Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Answers to ALL Your Questions!

People ask me the following questions ALL the time
(even if it's only been a week or two since they've seen me!)

so... is Lee finished now?
is Lee an American citizen?
what rotation is he in?
how is he doing?
how much does he get paid?
you're in HOW much debt?
what kind of doctor does he want to be?

long will residency be?
do you get paid for residency?
what is the residency process?
how much longer in Michigan?
where do you want to live?
when are you having kids?

how do you deal?!

and occasionally someone says - so what do you do? :)

I've decided to answer every single question as plainly as possible!  If you have anymore feel free to ask, I really don't mind answering, promise. As you may have noticed I have no qualms with personal questions about money or our lives.

so... is Lee finished now?
nope!  Medical School is still a 4 year degree process!  We began in January of 2010 and will finish January of 2014!!!  Lee is a 3rd year medical student (MS3).

is Lee an American citizen?
no my sweet boy is still a true Canuck.  He may never become a US citizen, we don't know.  We have applied for his Green Card so he can be a permanent resident of the US and not need a student or work visa.  This will greatly increase his options for medical residency positions because the hospital he applies to will not be responsible for sponsoring his visa.  Is it easier because I am American? Yes and no.  It's not easy, but me being American helps.  I am technically his sponsor, but to be a true sponsor one must make a certain amount of money for 3 year and have assets.  I have none of these (remember those 2 years on a tropical island with no job?) So we applied with a joint sponsor (a family member, THANK YOU!).  Lee had to do a physical exam and xrays to prove he has no diseases.  We had to have the pastor who performed our wedding write a letter saying it wasn't a hoax.  We had a friend who knows us well write a letter stating our relationship is ongoing and sound.  My boss wrote a letter saying I have a job and will make x amount of dollars. and lots of other personal things...
Lee goes Monday for his biometric exam - where they will fingerprint him and ask him lots of questions.
If that gets approved, as well as my sponsorship abilities we should find out sometime in the next 3-12 months!
One little stipulation is that he cannot leave the US while this is processing.  We live 15 minutes from Canada but he cannot cross the border until it is either approved or denied.  Here's to hoping it gets approved fast!
oh and it costs about $1,800 to do this. gross.

what rotation is he in?
currently he is in his Internal Medicine rotation.  It is 12 weeks long and is his last rotation of 3rd year! whooooo!!!!!
Here was his schedule for 3rd year -  (I may be off on these week amounts, I get confused if it was 4, 6, or 8)
12 weeks Sugery
6 weeks OB/GYN
6 weeks Psych
6 weeks Family Medicine
6 weeks Pediatrics
12 weeks Internal Medicine

How is he doing?
well if you know Lee you know what a hard worker he is.  Every rotation they have tried to convince him to go into that specialty because he would be so good at it.  His patients love him because he's so patient, thorough, and empathetic. The residents like him because he makes their lives easier.  We ran into one of the residents in the grocery store and he basically high-fived me for marrying Lee because he's that awesome (as if I didn't already know)
And he absolutely would hate for me to tell you anything about his grades or scores but I'll just say I know that the grade of A+ exists on shelf exams for a reason......

how much does he get paid?
zip, zero, zilch.  In fact since he is still in school we pay tuition. and a lot of it.

you're in HOW much debt?
for Lee's schooling we're going to end up in the ballpark of $200,000 in debt (hopefully less!)  Which truthfully is a walk in the park compared to some medical school grads we know and have talked to.  Residents at Lee's hospital think nothing of being $350,000 in the hole. yikes.
Tuition is twenty-something thousand per semester and we're paying for 10 semesters (I think).

what kind of doctor does he want to be?
we're pretty set on Family medicine.  Mainly for the lifestyle.  We want a family!  and Lee wants to be actively involved in all our lives too, so surgery is out. lol.
Family is also interesting to Lee because you see a wide variety of patients, you can have your own practice, and still have options to specialize in OB/GYN, Sports Med, or ER.  And you can work in a hospital if you prefer that to a clinic setting and do more internal med type stuff.

how long will residency be?
Family Medicine residency is 3 years.
We will begin residency in July 2014.  All medical residents, every year, begin in July.  Never schedule a surgery for the first week of July at a teaching hospital. It's apparently chaotic.

Do you get paid in residency?
yes!!! not a doctor's salary, but enough! average is between like $45-60,000 per year.

what is the residency process? 
well.... I don't know 100% yet.  That will be our life this fall. Lee will start applying this fall and will apply to LOTS of programs at hospitals all across America.  The average student applies to 70ish programs.  Out of that 70 hopefully lots of them will offer Lee an interview.  That will be Nov13-Jan14.  He will spend a lot of time and money traveling around to these interviews, impressing lots of people!  After your interviews you rank the program and they also rank you.  They compare up these rankings and in March of 2014 we'll enter THE match and find out where we're going!! We're hoping to interview at 10+ hospitals to make sure we have the best chance of matching and in a place we want!
Sadly, not everyone matches..... and you pray you're not the one.

how much longer in Michigan?
not completely sure.  Lee will finish rotations (4th year) around Jan/Feb 2014.  He will "match" to a residency program in March 2014, and begin in July 2014.  If we match outside of Michigan (please God) we will move a some point between March and July!  Probably depending on where (how far) and what my job situation.

where do you want to live?
south!! south of the Ohio River preferably.  It seriously makes such a big difference in weather.  I'm begging for Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas, or Texas.  And my BFFFFFF Amber and her husband put Arizona and Virginia on their list and they will match in just a couple weeks! so where they end up will be added to my list of desired places ;)

when are you having kids?
someday!  Lee and I want a big family.  4+ kids so the sooner we can get things going to better according to my biological clock, but we definitely will be waiting until after he starts residency.  Why? someone in this relationship needs an income and I currently don't have health insurance that covers maternity care.  Pretty good reasons if you ask me.  So we will re-asses after July 2014 and see where I am with my career and my longing for Grenada.........

how do you deal?!
you know what, medical school sucks. suck suck suck sucks and we're poor and in debt... but everyday we get up and life goes on and we're genuinely happy and are trudging along.  Lee is so over school and the process, but we're 3/4 the way done and $140,000 in debt, so no turning back!  Someday, sommmmmmmmmmmmmeday, we'll look back and be thankful for this experience and the hard work will pay off.  But if one of my children says "I want to be a Dr. like Dad" hahahaha we'll probably discourage it.
When you're in love and married to someone who makes life easy, you'd be surprised at how much you can handle.  And I stay busy to avoid getting lonely!

so what do you do?
Well, I am still at the job I got the week I moved to Michigan, I am a Chiropractic Assistant, Front Desk, Office Manager type person.  It isn't necessarily glamorous, but I love the people I work with and LOVE our patients.  They really feel like family and I'm happy to come to work every morning.  My boss is super supportive and accommodating. I work 4 (long) days a week and have a 3 day weekend every week... which leaves time for me to do school. I'm getting my masters in Counseling/Human Services through Liberty University  (I work full time, go to school full time, and Lee is still usually busier than me if that gives you an idea) This semester I'm doing 12 credit hours.  Last semester I did 9 and felt like I handled it really well, so I upped it....... might not have been my absolute best move, but I want to finish asap!  Unlike Lee I'll let everyone know my grades, I worked hard for them! so far I've got straight As!
The plan is do do another full 12 hours this summer, 6 credits the first sub-semester of Fall and the second sub-semester do my big Capstone project!  And finish December of this year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What do Lee and I do together?
We are working with the youth group at our church.  There is a youth pastor, so we just assist and support him.  Lee is the Sunday School teacher and seriously is the best teacher I've ever had.  He's so good.  I look at him sometimes and am amazed that I get to share my life with him. He explains things to the teens and I'm like wow, wish someone had told me that when I was 15. We have fun doing other stuff with them like Wednesday night church and volleyball on Friday nights.
And we try to eat dinner together each night and go to bed at the same time.  So we  get about 2 hours together a day, which is better than nothing!

So, that was... long.
Anything I didn't cover?


Laura Conley said...

This was a great idea! I feel like people ask us the same questions over and over! Now, I am envious that you are less in debt than we are and you are more than a year ahead of us. jerks. haha. Loved this post!!!!

habecker said...

i urge you to not attempt to plan conception namely because you cannot. there are programs available to help/provide for women without insurance. this is what we will be using as we do not have insurance. also, the bigger issue of mistrust towards our Lord. to attempt to control what only He can do. i urge you to surrender your body, fertility, family size, timing to Him. to trust Him fully. if that means you are with child prior to your goal date or not for years after or never. the Word is our source. and a great concise book that points you straight to the Word and calls us out in this area is Family UNplanning and i urge you to read it.

Jen said...

Hi! I found your blog through a bunch of rabbit-hole-linking from a WWIW link up today! I saw randomly (on your other blog) that you lived in Grenada and that piqued my interest because I too lived there...for 2 years... while my husband went to med school there in 2007 & 2008. We're Canadian and are now on the residency end of things (PGY2 Urology in Georgia)! Funny what a small world blogging can be some times:) We don't have green cards and are doing the lovely J1 visa shananigans, so I get your pain! Anyway, all that to say, if you have any questions about the process of anything to do with residency, etc email me and I'd be happy to be a sounding board:)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...