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Relationships with a Med School Student?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Allopathic [ MD ]' started by ballyhoo, 05.28.12.

  1. ballyhoo

    ballyhoo

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    Hi,

    I know that there are several threads about LDR and relationships in general in medical school, but I was hoping to get a more updated (if it is at all) and more modern perspective, as it seems like a lot of the threads were from a while back!

    It's my first time posting here (I've lurked without a membership for a bit) but I am a pre-dental student. My boyfriend of almost 2 years is going to be going to medical school literally 30 min away by bus from me, so it won't be a LDR next year, my final year.

    What I was wondering is, how hard is it to be in a relationship with a 1st year medical school student? We are in a serious and committed relationship and have met parents, etc. I will most likely be busy with my final year + interviews and other normal college activities/academics, but are the stories of medical students having only one hour of free time per day true?

    Also, what are your thoughts on dental school students dating medical school students? This might not be the perfect place to ask, but are they similar enough that it would still be a very busy schedule on both ends? I am hoping to go to the same school (except in dentistry), or somewhere in the area, but we are also aware that there is always a possibility that I might not be able to be in the area!

    Thank you for your replies :) Sorry if this was a it long!
  2. Thego2guy

    Thego2guy

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    Very interested in the replies as well. Guess we'll wait and see OP.
  3. FattySlug

    FattySlug

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    I don't have specific comments on the matter but recently met this amazing girl who told me straight up that she would never date me seriously because I told her I don't wanna get married during med school. She is my age, 26, and don't wanna wait that long. Needless to say I felt like I was punched in the guts. We did have an amazing 20 days together however.
  4. NickNaylor

    NickNaylor Daisy the Dog

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    Disclaimer: this is anecdotal and may or may not be true of most people's experience.

    In my class, I know of several people that were in long-term, committed relationships before entering medical school. Many of them had been dating for several years. Very few of them have survived. I'll admit that most of them were long distance, but one was within the same city and still failed.

    It's difficult for non-medical students to appreciate the time required and the amount of stress you're under, at least initially until you adjust to the new workload. It's also hard because medical school tends to consume most parts of your life. It's hard connecting with non-medical students because they just don't get it when you start talking about school.

    By no means do I think that you're doomed, but it can be a rough transition and you both have to be extremely dedicated to the relationship. I consider myself to be a pretty easy going guy and I live with my girlfriend and there is STILL occasionally friction between us because of my school commitments. Since you're the non-medical student, my suggestion would be to accept the fact that there will be countless times when you're boyfriend would love to spend time with you but simply won't be able to. If you're understanding and can accept that, you'll be fine. If your feelings get hurt or you can't get over that, you most likely won't.

    (sent from my phone - please forgive typos and brevity)
  5. Barcu

    Barcu

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    I would agree with this anecdotal observation as I have had the same one at a different school than NickNaylor.

    Being close will probably help. And of course, no one on this board knows your relationship, so it's hard to give you a good picture.

    Still, med school is tough on relationships. Work at it, expect for some friction (doesn't mean breaking up), and find out as much as you can about being in med school.

    Good luck. If it works out, great. If it doesn't, then it doesn't. Profound, I know, but that's about all anyone can give you.
  6. theWUbear

    theWUbear MS2

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    Don't nag him for spending too much time with his textbooks and not enough with you.
  7. pkwraith

    pkwraith

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    It really depends on the person. I personally feel like the workload is seriously overblown for preclinicals, while some other people might feel the opposite. Now, the clinical years will be a world's difference.

    Especially considering at most places, you don't even need to go to classes anymore and just podcast any time. If your boyfriend is the kind of person that needs to go to class every single day, and than study for 8 hours every day--yeah that can probably be wearing.

    In the end, there's going to be times that he won't be able to spend much time with you (esp. test weeks). During those times, you'll have to settle with low quality time (studying in the same room) or no time (if he's the person that needs absolute quiet).
  8. dbeast

    dbeast Neurorectal surgeon

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    :thumbup:

    Phone conversation I overheard between my friend from school and her bf the other day:

    BF: What are you doing tonight?
    Friend: Studying
    BF: But you've already been studying two hours, when are you ever going to spend time with me?

    As if 2 hours was more than enough...

    :rolleyes:
  9. theWUbear

    theWUbear MS2

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    Some significant others can handle it; some cannot
  10. Abagnale

    Abagnale

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    That's why I want a gunner girlfriend, so that I'm the one saying "but I already studied for 4 hours!" and she'll only motivate me to work harder :laugh:
  11. musclemilk619

    musclemilk619 The Boss

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    Best advice. Should have told that to my ex gf bc she complained about me hanging out with my boys too much. Seeee ya
  12. 235788

    235788 God Complex

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    be sure to give him nice "gifts," I'm sure he'll be under 40x more stress than you. Making him [a good] dinner is always nice.
    Last edited: 05.28.12
  13. flodhi1

    flodhi1

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    I actually thought being close would make it worse. If your significant other lives in close proximity they will want to hang out more often but you'll be so absorbed in school and that would lead to friction. If your loved one lives far away then they obviously can't hang out all the time which would give you more time to focus on your school.
  14. pkwraith

    pkwraith

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    This reasoning makes no sense. There's a reason why distance is one of the number one relationship destroyers.

    Relationship needs interactions. Avoiding interactions results in a failed relationship. Contact with "friction" is better than no contact.
  15. weezynation

    weezynation

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    My girlfriend is a M3. I think it makes it easier for em considering I am pursuing medical school too so I am very understanding. We dated for 3 years in college prior to her entering med school so we had a great foundation. When she got accepted and I did not, I decided to move where she was in med school to find a job. There were days when I didn't see her. And when I did, we would maybe have an hour or so to interact, but I am not the type who needs to be around her all the time. Not saying you are that type of person, but it can help if you reduce your expectations in regards to how much time you will spend together. In a perfect world, we would've spent more time together but she had to study...simple as that. If anything, I feel like going through that experience made us stronger. For her second year in med school, I moved to a new city for grad school and the classes I was taking on top of studying for the mcat had me studying all day every day. Obviously she was studying a lot too, so a lot of days we werent even able to talk on the phone, although we are great about texting all throughout every day. I went to visit her one weekend during the fall semester, my family and I spent a weekend with her family over winter break, she came to visit me one weekend during the spring semester, and after this considering she took her boards and started 3rd year 3 weeks ago I havent seen her since then. I am going to visit her in a few weeks and she will come visit me when she has a week off in July...so that will be a total of about 19 days I will have seen her in one year. You just have to be prepared for this reality. I'm sure it will be different for each person, but I feel it has strengthened our relationship because overcoming these obstacles together only enhances our relationship. I think it also helps that both of us are surely headed for marriage and have discussed everything under the sun about it, so we are 100% solidified in that decision. I am reapplying again this year, so when the time comes, I hope to finish M1 when she is graduating and then she will choose her residency location based on where I am in med school. Just stay positive and give it a shot, but like I said, lower your expectations because if you expect the same relationship you had before, you will be greatly disappointed. I hope all the best for you and your relationship.
  16. weezynation

    weezynation

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    I agree that being closer in proximity does not make it worse, but being apart doesn't have to be a bad experience either as long as you have a strong foundation.
  17. PanicMoon

    PanicMoon Doctor Who?

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    X
    Last edited: 06.11.12
  18. Slack3r

    Slack3r Sicker than your average

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    :thumbup:
  19. johnnydrama

    johnnydrama I'm no Superman

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    A solid majority of the long term relationships going into MS1 do not survive it. This includes at least one couple that went to the same school to be together.

    Non-traditional (ie old) and religious students had a better track record for maintaining their relationships (then again, children were involved for many of them).
  20. theWUbear

    theWUbear MS2

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    This guy get it. Congratulations to him on that success. Reiterating what I said before, some get it some freak out, demand more time, don't care if it's 5AM and you should have slept four hours ago - they want their time with you and they're going to get it - whether it's good for you or not.

    END RANT
  21. NickNaylor

    NickNaylor Daisy the Dog

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    Agreed. I would say this is the exception rather than the rule based on my experience.

    (sent from my phone - please forgive typos and brevity)
  22. ballyhoo

    ballyhoo

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    Thank you for all of the replies! Yes, I think that's the general consensus.

    Does anyone by any chance know whether a dental school-medical school relationship is even harder? I would imagine so, but I'm hoping that it will give me some more understanding if he doesn't have time! I don't get impatient easily and if he needs his time to study, I understand. He is also the kind of person who wasn't an intense premed, but I'm not sure how much people change in their academic/studying habits in medical school!

    Thanks again :)
  23. jHustle

    jHustle

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    The thing you have to take into account is that being at 2 different types of schools with 2 different curriculum, you guys might not even see each other a lot. Let's say you have tests on Mondays and he has tests on Thursdays. You'll be studying from Thursday to Monday and he'll be studying from Sunday to Thursday. Now obviously this isn't exact, but you get what I mean.

    @flodhi1

    The reason distance is such a bad thing in a LDR, is that there is usually a small time frame when the person can come see you. Now if that time frame happens to get cut short due to a test, confrence, event, etc...then you won't get to see your SO and will now have to wait an another 3 weeks for a new time frame. And life forbid something else comes up next time, then you'll have to postpone again. And by time you see her, it will have been a month or more in between. On the other hand, if they are close in proximity, then the SO has more of an opportunity to stop by when there's been little contact
  24. Frazier

    Frazier turtle in a rabbit race Lifetime Donor

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    I can certainly see how a med student dating a non-student can be stressful during school.

    However, if you treat med school "as a job" (which is a recommendation many SDN med students seem to propagate), I don't see the relationship-killing problem...

    For example:

    Med student and SO wake up at 7:00am.
    Med student goes to mandatory classes/studies at home/takes breaks/etc from 8am-5pm: 9 hours.
    SO goes to work from 8am-5pm: 9 hours.
    Med student and SO go for a run/exercise and have dinner from 5pm-7pm.
    Med student is a gunner and wants a bit more studying, so studies 7pm-9pm: 2 hours.
    Med student and SO watch TV, read, play cards, have sex, whatever they do, from 9pm-bedtime.

    Obviously this schedule is grossly simplified (no commuting time accounted for, etc).
    Also, this would be a schedule on perhaps weeks with no exams.

    That said, when it comes to the issue of TIME (not the issue of stress, fatigue, etc), I don't see the HUGE problem if it's just you and your partner.

    11 hours of studying/school per day + a decent amount of relationship time to keep things chugging along for the next 2 years (assuming 3rd year is new ball game and 4th year is a "joke"). Maybe, as people said, it depends on the relationship... If the SO doesn't work fulltime and just sits in the apartment all day moping with attachment issues, I guess I can see the problem. Likewise, I can see a shock if the couple went from the easy life of undergrad cohabitation with 24/7 access sans real work stress, to moving to a new city and getting their respective "jobs".

    Input???
    Last edited: 05.29.12
  25. The Imprisoned

    The Imprisoned Don't Break the Seal

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    LOL at the part about time with SO "whatever they do" but in all seriousness as long as two people are understanding and work through it...it definitely can work in my opinion.
  26. MedPR

    MedPR

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    This is my experience as well. My girlfriend just finished her second year (I'm applying this cycle) and we're still happy together. We live together though so it's not quite the same as your situation.
  27. theWUbear

    theWUbear MS2

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    Should have asked her about pubs before posting.
  28. Backtothebasics8

    Backtothebasics8 Gold Donor

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    Ok, I'm not an M1/M2 yet but is it really this easy? This sounds as chill as my high school schedule with a bit more studying. Is it true that you do all your studying from 8 am-5 pm and afterwards it's like chill and you can enjoy? Fun from 9 pm until bedtime? That sounds so sweet. Is this how it really is?
  29. kpcrew

    kpcrew Removed

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    No
  30. sector9

    sector9 Administrator Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    It really depends on your school, the class(es) you're taking at the time, how fast you pick things up, if you've had a lot of preparation for a subject during undergrad vs. all brand new material, how much sleep you need, etc.

    Some of my classmates are able to keep a schedule pretty similar to what Blais suggests except on test weeks
  31. Narmerguy

    Narmerguy SDN Senior Moderator

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    Well in his example he gets 11 hours of class/study time a day. That's not exactly a cakewalk considering the material vs what is covered in high school.
  32. Thego2guy

    Thego2guy

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    Is there some "common knowledge" of notoriously difficult or generally crappy med schools? Its more or less easy to tell which schools are easy, Yale's curriculum is very laid back for example. But not so easy to tell which ones are really anal.
  33. flodhi1

    flodhi1

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    It all depends on how much you can get accomplished. Someone could get everything done by studying 6 hours a day while someone else could struggle even with 12 hours a day. I will tell you that medical school schedules are not as "chill" as high school schedules.
  34. Kaputt

    Kaputt

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    I'm an M3 and my LDR has survived this long (started dating in college but I had to move for school, she got a job elsewhere). My two best friends here are also in LDRs and are still together. It's possible. It takes commitment and maturity on both ends of the relationship. Medical school is no more special than any other reason people are separated in LDRs.
  35. Wymskis

    Wymskis

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    this.

    if you study hard for several hours each day without getting distracted you can get your work done by the evening. People definitely blow the workload for M1/M2 out of proportion.
  36. MedPR

    MedPR

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    My gf and I have been together since she was an M1 (M3 now) and as long as you are aware of how busy they are and how little time they may have for you during exam weeks I think you'll be fine.
  37. sector9

    sector9 Administrator Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    There might be but if so I don't know it. I think that your best sources of info are going to be current students, either in the SSD threads or at interview day. I would ask to see a typical week's schedule and about lecture attendance policies. Also ask about podcasts/videocasts of lectures

    You can try to find some of that info in the spreadsheet GTLO spearheaded here http://goo.gl/6d05g
    Stuff to look at would be the Attendance column and the Lecture Recordings column

    Of course, you should keep in mind that even at schools with a more laid back attendance policy, you could encounter units with different standards. At my school, for example, lecture is optional for the vast majority of our classes but during the anatomy block you can't skip anatomy lab dissections. Most schools won't let you skip small group activities for their doctoring course or stuff to get you ready for your OSCE's. I suspect that that's the case even for the schools listed on that spreadsheet that just say "Optional" under Attendance
  38. 1cor1311

    1cor1311

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    SDN Fam,

    What is your input / experience about couples entering med school together, that is both people in the relationship matriculating at the same school and time.?
  39. Renaissance Man

    Renaissance Man Saving the World

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    Carve out a scheduled "date night" each week that both of you will stick to no matter what is going on academically. Its something to look forward to, and any time spend together other than that is a cherry on top.

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