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If you are married and in medical school please tell me how it is. Please be brutally honest...do you regret taking that step while going through medical school?
 

Tired Pigeon

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If you have a good marriage, it's a really positive thing during med school. Your personal life is apt to be more settled than your single counterparts - no dating & relationship dramas, no need to be out trying to meet people, a supportive spouse to help out with the everyday life responsibilities that can seem overwhelming when you've got 6 exams coming up in the next week. The key is that it's a good, stable relationship -- I'd much rather be single than in a bad relationship. You just wouldn't have the energy to deal with that.
 

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For me, dating and marriage were pretty much the same as far as daily activity and even finances. Being married itself should not really impact your medical education, though the planning and such may take some time away from your studies. The real factor that you need to consider is if you are going to be wanting kids after you get married.
 

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I can't speak from experience, but I have a friend who was a med school wife. She said it was rough, but they are still together now and he's through his med school years. Apparently, he ended up taking off a year (doing research) and graduating a year behind his peers. It worked for their family and a lot of schools allow this. If you have any fears about how it's impacting your family or about having children during med school, keep in mind this is an option.
 

Old Grunt

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I am getting ready to start med school and my spouse is in Law School.

I can't speak about Med School and being married per se, but I can comment on what I saw in the Army during deployments.

Strong marriages generally whether the tides and find ways to be a positive entity in trying times, bad marriages are the exact opposite and almost always fall about.

Prior to deploying for a year, I could predict with a high degree of certainty which marriages would split up over the course of the year. I was generally correct (though not always).

That's just how life is.
 

Michelle823

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I'm not in med school, but am recently married and taking a full course load (second degree fun!!) while working....mostly nights and weekends so I don't see my husband too much. It sucks, but he's so supportive that he gives me plenty of time to study if I need to. We're really good about picking out date nights at least once a month, where I put away my books and we go on a date just to really get to see each other. If your husband/fiance/boyfriend really understands what medical school means for your relationship and you both have REAL EXPECTATIONS, you can work through anything, and it will all be VERY worth it in the long run!!
 

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If you are married and in medical school please tell me how it is. Please be brutally honest...do you regret taking that step while going through medical school?
Simply put:

It depends on the people involved and the current situation.

For some, it is great to have the support and for others it does not work.

If you are with someone that requires alot of your time and attention, then you know med school will bother them.

I agree with others and think having kids while in med school is the bigger problem. I know I could not even handle that one with out a third party helper!
 

notdeadyet

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Marriage is work and so is med school. The two combined can be a chore sometimes.

It's great to have someone to tell your stories to and someone who can pick up the slack when you're slammed, but it cuts both ways. You can't treat a spouse as a doormat, either. While having someone you love there to help you can be a real plus, there are plenty of times that you have to put in your share into the relationship, which can someones come at times when you don't have the energy/free time to spare.
 

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good replies so far. I agree with a good number of them. I honestly couldn't do med school without my wife. She is such a strong support and is always there when i need her. You both have to be very understanding and have a plan going in. We talked about our expectations before starting school, which allowed us to keep each other accountable throughout. You must always remember that you are a husband/wife before a student, keep your priorities right, that doesn't mean that you have to spend more time with one or the other. It means that if you wife is having a bad day and you have a lot of studying to do, it is more important to attend to her and put off studying. You won't fail, i promise!
 

queenbee

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i'm not married or in med school, so maybe i shouldn't reply. ;)

anyway, i am finishing up my postbac, studying for MCATs, working, volunteering and juggling a relationship with my live-in bf. i wonder if i will be busier in med school or now!

sometimes it's really difficult. he's so patient that i'm always studying and that i refuse to step out of the house on the weekends so i can study. however, that is enough to drive any sane person crazy. i've discovered that i really need to sacrifice studying here and there so that i can maintain a normal relationship with my bf. of course, i will start to get stressed out and scream that he doesn't understand what it's like, but that's really unfair since he's going through it with me.

even if it's just to sit on the couch and watch TV or to go out for a quick dinner, you need to stop and make sure you are not neglecting your relationship. i wouldn't be able to do this without my bf's full support (even financially, as i work part-time and he is full-time). i imagine that it will only get more difficult as other aspects come into play - marriage, kids, debt, etc.
 

Kateb4

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I think that the main point is that you can't have your cake and eat it too. If you're going to take anything on while in medical school one or the other will suffer to an extent. We only have so much time in the day, and relationships, jobs, school, pets, hobbies, etc. all take time. You need to decide which are important to you, and divide your time accordingly. I personally feel that marriage and family is important enough to sacrafice some study time, or some sleep time as it may be sometimes. As important as medical school is, it is temporary. Our relationships are for the rest of our lives (hopefully), and should be given priority as such. The reality is that life is tough, and to be successful you need to learn to juggle things. As long as you go into it with a supportive and understanding partner, and are willing to be flexible things will be fine.
 

gotmeds?

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Ok, I'll be brutally honest. I couldn't have done this without my wife.
 

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It is possible. However, your spouse will need a support system of some kind (spouse association, church, studies of her own, etc.). If you are their only social contact, it can be a bit stressful if you are the only one they have to talk to.

Also, your spouse needs to know that you will have to devote massive amounts of time to your studies. Massive. You both need to go into it with at least a basic understanding of what lies ahead and be prepared for it.
 

RangerD

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Marriage and medical school are definitely possible, but the key is that both of you need to be on-board! I am married with 4 kids. I'm in my 3rd year of med school and my wife works full time. We are busy all the time!

However, she encouraged me to pursue med school initially and I am so grateful. We have both made sacrifices along the way to get through the crazy times. It is easy to get sucked into the vortex of school/studying/exams, etc but if you take care to always make some time for the family, you will get by just fine. I find the support from my wife and kids gives me energy and focus and helps me to do better. On the other hand, if I didn't have their support, it would be impossible.
 

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I'm a 3rd year in medical school...with my husband. We came into medical school married. We frequently talk about how much more difficult this would be if we didn't have each other. I presume that your spouse isn't trying to go to medical school with you, but if you are trying to go together, PM me and we can talk. We did our first surgery together yesterday. It was pretty crazy being scrubbed in together, winking at each other in the OR. And back when we were in classes together we sat next to each other every day. :love:
I think being married and in medical school is great, even if your spouse doesn't do it with you. At least they really know you and can help you work through the weird weird experiences you'll have.
 

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I think being married in medical school is like being married any other time. Medical school neither improved nor worsened my marriage. You're got to live your life in medical school just like you would any other time because 4 years can be a pretty long period.

And yes, you do have spare time in medical school.
 

DescentFan

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Two words - - - tax break.

This is what the mother of the girl who was trying to pursue me said.
 

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This thread cracks me up. Being married has made every day of medical school easier and better for me. I can't imagine going through this single!
 

Flaxmoore

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This thread cracks me up. Being married has made every day of medical school easier and better for me. I can't imagine going through this single!
Ditto. I would have gone quietly insane during my SMP if my fiance wasn't living with me. We got married over summer, and she's the light of my life. :D
 

oxeye

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It is working out fine so far for me with a very understanding and supportive husband. He's been doing a lot more around the house than he did before I started med school.

Honestly, it's nice at to have someone to talk to at the end of the day who isn't part of medical school. It keeps school from consuming my life!
 

ShyRem

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Brutally honest.

I married the most awesome, fabulous, understanding, supportive husband. EVER. Granted, we've been married for a while before school. We have two school-aged children. But this man started his career OVER to move to my school. He had the perfect hours. A ton of time off. He now works graveyards, being totally underutilized for his skills. He has ZERO time off. He took a 50% pay cut. His work week STINKS. The company administration is maddening and I swear their family trees are lodge-pole pines.

And yet he smiles whenever he sees me. He comes home and makes me coffee and warms up my car before I leave for school. He does laundry. He cleans. He'll go grocery shopping if I make him a list. And he is so happy my dreams are coming to fruition.

Most of all, he ISN'T MED SCHOOL. He's reality. A soft place to land. Someone who will listen to this jibberish I now spout with ease and nod like he understands. Someone who will just hold my hand and let me cry with frustration and exhaustion. He celebrates my successes, listens to my fears, to my failures (fortunately not too many of those). He is my best friend, my confidant, my lover, my partner in life, come what may.

Brutally honest.
I MISS MY HUSBAND. We sleep different schedules. We eat different schedules. I HATE THAT. It's hard. There are times he feels left behind because he no longer understands when I talk about what I'm struggling to learn... and it makes me weep that he feels that way. We talk a lot (even though some days we literally only have 10 minutes) about how we're doing. And we realize out loud that "this too shall pass". I make sure I appreciate him however I can. He likes root beer floats when he comes home from work. I make darn sure there's his favorite ice cream and his favorite root beer in the house all the time. I rub his feet before work when I can. I rub lotion into his hands when his cuticles split. I make sure his favorite foods are in the house, even things as stupid as his favorite fabric softener. He doesn't use an alarm clock at night -- I wake him up. It's the least I can do for all he does for me. I don't know I could be doing this journey without him.

And that man will so deserve to retire when I'm working.

You need to realize that med school isn't reality. It is a weird, stressful time when how you think about almost EVERYTHING will change. And quickly. A marriage needs to be brutally honest within itself if you're going to make it through. And you need to appreciate each other for what you can do now and forgive what you can't do now.
 

Beau Geste

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It is working out fine so far for me with a very understanding and supportive husband. He's been doing a lot more around the house than he did before I started med school.

Honestly, it's nice at to have someone to talk to at the end of the day who isn't part of medical school. It keeps school from consuming my life!
These stories are all so great to read. My husband has already picked up the household slack since I went back to finish the pre-reqs. Now that I'm in and we have a break until school starts next fall, I'm spending as much time as I can with him. And I'm back to cooking again ;)

It's looking like I may choose a school where we live apart for 4 years (although only a 3-hour drive away) so we're preparing ourselves. Nothing is set in stone yet though, of course!
 

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I'm married now, and a nontrad. Right now, my husband is the sole breadwinner - I am in school full-time. Even if I've been home studying since 3pm, he'll come home, say hey, and then drop everything to go make dinner. He'll bring it in to me and my books (wherever I am studying). He understands, and he lets me study when I have to. We go out for fajitas after every single organic test. He is the most understanding and sweet husband I could ever want, and I have no idea how I'd do this without him. Medical school will I'm sure be similar. He is so self-sacrificing, and he has even told me that he believes part of his purpose in life is to help me achieve mine in medicine. I will never regret being married during all of this.
 

mandinca

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Brutally honest.

I married the most awesome, fabulous, understanding, supportive husband. EVER. Granted, we've been married for a while before school. We have two school-aged children. But this man started his career OVER to move to my school. He had the perfect hours. A ton of time off. He now works graveyards, being totally underutilized for his skills. He has ZERO time off. He took a 50% pay cut. His work week STINKS. The company administration is maddening and I swear their family trees are lodge-pole pines.

And yet he smiles whenever he sees me. He comes home and makes me coffee and warms up my car before I leave for school. He does laundry. He cleans. He'll go grocery shopping if I make him a list. And he is so happy my dreams are coming to fruition.

Most of all, he ISN'T MED SCHOOL. He's reality. A soft place to land. Someone who will listen to this jibberish I now spout with ease and nod like he understands. Someone who will just hold my hand and let me cry with frustration and exhaustion. He celebrates my successes, listens to my fears, to my failures (fortunately not too many of those). He is my best friend, my confidant, my lover, my partner in life, come what may.

Brutally honest.
I MISS MY HUSBAND. We sleep different schedules. We eat different schedules. I HATE THAT. It's hard. There are times he feels left behind because he no longer understands when I talk about what I'm struggling to learn... and it makes me weep that he feels that way. We talk a lot (even though some days we literally only have 10 minutes) about how we're doing. And we realize out loud that "this too shall pass". I make sure I appreciate him however I can. He likes root beer floats when he comes home from work. I make darn sure there's his favorite ice cream and his favorite root beer in the house all the time. I rub his feet before work when I can. I rub lotion into his hands when his cuticles split. I make sure his favorite foods are in the house, even things as stupid as his favorite fabric softener. He doesn't use an alarm clock at night -- I wake him up. It's the least I can do for all he does for me. I don't know I could be doing this journey without him.

And that man will so deserve to retire when I'm working.

You need to realize that med school isn't reality. It is a weird, stressful time when how you think about almost EVERYTHING will change. And quickly. A marriage needs to be brutally honest within itself if you're going to make it through. And you need to appreciate each other for what you can do now and forgive what you can't do now.

WOW.....thank you! Your story brought tears to my eyes! That was such a positive perspective for me to read. I have often worried about how difficult the med-school schedule will be for my husband and I's marriage. He always tells me we'll get through it just fine by supporting EACH OTHER. This was such a lovely example of that! Thank you!:)
 

CultureDoc

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If you are married and in medical school please tell me how it is. Please be brutally honest...do you regret taking that step while going through medical school?
Warning: long post!!! :D

I'm not sure whether this is a good question or not! Part of me feels that if you even have to ask (are there really people who REGRET getting married?!?!?), you're not ready for marriage, but then again, it was a foregone conclusion from day one of our relationship (nearly 8 years ago!) that my husband and I would get married; the question merely became: when? (answer: one of the worst times possible! but read on to find out about that!)

Honestly, getting married has simplified my life a hundredfold (and saved us some $ for sure!). We had been living separately because we wanted something about our very comfortable relationship to be different once we actually got married, but living apart was really complicated. Maintaining 2 apartments, paying 2 sets of bills, cooking separately (sometimes!), both going to school, and then trying to find time both alone and together was really difficult! (We were also long-distance for about 3 yrs. of our relationship . . . talk about complicated!) Getting married has simplified things. It's not entirely perfect - I love my alone time, and I still have issues trying to find that every once in a while, but I also ADORE coming home to my happy household (husband, dog and cat) every day. I had an older friend tell me that marriage is settling to the soul, and I absolutely agree. Even though we're still in an apartment and still waiting to "make it," I feel so much more settled than I did before and than I would if I were still living alone, without that solid commitment. Even though we were certainly committed before, this is iron-clad! We know it's not going to be roses and rainbows when I'm in med school and he's working full-time as an architect, but we also know that we'll make it work and be there for each other, come what may. And the key to that is taking our commitment to one another seriously.

If you're asking about planning a wedding during med school, I can't comment on that, but I can give some planning-timing tips! Like one of the other posters, I feel I might actually be less busy in med school than I have been throughout the post-bacc (particularly the "wedding year")! My husband and I planned our wedding while he was in his second year of a three-year master's program in architecture (hello, sleeping on the floor in studio!), and I was working full time at a new job and taking orgo 2 and bio 2 at night and a 6-hr orgo lab on Saturdays. UGHHHH! Oh, and we also got a puppy a month and a half after we got engaged. :eek: We got engaged on New Year's (two years ago today!) and got married on August 11th of the same year in my home town, a 1000 miles from St. Louis, where we lived . . . eek! My first statement is that, in general, this is not enough time to fully enjoy the planning process if you are long-distance, incredibly busy at the time, want to be completely involved in the process (read: not let Mom take over!) and planning a decently large wedding with all the hullabaloo involved (if you could care less what color flowers you have or if there are flowers at all, that's totally different!) . . . if you do care and want to have fun with it (and don't want to have to rush-order your dress) give yourself a year, at minimum. Of course, it didn't help that my divorced, skeptical, old-fashioned mom wasn't fully sold on the idea of us getting married when we did. We had to convince her that it would be ok for me to be working while my husband was still in school because later that would get reversed! Once my mom was on board, and we picked a location (quite a big deal for my particular architect-to-be and me), it was mid-March! I flew home for a whirlwind weekend of planning in March and again in April, and then didn't touch the planning again until classes were over (so Memorial Day weekend was the kick-off of the serious planning!) Of course, there was also the issue of moving . . . which we did not once, but twice (I moved my stuff into my fiance's place in late May, but then a bigger apartment opened up upstairs and across the hall, so all of our stuff then had to get moved right after we set it all up!) The other ugly "issue" was that my fiance spent the summer in Barcelona with his architecture program . . . so, we had to do all the serious planning that summer by e-mail and phone, and I was the one who had to move all of our stuff! (another ugh!) Oh, and I took a calc class 3 nights a week that summer . . . and took my final 9 days before the wedding! Thankfully the puppy spent the summer at "grandma's" (his mom's) . . . which broke my heart, but otherwise, I think it would have been absolutely impossible, particularly considering that I spent very few weekends at home that summer! As it was, I was completely stretched. I lost ten pounds (a lot for me) just because I was too busy to eat. I also didn't do very well in orgo (not cool) because I didn't put the necessary time into memorization (the puppy training and the job were incredible time-absorbers). I got the A in calc, but only because I had taken it about 5 years earlier and was able to get back into it easily. Moral of the story: DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME! Give yourself enough time to enjoy the planning, enjoy being engaged, make decisions one at a time, and STUDY WHEN YOU NEED TO! I really wish I (and he) had understood how important that last part is! All in all, I didn't damage my GPA too much, and we ended up having a truly fabulous, fun wedding . . . but it's a good thing we honeymooned on Lake Michigan and not somewhere expensive because we slept the honeymoon away!!

Anyway, there's my two cents plus! (Marriage: very good thing, wonderfully settling and fulfilling if you're sure of it and committed; wedding planning during med school: could be nightmarish if rushed and involved!) :thumbup:
 

PunkmedGirl

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Brutally honest.

I married the most awesome, fabulous, understanding, supportive husband. EVER. Granted, we've been married for a while before school. We have two school-aged children. But this man started his career OVER to move to my school. He had the perfect hours. A ton of time off. He now works graveyards, being totally underutilized for his skills. He has ZERO time off. He took a 50% pay cut. His work week STINKS. The company administration is maddening and I swear their family trees are lodge-pole pines.

And yet he smiles whenever he sees me. He comes home and makes me coffee and warms up my car before I leave for school. He does laundry. He cleans. He'll go grocery shopping if I make him a list. And he is so happy my dreams are coming to fruition.

Most of all, he ISN'T MED SCHOOL. He's reality. A soft place to land. Someone who will listen to this jibberish I now spout with ease and nod like he understands. Someone who will just hold my hand and let me cry with frustration and exhaustion. He celebrates my successes, listens to my fears, to my failures (fortunately not too many of those). He is my best friend, my confidant, my lover, my partner in life, come what may.

Brutally honest.
I MISS MY HUSBAND. We sleep different schedules. We eat different schedules. I HATE THAT. It's hard. There are times he feels left behind because he no longer understands when I talk about what I'm struggling to learn... and it makes me weep that he feels that way. We talk a lot (even though some days we literally only have 10 minutes) about how we're doing. And we realize out loud that "this too shall pass". I make sure I appreciate him however I can. He likes root beer floats when he comes home from work. I make darn sure there's his favorite ice cream and his favorite root beer in the house all the time. I rub his feet before work when I can. I rub lotion into his hands when his cuticles split. I make sure his favorite foods are in the house, even things as stupid as his favorite fabric softener. He doesn't use an alarm clock at night -- I wake him up. It's the least I can do for all he does for me. I don't know I could be doing this journey without him.

And that man will so deserve to retire when I'm working.

You need to realize that med school isn't reality. It is a weird, stressful time when how you think about almost EVERYTHING will change. And quickly. A marriage needs to be brutally honest within itself if you're going to make it through. And you need to appreciate each other for what you can do now and forgive what you can't do now.

AAAWWWWWW NOW that's beautiful
 

Avant

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I am a 4th year and happily married.

One reason we have not had huge problems while I am in med school is that change has been a continuing part of our relationship. When we met, I was a litigator and he was a Ph.D. candidate. I then quit my firm to work a less consuming job while I did pre-med. By the time we were married, I was finishing my prereqs full-time and had quit my job and he was near the end of his degree. He got his Ph.D., we decided on a med school in another state, and we moved. When I was a first- and second-year he was a post-doc. Now I am finishing my M.D., he has a great job in his field, and we have toddler twins.

So our individual incomes and focus repeatedly have changed. A year after we met my income was halved, then went to zero, and now is in the negative numbers with tuition. He had to devote tremendous time and energy to his Ph.D. and then such crazy hours for his post-doc that it puts most Neurosurg residents to shame (no days off for 2 years, 7 days a week, most days more than 12 hours a day). His schedule actually helped us, I think. He knows first-hand the experience of having a nearly unbearable schedule that is our of one's control. He also knows, having gone through the Ph.D. process, how it feels to commit to a very long-term educational process that can be brutal at times. Had he never pursued such a goal or worked 9-5 for five days a week I don't know if he would have been as accepting of my schedule.

I've seen a lot of friends divorce in law and med schools. Every one is different, of course, but I see a few repeating problems. One is an inability to adjust to change. An experience like med school will change you; it is only a question of degree. Having gone through law school very young, it had a larger effect on me than med school, but I can still see some positive and negative changes in me over the last 4 years. Another is an understanding of the required commitment. Sure, everyone knows that med school is a lot of work, but the reality of this may not sink in until you have an 8-week rotation four hours from home or miss yet another family celebration. Lastly, if your partner does not have a fulfilling life and is more dependent on you, med school may be difficult on both of you because you will spend a lot of time focused on your education.

I HTH and good luck.