Orthopedic Surgeon 101

I can’t tell you how many times I get asked the following questions about Mr. Dr. (who as a refresher is studying to be an orthopedic surgeon).  How many years does he have left?  When is he really a doctor?  How many years is residency?  When does he pick his specialty?  What is he specializing in? How many surgeries has he done?  Does he like it?  This list goes on and the same questions get asked over and over and over again.  I get it.  It’s a lot to remember.  It’s funny though because a year will go by and I will be happy that we are a year closer to the end but when I tell people how many years he has left their response is always, “Really??? I thought for sure by now he would be done.”  Newsflash people, becoming a surgeon of any kind is a LONG freaking road.  They work hard to be a master at their craft and let me tell ya, it’s a damn good thing because the surgeries that these orthopedic guys do is no joke.  Trust me, you want that guy operating on you to have YEARS of experience because let’s face it, they are cutting you open and playing inside of your body.  Haha.  Playing.  I guess maybe for them it is like playtime because it’s fun for them.  After all, they chose this insane, grueling….sorry I meant….well-respected and prestigious profession.  You want a surgeon who enjoys finagling those bones and muscles in your body because those are the surgeons that are going to make you walk again, stand up straight for the first time, get you back on the field and relieve your pain.  And when you think about it, it’s kind of crazy that you sit there unconscious for hours on a table while they stand over and “fix” you.  For a lot of the more minor surgeries, these surgeons can probably do it in their sleep it becomes so methodical.  But don’t worry, even though doctors get pretty tired, I’m sure no one has ever reallllllllly done a surgery in their sleep ;)  Let’s hope not anyway.  But the point I’m trying to make is that in order for them to become such great surgeons it’s necessary to go through the long, aggravating, all consuming….sorry I meant….many glorious years of training.

Anyway, I wanted to give a basic 101 crash course.  Hopefully this answers a lot of easy questions people have about the road to becoming an orthopedic surgeon.

Definition of Orthopedic Surgery

The branch of surgery that deals with the correction of injuries or disorders of the skeletal system and associated muscles, joints, and ligaments. -courtesy of dictionary.com

Standard Process: 10 Yrs Minimum

4 years of medical school (you are officially a doctor when you graduate. Yes I know, it’s not rocket science but you have no idea how many times I have been asked about when and if he is a Dr. yet)

  • 3rdish year – choose a specialty for a residency program
  • 4th year – apply to residency programs and (hopefully) match to program of your choice (can add 1 extra year of research to help boost resume)

5 years of residency (some hospitals nowadays have a 6 year program for orthopedic surgery)

  • 3rdish year – choose an orthopedic specialty to focus on
  • 4th year – apply to fellowship programs and (hopefully) match to program of your choice

1 year of fellowship (can do 2 years of a fellowship and specialize in 2 different areas)

  • Upon completion – work for a private practice, hospital, etc.
  • Also upon completion – FINALLY GET A REAL PAYCHECK and if I’m lucky I may just get my husband back.

The above process is estimated and as you can see 10 years is really the minimum commitment to becoming an orthopedic surgeon.  Add in 1 extra year of research in between medical school and residency to help get into a better program, 1 extra year if the program is 6 yrs instead of the standard 5, and 1 extra year of an additional fellowship = potential for 13+ years of commitment before even becoming an attending physician.  Personally, writing all of this out makes me want to go run to my bottle of greygoose in the fridge but I will refrain.  Bottom line: I guess after 10-13 years of education and training, people should feel confident in his/her orthopedic surgeon.

Check out the Appendix page I added to the blog – it should help clear up any confusion with the terminology I use in my writing.  Hint: I like to abbreviate everything and lucky for me, the hospital likes abbreviated terminology too.  That’s what glossaries are for.

So hopefully now that you know the process you understand what me and Mr. Dr. have been through together and what we still have to come with him being a current 2nd year resident.  Let’s just say I am happy he is in a 5 year program and if I have anything to say about it, he will be doing a 1 year only fellowship program for his orthopedic specialty.  This would put him on the 10 year plan.  Let’s hope it stays that way!

Glorified Flea Markets: aka Street Fairs

There are a ton of things about New York City that make it unique and incomparable to any other place around.  Among the list, are weekend street fairs.  Typically these occur throughout the spring, summer and fall months.  There can be multiple happening throughout the city on any given day and what I love the most is stumbling upon one unexpectedly.  Especially when I am just enjoying a nice solo walk around town on a Sunday afternoon.  I walk everywhere here so I must admit I stumble upon them a lot.  If nothing else, it’s a change of scenery for my walk but occasionally I get sucked in to checking things out…like I did recently.

This one was on Madison Avenue from 42nd street all the way up to 50th.  I needed to run an errand on 45th street so it was perfect placement and timing.  In my experience, a lot of the street fairs are the same.  But for some reason, they just never get old.  They have similar tent setups at each one such as jewelry, souvenir clothing, dresses, scarves, electronics, smoothies, and of course food.  Believe it or not, some of the “street meat” as they call it here in NYC is not so bad.  I know…you are probably thinking…yuck.  But I have had my share throughout the last five years and while I don’t make it a habit, I have never really been disappointed.  In fact, Rachael Ray swears by some of the street food in the city and her blessing is enough for me.  Check out the video of her favorite NYC street food here.  Street fair food is a little different because the variety is all in one place – thai plates, gyros, fruit, kabobs, burritos, and lucky for me…this one had a crepe tent.  I totally tried it.

street fair crepe tent

Here is the chef whipping up my crepe.  There was a variety to choose from like plain, mozzarella & tomato, feta & spinach, ham & cheese and strawberries, bananas & chocolate.  I went with the ham & cheese.  I love a good ham & cheese sandwich so I figured crepe style would be a nice twist to the traditional.  I must say I enjoyed it quite a bit on my leisure walk home.  If I had another dollar I would have been able to score a $1 cup of fresh squeezed lemonade to go with it.  Oh well, maybe next time.  Now that I think about it, the only thing missing from these little fairs is a bar.  I guess they would have to get a liquor license or street permit of some sort but I think it would be a big hit.  I would be first in line.  Just think about what kind of business the smoothie tent would get if they spiked their drinks with vodka?  Or if there was a martini tent!?  Heck, I’d offer to work at it for the day if I could enjoy a drink every couple hours.  I think I may be on to something.  Until then, I will enjoy my occasional snack, sip on virgin lemonade and browse through some $5 jewelry at the next fair.

Summer Olympics Looze Style

There are a million reasons to throw a party.  And what better reason this summer than the Olympics.  I have never thrown one, however, this summer I attended my first summer Olympics party.  But it wasn’t just any party, it was a reunion party for Mr. Dr.’s family.  Growing up they had a tradition called the summer Olympics which they always tried to make coincide with the actual Olympic games.  Super clever idea, in my opinion, because they use it as a way to bring his mom’s side of the family together for a reunion.  It’s the perfect twist on the old fashioned, hum drum reunion party.  This tradition has been going on for years and they have the photo albums to prove it.  Lucky for me, I was blessed to marry into a family that is welcoming, loving, and crazy fun.  They also are a bit competitive…well, a lot competitive.  Anyway, we always have such a great time when we get together, and they enjoy a good cocktail as much as I do so I fit in just perfectly.  It’s a good thing because thanks to the June schedule, Mr. Dr. had to work every weekend including the weekend of the big party.  This meant that Mrs. Dr. was traveling solo to the Looze summer Olympics/reunion party in Long Island.  Now, there are some daughters-in-law who may feel nervous or ambivalent about attending a big family party of this stature, but hellllllllllllo, I love this kind of stuff.  And, let’s be honest, not only am I not the shyest gal around, I live for a good competition.  After all, even though I’m 28, that Division 1 soccer collegiate athlete is still inside me somewhere. :)

So obviously, I was preparing mentally for a win for myself in every sport.  The Looze family 2012 Olympic games consisted of the water balloon toss, water volleyball, putting and a potato sac race.  I thought I had it in the bag.  Well surprisingly I did not.  Here are a few photos that pretty much sum up the weekend.

The 2012 Crew

Juniors Potato Sac Race

Me and my “Turkey” Trophy

Yes! It’s true. I did win a trophy at the 2012 summer Olympics party.  But I don’t like to gloat…especially when the trophy I won was a “Turkey” trophy.  My lovely mother-in-law and I won this trophy for being “first out” in a competition.  Sad I know, but true.  We were out after round three of the balloon toss.  I take full blame on this one.  She tossed and I did not perform.  No excuses, I just did not catch it gracefully enough and there our chances went at winning the gold.  As you can see from the potato sac race picture it appears I was one of the last to cross the finish line.  I begged for a camera finish as I thought I was the front runner at one point in the race but video surveillance taken by a spectator proved otherwise.  What happened you ask?? Great question.  I used to be the fastest player on the soccer field.  I guess hopping in a bag isn’t comparable to sprinting on a field.  Putting was also a bust as I was not even a finalist, but in my defense, golf is not my forte.  I redeemed myself ever so slightly by capturing the silver medal in water volleyball but that was a team effort and I have my team members to thank for that one.  All in all, it was a fantastic weekend with family, fun and lots of cocktails of course.  No one came out injured and we celebrated the weekend with a big New England clam and lobster feast.

To top off the weekend, I ended it in biker chic style while taking my first motorcycle ride ever!  What a blast.  Big thanks to Mark, Mr. Dr.’s cousin’s bf, who took me on my first ride and brought me back safe and sound.  And a big thanks to Uncle Mike who took us on a mini bike tour of the Hamptons.  It was so exhilarating and I would do it again in a heartbeat.  Although Mr. Dr. says I shouldn’t make motorcycle riding a hobby, I totally understand the appeal.  Thanks for a great weekend Looze family!

First motorcycle ride ever

 

Summer Olympics Looze Style

There are a million reasons to throw a party.  And what better reason this summer than the Olympics.  I have never thrown one, however, this summer I attended my first summer Olympics party.  But it wasn’t just any party, it was a reunion party for Mr. Dr.’s family.  Growing up they had a tradition called the summer Olympics which they always tried to make coincide with the actual Olympic games.  Super clever idea, in my opinion, because they use it as a way to bring his mom’s side of the family together for a reunion.  It’s the perfect twist on the old fashioned, hum drum reunion party.  This tradition has been going on for years and they have the photo albums to prove it.  Lucky for me, I was blessed to marry into a family that is welcoming, loving, and crazy fun.  They also are a bit competitive…well, a lot competitive.  Anyway, we always have such a great time when we get together, and they enjoy a good cocktail as much as I do so I fit in just perfectly.  It’s a good thing because thanks to the June schedule, Mr. Dr. had to work every weekend including the weekend of the big party.  This meant that Mrs. Dr. was traveling solo to the Looze summer Olympics/reunion party in Long Island.  Now, there are some daughters-in-law who may feel nervous or ambivalent about attending a big family party of this stature, but hellllllllllllo, I love this kind of stuff.  And, let’s be honest, not only am I not the shyest gal around, I live for a good competition.  After all, even though I’m 28, that Division 1 soccer collegiate athlete is still inside me somewhere. :)

So obviously, I was preparing mentally for a win for myself in every sport.  The Looze family 2012 Olympic games consisted of the water balloon toss, water volleyball, putting and a potato sac race.  I thought I had it in the bag.  Well surprisingly I did not.  Here are a few photos that pretty much sum up the weekend.

The 2012 Crew

Juniors Potato Sac Race

Me and my “Turkey” Trophy

Yes! It’s true. I did win a trophy at the 2012 summer Olympics party.  But I don’t like to gloat…especially when the trophy I won was a “Turkey” trophy.  My lovely mother-in-law and I won this trophy for being “first out” in a competition.  Sad I know, but true.  We were out after round three of the balloon toss.  I take full blame on this one.  She tossed and I did not perform.  No excuses, I just did not catch it gracefully enough and there our chances went at winning the gold.  As you can see from the potato sac race picture it appears I was one of the last to cross the finish line.  I begged for a camera finish as I thought I was the front runner at one point in the race but video surveillance taken by a spectator proved otherwise.  What happened you ask?? Great question.  I used to be the fastest player on the soccer field.  I guess hopping in a bag isn’t comparable to sprinting on a field.  Putting was also a bust as I was not even a finalist, but in my defense, golf is not my forte.  I redeemed myself ever so slightly by capturing the silver medal in water volleyball but that was a team effort and I have my team members to thank for that one.  All in all, it was a fantastic weekend with family, fun and lots of cocktails of course.  No one came out injured and we celebrated the weekend with a big New England clam and lobster feast.

To top off the weekend, I ended it in biker chic style while taking my first motorcycle ride ever!  What a blast.  Big thanks to Mark, Mr. Dr.’s cousin’s bf, who took me on my first ride and brought me back safe and sound.  And a big thanks to Uncle Mike who took us on a mini bike tour of the Hamptons.  It was so exhilarating and I would do it again in a heartbeat.  Although Mr. Dr. says I shouldn’t make motorcycle riding a hobby, I totally understand the appeal.  Thanks for a great weekend Looze family!

First motorcycle ride ever

 

You Me & a Doctor Degree

NYU Med School White Coat Ceremony Aug ’07

Here we are at Mr. Dr.’s white coat ceremony in August of 2007.  This is where all of the aspiring future doctors from NYU got their first “white coat” and were officially entered into school.  Wow.  He has a lot more hair and my tan skin clearly shows I had a lot of free time due to unemployment when we moved here.  Coincidence I wore white? I think not.  Remember, by association, I was being inducted into medical school too.  I think back to that day and it brings an innocent smile to my face.  I had no idea what the next few years were going to bring us. Since then, we have lived in 4 different NYC apartments, gotten married, traveled to some beautiful places, developed an exciting relationship with Manhattan and oh yes, got an M.D.  Oops.  I almost forgot about two other important relationships that developed – mine with the Trader Joe’s wine store cashier and local liquor store worker.  Can’t make martinis without liquor.

NYU Med school Graduation May ’11

Here we are at Mr. Dr.’s graduation last year.  We had been newlyweds for about five minutes at this point and I was so excited for him to start residency.  I had no idea what to expect but you know that phrase, “Expect the Unexpected”?  I now think someone married to a resident coined that term.  But at least Mr. Dr. has year one under his belt.  Of course, it was pretty rough at times.  But really, we had a great year.  Sure, we missed a few things and couldn’t make it to every event we wanted to but overall, even though the days were long, the year went by fast.  As it usually does.  We moved into a great new apartment, saw a few of our good friends get married and engaged, traveled to Jamaica with family and Mr. Dr. turned the big 3-0.  We also celebrated our one year anniversary weekend together wine tasting in the Hamptons and I thankfully, got to spend a few hours with him on every holiday this past year (irrelevant that one of them was because I injured myself and had to visit as his patient in the hospital…more on that later).  Obviously there were hardships and I probably wouldn’t have picked the hand of “Let’s spend our first newlywed year as a trio: you, me and the hospital.”  But that’s the hand I was dealt and I learned that those hardships made the good times seem great.  I appreciated the little things so much more.  We certainly did not have a routine life either, at any point last year which I guess has its pros and cons.  I definitely had my fair share of Mrs. Dr. time but I think I did a pretty good job keeping myself busy.  Besides, the second I ever started to feel bored I just poured myself a glass of wine (or three) and it was all good.  Lucky for me, I work in an industry that is pretty lively and I have great friends in NYC that make sure I am not always making a cocktail just for one.  Apologies if the alcohol references get old, you should probably know upfront…I can ALWAYS put things into perspective with a cocktail reference.  After all…

Best napkins ever from Kaboodle.com

Life, Love and the Never-ending Pursuit of Happiness

Hi Everyone! This is my very first blog post and I can’t tell you how excited I am to start writing. If you read my Mrs. Dr. Looze page at the top you pretty much know what this blog is all about for me. If you haven’t yet, be sure to check it out to learn a little bit more about who I am and what my inspiration is for starting this blog.

I have a lot of respect for doctors and now…their wives.  Especially now that I am one of them.  If you would have asked me ten years ago whether I thought I would be living in NYC married to a doctor I would have said, “A girl can only dream that would happen.” And now that dream has become my reality.  Only, I am here to tell you that the glitz, glamour and hype that the majority of America thinks is our reality, is unfortunately, very far from the truth during these grueling years of residency.  Sure, they say that there is light at the end of the tunnel and I believe there is, but this seems to be the longest tunnel I have ever been in (and here I thought the Lincoln tunnel was bad) ;) Now, don’t get me wrong. I know there are a lot of professions out there with long hours, time away from your loved ones and overly stressful environments.  But for purposes of this blog, I will be speaking with a voice as the wife of a doctor.  I am pretty sarcastic, blunt, and wear my emotions on my sleeve so hopefully that will make for some unique posts and points of view. But after being married to a resident for 1 year, mix in this fabulous city, (not to mention being with him before he went to medical school and all the way through it) I think I have a fair amount of insight to share.

I decided on the name “When life gives you Medicine…make Martinis” because I refuse to have my life be another pity party or sob story just because I spend a lot of time without my Dr. Hubby.  Well and I love martinis.  But more importantly, I want people to remember that no matter what life throws at you, or what turn your life unexpectedly takes, you CAN have a successful marriage, a happy life, fulfilling relationships and a positive attitude.  It may take a few martinis and you may experience occasional meltdowns but let’s be honest, that is why they invented vodka and gave us a city that never sleeps.  At least in my case :)

My hopes for this blog are to inspire those that are in a similar situation to my own and inspire myself to get through the tough times all the way through to the light at the end of the tunnel and beyond.  On a playful note, I want to bring some laughs, love, creativity and a fresh perspective to the blog world, and my friends and family.  And finally, above all, I’m hoping this blog will remind me on a daily basis how thankful I am to have such an amazing husband and life with him, and that our roller coaster journey is special because its ours.

Happy Reading!