After four years of college.
Sixteen months of post-baccalaureate studies.
Four years of medical school.
Three years of residency.
Two years of fellowship.
Four states in ten years
Today is the last day of my wife's formal medical training. We have made it through overnight calls, board exams, two pregnancies, two sets of potty training, sleep deprivation, low pay and absurdly long hours, and things we never imagined.
We have reached the end. It takes a long time to become a doctor. I am not sure we ever thought today would come, frankly. We didn't have a clue how long this would all take or how hard it would be when my wife decided in 2003 that she wanted to be a doctor. But we made it. And starting tomorrow she has a new job with better pay and most importantly, better hours and more control over when she works and what she does.
I'm getting my wife back and it is glorious. I will be raising a glass to her tonight. If you have a doctor in your life take a second to appreciate just how long it takes to raise a doctor from a wee little med student to a saver of lives. It's a long haul. After having a ring side view of it all, I respect anyone who takes on that challenge.