(The situation in this post actually only happened once since I married Dr. J, but it was still a fun memory packed with a few insightful lessons. Enjoy! )
A couple of months after we got married, Dr.J and I attended a wedding with my good friend Chloe and her husband who also is a doctor in training. Our husbands have been super close friends since undergrad and its been a blessing seeing them journey together through med school and into residency. I met Chloe a little before Dr. J and I got married and we have grown extremely close walking alongside each other as we learn to navigate through our marriages in a biblical way and how to support our poor sleep deprived husbands.
This particular wedding was unique because it was the first wedding and event I have ever attended with only Dr. J’s med school and residency friends. Both the bride and the groom were starting their first year of residency in different specialities (thank goodness they got matched in the same state! ).
I’ve never been around so many people working/training in the medical field before! Here and there I was hearing questions like ” Hows school going? have you decided on your specialty yet?” or ” Aren’t you glad you are almost done with residency?” My husband was also happily chatting with his friends in what I call “medical gibberish”, a language I long gave up trying to understand. Like any wedding, Chloe and I were introduced to our husbands’ friends and their significant others. We immediately noticed that a number of couples were either both pursuing medicine or both already working in the medical field. It appeared to be the norm here.
” Are you also in medicine? Whats your specialty?” A curious voice asked me.
I looked up, slightly thrown off. No one has ever asked me this question before. I tried not to laugh because in my mind I was remembering how I literally failed my AP bio test in the 11th grade and the honest truth that I can’t explain to you the different between mitosis or meiosis… something about cell division right?.. :p
” Me? oh no no.. I am definitely not in medicine haha.. oh gosh no.. I’m um.. his wife..” I stammered feeling slightly uncomfortable. Later, I quietly thought to myself “thats my specialty I guess.. I’m his wife.”
The the emcee became my best friend when he interrupted our conversation with the introduction of the bridal party. * Phew..*
Just to be clear, everyone was super nice and friendly around us, so what I felt after being asked this question really just came from my own insecurity. ( Story for another day, but at the time I was in between jobs so I didn’t really want to explain my situation to people). For a few seconds, I felt more than a little self-conscious for not being in the medical field like other girl friends, fiancés, and wives around me at this wedding. I semi joked with my husband that maybe I should sign up for a medical terminologies class so I can “fit in” better with his friends.
Since that wedding, Chloe and I started to have conversations about what it means to be wives to husbands in similar situations as ours. Its true that we may never be able to understand the medical gibberish they use, or share hospital experiences and stories like they do with their friends and their significant others. Our husbands will need to stop and take the time to explain things to us while we are in conversation with other couples, and probably until I need to help my own kids study for their AP bio exam, I will continue to not be able to tell you the difference between mitosis and meiosis. But you know what? Thats all OKAY!
Because, there is no one who knows my husband better than I do. There is no one who can encourage Chloe’s husband better than she can. There is no one who understands Dr. J’s jokes like I do.. sometimes they understand but don’t laugh. I always laugh :p. No one other than Chloe has ever seen her husband’s goofy side the way she has at home. When a man is discouraged and desperately in need of words of comfort and strength, there is no one better than his wife to take on this role.This is because, Chloe and I “specialize” in our own respective husbands and our residency is until death do us part. Our attending is our Lord Jesus Christ and His Word guides us.
Both our husbands love the Lord and have expressed their desire to use their medical training for God’s glory in whatever way He deems fit. For both Chloe’s husband and Dr J, I know their pursuit of medicine is definitely not for the prestige or recognition. Their career is not their own. It is ultimately the Lord’s. Wow! what a blessing, privilege, huge responsibility, and honor it is to be wives to these kind of men!
Dear wives reading this, the Lord has given us an important job and we have the power to either build up or tear our husbands down. Other than God, No one knows your husband better than you do. You specialize in your husband, you know his strengths, his weaknesses, his likes, his dislikes, his insecurities, etc. I pray that we would take pride and ownership of this role and not let the world’s ideas of what is prestigious, or honorable tie us down.
Since that day, no one has actually assumed if I’m also in medicine or inquired what my specialty is, however I am sort of itching for that day to come again so I can proudly say “I am his wife, thats my specialty.”
Thanks for reading!
Much Love and Joy,
Some terminologies defined:
Residency/ Resident: In medicine, a physician who has finished medical school and is receiving training in a specialized area, such as surgery, internal medicine, pathology, or radiology. Board certification in all medical and surgical specialties requires the satisfactory completion of a residency program and successful completion of a specialty board examination.
Attending: In the United States and Canada, an attending physician (also known as an attending, rendering doc, or staff physician) is a physician (M.D. or D.O.) who has completed residency and practices medicine in a clinic or hospital, in the specialty learned during residency. An attending physician typically supervises fellows, residents medical students and other practitioners.