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Tips for Residents

CMDA Ministry to Your Marriage

The training programs for most specialties are so demanding — they take all of your time and energy, leaving little energy left for building relationships. In future pages we will look at why young doctors succumb to the opressiveness of their training; but apprentices usually go along with their trainers to guarantee future success.

We are confident your marriage can grow and blossom while you are in your training years. It helps a lot to have a sense of humor and to recognize your need for good fun or a healthy diversion. These grow out of a biblical perspective and should be part of the spiritual resources for your life, work, marriage and family.

CMDA's Marriage Enrichment Conferences are led by proven experts—our own well-trained members and staff. They are especially designed with your needs in mind. Sign up for one today and invite a colleague-couple to meet you there. Remember that we pay special attention to the needs of dual career couples.

Is Residency Squeezing You?

Paul Cosford, while training at Ealing Hospital in London, observed that heavy on call rotations create tiredness, which squeezes out daily quiet times, church services, and home fellowship groups. "Thus both our personal time with God and fellowship with other Christians is seriously impaired, leaving us much more vulnerable to backsliding as Christians. If we're married (as I am), it can also create pressure in this area, with little time to spend with one's wife and family." Cosford suggests some specifics for maintaining a Christian life-style while in training:

  • Be known as a Christian at work. Would a fish badge be helpful?
  • Respect and submit to the authority of consultants. "Live at peace with everyone."
  • Don't get down from lack of praise. Remember, it is the Lord Jesus Christ you are serving. He has the ultimate reward.
  • Maintain good work relationships with nurses and technicians. Humility will lead us to consult their opinions.
  • Be on guard about loneliness. Residency is not the time to try to convert your non- Christian boy or girlfriend, while maintaining Christian standards in the relationship at the same time.

Dr. Earl Bowie (ENT in Pensacola, FL) chose not to marry or pursue a relationship with a life partner during residency. Individual circumstances will indicate different strokes for different folks. CMDA's Campus & Community Ministries can put you in touch with a sympathetic couple in CMDA from your area. There is available lots of wise counsel and constructive role modeling for residents by CMDA members. Seek them out!

A Resident’s Dialogue with God
By Dr. Phil Grim
(From CMDS Journal, Vol XXII, No 2)

"Okay, whew, I have a few minutes before reading this stack of journals and while my beeper is quiet. I'm going to try to read my Bible. Dear Lord, please speak to me.... (but quickly; I don’t have much time.)"

II Corinthians 4:8-10 . . .

"We are hard pressed on every side"
Boy, have you got that one right, God. Everyone wants a little slice of me. My attending wants me to do a literature search on his latest project. My patients, the clinics, the paperwork, the beeper, the conferences, and the reading . . . aaaaahhhhh, I do feel pressed on every side. My family needs me, the church needs me, and I just need some sleep. Sigh.

"But not crushed"
That's right, take it one breath at a time. I know you won’t allow more than I can handle.

. . . and confused . . . how can I keep it all in balance?

"But not in despair"
Well, at least not all the time.. .smile.. I mean I do have a job.

Oh yes, God, you’ve got this one right. You wouldn’t believe all the stuff I’m expected to do.

"But not abandoned"
Although I do feel alone at 3:00 A.M. in the ER with a patient that I don’t know what to do with. I know you are always guiding me and you will never abandon me.

"Struck down"
On rounds today I couldn't even give one right answer to my attending.

"But not destroyed"
But I know my true worth is in your eyes, God . . . not in the eyes of my fellow man.

"We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body."
To be honest, God, I do feel a little like death right now, I'm just so tired, in every way. But thank you for the encouragement that even in the midst of all this pressure . . . you can use me to show others . . . Jesus. Now, that's the best medicine I know.