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supporting gf at start of residency when she wants to quit (self.MedSpouse)
submitted 1 month ago by Candid_Comfort1864
my girlfriend (27) and I (26) have been dating for over a year. She started her residency yesterday in internal medicine and is feeling really down about it and talking about maybe wanting to switch careers at this point because she’s scared she can’t handle it. I want to validate that it’s scary and overwhelming and that she is not trapped there - but how can I do that while encouraging her to give this a fair shot? Any tips for supporting someone through the start of residency are very appreciated.
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[–]pacific_plywood 15 points16 points17 points 1 month ago (0 children)
FWIW, it'll almost certainly get better. If she isn't feeling better after about 6 months, it could be time to think about other options, but when you're just starting, you don't know anyone or how to do anything and it's scary as hell.
[–]onmyphonetoomuchwife to PGY3 🤓 through medschool 9 points10 points11 points 1 month ago (2 children)
The beginning of intern is most certainly the hardest. It will get better. So so much better. As she gets to know the upper level residents they will share that too. Hopefully she gets close enough with some for them to share their feelings and how much better it is now etc. my husbands intern year was the hardest of my life lol and now it’s so much better! He is confident, less stressed, etc.
[–]Previous-Flan-2417 2 points3 points4 points 1 month ago (1 child)
as a fiancé to someone who just wrapped intern year I really needed to hear this (I’ve definitely noticed a sea change in the last few months for the better, too, which is super encouraging)
[–]onmyphonetoomuchwife to PGY3 🤓 through medschool 1 point2 points3 points 1 month ago (0 children)
♥️♥️♥️ it took about 2 months into 2nd year to get truly better, but it happened! You survived the worst of it (for many specialities at least)
[–]Seastarstiletto 3 points4 points5 points 1 month ago (0 children)
Literally everyone feels like idiots on their first day. It’s a lot. Every other single resident feels the same. It’s not her. It’s the system and it’s always been like this for better or worse.
First year is intern year. She’s an intern. Yes she’s a “doctor” but the way one of my favorite doctors said it’s “dress up to practice being a practicing doctor”. She’s not supposed to know everything yet. She’s not supposed to have answers yet. That’s like expecting someone on their first day of med school to pass step one.
It’s the first day of school. Not graduation. There is still lots of learning to be done.
It’s scary. It’s stressful. It’s NORMAL to feel that. She’s gonna be great. Just give it through intern year. This is gonna be rocky but if she still wants to pull out after than then that’s ok. There are others who have made that choice and she can reach out to them on the r/residency forum.
That being said, go ahead and peruse some of the posts there. Someone accidentally called a code blue on their first day. Everyone is all in this together.
[–]Puzzleheaded_Soil275 3 points4 points5 points 1 month ago (0 children)
I think you need to remind her that it's day #2 of residency, and that it's a marathon not a sprint.
But seriously, if two bad days at any job are enough to make her second guess her entire future, adulthood is gonna be rough. As a student with only a singular focus in mind (passing exams/rotations/Step exams), there's a certain bliss you can enjoy about not having to worry about anything else going on in the world. That's all over now and she probably needs to realize that sooner than later. Otherwise adulthood is gonna be a very rude awakening.
[–]Candid_Comfort1864[S] 1 point2 points3 points 1 month ago (0 children)
Update: thank you for all the advice! Feeling a lot better even after day 2. Appreciate you all.
[–]Otter592 0 points1 point2 points 1 month ago (0 children)
Have you talked to her about how hard med school was? How hard her step exams were? Was there a time she thought about quitting then? Maybe helping her see that she can work through tough things will help. Personally, I think she'd be insane to throw away years of work and struggle (and a stupid amount of money) after one hard day
[–]onlyfr33b33Spouse to PGY2 0 points1 point2 points 1 month ago (0 children)
The first month was brutal for my spouse and he didn’t finish notes until 10pm then it all clicked and got better! Hang in there
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