ChasingMyDreams

7+ Year Member
Jun 27, 2010
50
1
Status
Pharmacist
Hello,

I am a pharmacist (4 years post PharmD) and my fiancee is a 4th-year medical student pursuing an OB/Gyn residency and possibly one of the surgical fellowships after. While researching the best ways to support her through this time in her career I have come across a large number of blogs and articles written by spouses of physicians. Unfortunately, most of these are from female perspectives (and often non-working housewives). Needless to say, this hasn't been very helpful.

I have a few male friends who are medical residents and practicing physicians and they told me that if the spouse of their female colleagues is not a physician they typically look down on them (the non-physician spouse). Clearly, this is a small sample size so I wanted to pose the question here to get a larger set of opinions.

I do reasonably well as a pharmacist and I am very passionate about my chosen career and really couldn't imagine a better field for myself, but I am a little worried about the perception of male spouses of female physicians in the physician community. I feel that if what my friends have told me is indeed true it could present some difficult situations and conversations for my fiancee and I (dinners, social events, general conversations among her physician colleagues).

What are your general opinions on this and what other opinions have you heard from your colleagues regarding this issue?

What are the best ways for me to support her during this time?

Note: We do not have any kids and do not plan on having any in the near future.

Thanks!
 

sb247

Doer of things
7+ Year Member
Jul 5, 2012
20,588
31,544
Galt's Gulch
forums.studentdoctor.net
1. How your wife feels is more important than others
2. Screw how others feel
3. It's not like you could change their opinion anyway if someone did feel that way.
4. Half of all new docs are ladies, there are a lot of doc' husbands out there
5. You don't support her much differently than any other husband with a busy wife. Pull your weight around the house, pull your weight with the kids, don't give her a bunch of crap about not having a ton of time.
 

Dr G Oogle

2+ Year Member
Mar 8, 2017
225
272
Hello,

I am a pharmacist (4 years post PharmD) and my fiancee is a 4th-year medical student pursuing an OB/Gyn residency and possibly one of the surgical fellowships after. While researching the best ways to support her through this time in her career I have come across a large number of blogs and articles written by spouses of physicians. Unfortunately, most of these are from female perspectives (and often non-working housewives). Needless to say, this hasn't been very helpful.

I have a few male friends who are medical residents and practicing physicians and they told me that if the spouse of their female colleagues is not a physician they typically look down on them (the non-physician spouse). Clearly, this is a small sample size so I wanted to pose the question here to get a larger set of opinions.

I do reasonably well as a pharmacist and I am very passionate about my chosen career and really couldn't imagine a better field for myself, but I am a little worried about the perception of male spouses of female physicians in the physician community. I feel that if what my friends have told me is indeed true it could present some difficult situations and conversations for my fiancee and I (dinners, social events, general conversations among her physician colleagues).

What are your general opinions on this and what other opinions have you heard from your colleagues regarding this issue?

What are the best ways for me to support her during this time?

Note: We do not have any kids and do not plan on having any in the near future.

Thanks!
If you're friends look down on nonmedical spouses it may be they have their own insecurities or are still immature in their understanding of how the world and romantic partnerships work. Just because you're nonmedical doesn't mean one is not succesful. I'm a guy but many of my colleagues are women and not just in obgyn but urology and colorectal surgery and I'd say most of their spouses are not medical and no one looks down on them. In fact I prefer hanging out with them because it makes me not think and talk about work in social situations.

I have no specific advice other than medical relationships are the same as nonmedical ones and compromise and open communication are the keys to success.
 
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obgyny

10+ Year Member
Jul 13, 2005
1,429
88
Status
Resident [Any Field]
First of all, pharmacist is a very respectable profession! Not sure why anyone would look down on that...

Second of all, I really haven't seen any particular "judgement" of physician spouses based on occupation..

And lastly, as others have said, don't worry about what other people will think. There will always be people that judge you no matter what profession you or your fiancé is in, that's just human nature. But who cares if you both love what you do.


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dabeags

5+ Year Member
Sep 22, 2014
62
28
Status
Non-Student
Get used to having lots of free time by yourself, if you are ok with that then you'll largely be fine. Residency isnt all that tough relationship wise unless you add kids to the mix.

As for her colleagues looking down on non medical spouses, I certainly haven't felt it. If anything during residency they are envious of the normal life you lead sleeping 8 hours a night and having regular free time. I suppose that kind of snootiness could creep into things as an attending, as there are crappy people in all jobs. If your wife hangs with those kind of people, or worse, values their opinion, you probably have larger problems on the horizon regardless.
 
Sep 12, 2017
1
4
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I am a current husband to a PGYIII OBGYN resident so this will be as good as it gets if you want an honest opinion.

First, my job title has almost no impact with the fellow residents or their spouses. The "husbands" (the residency is almost all women) have varying jobs from doctor, lawyer, IT and full time UBER driver. I have never felt out of place based on my profession. Personally, I work at the hospital in the IS department. In general, all of the residents and spouses get along quite well. Someone is always working or sleeping, so social gatherings are usually small. My advice is to be friendly with the other spouses because they will be your best friends. When you hang out as a group, the residents will almost exclusively talk shop, so your social interaction is with the spouses.

You want to know how to support her? How good are you at cooking? When she caps off her 90 hour work week with a 24hr call shift, have a good meal ready for her. And don't forget to clean the dishes afterwards. While we are on the subject, you might as well make sure you know how to do her laundry and clean the house too. You might think you are good at these things now, but its going to all fall on your shoulders. I have pretty much picked up any of the day-to-day responsibilities (bill payments, grocery shopping, car maintenance ect.)

I could probably write you a book, so I will try to cut myself short here - some days she will be so excited to tell you about a case she had that day, but more often, she is going to be tired, stressed out and just need someone to help her get through the day. That is probably the most important thing.
 

saxman717

7+ Year Member
Apr 13, 2010
1
1
Status
I am a current husband to a PGYIII OBGYN resident so this will be as good as it gets if you want an honest opinion.

First, my job title has almost no impact with the fellow residents or their spouses. The "husbands" (the residency is almost all women) have varying jobs from doctor, lawyer, IT and full time UBER driver. I have never felt out of place based on my profession. Personally, I work at the hospital in the IS department. In general, all of the residents and spouses get along quite well. Someone is always working or sleeping, so social gatherings are usually small. My advice is to be friendly with the other spouses because they will be your best friends. When you hang out as a group, the residents will almost exclusively talk shop, so your social interaction is with the spouses.

You want to know how to support her? How good are you at cooking? When she caps off her 90 hour work week with a 24hr call shift, have a good meal ready for her. And don't forget to clean the dishes afterwards. While we are on the subject, you might as well make sure you know how to do her laundry and clean the house too. You might think you are good at these things now, but its going to all fall on your shoulders. I have pretty much picked up any of the day-to-day responsibilities (bill payments, grocery shopping, car maintenance ect.)

I could probably write you a book, so I will try to cut myself short here - some days she will be so excited to tell you about a case she had that day, but more often, she is going to be tired, stressed out and just need someone to help her get through the day. That is probably the most important thing.
This post nails it pretty well. I'm spouse to a recent fellowship graduate, having backed her up for 4 years of med school and over 8 years of post medical school training, and the last two paragraphs above are particularly accurate. She'll need your help in many ways over the years, and there will be stressful times, but things do get easier, slowly but surely. Never feel self conscious that you're not a physician as well when you're around over physicians at social gatherings --- any physician that would look down upon you because of that is not worth your time getting to know or giving a second thought about. Have confidence in yourself, in your spouse and your relationship & longterm plans with her, and support her as best as you can (as hard as this can be, and there will be very challenging, stressful times, of course), and 10 years from now you both will be in a fantastic place, with at least one of you with a very stable, satisfying and reasonably well-paying career. Family is certainly manageable, but I'd recommend waiting until the last year or after residency. Expect to be frustrated by needing to shoulder some major parental duties due to in-house call schedules if you have family during residency or fellowship --- the kid(s) will miss their mom and it will be difficult, but it is manageable and if you step up to the plate, then everyone will get through the residency/fellowship ordeal just fine, and with bright skies ahead once that period is behind you.
 
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BabyHero

Membership Revoked
Removed
Account on Hold
Nov 4, 2017
24
8
Status
Medical Student
1. How your wife feels is more important than others
2. Screw how others feel
3. It's not like you could change their opinion anyway if someone did feel that way.
4. Half of all new docs are ladies, there are a lot of doc' husbands out there
5. You don't support her much differently than any other husband with a busy wife. Pull your weight around the house, pull your weight with the kids, don't give her a bunch of crap about not having a ton of time.
Yep
 
Jul 15, 2017
9
8
Status
Pre-Dental
I am dating a PGY-2 OBGYN male (I'm female) so kind of opposite of your situation--I hold a master's in cell biology and have been in clinical operations management over the past 5 years--along with being a microbiology adjunct at a local college and have dabbled in medical writing--, with intentions of nursing school in the fall. I think it is fabulous that you are a pharmacist--you shouldn't be worried about being the male spouse of a female physician. Most programs, the co-residents and spouses are one big, tight group. That's what I've gathered from my boyfriend's peers anyway. I will not lie though--he took me to a dinner one night where there was a big mix of interns, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th years, with their spouses. My God it was intimidating! They were all married to other residents/physicians! I was literally the only NON-PHYSICIAN. Fortunately, they were all so very kind and sweet.

As far as the kind of support you should give her.....just be there as much as you can possibly be. She is going to be so tired, stressed out physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Fix her favorite meal, crank up her car on cold, 5 AM mornings, pull your weight around the house, and let her SLEEP. My boyfriend tends to shut down and not speak much when things are really rough. Right now, I drive 3 hours there and back on either a Saturday or Sunday (his one day off after 90-100 hr work weeks) and we just sleep or watch TV. He clocks in 18-20 hrs of sleep on his day off. Talk about really hard times right now. It won't last forever and will all be worthwhile in the end.

When she does get a week off for vacation, ya'll GO SOMEWHERE. Take her to her favorite place. We went to the beach in October. It was great.

Don't ever, ever, ever, give up and Good luck!
 
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