Thursday, June 30, 2011

Feelings of Self Doubt Revisited

Well it appears I'm not the only stay at home mom who feels the pressure of self doubt.  Plenty of you commented or mentioned to me personally that you deal with similar feelings.  I appreciate your insight as well as your support, especially just realizing how many boat mates I have.  I had to mention this letter I received from a friend of ours from the beginning of all this schooling.  She's one of those girls I mentioned whose very existence makes me feel self doubt.  We met when she was only one degree ahead of me and still in the mist of all the crazy grad/med school craziness.  Now eight years later she's almost half way through an obgyn residency and has three more degrees then I do.  She's pretty much amazing.  She sent me this letter after reading my blog and the truth is it made me cry, and then when I tried to tell my mom about it I started crying again.  So here it is...

Hey Crystal-
Was reading your post and hoping to offer a few words of encouragement from the other side of things. After completing intern year I continue to be amazed that anyone can maintain a relationship with any resident. Residency is a very selfish process when it comes to a relationship. It demands just about all a person can give and I think often leaves residents offering the short sitck in a relationship. I think it takes a lot of love, patience and understanding to be the spouse of a resident and add kids on top and you pretty much have a saint.
Your children are very lucky to have you and all your energy, taent and intelligence. I am sure the time and gifts you give to them will reach many people in their futures that you cannot even imagine. At my residency there is this fairy tale that is perpetuated that you can be great as a doctor, parent, spouse and researcher. While I think you can have all those things, you can't have them to the same level or success that you can have fewer priorities. Time and again I've seen my co-residents shocked to find problems in their relationship they were too busy to appreciate. I think the people you are meeting are blinded in the same way with their comments. They operate in the realm they know and so work is expected. They don't truly look down on you- they are jsut blinded that the other options exist anymore because they have been in the system so long.
I remember many years ago talking with you about going back to school and I was worried (quietly to myself) when baby 1 came that you would later regret giving up so much because you seemed so interested in so many academic ventures, but from a far I've watched and seen how much joy you have from your children, husband and your role in their lives. It seems to me you have gained a rich and full life in many arenas that fills that intellectual curiosity and the emotional part of you too. 
Well that's just my two cents. I'll be thinking of you during this rough transition year. If you ever need an ear, I'm here.

What a compliment to know that my efforts are being watched and noticed by someone I myself admire and to receive outside support from someone on a side of life I sometimes find myself coveting.  Thanks Michelle, I appreciate your words of wisdom, your insight, and your support!!!!  Also great advice for anyone in a very demanding profession.   

1 comment:

  1. This is Nancy's mom, and I just want to say that your friend Michelle ROCKS. As I watch from afar as one of my much loved former students goes through a divorce from her resident-doctor husband...I totally get what she is saying. As someone with a bunch of degrees but who has not been able to be at home with my kids like I really wanted to do, I just say, enjoy it. They grow up way too fast.



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