RobbingReality

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Not to get into a long depressing story, but my grilfriend of two years and the one I was going to propose to decided she needed to break up with me. After finally pulling teeth to get down to the root of the problem, it seems that she can't handle the fact that I am going to medical school. She can't handle that I would not be with her every waking moment, although I did everything in my power to be with her during my masters. I only assumed that we could make it work during medical school. So I am interested in how people in long term relationships made it work out, or if you were in a long term relationship that went sour how did you handle the break up. This is a serious question and I only ask for sincere advice.
 

katrinadams9

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RobbingReality said:
Not to get into a long depressing story, but my grilfriend of two years and the one I was going to propose to decided she needed to break up with me. After finally pulling teeth to get down to the root of the problem, it seems that she can't handle the fact that I am going to medical school. She can't handle that I would not be with her every waking moment, although I did everything in my power to be with her during my masters. I only assumed that we could make it work during medical school. So I am interested in how people in long term relationships made it work out, or if you were in a long term relationship that went sour how did you handle the break up. This is a serious question and I only ask for sincere advice.
It sounds to me like she's got some dependency issues to work on. I say good riddance. You are obviously a dedicated, smart individual to get into med school and you deserve better that someone who will drag you down. Us med people need significant others who will support us through thick and thin.

When I started out as an MS1, I was with an @$$ who wanted me to be with him every weekend (he lived 4 hrs away) but was unwilling to drive to see me. When I did visit, he'd do everything he could to talk me out of studying to spend more time with him. I soon tired of his crap, dumped him and have been happily seeing someone else ever since. I'm much happier with my new man who is supportive, understanding, and able to spend time on his own while I study my ass off. My grades have even improved since we've been together.

So, to make a long story short: don't get depressed over the loss of your girlfriend, you will meet someone new. It may take a while because of med students don't exactly have the time socialize all the time, but I believe there is someone out there for everyone and no one should have to settle for less than they deserve. :)
 

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katrinadams9 said:
It sounds to me like she's got some dependency issues to work on. I say good riddance. You are obviously a dedicated, smart individual to get into med school and you deserve better that someone who will drag you down. Us med people need significant others who will support us through thick and thin.

When I started out as an MS1, I was with an @$$ who wanted me to be with him every weekend (he lived 4 hrs away) but was unwilling to drive to see me. When I did visit, he'd do everything he could to talk me out of studying to spend more time with him. I soon tired of his crap, dumped him and have been happily seeing someone else ever since. I'm much happier with my new man who is supportive, understanding, and able to spend time on his own while I study my ass off. My grades have even improved since we've been together.

So, to make a long story short: don't get depressed over the loss of your girlfriend, you will meet someone new. It may take a while because of med students don't exactly have the time socialize all the time, but I believe there is someone out there for everyone and no one should have to settle for less than they deserve. :)

Is you new guy also a med student?
 

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katrinadams9 said:
It sounds to me like she's got some dependency issues to work on. I say good riddance. You are obviously a dedicated, smart individual to get into med school and you deserve better that someone who will drag you down. Us med people need significant others who will support us through thick and thin.

When I started out as an MS1, I was with an @$$ who wanted me to be with him every weekend (he lived 4 hrs away) but was unwilling to drive to see me. When I did visit, he'd do everything he could to talk me out of studying to spend more time with him. I soon tired of his crap, dumped him and have been happily seeing someone else ever since. I'm much happier with my new man who is supportive, understanding, and able to spend time on his own while I study my ass off. My grades have even improved since we've been together.

So, to make a long story short: don't get depressed over the loss of your girlfriend, you will meet someone new. It may take a while because of med students don't exactly have the time socialize all the time, but I believe there is someone out there for everyone and no one should have to settle for less than they deserve. :)

great post! i am definitely preparing my SO for the worst in terms of how much we'll be seeing each other, but i still have my doubts. i guess i won't know for sure until i'm an M1. i'm glad to hear you're with somebody who understands. :thumbup:
 

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etudiante04 said:
Is you new guy also a med student?
Nope. He's a computer network/support/programmer type. It's really nice to come home and have other things to talk about besides medicine. Plus, I sound really smart to him when I do talk about medical stuff. ;)
 

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RobbingReality said:
Not to get into a long depressing story, but my grilfriend of two years and the one I was going to propose to decided she needed to break up with me. After finally pulling teeth to get down to the root of the problem, it seems that she can't handle the fact that I am going to medical school. She can't handle that I would not be with her every waking moment, although I did everything in my power to be with her during my masters. I only assumed that we could make it work during medical school. So I am interested in how people in long term relationships made it work out, or if you were in a long term relationship that went sour how did you handle the break up. This is a serious question and I only ask for sincere advice.

Robbingreality, try not to carry negative feelings about your girlfriend. Being the significant other of a medical student is not easy. I applaud those who can handle it with ease such as Katrina’s new SO.

SOs of medical students tend to become understandably somewhat insecure during the med school years and SOMETIMES we can be guilty of this. All of a sudden, we can’t spend as much time with them and we are spending much more time with our new family...fellow med students. No matter how much you try to make them understand how difficult med school is, they will never understand. Never! How can they? Med school is one of those processes that you have to be involved in to understand completely. Do not blame her for not having your insight into this sort of academic process. Honestly, did you fully understand it before you became a med student yourself? No matter how much everyone told you how difficult it was, you was probably still was blown away once you encountered Gross Anatomy.

Now you are spending less time with her and you are surrounded by future successful Docs and now she is probably feeling that you are encountering a lot of other smart women like yourself who will one day be in the top 1-5% of society. This can create thoughts in her mind that you may feel that you wil find someone who is more compatible with you in med school and that you are being surrounded by this opportunity all of the time and spending a lot of time with it. Try to understand how bad this can feel, especially if she is not as well educated as you and your classmates.

I had a wonderful ex-fiancee who moved to another state to support me through med school and she was in a place with no friends or family just for me. She also felt that I would probably find someone who was “more on my level” although she was a very intelligent woman with a college degree. Matter of fact, before we made the move, her primary care DOC jokingly recommended anti-depressants for her to deal with me going through med school. This Doc also admitted that her own husband felt this way while she attended med school. To make a long story short, I felt so guilty about her not having me around so much in a strange place and felt so much pressure to keep her happy that I eventually gave her up to concentrate more on my study. I miss her so much but now she is happily married to someone else with her own family and I am happy for her. I just couldn’t give her what she needed and just wish that she could find someone who could. God bless her.

The few women I have dated since had similar feelings and felt a constant need to show me just how smart they could be. It did get annoying at times.

The best solution to this is to include your girlfriend into as much med school activities as you can. Take her to the post exam parties to meet your other classmates. Take her to the lunch time fairs, take her to the holiday parties and give her frequent reassurance. Again, don’t expect her to have complete insight into being a med student. She can’t possibly have this without going through it herself. Being physically attractive as well is a double whammy!

I wish you the best of luck with this.
 

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katrinadams9 said:
Nope. He's a computer network/support/programmer type. It's really nice to come home and have other things to talk about besides medicine. Plus, I sound really smart to him when I do talk about medical stuff. ;)

I am so happy for you! I too, tend to attract the computer analyst types at my NIH job, but I can't help but worry about starting a relationship if it will dissolve in medical school. Plus, I thought most of these IT types were intimidated by premed/med students. They are some good eye-candy, though!
 

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RobbingReality said:
Not to get into a long depressing story, but my grilfriend of two years and the one I was going to propose to decided she needed to break up with me. After finally pulling teeth to get down to the root of the problem, it seems that she can't handle the fact that I am going to medical school. She can't handle that I would not be with her every waking moment, although I did everything in my power to be with her during my masters. I only assumed that we could make it work during medical school. So I am interested in how people in long term relationships made it work out, or if you were in a long term relationship that went sour how did you handle the break up. This is a serious question and I only ask for sincere advice.
Hey man, yea women like it that you are around all the time, however studying all the time doesn't help matters. My relationship is working out well so far. But I attribute it to few things.

1) We are in the same city and go to the same school, so we can see each other at least once a week. We also talk on the phone daily.

2) She is in school in a graduate program, so she is quite busy herself. Their program is structured such that they have quizzes, assignments and tests every week or so.

3) I constantly prepare her and dont' sugar coat how it will be in med school and later on in residency.

Now had I moved out to med school several hours away, I am not sure how well that would have worked out.

But unless you have a very high maintenance lady, you should be able to afford spending time with her once a week without too much trouble if you are in the same city. But she has to understand and should have a life of her own. I think it really helps if you have a gf in a professional program, b/c they are under pressure as well and are more understanding of your need to study constantly.

My advice, explain things to her, try to work it out. But if it doesn't seem like it's working out. Have a talk with her and break it off, b/c if you dont' do it now, you might have a marriage that breaks off. My strong belief is that things do happen for a reason. So don't force the relationship unless you are pretty sure that its moving in the right direction.

p.s. I know of several residents who are straight up with women about their time commitments and basically lay down their cards on the table immediately, sometimes it works out, other times it doesn't

Good luck.
 

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RobbingReality said:
Not to get into a long depressing story, but my grilfriend of two years and the one I was going to propose to decided she needed to break up with me. After finally pulling teeth to get down to the root of the problem, it seems that she can't handle the fact that I am going to medical school. She can't handle that I would not be with her every waking moment, although I did everything in my power to be with her during my masters. I only assumed that we could make it work during medical school. So I am interested in how people in long term relationships made it work out, or if you were in a long term relationship that went sour how did you handle the break up. This is a serious question and I only ask for sincere advice.

I am sorry about your troubles. That is tough. But men and women are crazy. Things change, and sometimes a man wakes up and looks down at his wife and is just plain disgusted with what he sees. Overnight, his opinion of her changed. It's usually due to a build up of little things, and finally he has a vision or something. Decides he "needs to be free of the filth" or what have you... The same can be said about a woman. This is not to say you are disgusting, just to point out that normal people are not Rocks. Granite slabs. We are molding and we meet new people, and frankly its depressing to be on the end that is locked in the library studying... not meeting anyone new... but like a granite rock, we keep studying. Let me tell you, there is no bright light at the end of the tunnel. After medical school/residency We are not free at the end to meet every single girl on earth. By then we are likely 30+ anyway, and "trapped" in the ICU, exhausted after 12 hours on shift. Then we retire. and Oh god, we are 50.. shoot me!
 

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PoorMD said:
I am sorry about your troubles. That is tough. But men and women are crazy. Things change, and sometimes a man wakes up and looks down at his wife and is just plain disgusted with what he sees. Overnight, his opinion of her changed. It's usually due to a build up of little things, and finally he has a vision or something. Decides he "needs to be free of the filth" or what have you... The same can be said about a woman. This is not to say you are disgusting, just to point out that normal people are not Rocks. Granite slabs. We are molding and we meet new people, and frankly its depressing to be on the end that is locked in the library studying... not meeting anyone new... but like a granite rock, we keep studying. Let me tell you, there is no bright light at the end of the tunnel. After medical school/residency We are not free at the end to meet every single girl on earth. By then we are likely 30+ anyway, and "trapped" in the ICU, exhausted after 12 hours on shift. Then we retire. and Oh god, we are 50.. shoot me!
Come on! Don't make things sound so grim. Yes med school means that you spend most of your time studying but not ALL of your time studying. You can still meet people as easily as you could in college or when you were working. If you don't meet someone in your school, you can still meet them elsewhere -- get a hobby that puts you in touch with people outside of your med school. It's ridiculous to think there is no life outside of med school. I never got that.

To the OP. I'm involved in a long term relationship myself. We are doing the long distance thing for now (painful but at least I have time to study) but when he moves here in March we plan on moving in together. This may not be an option for you for one reason or another, but I would seriously recommend giving it some thought, especially if this is someone you plan on marrying anyway. When you live together you see each other every night, so no matter how much you study during the day you still get to spend SOME time together on a daily basis, so the other person doesn't feel neglected. It also saves you lots of scarce medical student money on rent. I know in my school several people have already been dumped by their SOs due to the exact same reason that you stated. However, the people who came into med school married or living together are still going strong and they seem to be significantly less stressed out than single people (though they do spend less time going out with the class). I know that it would be very difficult for me to have a normal relationship with my BF if we still saw each other only on weekends - I would constantly be feeling guilty, either for not studying or for not spending enough time with him.
 

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saki0005 said:
date another med student...it's the only way you'll ever make it work.
Date another med student... in a different year. There are lots of inter-year relationships and marriages at my school. They seem like by far the happiest couples. They probably don't spend a lot of time together, but they are extremely supportive and are probably laying the groundwork for very successful and happy post-residency lives.

I'd never want to date someone in my class. We already all spend way too much time together.

My school has a significant others club-type-thing. They warn SOs about the pressures & stresses on relationships during the whole process, and try to help people through them.
 

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Also, ever since I got here I've been thinking about breaking off a five-year relationship, which has now deteriorated to long-distance email/phone/MSN conversations and the occasional weekend of getting on each others' nerves.

Med school is not good for relationships that are vulnerable in any way. If you're rock-solid going in, then you may emerge unscathed. Otherwise, it's probably better to recognize problems early on, and know when it's not worth investing any more time. If things go badly in M1, then what about M2, M3, M4 and residency, right?
 

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Lemme put it this way... I'm an M4 and I was darn upset when SO said, "I'm interested in med school." Did. Not. Like. The. Idea. Wanted to come home to normal person who could talk about all sorts of interesting things outside the hospital. Did not want more school, more loans, less income for another four years and then residency.

But, liked him more and we decided we'd make it work.
 

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TruTrooper said:
I had a wonderful ex-fiancee who moved to another state to support me through med school and she was in a place with no friends or family just for me. She also felt that I would probably find someone who was “more on my level” although she was a very intelligent woman with a college degree. Matter of fact, before we made the move, her primary care DOC jokingly recommended anti-depressants for her to deal with me going through med school. This Doc also admitted that her own husband felt this way while she attended med school. To make a long story short, I felt so guilty about her not having me around so much in a strange place and felt so much pressure to keep her happy that I eventually gave her up to concentrate more on my study. I miss her so much but now she is happily married to someone else with her own family and I am happy for her. I just couldn’t give her what she needed and just wish that she could find someone who could. God bless her.
This is the most awesome thing I have read in ages. You are now qualified as one amazing guy.
 

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PoorMD said:
I am sorry about your troubles. That is tough. But men and women are crazy. Things change, and sometimes a man wakes up and looks down at his wife and is just plain disgusted with what he sees. Overnight, his opinion of her changed. It's usually due to a build up of little things, and finally he has a vision or something. Decides he "needs to be free of the filth" or what have you... The same can be said about a woman. This is not to say you are disgusting, just to point out that normal people are not Rocks. Granite slabs. We are molding and we meet new people, and frankly its depressing to be on the end that is locked in the library studying... not meeting anyone new... but like a granite rock, we keep studying. Let me tell you, there is no bright light at the end of the tunnel. After medical school/residency We are not free at the end to meet every single girl on earth. By then we are likely 30+ anyway, and "trapped" in the ICU, exhausted after 12 hours on shift. Then we retire. and Oh god, we are 50.. shoot me!

This is so funny, I like it!!

I keep looking for that special someone but then, sometimes when I am checking them out I get that flash of what they might look like draped all over the couch, and with like, popcorn scraps all over their shirt, and a couple of days of beard going there, etc. Yikes! I am so not ready for this.

I also agree with TruTrooper, you just have to be aware of what you can give someone, and what you cannot. I don't want to drag someone around while I struggle through medschool and residency. And on the other hand, I don't want to be dragged around by someone else who is going through whatever stuff in their own life. I believe that things happen in their own time and in their own way, and so I try not to agonize over the single state but just enjoy what I have and do my best with each day as it comes. One day, the right person will come along and it will all seem to make sense and feel 'right.' For both of us!

:luck:
 

Ezekiel20

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Sorry to hear about what happened to you..

I've nearly finished my 1st year of med school (here in Aus, we start in Feb and finish in Nov).

I met my current fiancee during my first degree, and we went out for 1.5 years before I proposed to her in March this year. Although I am very busy from med school, we are still able to spend time together, because my fiancee is studying pharmacy now and her workload is just as heavy as mine, so our 'dates' consist of studying together and cooking dinner together.

I knew I was going to have the problem that I will become very busy from med school, which is why I decided to show her my commitment by proposing to her early. We will probably stay engaged until I finish med school, which is 3 years away. I think the fact that she knows I have committed myself to her gives her reason to forgive me if I am not able to go out during the weekend and have proper dates - actually come to think of it, the last time we went out and had a good time was a month ago at least.

I think that in some ways, staying single throughout med school is a good thing. You can concentrate all your energies into study, and it is not too late to find a partner when you're a doctor. It will probably also mean that you're likely to find a doctor wife, so that you can both be in the field of medicine and that way you will understand each other better.

So turn that frown upside down..! :)
 

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RobbingReality said:
Not to get into a long depressing story, but my grilfriend of two years and the one I was going to propose to decided she needed to break up with me. After finally pulling teeth to get down to the root of the problem, it seems that she can't handle the fact that I am going to medical school. She can't handle that I would not be with her every waking moment, although I did everything in my power to be with her during my masters. I only assumed that we could make it work during medical school. So I am interested in how people in long term relationships made it work out, or if you were in a long term relationship that went sour how did you handle the break up. This is a serious question and I only ask for sincere advice.
i'm an M1 and in a 4+ yr relationship with a non-medical student (economics). I think the transition has worked out very well because:

1) we live together and see eachother for hours each day! we study together. we eat together... watch movies together... etc.
2) she is just as serious about school as me and also has a lot on her plate- extracurrics and research. so most of the time, she is just as busy as me.
3) i told her ahead of time what i had heard it would be like- i had her read SDN. even now, she doesnt fully understand how busy i really am or how much i have to study or how well i have to know things... but she is pretty thoughtful most of the time.
4) we share a lot of the same hobbies and have really similar personalities and beliefs. you could separate us and ask us 100 opinion-type questions on all kinds of things and we would have the same answers.

i think it is very important that you find someone who is very understanding and someone who has the same interests as you.... school. you need someone that has other things going on in their life besides you. you also have to remember to make free time for her. pretty much all of my free time is spent with my SO... and when i hang out with my guy friends- i bring her a long most of the time. you just have to be up front and forward with everything.
 

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I met my boyfriend about 6 months before starting med school. He lives in Vermont, and at the time I lived in North Carolina. I'm at Columbia right now for med school, and I'm not gonna lie -- being just that much closer to him was pretty appealing. So I guess in a sense that had a factor in where I went to school.

Still, we only get to see each other once every 2-3 weeks, on the weekend. Maybe we're different in the fact that we've always had a long distance relationship, and we didn't have to adjust to life apart. Still, it's worked for us so far. He and I talk on the phone a few nights a week. And during the day, we're always online (I'll have my laptop at the library, and he does computer engineering, so he's always online).

In a sense, I think it works for us that he's not around all the time. Otherwise, I'd feel guilty about having to study when he'd want to go out and do something together.

I also realize, now that I read others' stories, that I've found someone incredibly patient and understanding of my lifestyle as a medical student. This is not something to be taken for granted!
 

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PoorMD said:
Then we retire. and Oh god, we are 50.. shoot me!
Oh god, we are 50???? :mad:

Is it that terrible :(

When I hit 50 (VERY SOON) do I get to retire? :laugh:

Do I have to shoot myself or will my non-medical wife of 20 yrs do it for me?

Actually, I am certain that retiring (at any age) and staying at home would not be a good idea for our relationship :p

regards

OBP
 

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RobbingReality said:
Not to get into a long depressing story, but my grilfriend of two years and the one I was going to propose to decided she needed to break up with me. After finally pulling teeth to get down to the root of the problem, it seems that she can't handle the fact that I am going to medical school. She can't handle that I would not be with her every waking moment, although I did everything in my power to be with her during my masters. I only assumed that we could make it work during medical school. So I am interested in how people in long term relationships made it work out, or if you were in a long term relationship that went sour how did you handle the break up. This is a serious question and I only ask for sincere advice.
I'm sorry to hear about your relationship troubles. I think that for most people, it would be somewhat difficult to maintain a relationship with a medical student. It sounds like your ex was not the type of person who could deal with that, and that OK. Although, it sounds like another problem was that you had great difficulty in finding out what she was unhappy about (maybe a sign of communication problems?) and that perhaps one of the reasons she was hesitant to talk about it was that she knew there was no cure (ie-you can't stop studying for medical school, and she can't deny her own needs).

But I feel your pain, I've been in a relationship for 7 years, and he is more "oldschool"-ie-he wants more attention from me than I have time to give (honestly, I don't want to give that much attention anyways!). So we have had some issues to work out. Basically, it just comes down to the question -is your significant other willing or able to handle the fact that you are time-deficient, and probably always will be busier than the average person? For me and my spouse, I think he just realized that if he wanted to be with me, he would have to find a way to deal with the fact that I would be VERy busy in medical school. Fortunately for me, he was able to put his own desires in a slightly lower priority position for now, and he has been able to do it pretty cheerfully.

I don't know if that helped at all.

It sounds like you need to find someone who is a little more "self-sufficient" and will be able to understand the amount of time you have to invest into your studying (without it making them miserable.) I think it is pretty reasonable for the partner of a medical student to expect at least one night a week devoted solely to them, and of course there is always the nights of cuddling (at least the nights we aren't staying up studying)...

Good luck
 

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My boyfriend is a 4th year med student and I think it's sort of naive to think that you're going to always be able to spend as much time with a SO as a first or second year. When I was in first year I was able to travel to see him every month (we were in a long distance thing at the time) and cater around his schedule, since he was an MS3 and perpetually busy. Even as a 4th year, he's on call q3 right now (ICU month) and we definetly don't get to spend that much time together (even though we live together) and I just have to deal with it. I know it's not going to get better next year, during intern year, or basically during the next 6 years (residency) or even the next several years after that. But I knew that going in and I accept it. I'm not going to pull a trip on him about not being together 24/7 because that's just the way it is. If your GF is already bugging out at this stage of the game, you're screwed. It doesn't really get way better until you become an attending and do a speciality that doesn't work you to death (which is most of them). Relationships are a negotation. You've got to be open to other's schedules and passions or it's going to fail. I think you're better off without her - save yourself a life of heartache.
 

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saki0005 said:
date another med student...it's the only way you'll ever make it work.

Highly disagree. Anecdotal evidence (as is all in this thread so far), but many of the most successful relationships I have seen in med school are between med students and non-medical people. I became engaged to a non-med student during my clinical year. We started dating before medical school, and during med school overcame about 9 months of a very long distance relationship (seeing each other every 2 months or so), and then more time with him living closer (2 hours away and then in the same town).

I think both parties have to be dedicated to make it work. I am lucky in that my fiance is very understanding and supportive; he is very proud that I go to a good med school and wants to do all he can to help me succeed (in other words, he understands that I am very busy sometimes). I try to do my part also. I make sure that we spend time together every day -- it was tough when I was doing OB and surgery and he was getting home from his job at 1:30 am, but I made it work. With two med students, both can be so wrapped up in school that the relationship is not a top priority. I think having people of different professions makes the relationship more interesting as well. :)