Marriage while awaiting residency, is it possible? (MD and PsyD)

Feb 27, 2021
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My boyfriend and I have been together for four years and counting. We have both discussed marriage and children. However, he had difficulty passing his Step 2 CK. This resulted in five failed attempts until he realized that the failed attempts were a direct result of poor test taking strategies rather than knowledge. All other steps were passed on the first attempt including Step 3. He took a leave of absence from medical school to study rigorously for Step 2 CK for about 2 years. At last, he graduated medical school and earned his diploma. Yet, he hasn't been able to successfully match or be granted with an interview. He does not have a strong resume as he spent the majority of his life strictly studying for medical school and examinations. He aspires to be accepted into a psychiatric residency and to get married once he achieves the residency. Although, he wants to marry he does not find it feasible to marry prior to achieving residency due to financial and career stability.

My pursuit has been to start a PsyD program which I was hoping to start this year. However, I am reluctant to start my PsyD program due to my partner's experiences. I'm in my late twenties and he is in his mid-thirties. I have a history of pregnancy being very difficult to achieve in my family. I've reached the point where I'm willing to delay my PsyD until after marriage and having a child. In the meantime, I'm considering to pursue an Master's of Social Work to attain my ambitions to clinically practice in the field of psychology. That way, I could support my spouse and child on my own while practicing in a field that I have always aspired to be in. If I pursue a Master's in Social Work then I can provide the financial stability my partner needs in order for us to marry and have children while waiting for his residency. However, I'm uncertain how long that wait will be. It could be a year, two, five, or ten. It is an uncertain factor that is preventing him from marriage and children. My change of plans from PsyD to MSW would also give him the freedom to move out of state as he is looking to volunteer or work at institutions where he can become acquainted with residency programs. A Master's in Social Work is a 2 year program compared to a four year PsyD program which would quickly allow me to be a source of stability for the both of us.

I understand his concerns. But, I don't understand how an individual can put their entire life on hold while in the pursuit of an undetermined and uncertain factor. From my perspective, we should be working together to grow experiences and careers in the present while still applying for residencies. Additional experience would increase the potential of being interviewed. Focusing on life goals and development simultaneously appears to be the best option from my perspective. Yet, my partner feels that none of that is attainable without first securing a residency. I am wondering if others have had this type of experience with residencies or know of any others in a similar situation. Is there a better perspective or option I can take rather than delaying my PsyD given the circumstances? Or is changing career paths a sound alternative? Has anyone else balanced marriage and children while waiting on a residency?
 

MedDoc305

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My boyfriend and I have been together for four years and counting. We have both discussed marriage and children. However, he had difficulty passing his Step 2 CK. This resulted in five failed attempts until he realized that the failed attempts were a direct result of poor test taking strategies rather than knowledge. All other steps were passed on the first attempt including Step 3. He took a leave of absence from medical school to study rigorously for Step 2 CK for about 2 years. At last, he graduated medical school and earned his diploma. Yet, he hasn't been able to successfully match or be granted with an interview. He does not have a strong resume as he spent the majority of his life strictly studying for medical school and examinations. He aspires to be accepted into a psychiatric residency and to get married once he achieves the residency. Although, he wants to marry he does not find it feasible to marry prior to achieving residency due to financial and career stability.

My pursuit has been to start a PsyD program which I was hoping to start this year. However, I am reluctant to start my PsyD program due to my partner's experiences. I'm in my late twenties and he is in his mid-thirties. I have a history of pregnancy being very difficult to achieve in my family. I've reached the point where I'm willing to delay my PsyD until after marriage and having a child. In the meantime, I'm considering to pursue an Master's of Social Work to attain my ambitions to clinically practice in the field of psychology. That way, I could support my spouse and child on my own while practicing in a field that I have always aspired to be in. If I pursue a Master's in Social Work then I can provide the financial stability my partner needs in order for us to marry and have children while waiting for his residency. However, I'm uncertain how long that wait will be. It could be a year, two, five, or ten. It is an uncertain factor that is preventing him from marriage and children. My change of plans from PsyD to MSW would also give him the freedom to move out of state as he is looking to volunteer or work at institutions where he can become acquainted with residency programs. A Master's in Social Work is a 2 year program compared to a four year PsyD program which would quickly allow me to be a source of stability for the both of us.

I understand his concerns. But, I don't understand how an individual can put their entire life on hold while in the pursuit of an undetermined and uncertain factor. From my perspective, we should be working together to grow experiences and careers in the present while still applying for residencies. Additional experience would increase the potential of being interviewed. Focusing on life goals and development simultaneously appears to be the best option from my perspective. Yet, my partner feels that none of that is attainable without first securing a residency. I am wondering if others have had this type of experience with residencies or know of any others in a similar situation. Is there a better perspective or option I can take rather than delaying my PsyD given the circumstances? Or is changing career paths a sound alternative? Has anyone else balanced marriage and children while waiting on a residency?
He needs to be very realistic about his options at this point in his life based on his past performance. He may "aspire" to be a psychiatrist but he needs to also be applying to most/all FM residencies in the hopes of matching SOMEWHERE so he can get on with his life. I understand he has put all this effort in and it would suck not to be practicing in the field he idolized but life is not fair and he needs to be open to the possibility of just taking what he can get. Based on the number of times he was allowed to take Step 2 CK it sounds to me like he didn't go to an American school? That would also put him at a severe disadvantage for residency. The last thing he should be thinking about is having children if he is drowning in debt with no prospects of making good money. From your post, it doesn't seem like you're pregnant yet, correct me if I'm wrong. If you are in your late twenties you still have plenty of time and should probably wait until you finish your psyD/close to finishing to become pregnant. Social work, though a noble profession, does not make a lot of money. Life is very long and can be arduous, don't make it harder on yourself than it already is.
 

Ms Procrastinator

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My boyfriend and I have been together for four years and counting. We have both discussed marriage and children. However, he had difficulty passing his Step 2 CK. This resulted in five failed attempts until he realized that the failed attempts were a direct result of poor test taking strategies rather than knowledge. All other steps were passed on the first attempt including Step 3. He took a leave of absence from medical school to study rigorously for Step 2 CK for about 2 years. At last, he graduated medical school and earned his diploma. Yet, he hasn't been able to successfully match or be granted with an interview. He does not have a strong resume as he spent the majority of his life strictly studying for medical school and examinations. He aspires to be accepted into a psychiatric residency and to get married once he achieves the residency. Although, he wants to marry he does not find it feasible to marry prior to achieving residency due to financial and career stability.

My pursuit has been to start a PsyD program which I was hoping to start this year. However, I am reluctant to start my PsyD program due to my partner's experiences. I'm in my late twenties and he is in his mid-thirties. I have a history of pregnancy being very difficult to achieve in my family. I've reached the point where I'm willing to delay my PsyD until after marriage and having a child. In the meantime, I'm considering to pursue an Master's of Social Work to attain my ambitions to clinically practice in the field of psychology. That way, I could support my spouse and child on my own while practicing in a field that I have always aspired to be in. If I pursue a Master's in Social Work then I can provide the financial stability my partner needs in order for us to marry and have children while waiting for his residency. However, I'm uncertain how long that wait will be. It could be a year, two, five, or ten. It is an uncertain factor that is preventing him from marriage and children. My change of plans from PsyD to MSW would also give him the freedom to move out of state as he is looking to volunteer or work at institutions where he can become acquainted with residency programs. A Master's in Social Work is a 2 year program compared to a four year PsyD program which would quickly allow me to be a source of stability for the both of us.

I understand his concerns. But, I don't understand how an individual can put their entire life on hold while in the pursuit of an undetermined and uncertain factor. From my perspective, we should be working together to grow experiences and careers in the present while still applying for residencies. Additional experience would increase the potential of being interviewed. Focusing on life goals and development simultaneously appears to be the best option from my perspective. Yet, my partner feels that none of that is attainable without first securing a residency. I am wondering if others have had this type of experience with residencies or know of any others in a similar situation. Is there a better perspective or option I can take rather than delaying my PsyD given the circumstances? Or is changing career paths a sound alternative? Has anyone else balanced marriage and children while waiting on a residency?

Sorry to say, but psychiatry might be out of the question for him after all the retakes he had to do. If he does in fact go to an international school then that unfortunately lessens the chance that he'll get into a psych residency. He needs to focus on a residency like FM where it's easy to get in. Anything is better than nothing. He needs to apply broadly too. You're going to need to speak to him to help him understand how bad his situation is. If he keeps applying to psych programs he's not going to get in and he's just gonna be in a lot more debt. The sooner he accepts that he's not going to be a psychiatrist the better.

I think it could potentially be better to pursue a masters in social work. It might not make a lot of money but it will help pay the bills. The sooner you get him to move on from psychiatry, the sooner he can get in somewhere and the two of you can get on with your lives. I understand that you're worried about your fertility, but I wouldn't recommend having kids until he sorts himself out.
 
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Sorry to say, but psychiatry might be out of the question for him after all the retakes he had to do. If he does in fact go to an international school then that unfortunately lessens the chance that he'll get into a psych residency. He needs to focus on a residency like FM where it's easy to get in. Anything is better than nothing. He needs to apply broadly too. You're going to need to speak to him to help him understand how bad his situation is. If he keeps applying to psych programs he's not going to get in and he's just gonna be in a lot more debt. The sooner he accepts that he's not going to be a psychiatrist the better.

I think it could potentially be better to pursue a masters in social work. It might not make a lot of money but it will help pay the bills. The sooner you get him to move on from psychiatry, the sooner he can get in somewhere and the two of you can get on with your lives. I understand that you're worried about your fertility, but I wouldn't recommend having kids until he sorts himself out.
In addition, many states will not license someone who has failed a Step exam 5 times.
 
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