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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