first is the one who picked him back. & if not, that we can choose to be happy wherever we end up.

Whew. So that’s where we are. That’s where I am. That is why this little space is so neglected.

But I feel its neglect and it makes me sad. I really miss having the energy to put into styleberry. At the end of the day, when everyone is tucked in & lunches are made & the house is picked up, I just don’t have any energy left to write. Add in those aching muscles from exercising regularly (major sanity saver) and I just need to get every bit of my my six hours of sleep to recover.

I think my balance will begin to start swinging back as summer approaches and our days are a little more relaxed. As soon as we KNOW what’s coming next. We can soon spend less time worrying & preparing for trips and recovering from them & the exhaustion that we feel as a family right now will hopefully be a distant memory.

But this has been really challenging.

So stick with me. Know I miss this place of creativity. Know that if you are like me & finding yourself overwhelmed with life and losing the things you love that this season will soon come to an end & life will shift again. Maybe soon we can find some more time to do the things we love & need to do to fill our souls…with something other than mothering. I love mothering, I really do. But sometimes, I need a break. My break used to be my blog, and right now, it’s lots & lots of yoga. That is ok. I’ll soon have enough energy to do both.

At least that is what I am telling myself. :) The mind is a powerful thing.

I don’ t talk about this part of my life on here very often because I have always felt that it is irrelevant. But–the more time I spend seeking support, the more I realize how little there is for this kind of lifestyle. If you are a residency widow, or have any advice to share, please help me make this a safe place for sharing that support. This lifestyle is lonely and exhausting and you don’t really get it unless you live it. Hang in there. Being married to medicine is a lot less glamorous than most think. We are not alone! :)

Hi! Hello! I am Shawna, the founder of Styleberry Blog. This creative corner of the internet has become a learning haven for moms and creatives, offering a warm and encouraging nudge to those who wish to be better and do better, but often don't know where to start. From Decorating to DIY to Diapers and Paleo-ish Dishes, I strive to make the complicated simple and empower women to take action beyond their personal comfort zone. I subscribe to the Shine Theory & so strongly believe that we shine when the women around us shine and mutual support—lifting up instead of tearing down--will always be the culture here. Are you in? I hope so! Beyond the computer, I run Styleberry Creative where I work with clients to create low fuss, high function spaces that are pretty and practical in San Antonio, Texas and beyond. I LOVE making a house a home. My own studs out renovation is now complete and I am now back to working with clients. Please don't hesitate to drop me a line if you'd like to work together! I hope you’ll join me on this fun new adventure! Xo.