Friday, April 23, 2010

Medical School

Lately, I've been thinking about nearing the end of our long journey through medical school and residency. Hugh and I can hardly believe that it is almost here. There have been many challenges and a lot of changes along the way. I'm so thankful that through it all, we've had each other and the good Lord to cling to. Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12

We were barely married a year when we got the news that Hugh had been accepted into medical school at the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in KC, MO. We left our home in Mississippi and all we had ever known to embark on a this new adventure together. We were very close to our family, and spent a lot of time with them. It was a little sad in the beginning to think about being eight or nine hours away from them. But, I think looking back on it now, it was a good thing. It made us rely more on each other, and grow even closer together. A little scary, but very exciting time.

Hugh's dad and step mom helped us move up to KC, MO. We rented a truck, packed it up and we were on our way. We had gone up together ahead of time, just the two of us and found a place to live. After we were settled in, Hugh's mom and grandmother flew up for the White Coating ceremony. They were our first official visitors.

Hugh's first year in medical school I held down three jobs in order to help us make it through. I taught school during the week, taught private voice lessons after school, and worked at Harolds down on the plaza most nights and weekends. I also served on committees for our S.A.A. auxiliary chapter at Hugh's medical school. As, I mentioned before, we were there to help the students and promote the school within the community.

Our second year, I let go of my job at Harolds. I started selling Taste of Gourmet (which is based in my home town) to try to make up the difference, and I accepted the position of presidency for the S.A.A. chapter at Hugh's medical school. Staying busy helped me not to sit around and focus on how busy Hugh was, and how much time we did or did not get to spend together. And it was nice to feel like I was contributing.

Medical school was not as bad as everyone had scared me into believing it was going to be. I was lucky that Hugh made it a point to keep a weekly date night with me. We always made dinner together, and watched Friends and E.R. on Thursday nights. And I made it a point to surround myself with other wives who were supportive of their husbands and didn't complain all the time. When I had times that I felt a little down, I reminded myself that I knew what I was getting into, that this was all part of it, and it wouldn't last forever. And it helped that God blessed me with really great friends there and I had a wonderful job, teaching.

Teaching in North Kansas City school district was the most positive teaching experience I've had yet. There weren't any music positions open, so I taught Gifted education while I was there, and took graduate courses to earn my masters in this area. My first year I traveled between three schools, but, my second year I had my own classroom. I taught four out of five days and then spent one day lesson planning and conferencing or collaborating with other teachers. Ideal situation. Seriously, it was a dream job. The staff, the school were all so supportive and wonderful to work with. When my daddy passed away suddenly a few days before Thanksgiving, they all rallied around me. The assistant director of the SAGE department even stepped into my place for the last two days before the Thanksgiving holiday so I wouldn't have to worry about finding a substitute.

Unfortunately, Hugh and I lost five family members within the first six years of our time in medical school. His step dad, my daddy, his grandfather, and then my uncle and momma within a month of one another. It was rough. But, the Lord brought us through it all.

The third and fourth years are internship years where the students rotate each month through different specialties at different hospitals. There is more than one medical school in Kansas City, so the hospitals and doctors in the area can not accommodate all the students. KCUMB has what they call a match up. Each student picks their top three choices of where they would like to be their third and fourth year, and the school tries to match them up accordingly. Well, we are somewhat at the end of the alphabet, and by the time they got to us, none of our choices were left. There were three choices left. One in south Missouri, and the other two were here in Ohio. We wanted Missouri, but, someone got it before we could pick it as our choice. Both of our mothers were recently widowed and we tried to petition the board to help us to be closer to home, but, in the end, it's just not what the Lord had planned for us. So, off to Ohio we went.

At this point, I think I need another post to share all the reasons the Lord revealed to us along the way of why He had brought us here to Ohio. So, until then....~Blessings my friends!


Ashley said...

You've been through such a longer road than me; I really admire your tenacity through everything! I met Kurt only at the start of residency, and even that has been challenging at times. I'm proud of you for how you always support Hugh!

Tiffany said...

Thanks Ashley. It's different for everyone. Residency was harder for me, for many reasons. Mostly because we started having children. It was very lonely and even over whelming at times. And it's hard when the babies cry because they haven't seen their daddy in three days and they want him to come home, and you have to try to explain to them that he can't come home right now. -So I'm with ya on the challenges of residency. It's a challenge no matter what point you come in at. :)

Susan said...

Enjoying re-traveling this journey with you and learning about it!!!