Thursday, August 11, 2011

Jealousy is in the eye of the beholder

It's been a full year since being home.  This week while visiting my hometown I had a good friend come over and bring her children to swim.  Back when we left home (after med school) to seek our fortune (residency) this particular friend had it all goin' on.  She had a lavish home, Land Rover, Boat w/ accompanying wave runners etc...  I remember thinking, "Gosh, this is what life is like when your husband isn't in medicine!"  I was happy for her good fortune with slight pangs of envy. 

The kids played as I gave her an update on our life status and told her about our plans for then next few years for residency and fellowship.  I shared my frustration of having been married for 11 years and always qualifying for government assistance.  And about how tight money always is.

While visiting I found out that she and her husbands' house flipping business had flopped.  She had to sell everything they had - cars, boats and house and she is leaving her 4 kids with hubby at night to wait tables (this is after she quit her night job at Sonic).  They are now living in someone else's foreclosing house until the bank takes it over.  I was devastated for her! 

She looked and me and said, "Stacie, I am so jealous of you."  ME?  of all people to be jealous of?  Me?  Did you not hear about how in debt we are and broke we've been over that last 11 years?  How could that be possible?  I finally asked, "Why on Earth would you be jealous of us?"

"Because you have a plan."  She said.

Oh.  Interesting.  hmmm


  1. Ha! That is the truth, huh? At any given time, I can tell you what our plan is for the next 5 years, at least!!! You just never know what life will bring tho, huh? It is scary sometimes. I don't think those attached to the medical profession are immune either, but you hear of it less because doctors are always in demand. Ben worked for a doctor who just didn't have great busines skills and he lost his family practice to forcelosure a few years ago.

  2. i have to say, of all the things i "feel" about orthoman being in medicine, i have NEVER once regretted or been angry or upset about his chosen field.

    i come from a family of manual laborers. my dad STILL works like a dog to provide for my mom and the 3 siblings still at home. we were dirt poor as a little kid and would eat spaghetti every night for weeks on end. milk was bought with loose change. i'll never forget that as long as i live. and yes, my DrH works like a dog, but this time, it'll actually pay off. unlike construction work, people will always need a surgeon (one of the reasons we chose ortho over FM). you cant farm out a joint replacement to a CRNP. yes, you *can* mess up your practice royally, but at least you're not at the mercy of a labor strike.

    we have a plan. we've been living that plan. we're having success on the plan. and yes, there are times when i CLING to that plan for dear life. but i cant imagine it being any other way. nothing in life is easy, so why would this be any different. im soooo grateful for medicine!

  3. I can't imagine anyone being jealous of me, for any reason, ever. Seriously, they should be jealous of the wives of athletes and celebrities or something, not ordinary Doc Wives just trying to get by with some money left over for retirement.

  4. Most doctor's wives are in the top 1.5% of income in the United States if your husband makes 250 000+
    Source: US Census Bureau (

    What's not to be jealous of?

    While your expenses may go up considerably as you embrace a more expensive lifestyle, people who do not have as much money and still manage to get by think you do not deserve any pity, at least in the financial arena.

  5. Apparently death and residency graduation have something in common - everyone says you are "going on to a better place."

    In my entire adult life I have never tasted any of the financial bliss of medicine, only the struggle.

    It's hard to imagine anything different, even though everyone says it is so.

  6. Wealthiest 1% or not, there is a big difference between $250K and $250M. And yet those two groups get treated/taxed the same. Why be jealous of me having a husband that could make $250K SOME DAY when there are people that make $250M NOW.

    My FIL made what my DH is making now at the peak of his career as an engineer. It would indeed be smoother sailing right now if it weren't for the DEBT. The debt scares me and DH takes the responsibility to pay it back seriously. If it weren't for the debt, and the near decade without an income, I guess it wouldn't be so bad.

  7. Wow - talk about some perspective. I'm sorry your friend is going through such a hard time. But man am I glad that ALL of us have a plan!

  8. Just wanted to say hi. Im a new follower, my fiance is in term 2 of med school. Im going to go back and read your old posts! Just wanted to introduce myself :).