Couples matching together vs taking another year for research.

corgizumab

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Hey everyone I was wondering if y'all could give me and my fiancee some advice. Our situation is that we planned to couples match together, but that it might not work out that way if we consider our career/family interests.

Background:

I'm currently in an MD/PhD program and she's in the 4-year MD program, I was on track to graduate and couples match with her but my committee thinks it might be worth it to do 1 more year. My background is I'm interested in pathology, step score 210-220, 6 basic science publications (but none first author), 4-5 conference posters, and a few abstracts. I would say I would have a strong recommendation from my lab and advisors, and that those recommendation have more added gusto i did the additional year if I could get a first author in a quality journal. About my fiancee she is nontraditional and will graduate med school at 29, but will not have taken her step1 until this spring. She is interested in derm and IM, but would consider other specialties as well. If she gets her target step score she would consider derm more seriously and would want to do a research year. She has been above avg in medical school.

Here are some options we're deciding on:

A. Couples match anyway - a potential hit to my career given my step score, but would allow us not miss 1 year of living together
B. Have her move ahead of me, continue with another PhD year - more data, more publications, better recommendations for me, but there is a chance we may not match in the same geographical area while I finish up my 4th MD year. There is a possibly we might live apart for anywhere from 1-4 years.
C. She does a research year regardless of her step1 score, I continue with another PhD year - benefits for both of us in terms of research, but less utility for her if she decides to do IM because of that 1 year in missed earnings, but we get to stay together.

Honestly there is a so much going on and I feel pretty overwhelmed. Is there any options we could have missed?
 
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aaronrodgers

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I would not risk having to do up to 4 years of long distance just for an additional year of resume padding that arguably might not make a big career difference...succintly, I would either just couples match anyways w/o any research year or you two both do a research year and couples match together still.
 
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M&L

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i second what @aaronrodgers said. The older i get, the more i realize that there is more to life than just career, and you guys are a family. Your resume already looks phenomenal, i seriously dont see how you will have problems without the extra year. Or both of you should do the research year. But stick together, in my opinion. if is was 100% just one year apart, than maybe i would tell you to consider it as a possibility. But the thing is that it might not be. Dont risk your family for it.
 
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drducky.

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i second what @aaronrodgers said. The older i get, the more i realize that there is more to life than just career, and you guys are a family. Your resume already looks phenomenal, i seriously dont see how you will have problems without the extra year. Or both of you should do the research year. But stick together, in my opinion. if is was 100% just one year apart, than maybe i would tell you to consider it as a possibility. But the thing is that it might not be. Dont risk your family for it.
Couldn’t have said it better myself.

I know we’ve all put so much into this already but at some point we gotta live our lives finally.
 
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corgizumab

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Thank you for the replies. Being a family is indeed a priority for us. If anyone has any arguments for the other side and potential risk/benefit of it we'd like to hear them too. It is pretty tough to make a decision right now since she hasn't taken step which would be a better guide for what we should do. We talked some more about it and she'll try taking a full practice exam within the coming week or two (she scored ~225 on the CBSE just a few month back). I need to decide very soon whether or not I should continue with my PhD or rejoin my class. Also she mentioned the difference in lifestyle between specialties for her will be much more dramatic than the lifestyle I would have any pathology residency programs which is the same as what @LunaOri commented. I just have a vague feeling that my committee has the expectation that I stay a year longer, but I'll try my best to convince them.
 

PipetteDreams

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Not having a first-author paper as a PhD is odd - How long was your PhD? Did you apply to any grants to show productivity/success that way?

Most importantly, what does your MD/PhD director and home pathology PD think?

Without a lot of info, I would suggest she takes a research year in Derm and y'all couples' match a year later with stronger applications. That said, I know people who had similar applications and ended up where they wanted since their mentors went to bat for them!

Best of luck!!

(s/p edit)
 
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