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Walking In Your Shoes E8 Where do we go, where do we look?

Nov 18, 2023

By Cheyenne Stillson

The Fog

Society has a way of making you feel like you have to have the pre-determined answers to your entire future life all written in the palm of your hand so that you can look down and cheat when you get the question that you’ve been dreading all along. You know, the questions that follow you wherever you go. So what do you do? How much longer do you have in school? What are you going to do when you graduate? Do you plan to buy or rent? Where are you moving to? Do you want to move? Do you want kids? On and on and on, the questions don’t ever really stop even when they come from a place of sincerity. In fact, in many cases, they turn into statements…. “Well, you won’t be living there forever. When you have kids. It makes the most sense to buy a house, rather than rent. It will be good when you don’t have to live somewhere else. Things will be better after graduation…”  I truly believe the statements come from a genuine love and care for our well-being. But I can’t help but admit it adds a little fog to my thought process. I am excited for the future to come, but I also would like for “better” to be now. Especially as the spouse to a resident.

The Journey To Autonomy

For so long it feels like we have been on this doctor journey where autonomy has not really been our wingman or wingwoman. Instead, it feels like MCATS, applications, interviews, and STEP tests have been the tour guides for our lives over the last few years. However – it does feel like we are stepping into the arena of making our own choices without the “matching” or “acceptance” riddles riding on the line. It will just be a matter of making connections and deciding what we want the next few years of our lives to be like. I know that I and other spouses I have spoken with somewhat struggle with this choice.

There Are Two To Consider

Although this journey has been heavily focused on the difficulties of the medical career as a family doctor, it does not go without saying that I have not had my own difficulties trying to visualize my own professional path alongside my husband’s career. As an accountant/ consultant, I have the flexibility to take my job anywhere which aligns with the potential flexibility we could create with family medicine. However, as an ambitious person, I sometimes struggle to know how far I desire to take my career alongside his, as well as building a family in the meantime, living near existing family vs. away, or curating a life outside of work. What do these things look like for us in the future? I am really not sure, and I do not think many people know when they are in this phase, exactly.

Roots or Wheels?

We all have ideas, but it takes one contract, one child, one unexpected life situation, etc. that change the entire trajectory of our ideas. For us specifically, one pain point is where to live because we both love nature, we desire to live near family, but we also love to travel and have enjoyed living in different cities throughout the last few years. We almost don’t want to stop that trend and cadence. We are not sure if the idea of settling somewhere is exciting or scary! I think there is beauty in both. This has led us to consider looking into the locum model which might help provide us with some level of stability and consistency while also having the options to work and live elsewhere in short-term increments. We will hopefully be discussing this topic over the course of the next several months! Until then!


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