The other night, I realized that I could summarize a good survival kit for those married to or sharing living space with docs. Here are my top few items I have on hand at all times. If you are a doc and looking for stocking stuffers, fear not, I have you covered. These are unisex gifts, and I am thrifty so there's sure to be something here for even the poorest of residents. If you're really poor or don't read this until it's too late to order something, go scoop the cat box, take out the trash, unload and reload the dishwasher or fold the laundry in the dryer. Those are all wonderful gifts, too.
Wireless earbuds (click on the photo on the left to see the version I have). I picked these up during Prime Days for a couple of bucks off, and they will set you back less than $25. Why are these so important? Not only are they great for on-the-go listening to the Married to Doctors and Dads Married to Doctors podcasts, but they last a good four hours on a charge, which only takes about an hour. I also use these to watch TV when the doc in the house is dictating notes or doing work that requires silence like prepping for boards. They pair well with FireTV's bluetooth.
If you don't already have a streaming device, The FireTV mentioned above is a good tool to have. It was a big help with entertainment )and still is) as I could stream series that Doc isn't interested in. It's nice knowing that when your Doc falls asleep on the couch that they can always stream what you watched later.
Roku and other streaming things work well; I just love the accessibility of the Music app and other Prime things that the FireTV offers. Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any TV addictions, including binge-watching Married to Medicine.
Even if you don't snore (you probably do), these are a lifesaver during call nights. They fit well while blocking out most of your phone dings but allowing enough sound to get through for necessary interactions. These are my preferred style, and they are only $2.50 for ten pair. Bonus: If you have a cat, these seem to make great cat toys, too.
The gift of books: Why not let your SO know you are thinking about your relationship, too? Whether you give a classic like Sotile's The Medical Marriage or go with something humorous from the spouse's perspective like Megan Sharma's Memoirs of a Surgeon's Wife, buying books like this let's your significant other know you're keeping an eye on their well-being, too. Gearing up for medical school? Love in the Time of Medical School by Sarah Epstein is a great read for those wondering what the start of the journey is like, as well as useful for making readers ask those hard questions about what they are willing to sacrifice.
Don't just stop at a book, though. Make sure you and your SO are part of the AMA Alliance so they will also get Physician Family print issues as they come out.
Be sure to check out the Dads Married to Doctors storefront, too, as they have some great mugs, shirts, and other swag. Even I keep thinking about ordering a "Trophy Husband" shirt for wearing around the house.
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This blog is written from the perspective of an older medical spouse who happens to be childless by choice. I hope that husbands, older spouses, those childless by choice, and others will find this entertaining and occasionally useful.
I am a writer with a day job, a PhD, and wife to an amazing MD who is in residency.