Married In Medical School – MomMD Cross Post

In Good Times & In Bad – Married In Medical School

What’s it like to be married in medical school?

My answer is always the same – it’s really fine, but I don’t have anything to compare it to since I was married before I began the process of forgetting basic math, spelling & grammar in order to make room for the Kreb’s Cycle, mechanism of action of Lamivudine and 22q11 deletions. However, I do understand where the question comes from and I remember being a wee little undergrad (see what I did there? now you think I’m old enough and wise enough to talk about the “youngsters”…truth is I still get carded trying to buy sharpies and my advice on marriage and medical school is barely 2 years in the making) and thinking I couldn’t possibly get married until after medical school, because it would just be far too demanding to do at once.

The reality is…it’s really not.

I mean, it is demanding. Medical school is demanding. Marriage is demanding. Buying a house, moving 10 hours away, saying “I Do,” fleeing the country for a romantic (did I say romantic? What I meant was rainy…) honeymoon and starting medical school all in a 21 day span is demanding…but it’s not so demanding that I would change anything about it.

Assuming you have an understanding, relatively laid back and always supportive spouse (and if you don’t, what are you doing marrying them before jumping into this three-ringed spectacle in the first place?), having someone around to help you out during these years is amazing. Not only is it nice to have emotional support and someone to talk with about things other than cardiomyopathy, it’s also been a blessing to have him to help with do the laundry, buy groceries, cook dinner and pick up the house when I’m fully absorbed in studying for shelf exams.

If I were single, I’d have all that to do by myself…plus I’d have to be on the prowl for a marriage candidate who didn’t mind love with a conditional $200k in educational loans. And my dog would likely be dead, because I’d have let his hair get so long I’d have mistaken him for a dirty rug & put him in the washing machine. And I undoubtedly would have slept outside on at least one of the 15 occasions I locked my keys in my car or let the battery die at the library.

All of that to say, it is certainly possible to maintain your marriage while learning to be a physician. Is it hard? Absolutely, but maintaining a marriage is hard no matter what you’re doing with your career. The biggest factors are going to be the personality and “neediness” of your spouse. There are going to be times when you’re busy and unable to take care of your own basic needs…like eating…and showering…and you need someone next to you who doesn’t mind holding their breath so they don’t have to smell you when they go in for a bear hug.

I know preparing to embark on this journey we all heard horror stories of how marriages always fall apart in medical school.

Can anyone offer additional views on if this is inherent in the process of medical training or if it has more to do with the actual marriage and the people in it?

I’d love to hear your stories of marriage in medical school or the medical field in general. I think it’s something a lot of people worry about when choosing this as their career.

Donnie & Danielle


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4 Comments + Add Comment

  • I love this post! This is something I’ve ALWAYS thought and believed. In high school (I know, a little too early to be thinking about marriage) I told my friends wouldn’t mind being married before starting medical school, or even during medical school. I know my thoughts are very premature because I currently don’t have a bf, have ever been in a serious relationship, and currently an M1. My friend and I were talking about this a month ago – she just got engaged, so she’s postponing starting law school for a year and working/planning the wedding in that year gap. When she eventually does start law school, she really doesn’t have any of those other distractions of planning a wedding. I definitely agree with everything you had to say regarding the pros of being married in med school, and I really wish I had found my Prince Charming in time…

  • Just found your blog and it is great! I just got married and my husband still has at least 2 years of undergrad before getting to the eventual goal of med school. I’m luckily all ready done with my undergrad and am just barely entering the professional world. I’ve read so many disheartening things about being married to someone in med school but I’m loving your positive (and realistic) perspective. Thanks!

  • Totally agree! I feel like I’ve been successful in medical school BECAUSE OF rather than IN SPITE OF being married. There’s no way I could wade these waters by myself. Unfortunately, though, I know this isn’t true of everyone. Even people in my class express how hard it is to have a spouse. A lot of them have long-distance relationships with their spouses, though, which I think is ridiculous. Then it’s basically like you get the worst of both worlds – the responsibility and time commitment of the relationship (which pulls you away from your studies), with none of the hugs during meltdowns or help around the house. I don’t understand this choice. I can’t imagine any amazing job/graduate program that would keep me from following my man to accomplish his dreams!

    I’m also thankful we tied the knot BEFORE all the medical school craziness started. If you miss that window, you basically either have to have a small nonchalant elopement during a block break or wait ’til graduation, because you are NOT about to plan a full-blown wedding while learning medicine.

  • This is the path God is leading me to. I’ll be married by my first year in medical school. Everyone except my spouse is saying it’s not possible. Am so glad I read this post. God bless you

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About The Author

I'm an ObGyn. I started this blog as a medical student (some would call that doctor school) and now I'm working as an Ob/Gyn, which is seriously the coolest job ever. I'm a twin mom and recently added a baby brudder to the mix. My life story through November 2010 can be viewed here. The events in the many years following can be summed up as wedding bells, books, exams, babies, and doctoring. I started this blog in hopes of landing a role in a Lifetime movie so I could quit medicine and move to Hollywood, but that hasn't if you wouldn't take medical advice from Angelina Jolie, you shouldn't take it from me. I may not even be a real person. In fact, I'm probably a spambot. Or possibly a 15 yo boy blogging from a dingy basement. If you're really interested you can read more about me here. If you have any questions or want to guest post contact me.

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