A Doctor’s Spouse’s Life: Residency Year Four

Usually fourth year of my husband’s neurosurgery residency program is devoted to a full year of research. This would mean more face time because he can do most of this work at home. This also would mean no crazy late nights wondering when he’d be home. But it didn’t quite work out that way.

During 3rd year, my husband should’ve completed 6 months of Endovascular Neurosurgery and 6 months of Ortho-Spine. Unfortunately, the neurosurgery program was down a resident. Instead of 7 residents, they had 6 so he had to stay on service with neurosurgery. Endovascular Neurosurgery was pushed to 4th year which cut into his research time. He completed 3 months with Ortho-Spine during 3rd year, but with COVID, elective non-urgent cases were canceled. The hospital was preparing for a surge of COVID patients and needed beds to remain empty and available just in case.

So the first 6 months of fourth year were spent on Endovascular Neurosurgery during the day and research projects in the evening. We definitely had more time together which was nice and a HUGE change. He also then spent 3 more months on Ortho-spine.

In December, I luckily received my first dose of the COVID vaccine. Hallelujah!!! I was done with my 2nd dose on January 11th. So thankful for this.

Christmas 2020 in Vermont

From January to March, he was busy with board preparations. He took them this year and passed!

About 2 weeks after boards, he lined up a fellowship interview with Rhode Island Hospital AKA Brown University. He kept going on and on about a Dr. Gokaslan. He honestly sounds amazing. I saw his CV (curriculum vitae/resume) and it is literally 60-something pages including 400 articles published! Also, he literally cut a person in half (horizontally) to save them from cancer. Imagine those magicians who pretend to do that…this surgeon did it for real! Lol….ouch.

Within 24 hours of his interview, hubby found out he got in.

Now ask me when I found out….

I found out 2 weeks later.

Was I mad?


Why did he do this? Well, he wanted to surprise me and the rest of our family with the news while we were altogether. COVID restrictions were clearing at this point so we finally could go home to Massachusetts.

Pretty much all his attendings and co-residents in neurosurgery and orthopedic surgery knew before I did. He told them to keep it on the downlow so I wouldn’t find out. After I found out, they asked how I reacted. When Raj told them I was pissed, they just laughed at him.

Lesson #1 of Marriage: Do not hide things from your partner.

He had also put up a very good front. He kept saying to me “ I still haven’t heard back from Brown.” And then I’d console him but in the back of my head I was like “He totalllllly didn’t get it because it’s now almost 2 weeks later.” He was applying during 4th year when people tend to apply 5th year so I just assumed they might tell him to reapply the following year. But naw, this kid just was just straight up lying to my face!!! I didn’t even bring it up most days and he’d be like “Aw man!!!!”

He wrote me a card to thank me for always supporting him but also said “LOL sorry I didn’t tell you.”

Celebration dinner just the two of us.
I don’t know which item in this image is the dessert.

In May, we went to Martha’s Vineyard. That trip deserves its own blog post. We loved our time there. We went a week before Memorial Day before the busy season. I’d say 75% of the places/things we wanted to visit were open. We ate a lot of good food!

Our favorite restaurant Lookout Tavern on Martha’s Vineyard

In June, we wrapped up things in Vermont by having a BBQ before we drove (and by “we” I mean just Raj because he doesn’t trust me with his car) to Utah for one year.

Stay tuned for Year Five in this series along with all the highlights of our (almost) cross-country drive!

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