Today my husband kissed me goodbye like any other day.
But it’s not just any other day…
You see, today he began the next step in his training.
He headed off to the hospital to begin his fellowship!
You know what that means, right?
My husband is DONE with residency!
I feel like this development should be accompanied by balloons and confetti and maybe a parade with some acrobats and a float with a beauty queen on it, and, of course, a marching band. I mean, it’s the end of a three-year stretch that has been a huge learning experience – not just for him at work, but for our marriage, and for me, personally.
Plus, it’s the beginning of this entirely new stage in my husband’s career and our lives. We’re another step closer to Real Life, after all! (Strange to think that the nine years since college have been just LEADING UP TO Real Life…)
But, instead, it doesn’t really FEEL like a big deal.
I think that’s because we’re not going anywhere. You know, physically.
So far in our lives, all big milestones like this have spurred a Big Move. There’s nothing like stowing all your belongings away in Home Depot boxes to make you feel like change is happening.
This time, however, we’re staying put. We’ve got this house. We’ve got at least three more years here. My husband isn’t even changing hospitals for fellowship.
That’s the other reason it doesn’t feel like a big deal, I think. In the past, the milestone and the Big Move resulted in a big change in his routine. From a retail job and a few classes while I was in grad school… to classes and short, simple hospital rotations during medical school… to 80 hours a week in the hospital during residency.
Until now, I always had to adjust to seeing my husband more or less. To taking my work to the library to study with him… Or to steeling myself for not seeing him for 30 hours at a time.
Fellowship, as I understand it, won’t be all that different from residency. My husband will still work a lot. He’ll still have rotations that will vary his routine every few weeks. He’ll still be on call (although he’ll have HOME call instead of HOSPITAL call, meaning that he’ll be home to answer issues over the phone and will only have to go to the hospital in an emergency). But even then, call won’t be as frequent as it has been these past three years.
Of course, he will go back to being the low man on the totem pole for at least a year. That’s tough, I think, after finally getting to the point in residency where you know the ropes and feel comfortable and knowledgeable. To get dumped back into the dark panic of not really knowing what to do, learning new equipment, working with a whole new team… that’s not fun or easy.
But I think he’s excited. Looking forward to specializing in a field that interests him so much. Looking forward to mastering the procedures that will be such a big part of his career. Looking forward to this last (hopefully) step on the path to Being Done.
Oh Internet, I am so proud of my husband. He’s worked so hard.
I am so happy that he’s about to begin this new step in his training. I hope fellowship gives him a chance to fall in love his with field, to truly feel like he’s building up an expertise in an area that interests him.
And I’m looking forward to watching him grow more knowledgeable and more confident as he settles into this new role.
As far as how this new stage will affect me (which is, of course, the subject of this blog: me me me), I’m withholding judgment.
My husband, of course, swears that fellowship is going to be much better than residency was.
I am not holding my breath.