We’re four months in to year two of residency, and dare I say, it’s been so easy.  Well, it’s been easy for me.  Vishnu would likely disagree!

The main caveat to consider is Vishnu started year one (year two overall) of Radiology residency.  Radiology, while intense in terms of the learning curve, is more lifestyle friendly than other fields like internal medicine, surgery, etc.  That’s not to say he won’t ever be on call or have to do nights. That’s all coming soon (unfortunately), but the first few months resemble a 7-5 type schedule.  This is not typical in medicine!

selfie by the Chicago River

With that being said, we’re really trying to enjoy our time together, especially the weekday time.  Once weekend call and nights start, things will be a bit different.  And beyond that, year two and three (of Radiology) are supposedly pretty tough schedule wise (still not that bad comparatively).  But let’s not go there yet!

When my friend Sweeti was here this past weekend, we talked about medical relationships and how hard they can be sometimes.  Sweeti is a physician and her husband is currently finishing up fellowship (last year of the journey).  Because her husband is always at the hospital and she’s currently taking some time off before she starts work in January, she’s going through what I experienced last year.  She said she often wonders about how I got through the first few years (med school and intern year).  I was flattered to hear this, even though I haven’t always handled everything so well. Regardless, this got me thinking about how I managed and continue to stay [somewhat] positive through residency, especially with the constant schedule changes and moving (although no more moving for the next four years!).

I wanted to write about my conversation with Sweeti because I think it applies to any and every situation life presents us with.

It’s all about your mindset.  Period.

If you let your mind dwell on the negative aspects of what you’re facing, that’s all you will ever see.  If you choose to put a positive spin on things, and focus on the silver linings (even if they aren’t part of your ideal state), your situation won’t appear as gray.  Such a simple and easy to understand concept, yet it’s so hard to put into practice.  But really, what’s the alternative?  I mean, don’t get me wrong.  Go low if you need to.  Just don’t stay there.  Find your way back to the top and look for the little rays of sunshine.  They’re there.  I promise!

Even though we’ve moved a million times in the past few years.  Even though Vishnu spent our first year of marriage locked up in the guest room studying.  Even though we often have to attend important events solo.  Even though I hate going to bed alone (it scares me!).

It’s all worth it when I hear Vishnu talk about what he’s doing at work.  It’s all worth it when I think about the future we’re building for ourselves…slowly but surely.  It’s all worth it because we make the most of the time we do spend together.

Whenever I think about this whole mindset thing, I’m reminded of this quote.  So powerful, so true, so profound!

Be careful of your thoughts, for your thoughts become your words. Be careful of your words, for your words become your actions. Be careful of your actions, for your actions become your habits. Be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character. Be careful of your character, for your character becomes your destiny. — Chinese proverb, author unknown 

So guys, choose the best thoughts possible!  Even when it’s hard.  You and your destiny are better off for it!

By Parita

12 thoughts on “Year One of Radiology Residency – It’s All About Your Mindset”
  1. I read this last night and think you guys are amazing! It’s definitely hard when a spouse or significant other has a stressful and busy schedule and you feel “off” sometimes. I think you two are doing the right things and it seems to be working thus far! Best of luck to V and his journey through radiology! No doubt he’s going to kick ass and take names! 🙂

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