|Kari with her family|
For those of you addicted to reality television like I am, you know that the Bravo network has an Atlanta-based show called Married to Medicine. It revolves around physicians and physician wives and the lives that they lead. There has been controversy over the depiction of these women and wether it is really an accurate glimpse into the lives of doctors wives. All I know is that I wish I could be on that show although Im not sure they would want footage of my husband napping all day on his four days off a month ;)
I was so happy to be able to interview the lovely Kari Wells who appears on the show and is married to orthopedic surgeon and hand specialist Duncan Wells. She was really sweet and offered her opinions on being a physicians wife, advice about life and her time on the reality tv show:
Me: There is a lot of controversy over being referred to as "the doctors wife" How you feel when people use the term to refer to you?
Kari: For me, personally, it has been a privilege. I have learned so much about medicine during my 12 years with my husband, but I have always maintained my own identity. I continue to work full time and have many, many passions. I am heavily involved in various charities like my girl's mentorship program "Girlpower and Emerging Women".
Me: What advice do you have to women or men that are married to physicians to keep their marriage strong?
Kari: There is no doubt that a marriage to a physician is a hard one. I alway say that there are several people in our marriage: me, my husband and his patients. This is something that you must accept and respect if you are married to a doctor. Patient emergencies must come first. My husband loves his work and takes it very seriously, so he is always available if a patient truly needs him. He often has to respond at a moments notice. Having said that, the key to any happy marriage is communication and, of course, intimacy.
Me: How do you manage to raise balanced children when your spouse is married to their job and their pager?
Kari: Luckily we have a well balanced marriage: When my husband is home he is home. He cooks, plays with the kids and helps with homework and projects. He is a hands- on dad, so I don't feel overwhelmed with the kids. But, of course there have been times when I was counting the minutes until he arrived home. And, unfortunately, because of his schedule, he has missed a lot of special events. In fact, I even had to schedule the birth of our two children around his surgery schedule. I strongly recommend hiring help if you can afford it. It is a good investment if time together is precious.
Me: How do you fill the alone time when your husband is on call or away at conferences?
Kari: I work non stop. Even if you are a stay at home Mom, you still need to have your own passions. As much as your life often revolves around your husband and kids. Make sure you also stay involved with something that you love, that hopefully supports the interest of the family.
Me: Do you feel that Married to Medicine was an accurate representation of physician wives and lives? What did you think of your time on the show?
Kari: The first season of the show was hard for me, as there was so much drama and some of it got very negative. In my life I am all about inspiring women and mentoring young girls, so it was hard to watch a few of the scenes. I am a firm believer in that everything happening for a reason and the reason is to benefit me, so as a result, I have learned a lot about myself. I could not commit to the second season of the show, due to a family emergency that I had, but I plan to go back for season 3 if the show continues to get picked up.
Me: What are your current projects and future goals?
Kari: I am heavily involved in my girls mentorship program Girlpower and emerging women as well as other charities that help abused and at risk youth. I am working and traveling and being a hands on Mom with our two children.
Me: Any other words of wisdom about life in general?
Kari: Yes, One thing that being on a reality show taught me was not to take myself so seriously. For a big part of my life I worried a lot about what others thought of me and I tried hard to fit it. Having had my life so publicly displayed has taught me not to sweat the small stuff as much. People either get you or they don't and everyone always has an opinion, so in the end you just have to be true to yourself and do what is right with your self, your family and your beliefs.
Kari's website can be found at www.kariwells.com