If you didn’t already know, my hubby is in his 4th year of medical school. The journey to becoming a doctor can be pretty complicated sometimes! For those that aren’t familiar with the medical school & residency journey, it can all seem really confusing. I’m constantly getting lots of questions about what Braden is doing and how all of this works. If I weren’t married to someone in medical school, I would literally have NO idea what the road to being a doctor looked like!
So, today I’m going to do my best to explain how this journey works and what this next year looks like for us! Now that we have reached the fourth and final year, we are in the midst of a lot of excitement and transition.
Depending on what “specialty” you go into (what kind of doctor you decide to be), will depend on how your journey will look.
Braden, my husband, has chosen to be an Ophthalmologist (eye surgeon). Our fourth year of school started off with Braden being gone for 3 WHOLE MONTHS, rotating at different programs around the country. July, August, and September, he was in Oklahoma City, Temple, TX, and Charleston, SC.
The longest Braden and I had been apart in our married lives before that was 10 days…and even that was brutal. I did get to visit Braden a good amount until I started back to work in August, but after that we went many weeks without getting to see each other. It was a very growing time in our communication and marriage!
Thank the Lord we made it through and Braden is finally HOME– for now. November and December start the season of interviewing for residency programs all over the U.S. Residency is the period after medical school, where you are officially a “Dr.” but now will get in-depth training in a specific branch of medicine.
This summer, Braden applied to residency programs all across the country. Interview offers from different programs have been trickling in since then and he will use November/December to fly and drive across the country to attend the interviews. There are weeks where he will interview at the beginning of the week, fly into a city and interview on a Thursday, fly to a new city Thursday night, and be at another interview by Friday morning. It’s a crazy and busy season! But SO exciting.
Since medical school started nearly 4 years ago, we have been talking about residency and where the Lord would take us…it feels surreal that we are finally here!
Once Braden finishes his interviews, we will “rank” the programs he interviewed at. Those programs will also rank Braden along with all the other students they interacted with. There is then some sort of computer algorithm that “matches” the applicants and the programs based on the rankings. (Basically, if you know anything about sorority rush, this is the same kind of system.)
A week after we submit our rank list we will find out if Braden matched, and if so, where! For ophthalmology this happens the second week in January…which means, y’all we are CLOSE. Just two more moths. Most specialties have a match day in March, but for some reason ophthalmology does their match in January…and I’m very okay with knowing two months earlier LOL!
Each residency program differs in length, also based upon specialty. Braden will have 4 years of residency to complete before he is done. The first year will be an intern year in a broader field (he will most likely do internal medicine). He can complete that year pretty much anywhere. Then the next 3 years after that is focused on ophthalmology and he will complete those together at one of the programs he interviews at.
Right now, we have interviews all over the country. It’s been so fun to imagine ourselves living in all these different places. We’ve got a lot of things to weigh into the decision of our rank list, but ultimately God will determine our path! Braden graduates in May as Dr. Wilson, and we will start the second half of this journey in July.
I’m hoping at this point, I was able to briefly give some clarity into what this journey looks like– hopefully more clarity than confusion! And if you made it this far through all the medical, crazy talk, thanks for taking the time to peak into what our lives look like this year, and joining us on this wild adventure to becoming a physician.
It’s truly humbling and thrilling to think that there is a new place that God has already paved out for our family to live. A new Church family for us to be sharpened and spurred on by. A new people for us to love on and share Jesus with. And new patients for Braden to care for.
Would you join us in praying as we make these big decisions in the coming months? We are ultimately asking that God’s will be done! That our desires would align in unity with what He has for us. And that we wouldn’t make any decisions with fists closed, but instead, open palms willing to go wherever he leads.
Love you family,