Wednesday, July 13, 2011


on this day many, many years ago - back when it was 2009 - OrthoMan opened an email. it was the results of his Step 1 scores taken just a few weeks previously...

our family of 3 was a family of 2.5. there was 1 car, a pregnant wife/chauffeur, {future} Orthoman, and enough stress and anxiety to fill Yankee Stadium.

it was early in the morning when we set out on the 20 minute drive to the testing center. there was 7 weeks of INTENSE preparation leading up to this one test. we didnt really speak because we were both so freaked out. i mean, this one effing test would determine the rest of our lives!!! and as everyone here knows, that's really not an overstatement. i gripped the steering wheel so tightly that my hands hurt when i got home. i was convinced that my lil heart would explode at any minute, which would distract Orthoman while he was taking his test and cause him to fail said test and have his life ruined TWICE in one day. yikes.

i dont remember much about that day because frankly, i went home and slept for most of the day. except for when i went to Coldstone for lunch. and got the love it size. in a waffle cone. with 2 mix-ins.

since we had only 1 car i had to guess when he might be finished. i showed up about an hour earlier than he suggested. then i waited an hour and a half to see him. i had on NPR and pretended to listen to The Splendid Table {great program, btw}. and then i saw him. he walked out with his bf/bff/study buddy/comrade/etc. he nodded in my direction, acknowledging my presence, but didnt move from his spot. he stood there an extra 43 minutes (YES! i counted). i wanted to smack him, but instead i gave him a kiss when he got into the car and gave him a cheesy grin.

but he sat there. that ass just sat there not saying anything. "i didnt fail it, but i didnt do much better than passing."

it almost killed me. i reassured him as best as i could. of course he didnt fail!

but what if he did? what if my husband, whose friends commended him for studying the hardest and longest, actually failed. i wanted to strangle him and scream. i wanted to yell and shout, "how can you do this to us?!?! i've given EVERYTHING to make this work and to support you!" {and those thoughts were in no way fueled by my pregnancy hormones, i swear}.

instead, i said, "do you still want to go to Red Robin and get some dinner?"

a few weeks later i was sitting at my desk at work. my feet were being propped up by a box of office paper and i was on the phone with one of the partners, trying to figure out where the numbers must have been transposed on a statement. it was about 90 billion degrees outside and 4473% humid {once again, i am in no way exaggerating). the conversation was lasting longer than my bladder and i was dying. the last thing on my mind was {future}Orthoman. then i got a text. it said nothing except three numbers. i re-read it 4 or 9 times to make sure i got it right.

2-he kicked-ass

after a month of preparing for the worst and expecting nothing, here it was. he was home free. he had license to become WHATEVER he wanted! we could go into any field we wanted! we managed to break through the glass ceiling.

i just wish he had some idea of what he wanted to go into.


i'm an orthowife, and this is my life.


i cross-posted this over at Med School Tagalongs


  1. It is indeed a great feeling when you are not limited to what you have to do for the rest of your life by test scores. One test really can determine your future!

  2. We had a roller coaster of test scores. Not high like he hoped for step 1. Had to KILL step 2 to get to do what he wanted in medicine, which he DID fortunately. Then totally forgot his thinking cap for step 3 and had to take it again, for an additional $1000 or so. Good thing step 3 scoring doesn't matter, only passing.

  3. How crazy that these tests have such a huge impact on our lives!

    Loved this story though.

  4. I'm thankful for exceptions. Brad passed all of his, but isn't the best test taker. Thankfully, he still got into a really competitive field.

  5. I am at the point that I just laugh about these tests now. The stress of it all. My DH did awesome on step 1 too after months of studying... then step 2 life took over and studying was rare- and he got the EXACT SAME SCORE as he did on step 1... which isn't great, right, you are supposed to go up.

    However... have any of us ever walked into our doctors office and said "Can you tell me what you got on Step 1?" Or picked a dr based on their test scores? Every asked, "did you fail any classes in med school? or fail a whole year? pass all your usmle or comlex?"...

    I have to laugh at how these scores can determine our future... yet does not correlate with patient care or practice... and I totally joke with my husband that when we move next, I will screen potential docs for our family by their Step 1 scores just for fun ;0)

    But- at this stage- what a relief to get those scores back.. and Yay that Orthoman did so well =)

  6. My husband must have done it all backwards. He rocked Step 1. Like seriously rocked it. So, of course, he could only go down, right? And down he did. He's passed all his standardized tests since, but his scores got gradually lower. Once you get to board exams, score stops mattering so much.