Long Term separations while in Med school..Do they work??

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by labrat, Oct 18, 2001.

  1. labrat

    labrat Member

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    I am going through the app process, and am worrying about getting into medical school far away from home. Originally, when I started the process, my husband was finishing school, and was willing to go anywhere. Now, however, he just got a job with a two year committment. After that time he could move/transfer to wherever I am.
    I am worried about being apart for that long, however. We have a very strong/loving relationship, and I'm not worried that he might have an affair or anything, I'm just worried that it will be really hard to be apart for long periods of time. Are any of you med students in this situation? How is it working for you? My other option would be to postpone medschool until his time committment is up, but since I'm 30, I really don't want to wait that long. Thanks in advance for any response..This is a big concern of mine! BTW thanks for such a great group. I have gotten tons of useful info from this site.
     
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  3. nikappella

    nikappella Junior Member

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    i'm not a med student yet, but during undergrad, my boyfriend, then fiance, and i were seperated for three years. if i were you, i would not put off medical school for two years because you've waited long enough as it is, and you might get restless and take out your frustrations on your husband, even if you don't want to. in terms of making long distance work, you MUST always make time for each other. no matter how busy you are with studying, claswork, and exams, you must take out a few minutes each day to talk to each other; have a good conversation. also, how far is your husband going to be from you? is visiting once or twice a month going to be a complete impossibility?

    i've know people who have made a long distance relationship work for seven years-- even over the atlantic ocean-- and they've been as happy as ever living together for the last 5 years. of course this is rare, but they must of put in a huge amount of effort. don't take for granted that you're husband and wife and that you love each other, because anything can deteriorate if you don't put in enough time. as for my relationship, it ended up not working out for a variety of reasons, 2 being that for the last year i saw him maybe 5 times, and i was too caught up in classwork and my job to make enough time for him. over the phone i kept thinking i'll make it up tomorrow, we'll have time to talk then. but it just doesn't happen that way. you can't stop putting in effort, not even for one day.

    lol... that's just my immature opinion ;)

    good luck with whatever you decide :)
     
  4. snowballz

    snowballz Senior Member

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    I think you have to decide what is more important..being a physician, or being married. Being a physician requires a great deal of sacrifice, if you are not willing to do it now..what happens during residency when you are doing call q3 days...or even q2 days...at 100 hour plus work weeks? Even living in the same house you would never have time for one another.

    Just a thought...

    Alicia
     
  5. alina_s

    alina_s Senior Member

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    I have no experience with separation during med school but I maintained a relationship with my boyfriend in college when he was overseas. He was travelling, so there wasn't even an easy way to contact him. Surprisingly, it worked and we even learned a lot about each other and our relationship because we spent so much time with other people and had all that time to think about each other. Since our time to talk was so limited, we said a lot of things that we might not have gotten around to otherwise. I really missed him but it was actually good for both of us.
    I certainly understand why you don't want to wait two years- the hellish overnight hours aren't going to get any easier. The success of your relationship, though, will certainly depend on how both of you feel about being apart. Good luck with your interviews!
     
  6. kd

    kd Senior Member

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    There are several of us here who are maintaining long-distance marriages to attend medical school: myself, Popoy, Cobragirl, several others that I can't recall right off-hand. You may be interested in this thread I started last summer, before starting med school: http://www.studentdoctor.net/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=3&t=004333
    So far, it's worked out ok for my husband and me. Of course, we're close enough to get to see each other every weekend, so it's not as difficult a situation as it might be for others. Neither of us *like* living apart- it's a hassle to commute and also really expensive- but given our present situation, it's really the only option. We both stay so busy during the week, we really don't have much time to miss each other. We talk on the phone and email every day, so we try hard to keep up with each other's lives. Fact is, I probably see my husband more than many of my classmates who live with their spouses- medical school takes so much time out of your life, it's almost *easier* when your spouse is out of town anyway. I can't tell you how many times I've heard one of my classmates call home and tell his wife or kids good-night and apologize for being gone for yet another mammoth study session. In my case, I can be gone as long as I need to during the week- the only difference is, I try REALLY hard to be with my husband on weekends. Even if we have block exams coming up, I try to do my weekend studying from home, so we can at least have dinner together and maybe go for a walk or something when I take a break.
    I think it can be done if you have a really strong marriage and an understanding spouse.
     
  7. vixen

    vixen I like members

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    Alicia,
    I completely DISAGREE with you. You don't have to make a choice between being married and being a physician. Yes, marriage takes time, and so does being a doctor...people who can make the effort and are willing to, will make it happen. Actually, while her first two years in med school will so much academic stuff...it might be nice to be completely free to study and do whatever you have to do. One point to make though...if you are in a long distance thing (I am), you have to have an end goal...there must be a goal to where you both will finally be together...it sounds like she has it here. Anyway, I just finished my biochem exam and am HAPPY! So good luck to you oregonlabrat...go to school, kick ass and good luck with the hubby :)
     
  8. snowballz

    snowballz Senior Member

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    Simseema,

    I had a chance to think about my response. I still think both take alot of time, but it is not choosing between the two. However, there is no denying the lives of physicians are hectic and they do have a higher rate of divorce than normal populations. And no, I do not know the exact statistic.

    Alicia
     
  9. vixen

    vixen I like members

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    I agree with you that they have more hectic schedules and they have a higher divorce rate (I think I read that somewhere). Anyway, I think she should go to med school anyway...if things were meant to be, she'll find out later. By denying herself something she wants, I think they both (her hubby and her) will lose out in the end. I agree with nikapella. Anyway, just my 4 cents :)
     
  10. Cobragirl

    Cobragirl Hoohaa helper ;)

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    As kd told you, my hubby and I are doing the long-distance thing...in a BIG way! He's active-duty Navy and we've been separated since June. For the last couple months he's been able to commute the 7 hours to come see me about every other weekend....as of last week he left for a solid month of training in Chicago. He'll come back for about 5 days before he ships out on a 6-MONTH deployment.....THEN, as if all the previous wasn't bad enough, he'll STILL be stationed 2 hours away, up in Jacksonville for the remainder (next 3 years!) of my schooling. Two hours isn't horrible compared to some of the other separations, but frankly even 2 hours pretty much prevents you from making the trip except on the weekends(for the next 3 years!). Besides, after being COMPLETELY separated for 6-months, the last place you want your hubby is 2 hours away! It's not like I can just call or email him when he's floating around in the Mediterranean Sea....

    Anyway, the point is, YES, you can go to medical school, be separated, AND be married. I'm not going to lie, it does SUCK to not have your hubby (or wife) around, but you get used to it and it does give you more time to study.

    BTW, Alicia...I would NEVER give up my marriage for medicine (not intentionally anyway). Personally, I think that any job in medicine that let's you save OTHERS lives shouldn't KILL yours! Just because you're a doc doesn't mean you should give up everything to medicine...I won't!
     
  11. labrat

    labrat Member

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    Thank you all so much for your responses! It does help me to see that it can be done. My husband and I have a very strong relationship, but we've never been separated for more than a few weeks at a time. If I get into my State school, we'll still be able to see each other every weekend- it's about a 4.5 hour drive. So far all I've gotten is negative responses from friends and family, but I really want to do this, and I think we can make it work. Thanks again for your responses, and, Alicia, if it ever came to a choice between my marriage and being a doctor, my marriage will win every time...I'm just hoping to have both :cool:

    Sara
     
  12. tonem

    tonem Senior Member

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    It really depends on you and how strong your relationship is. I did it, several of my class-mates did it. Some of us are still married and a couple are divorced. As far as doctors having the highest divorce rate, I've been involved in three professions that claimed to have the "highest" divorce rate of any profession in the whole world and again I'm still married in fact most of my friends in these professions are still married so I'd take those statistics with a grain of salt. The bottom line is it can be done...it's no ckae walk but its not the end of the world either. I hope that helps.
     
  13. Mimicat

    Mimicat Senior Member

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    I am not in medschool yet, but if I get in in the next two years, I will be a two hour commute from my husband AND my 3 kids... It definitely will not be an ideal situation, but I believe absolutely that it will be manageable for all of us. DH and I were long distance for 2 years while I was in grad school and he was in dental school (16 hour drive or a flight...), but that was before marriage and kids, and there is no denying that it will be more difficult now.

    My plan is to totally concentrate on school during the week and then give my all to my family on weekends. After year II that will get more difficult, but we will re-evaluate our living arrangement at that time. I think the most important factor in successfully managing a commuter-relationship is not the distance or the time you will be seperated, but the personalities of you and your spouse. Both my husband and I are very independent and though we love each other, we don't "need" to be with each other all the time. We will be fine. It will be much harder on the kids as they are very young, but Dad is wonderful with them and they will be fine too! :rolleyes:
     
  14. snowballz

    snowballz Senior Member

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    I guess I'm different in that I would choose medical school over a mate. However, that is only because I haven't found anything in any men that is worth keeping around..I'm a bitter hard ass when it comes to men, I suppose. I also enjoy being alone. No complications. Things go nice and easy. When I have my life where I want it, I may choose to have a mate, until then, no.

    But if I had children, I would NEVER, EVER leave them. I think a child needs their mother most of all. I value children to the highest and they have thought processes that are much different from ours...mom leaving for school could be interpretted in many different, but wrong ways. If I was told I could have my daugther back on earth with me, but I would never go to medical school. I would say yes, absolutely. In a second.

    Alicia
     
  15. KG

    KG Member

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    Is your husband really supportive of your plans? Mine is extremely supportive of my plans to apply to med school, but even now, while I'm working on this degree, I know he feels like he doesn't get enough time with me. I try to consciously put down my work and make time to give him my undivided attention. It is probably less time than he would like, but more than I feel I want to take away from studying. It really meant a lot to him when I verbalized that he is ultimately more important to me than med school. Once we got that cleared up, he seemed to feel more comfortable "sharing" me with my studies. I won't throw him over for anything or anyone.
     
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  17. labrat

    labrat Member

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    KG,

    Yes, my husband is supportive of my plans, but like yours, he does feel that he doesn't get enough time with me, and that's what really worries me about going to medical school. Our time together will be much less than it is now, especially if I don't get into my state school. The good thing though is that, after we spend a lot of time apart, when we DO get together, we have so much to talk about and the quality of our time together seems so much higher. It's really nice to hear that it can be done, but I'm still worried....
     

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