cm522

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Just a general question to the spouses and significant others of those on their path to being a doctor....does it ever feel like you just don't count? Your career, your goals, your time...do you ever feel like that is all secondary to "the doctor" and their schedules? I have worked for 8 years in undergrad and professional school to obtain my undergraduate degree, law degree and my MBA, and still, I end up feeling like the "doctor" has to come first because that is how the system in their world seems to be set up. Is it just his medical school that makes me feel this way, or do others in my situation feel as if the school/profession in general make us feel somehow insignificant and secondary to the aspiring doctor as if whatever is required of them professionally must come first?
 

nwc

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The process to become a dr is long and arduous but if you are feeling like you are taking a backseat than you need to make it clear to your partner. I think this is very common for couples in the medical field but I don't think it is right. I think it is setting a precidence for how your relationship will be forever. You should do all you can to change it now.
My husband never took school so seriously that I felt like I wasn't a priority. If it wasn't for my emotional and financial support there is no way he could have made it through. Even though he is now a dr. he is still just a regular guy to me and he never makes me feel like his profession is more important than mine. I think drs can get caught up in their egos and bring that home. Don't let it happen to you!
 

tlew12778

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Just wait till he has to match and you'll be expected to quit your job and pick up and move with him! J/K. Well, not really... but you just have to put it into perspective.

I think that you need to communicate with your SO more. Many years ago I told my FH that I felt like he just discounted both my education and later my career when he would ask me to stay home to wait for the electrician while he went to study at the library or something. That would p!ss me off to no end. So I finally told him that my education was not any less important than his (I was getting an MBA) and that if he wanted at least one of us to get a job (since he had many years of med school left at that point), then he better make his schedule more accomodating for the electrician or whatever. That was the end of that. He never asked me to stay home from school or work again.

Then again, sometimes our plans get shot bc he has to do emergency surgery or something. So in those instances, yes your relationship gets put on the back burner. Sometimes we can't plan weekends away bc he is on call or needs to study or something. But that's what a career in medicine entails. And you have to choose whether or not you can accept that.

Now we're in the process of matching and we're faced with the possibility of having to pick up and move with very little notice. I might have to quit my job and find a new one, while also finding an apt in a new city and arranging our move (bc I already know he will not have the time or inclination to do this). For a while I felt like I was getting sidelined and just "expected" to follow him, but then he asked me what I wanted to do and if I would be willing to take that hit to my career. I have to admit that this has taken the edge off the prospective.

So the short answer to your question is yes, I think that most medical partners do, at some point, feel like they are in second-place, but if you communicate well with your other half, you can make things work out to a point at which they are acceptable to both of you.

GL!
 
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cm522

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Thank you for the response. I appreciate all the advice. I was just in such a down mood because of the upcoming match. My hubby and I talk all the time and he personally values and respects my career and everything I have gone through to finally get where I am. But my husband didn't match for his residency. He matched for a prelim year where we are currently living (nyc), but we had to decide in the course of one day whether we were just going to up and move ANYWHERE he could get in regardless of anything else. We talked and talked and ultimately we are not going to just go anywhere, I am an attorney and for me to move out of state it would mean losing my salary which is what we depend on, while I study for and take another state's bar exam....that really wouldn't help anything!

Anyway, I guess I just do still have trouble with the total lack of consistency we have been and will experience over the next 4 years of his residency. I'm a type A, organized, planner who likes things somewhat scheduled out. This is just an enormous shock for me that over the past few years and during the immediate future, that's not an option...will he be around for holidays/birthdays, etc....the unknown just sort of makes me crazy. And I totally know how you feel about staying home for the electrician! It's insane right? It's like, well let's see, I go sit in some constitutional law class, and he's performing surgery...who can stay home easier??? haha. I have just felt very often like due to the inconsistency and craziness of his schedule so much of the daily life stuff ends up on me and as much as he tries his best to acknowledge that and be thankful for it....in all honesty he just doesn't even have a clue the extent to which I am his wife/financial support/secretary/answering service/cleaning woman/bill payer/etc. He doesn't get it because as he's running to and from the hospital at weird hours and CAN'T be there to "meet the electrician," it's easy to forget that someone is making all the other stuff magically work out so the the world doesn't cave in on him.

Good luck to you...how did the match work out for you guys?




tlew12778 said:
Just wait till he has to match and you'll be expected to quit your job and pick up and move with him! J/K. Well, not really... but you just have to put it into perspective.

I think that you need to communicate with your SO more. Many years ago I told my FH that I felt like he just discounted both my education and later my career when he would ask me to stay home to wait for the electrician while he went to study at the library or something. That would p!ss me off to no end. So I finally told him that my education was not any less important than his (I was getting an MBA) and that if he wanted at least one of us to get a job (since he had many years of med school left at that point), then he better make his schedule more accomodating for the electrician or whatever. That was the end of that. He never asked me to stay home from school or work again.

Then again, sometimes our plans get shot bc he has to do emergency surgery or something. So in those instances, yes your relationship gets put on the back burner. Sometimes we can't plan weekends away bc he is on call or needs to study or something. But that's what a career in medicine entails. And you have to choose whether or not you can accept that.

Now we're in the process of matching and we're faced with the possibility of having to pick up and move with very little notice. I might have to quit my job and find a new one, while also finding an apt in a new city and arranging our move (bc I already know he will not have the time or inclination to do this). For a while I felt like I was getting sidelined and just "expected" to follow him, but then he asked me what I wanted to do and if I would be willing to take that hit to my career. I have to admit that this has taken the edge off the prospective.

So the short answer to your question is yes, I think that most medical partners do, at some point, feel like they are in second-place, but if you communicate well with your other half, you can make things work out to a point at which they are acceptable to both of you.

GL!
 

tlew12778

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Oh I hear you on this:

in all honesty he just doesn't even have a clue the extent to which I am his wife/financial support/secretary/answering service/cleaning woman/bill payer/etc.
Sometimes I just refuse. Like y-day he asked me if I would manually photocopy his bound thesis page by page... I said "no" so he called and asked his mom to do it and she said "no" so he finally took it to a place to have it done.

I have seriously thought about hiring a cleaning lady to come in once a week just to do the major stuff like the floors. I feel like my entire weekend is eaten up by taking care of house stuff since I work M-F and am too tired to do laundry and iron and mop the floors during the week. Plus, I go to they gym a lot and I cook all our meals... it's almost like being a machine sometimes!

We're actually not matching in the US this year but in Italy where we live for now. He will do the US match next year in all likelihood. We won't find out where we will be going until the end of next month. Since I am looking to change jobs anyway, I am looking in both cities he is considering. Matching my job up with his residency will just be a stroke of luck.

Since you're a lawyer that's obviously more difficult for you. Can your SO not just look in the NY-tristate area? There are plenty of great hospitals there. He might have to consider some community hospitals but at least you would be able to stay put. What do ppl do that already have children in school?