At the risk of having my Texas “citizenship” revoked, I will admit that I love living in Iowa City. While the me from a year ago may have had doubts, the me from today has discovered the vibrancy of the creative corridor. The Iowa City metropolitan area bustles with activity. There is something for me, a stay at home mom, to do every day with my daughter. And it usually is free! Often, I choose our daily activities from a plethora of options available around town, through Iowa Medical Partners, or through my network of new friends.
Before I get off topic, now would be a good time to reemphasize my husband is a surgical resident. While the life of a surgical intern is not quite like life at Seattle Grace, there is one thing Grey’s Anatomy got right. My husband is at the hospital a lot. There is no sense in denying it. Some rotations are not as bad as others. However, many months are filled with long hours and few days off.
Within the first few weeks of living here, I met another mom at the library who had a daughter only six days older than my little one. As it turned out, she was also married to a surgical resident. If that wasn’t enough, our daughters were wearing the same pink GroVia cloth diaper. The universe couldn’t have set me up with a more perfect first Iowa friend! (Insert Shout Out to my PLAYGROUP co-chair Ceric Keck HERE). She imparted on me the single, most important advice for surviving residency.
If there is something you want to do, do it! If your spouse is available to tag along, awesome. However, do not deprive yourself opportunities and experiences because you are waiting on your spouse.
Maybe this advice isn’t glamorous. But it has proven to be the most useful advice I have received for surviving residency. If there is a festival or event you don’t want to miss, ATTEND IT! If there is a restaurant you want to try, TRY IT! Is there a place you want to explore, EXPLORE IT! If you are ready to eat dinner, EAT IT! When your spouse is available and able, savor that time together. Sometimes the stars do align. However, do not sit around waiting for that to happen.
Finally, my second piece of advice comes in the form of a quick plug. JOIN IOWA MEDICAL PARTNERS! Having a partner invested in the medical or dental field whether it be school, residency or fellowship, comes with a unique set of challenges. Furthermore, if you are like me, you may now be living far away from family and old friends. IMP has created friendships and opportunities that are helping me make the most of my life in Iowa.
One year down. Six more to go for us. Anyone have advice for surviving PGY2?