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How bad on relationships?

Discussion in 'Spouses and Partners' started by Wifty, Nov 25, 2001.

  1. Wifty

    Wifty Eccentrically Silly
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    I was warned about medical school and residency and how difficult it is on relationships.

    I was told that you never see your spouse, and that the divorce rate is about 80% and about 60% of the married students cheat. Any one hear other horror statistics?

    For people that have made it to residency, how hard was medical school on your relationship?

    Curious but undaunted,
    Wifty
     
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  3. commymommy

    commymommy *reformed commymommy*

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    Wifty,

    I think it's probably good to realize that there are additional challenges that come along with being married to a resident...Depending on their specialty and med school, they may have a lot of call....and moving can be hard.....but the flip side of that is that it is also a really great adventure and you will have a lot of opportunities to really develop yourself and your interests.

    My hubby and I went through some really tough times, but after 7 years, we did it....there were ups and downs, but at the end of the day, I think that the hard times made our relationship stronger...

    Don't worry too much....I saw lots of residents and their wives, and I would not say that 80% got a divorce....not even close.....

    Just communicate with each other, take time to be together and enjoy the experience!

    Kris
     
  4. vietcongs

    vietcongs Senior Member

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    can i ask where in the world did you pull your stats from?
     
  5. im4real

    im4real Senior Member

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    I agree with Kris. I too think it depends on the specialty & med school program. Also, I agree that communication is key. Kris, I'm glad things are going well for you & your family now!

    Christy
     
  6. Wifty

    Wifty Eccentrically Silly
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    Kris and Christy,

    Thanks for the bits of advice. :) And I am REALLY glad that you have enjoyed the adventure Kris! :) Thats how I view the coming years and I actually am not worried...I know it will have its ups and downs but I know that hubby and I will just end with an even stronger relationship.

    Still, I wonder where others (that have gone before) have had the most difficulty. You mentioned some rough times Kris...could you elaborate a bit?

    Any pieces of advice? Thoughts? Warnings?

    I know that I can't be the only spouse beginning this adventure and I worry about those that haven't thought thru how hard and different this adventure will be.

    Vietcongs - the stats weren't anything official but only bits and pieces of what other people have told me that have gone to med school. I think most of them were probably pulled from the air or were the approxamation that they saw while in school. It probably depends on the school but I am glad to know that those aren't the stats everywhere, if anywhere. :)

    With much thinking,
    Rebecca
     
  7. commymommy

    commymommy *reformed commymommy*

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    Thanks, Christy....

    Kris
     
  8. radspouse

    radspouse Saint

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    Medical school and residency are stressful things on a relationship. How well your relationship survives is really based upon how well your relationship can take longterm stressful events. I personally only know one couple who divorced in my husband's LARGE medical school and they were both med students (double the stress?). Other than that couple there was one other couple that divorced, but they had what could be called an "open" marriage and she decided she loved another woman more and left her husband (they were also both med students). BTW this was also one of the most stressful, difficult, and kick-butt med school programs in the country. As far as cheating - well the people who cheated on their spouses or so's were generally people who'd cheat anyway - they tended towards those activities BEFORE medical training. I have to say that there is a certain "group" of guys in particular who seemed to be susceptible to cheating and generally being pretty dispicable towards their spouses and children - they generally "celebrated" after tests and such by going out to strip clubs and they also tended to be the weekend alcoholics. In my experience, though, this type of person exists in every profession as well as in college. So, I don't think it was a medical school phenomenon.

    I'd say that medical school was hard on our relationship but hard in a good way. We learned how to have a good relationship even when things were bad. Now that we are in residency, we have both found that things are pretty easy-running because we learned so many valuable lessons early on in our marriage during medical school. I might add that the problems we encountered in our marriage were not direct results of medical school - these problems would've cropped up regardless of what stressful event we encountered. Don't allow yourself to fall into the traps of 1)expecting medical school/residency to destroy or damage your relationship and 2)blaming medical school/residency for any or all problems you face in your relationship. I was guilty of both of the above, and those mentalities did more to hinder my marriage than the actual stressors we encountered!

    One other thing I might add: the couples my husband and I know who seemed to get through the medical school experience with the least emotional scars seemed to be those med students who put their families/relationships as a HIGHER priority than their overall medical careers and those spouses who seemed to be the most accepting of short-term discomfort for long-term goals (ie they were quite comfortable with delayed gratification). In other words the key thing seemed to be a willingness to sacrifice by BOTH spouses.

    The divorce rate you heard is completely different from what I've witnessed (with the exception of a few residency programs that seem to take delight in their higher-than-average divorce rates among their residents). For the most part I've "heard" of a divorce rate that is on par with the national divorce rate, but I would be interested in any hard statistics that someone could quote.

    Bottom line - expect to have a difficult life for the next few years, but that won't necessarily translate into a difficult marriage if you both work really hard on making your marriage the highest priority.

    Jennifer
     
  9. Wifty

    Wifty Eccentrically Silly
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    Jennifer,

    I really appreciate your point of view and experience and I think that you are exactly right in everything. :) There are some people that are going to cheat regardless of career and people that will divorce. And I really do believe that the best rounded doctor will be the one that puts family first...though that does go for the spouse as well. A good and strong relationship is one of the best assests a med student could have I think. :)

    I am really curious now about the actual statistics, but it is likely that it is about the same as the national average. Still, sounds like a good project for me to research. :)

    Wifty...pondering
     
  10. commymommy

    commymommy *reformed commymommy*

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    Rebecca,

    Sorry it's taken me so long to float back over....As far as the stats...it really depends on what you read, who did the studies and why...for example, the Sotile's would have you believe that the medical marriage has a fortuitous 20% divorce rate...the problems with the studies that they base these findings on is that they were done in the early 90's on physicians who had married in the 50's when divorce was much more of a taboo..of course issues of sampling in other areas are also a bit odd...and they have also now been doing a survey with the AMA Alliance...but again, I think that pre-selects a set group of people to answer that are likely more satisfied in their marriage, etc...I think following the statistical norm is the way to go on this one...

    But I haven't run across much research...I'm interested in what you find out....

    Kris
     
  11. ckent

    ckent Banned
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    The real stats are 60% of marriages in medical school or during residency end with divorce within 10 years post-training. Source: A Medical Student's Guide to residency, Iserson.

    I believe that the overall rate of divorce for the general population is 50%. Only 70% of women doctors marry, compared with 90% of male doctors.
     
  12. csgirl

    csgirl Senior Member

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    There's something really wrong with our society. How did divorce get to be so acceptable? A 50% divorce rate?! That's just disgusting.
     
  13. ckent

    ckent Banned
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    Here is a website with the divorce rates for countries in the world:
    <a href="http://www.divorcemag.com/statistics/statsWorld.shtml" target="_blank">http://www.divorcemag.com/statistics/statsWorld.shtml</a>
     
  14. csgirl

    csgirl Senior Member

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    WOW... In Italy it's only 12%... I wonder what their secret is.
     
  15. radspouse

    radspouse Saint

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  17. CRS

    CRS Member

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    radspouse-

    What Texas medical school are you affiliated with? I am a current applicant seeking as many opinions about them as possible.
     
  18. radspouse

    radspouse Saint

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    My husband actually applied to every medical school in Texas and was interviewed at all of them - so we have some experience on Texas medical schools! :D He graduated from UT Southwestern. That was his top choice and he is glad it was. If you get interviews at more than one UT system medical school then you will be asked to "rank" them after your interviews. So, it will be impossible to be accepted to more than one med school in the UT system. He chose UT Southwestern on reputation and also on location (close proximity to family and we were already expecting our first child). Baylor was the other school he was most interested in but he wasn't necessarily dissappointed with "just" getting on their wait list since Houston was such a big move from where we were living in DFW and from the atmosphere we encountered on that campus during interviews. Texas A&M was at the bottom of his list for several reasons: one was the fact that you have to move in the middle of medical school to a totally different city/location in order to go through hospital rotations during third and fourth year. We were both just generally unimpressed with that institution compared to UT Southwestern and Baylor. Texas Tech was also near the lower end of the list because of location (in the middle of nowhere :D ) and because of its lower "status" rank wise from his top two choices. Plus, in the end, my husband really wanted to be at an institution that served a major metropolitan area in part because those schools have teaching hospitals that see the widest variety of medical conditions and give the widest variety of experience and exposure to situations. OK, then there were all of the UT system schools: Southwestern (which he wanted and ended up at), Galveston (wasn't too impressed by it), Houston (liked the fact that it pretty much used the same facilities and served the same population that Baylor does. Also, Houston and Baylor seem to have somewhat of a "rivalry" although Baylor students seemed to think they existed in another, superior universe to the UT Houston students. Anyway, we just got a glimpse of those dynamics.), and San Antonio ( I think that was the other one? It's been about six years so my memory may be incorrect on that - especially since I don't remember that interview).

    Well, I've picked my brain for what I remember and what my husband's opinions were for each school based upon his interviews and visits. If he were going to rank them (again, based upon my memory) I'd say it would be: UT Southwestern, Baylor (although, you could flip those two based on your own circumstances - both are outstanding), UT Houston, Texas Tech, UT Galveston, and last Texas A&M (and I'll leave out UT San Antonio because, quite frankly, I can't remember if it exists or if I'm just making it up - it shows what kind of impression it made, though! Since my husband interviewed at every medical school in the state, if it does exist, he interviewed there). Based on what I know of my husband's opinions and our experiences that is MY opinion!

    Jennifer :D
     
  19. Starflyr

    Starflyr Manic Faerie

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    Ill reply about Tx med schools too...Im currently an MS1 at UTMB (Galveston).

    UTSW: I didnt interview there, it does have a good reputation nation-wide, also great research. The drawback is that students there tend to be pretty cutthroat. AND its in a not-so-safe section of Dallas (i.e. either live in a not-so-safe area or drive for at least 30 minutes each way). A good place to go if you like big cities.

    Baylor: Didnt apply, didnt research it,its not part of the Tx match (yet).

    UT-H: This was my first interview. I really wasnt that impressed. Yes, the Texas Medical Center is cool, but as students there isnt that much exposure to places like MD Anderson. Also, the rivalry with Baylor is fairly apparant. Also, a bunch of their facilities were wiped out last summer by TS&gt; Allison. Another good place to go if you like big cities.

    UTSA: Yes, it does exist. I liked the curriculum, location, and people. They start classes (clinical training, histories, physicals) in July and "real" classes I think in August or September. The only major issue I had with UTSA was the Harlingen (sp?) program. Basically, you can be sent to a small town in S. Texas (without your consent) for your 3rd and 4th year rotations. that would be great for somebody single or someone whose spouse had an easily movable job. My fiance is an engineer. There would be no work for him in Harlingen. Also, his daughter has already moved 4 times and she needs some stability (she's 8).

    TCOM: THe token osteopathic school in the Tx match. I worked there for 2 summers,and the people are really great. Ft. Worth is a good sized city but not as overwhelming as dallas. (Im biased, its my hometown). They are currently doing bunches of construction on campus and things are a little disorganized because of it. Also, the osteopathic hospital is...not the best place to do rotations. Some rotations (peds, surgury) are normally done away (Galveston and Tyler). This may have changed, they were working on an affiliation with JPS last time I checked.

    UTMB: This was my first choice school. The island is laid-back, the people are very friendly, the curriculum offers lots of time and flexibility (family friendly), and the courses are arranged so that you only have to study for one thing at a time (lets just say that anatomy and radiology in 8 weeks was...challenging). It is NOT a good place to be if you like big-city entertainment. It is well respected IN texas, but not so much outside of Texas. Rotations can be done here, Houston, or Austin (or set up your own), and its possible to do med school, residency and fellowship in the same area (important for kiddos).

    I ranked my match thusly: UTMB, TCOM, UTSA, UTH. If I had interviewed at UTSW, it would have probably come after UTSA.

    Star
     
  20. CRS

    CRS Member

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    I realize this thread is about something else...sort of. But I, too, heard all about Southwestern's ruthless student body. I went on the interview just to see but with that rep in mind. I found the students to be great, and they all insisted the rep was maybe true at some time in the past but not by what they had seen. Now, the cynic in me still worries about it...but I did see one of my PR MCAT instructors up there (an MS1)...someone I know pretty well...and he insisted that Southwestern is awesome, etc. etc. etc. So I'm very torn...it's hard to believe that the reputation is totally baseless, but I also want to believe this guy I knew and all the nice students who pulled me aside and discussed the Southwestern that they affectionately know.

    So when I originally posted, radspouse, I was hoping that you would say you and your husband had been through Southwestern. I will assume that since he would likely rank in #1 again, that the experience was good.

    Bottom line....I want to be as good a family man as I can during school. There will be challenges at any school, I realize, but my concern is that, if lucky enough to gain acceptance to SW, being a solid student there (not at the top, but not near the bottom) would be more difficult than elsewhere. I could rank others higher and not worry about this, I realize, but SW is in the best location for personal reasons. Thanks for letting me 'vent'.
     
  21. radspouse

    radspouse Saint

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    The student body at UT Southwestern isn't necessarily ruthless - in fact my husband liked the sense of humor most of the students seemed to have when he interviewed there. What IS ruthless about that school are the residents the students are under during their rotations - especially the obstetrics residents. Parkland is not a "nice" place to go through - it is a county hospital near the bad part of town (not necessarily in it - but near it) and thus sees a huge variety of cases - ranging from violent wounds to some pretty interesting pathologies. You get to see every procedure practically known to man (I remeber my husband excitedly calling me during his surgery rotation one night and informing me he would be gone another twelve housrs because he was getting to help on a Whipple: one of those marathon, don't-get-them-very-often surgeries). The students at UT Southwestern ARE competitive to an extent because the school takes some pretty high-caliber applicants. That medical school's administration makes no bones about the fact they want to get into the "top ten" of medical schools in the nation - they are ambitious and thus search out really ambitious candidates.

    Let me ad that aside from the above, there were a BUNCH of people at UTSW with families - including a whole lot of the AOA's. I had no shortage of friends whose spouses went to UTSW AND had children. The auxilary isn't terribly organized or helpful (at least it wasn't while I was there) but the students with families all seem to gravitate towards each other anyway. My husband's best friend while he was there was the husband of my best friend and we had children the same ages. These guys busted their rear-ends at a competitive institution but managed to have good family lives during that time.

    I am glad I'm not the only one who thought they glimpsed some rivalry between the UT Houston and the Baylor schools! There were some interesting "comments" given to us from both sides regarding the other school years ago.

    I THOUGHT there was a UT San Antonio! I may not have had much to say on that school, but I DO have to say that San Antonio itself is a GREAT town!!!

    I did not realize they've added an osteopathic school to the UT system! That's a really interesting thing to know about! If you get interviews at that school and a couple of the other, traditional med schools, do you have to rank it along with the others (ie so there aren't any "double acceptances")?

    Yeah, these posts are way off topic from the thread - sorry!!! :D

    Jennifer
     
  22. Starflyr

    Starflyr Manic Faerie

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    Threads will do what threads will do...and so it goes :)

    The medical schools that currently participate in the Tx match are:

    UTSW
    UTSA
    UTH
    UTMB
    Tech
    A&M
    TCOM - just added last year

    TCOM no longer participates in the AACOMAS application service, so yes, you rank it with the others - and now the ranking system is online, so you can change your mind anytime up until the December cut-off date.

    One more plug for UTMB, as well... Your first 2 years, the course directors are not allowed to have you in class more than 22 hours per week. First year, you have class 8-12 (ish) and 2nd year its 1-5 (ish) plus a random afternoon here and there. Like I said this leaves a LOT of flexibility in the schedule - and if your kids are young, (4 and under), there is a FABULOUS on-campus daycare facility - you can go have lunch with your kids, watch the halloween costume parade, all that sort of stuff. Housing is cheap on the island (3/1 is about $800/month, dont know about house prices, but a 2/2 condo is ~65,000 to buy). The school district near UTMB is a little iffy, but on the West end there are some GREAT schools, plus there are several private schools.

    Ok. enough of me plugging my school.... :)

    good luck choosing,

    Star
     
  23. megkudos

    megkudos Senior Member

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    I learned in my social psychology class that the divorce rate is really more like 25% in the U.S. The reason they say 50% is they compare the # of people that apply for marriage licenses to the # of people you file divorce papers (it's half as many people) But this doesn't take into account following people that are married to see how many get divorced. Does this make sense the way I wrote it? Let me know :)
     

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