Hello fellow med school tagalongs!
My name is Ashley, my husband is Christian (MS2), and we hail from sunny Arizona! I am also in graduate school working on my nursing master's for midwifery and women's health nurse practitioner, so we live in a house of healthcare providers. Because we're both super busy with school, there are great days and there are less than great days. I've learned to lean on my support systems to help work through the tough days.
Speaking of which, my post today is more of a question: Does your school provide a formal support system (group/network) specifically for partners of the medical students?
At the beginning of first year, they held a dinner for families/spouses/boyfriends/girlfriends of the students with a panel of MS2 - MS4s, answering questions and sharing their experiences. I found this sooo helpful, but as the year passed I found myself not as connected as I'd hoped with other spouses/partners. I did things with the group of students my husband rolls with, but spouses/partners were not always in tow and the topic of discussion was always....med school! I happened to bump into one wife at an event and we developed a friendship. I babysit her kiddos occasionally, she shares her wisdom with me (her husband is a year ahead of mine), and we're able to commiserate and understand each other as we are experiencing similar challenges in our lives.
I decided this year that I'd love to develop these friendships with other spouses and encourage networking and connections between other spouses with like situations (spouses with kids, husbands of med students, etc.) I decided to start a group to plan the occasional activity together so we can all meet each other and help each other through the four magical years we're spending together.
To me, this blog is a similar idea: people with similar life experiences sharing stories, antics, advice and support. And it's working! :)
So, my question is this: What is your experience with formal groups for support persons? How are they organized, what kind of stuff do you guys do? If not, what kind of things would you want to see in such a group? Any advice?