You, The Doctor’s Spouse

Medical Spouse

Welcome to the new you—“The Doctor’s Spouse.” Yes, you have had your own identity up until this point, but now you are not only a Mrs. or Mr., you’re a Doctor’s Mrs. or Mr. Once people discover this about you, whether it’s intentional or not, their perspective and assumptions of you will change.

Some spouses won’t mind this change and will embrace it. Other spouses may initially feel uncomfortable and judged. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, I invite you to acknowledge this new role you have (whether it’s welcome or not!) and prepare yourself to navigate the world under this umbrella. You can use this situation to discover more about what you really want for yourself and your family and then create an authentic life based on your values, priorities, and desires, not on society’s expectations of a doctor’s family. How? Let’s dive in!

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What To Expect: Intern Year

Medical Spouse

You’ve likely heard the rumors about the dreaded Intern Year. It’s the worst of the worst. Say goodbye to your partner and hello to lonely days and nights. But are the rumors really true? And if they are, what can you do about it?

I remember when my husband was a few months into MS3, and we were feeling the med school blues. Third year was particularly challenging for my family, so I already felt like my life and relationship were struggling. One day, I happened to attend a “Baby and Me” yoga class with my nine-month old, and the mom sitting next to me started a conversation by asking me what my husband did. I replied “he’s in medical school,” and she just laughed and shook her head. She replied, “My husband is an intern. I wish someone had told me how horrible it was going to be. If you think it’s bad now, just wait. It gets so much worse.”

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Marriage and Medical School: The Pros and Cons of Balancing Education and Married Life

marriage and medical school

With the increasing age of students attending medical school (the American Association of Medical Colleges estimates that 10% of students beginning medical school are 27 years old or older) comes an increasing rate of medical students who are married or who get married while they are still in training. There are a number of advantages and disadvantages to balancing marriage and medical school–and important considerations to keep in mind for married medical students.

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Chronicles of a Med Student: Reaching Out

Chronicles of a Med Student

I’m sorry, I can’t—I have to study. These are words that have become so routine to me that I barely have to think about them before they come out of my mouth. Ugh, how has it become so reflexive? I was worried that this would happen, at least in the first two years of medical school when I would spend more time with my computer and books than with actual people. The sad thing is that whenever I have a free second, it’s not really a free second because I just find myself wondering if I should be doing something at the moment instead of thinking about making plans with friends I never see anymore. And these are not only the friends I’ve made this year. Sadly those I neglect most are generally the friendships I’ve cultivated over many years.

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Love and Happiness… And Medicine? Our Experience in the Couples Match

couples match

We were in the same class in medical school. It was your typical story. Boy meets girl, girl doesn’t like boy’s buzz cut, they waste a year, eventually end up as anatomy TAs working on the same dissection together, and fall in love. Standard. I knew that I was going to be a surgeon, he was thinking about ER. We moved in together. We talked about getting married. Then he went out for third year rotations and I started the Anatomy Fellowship at our school. He did Surgery mid-way through the year. To my concern, though not to my surprise, he loved it. He loved it the way I loved it. We talked seriously about what this would mean for us, both for our relationship and for our careers. We had always assumed that when the Match rolled around that we would participate in the Couples Match. Couples matching into Surgery seemed like a long shot, but we both knew we couldn’t be satisfied in another field, that we were surgeons at heart. So we decided we had to try.

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Marriage in Medical School: A Memoir (So Far)

During my senior year of college, I asked my girlfriend to marry me. We had been together for almost three years and planned to get married the following summer, since we were both graduating in the spring. The timing seemed perfect to start our new life together. There was just one minor problem: in the fall, I was planning to begin medical school.
While engaged, we dealt with a mixture of apprehension and excitement about marriage. The typical questions asked by engaged couples–questions like, “Where will we live? What will our source of income be? How will we make time to see family? How will our relationship change?”–were the same questions we asked, except with the additional uncertainty of medical school. We had learned how to juggle our relationship with the demands of college, but we were unsure about how it would change while I dealt with the great challenge of medical school. (Neither of us were oblivious to the “horror stories” surrounding medical school and its required time commitment).

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