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starting med school with a SO

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by futuredoctor75, Feb 17, 2000.

  1. futuredoctor75

    futuredoctor75 New Member

    Feb 16, 2000
    Atlanta, GA USA
    I'm a 24 year old male and will be starting med school in August 2000. I've been dating my girlfriend for the past 10 months and am wondering about the transition into med school with an SO. I hear so called stats on the matter, like 90% of relationships fail upon starting med school. This may or may not be true, but it does worry me. Any advice on how to handle this? I guess my biggest fear is that we won't be able to handle the stress and a messy breakup is gonna wreak havok on my first year of studies. PLease advice, o wise med students.

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  3. UHS03

    UHS03 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 24, 2000
    If you make sure your SO knows what committments you BOTH will be making, having someone with you can be a real asset. If your SO is real needy and won't understand it when you have to study all the time and get may have a problem. Trust me, when exams roll around and your SO wants to chat with you for an hour about their day it will be very hard on you to not get frusterated. The most important thing is that both of you know what the committments are and are willing to make sacrifices now for a better future later. I personally think that the statistics for divorce in medical school are over-inflated..but that is only based on observation. I am married, and med school has been a lot easier for me because of it. I have not been able to spend a lot of time with my wife, and I definitly have not provided much emotional support, but she knew it would be that way. She knew my personality and how I would react to the stresses in medical school..and she expected it. If your relationship is strong, and your SO wants you to go to med school as much as you want to go, everything should be allright...don't let statistics scare you.
  4. waffle

    waffle Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 17, 2000
    Boston, MA
    At times of high stress, I found my gf to be very helpful and supportive. She's been helping me a lot with everyday chores and just made life simpler for me while I'm in med school. I've going through an MD-PhD and I'm now just finished with 3rd year. After all the support I've got from her, I don't think I could have done it without her. Well, the consequence is that I'm getting married this August 13th.
    So if care about each other enough, stress in life can only strengthen your relationship.


    waffle ;)
    BU School of Medicine
  5. Andre

    Andre Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 14, 2000
    Houston, TEXAS
    FutureDoc, I am a "practical" Engineer, so I will give you a practical solution.
    My darling wife is away in the Caribbean, just finished MS2. We were separated for 2 years.. except a few weeks each semester.
    We are now still Romeo & Juliet.
    The Secret?? simple; HOLY MATRIMONY..
    My advice to you:
    Either break-up NOW; or at least get ENGAGED..
    Give her a diamond; and something to look up to.. I am sure you are worth waiting for..
    Good luck, send us a wedding invitation..
    Andre Gurses, PE
  6. darly

    darly Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 2, 1999
    Irvine, CA, USA
    I was in the position where my SO had to move 8 hours away for medical school. The transition was very tough for both of us because we had spent everyday with each other for the two years we were together. He had tons of studying to do, and I wasn't able to understand why he couldn't spare a few minutes to call me up. Maybe I was being too demanding, but it feels horrible to have someone you love so far away, living a life you're not able to be a part of. Needless to say, we are no longer together.

    Now as I am about to begin my first year of med school, I will get to see how much time it really requires. However, I will also know how it feels like to be on the other side. I definitely do feel bad for whoever will become my next boyfriend because I know I won't have much time for him.

    I feel both parties should be willing to work out this issue together. Your SO has to understand that you'll have a lot of work to do and you won't have much time to give to anyone. You should also understand how difficult it will be for her. I am a girl, so I know. It will definitely be easier if she lives close to the school you'll be going to. Adding distance to the stress of med school won't do much good for a relationship (this is just my opinion).

    I am not trying to be negative. This is just my experience. I am sure that there are many people whose relationships worked out for the best during med school (some are on this board!). If you guys truly love each other, everything will work out. Best of luck to the both of you [​IMG]
  7. amyb

    amyb SDN Moderator 10+ Year Member

    Feb 12, 2000
    Philadelphia, PA, USA
    IT can be done, but as everyone here states, it takes work. I started medical school after moving 8 hours away from my then boyfriend, we got engaged six months into it and were married this summer. Now that we are finally together, things are definetly easier, mostly because your outlook it so much more "secure" if you will if you have had a bad day and just want to forget all the stress for a while. It also helps to have an extra "helping hand" around as well. I will warn you though, as a woman, it was difficult for me to find my place. I am not one that wanted to be a housewife, no charge against these women, just not for me. I also grew up with a physician father who expected his wife to have dinner ready etc. So for a while, I juggled between being the sterotypical wife and then playing the autocrat. Whether you are male or female, as a busy medical student, find that special way to make your SO feel like she is still important above all else, but set up groud rules. The rigors of school will become more apparent to her if she is with you (that is the way it worked for us) so I think that gets easier. But even if you have to write out chores for each of you and then set up a "test time" schedule, it will make it easier. It makes it sound like you are siblings, but setting up who does what and how things will go when you are slammed, and you BOTH agree on it, will prevent fighting and that all dreaded split up.

    Good luck!
  8. DentalDi

    DentalDi Member 10+ Year Member

    Sep 16, 1999
    CT, USA
    I'm still waiting for an acceptance to dental school (and hoping ;-) ). But I have a SO, and he's due to start his post-doc (in early April) in a city that's potentially 3.5 hours from where I'd be. So, that means that there'd be little chance of our being together in the same city for 3 years (that's how long he says his post-doc will likely be in order to get papers published)! I'd like to think we could see each other on occasional weekends, but I don't want to fall behind on studying (and I'm v. afraid of not being able to study during weekends together). As it is, he seems upset that I don't have more time during the week to spend with him. Also, we've been dating approx. 6 months--enough time to know he's wonderful, but with few "true tests" of our relationship. Any specific advice for making things work from those who've been there???? High phone bills?? Obviously, if I DO get in, we'll have quite the chat about how we'll handle the adjustment! Concrete suggestions are most welcome!
  9. Bevo_

    Bevo_ Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 14, 2000
    I'm in the same boat. I'm 24, starting school in August and moving to Pomona (COMP). Last August I moved to south Texas to live with my girlfriend of two years (we had already spent 10 months apart and I wasn't happy). Originally, we agreed that she would follow me to medschool. As the time approaches, however, she voiced her fears about following me to Pomona where I would be commiting myself to school, not her. So we agreed to do the distance again. She is going to San Fran to meet up with some girl friends from highschool and college. At first I was bumbed, but the more I think about, it could work. If we maintain what we agreed upon...seeing each other every other week (with her doing most of the travel) and the distance only lasting one school year. The benefit is that neither person feels like they are giving up on their dreams.
    Lets face it, how selfish can you be to ask someone to follow you to medschool and then spend six hours a day with them, all asleep! She didn't ask me to follow her when she joined Teach for America, but when I figured out what I wanted, I followed her anyway.
    Hey, don't get me wrong. A part of me still feels jibbed. But like the old adage says, if you set it free and it doesn't move, then your already married to it! But if you set it free and it comes back, then it was meant to be.
    Of course you've got to be crazy to take advice from someone you've never even met before!. Who knows, more than likely she is holding out for a ring and I've read the whole situation wrong.

    I guess the point of all of this rambling was to say, STOP LIVING BY THE STATS!!!!!!!!!
    Each person is different and each relationship is different. Figure out what is going to work for the two of you, not the 5,000 polled in the statistical study.

    But in the end, good luck to you all.

    [This message has been edited by Bevo (edited 02-29-2000).]
  10. futuredoctor75

    futuredoctor75 New Member

    Feb 16, 2000
    Atlanta, GA USA
    thanks so much for all those replys. my girlfriend and i have have had an amazing summer together and i have but 38 days left until i start school. we are going to give it a shot and hopefully we can ride it through the first year. she and i are not ready for the engagement/marriage thing right now...i guess the way i look at it is that if we can make it through the first year or 2...that's proof enough that she and i should be together forever.

    thanks again, and i'll let you know how things go once we start school.

  11. Congratulations on Medical School. Good luck to you and your girlfriend...and don't forget, to receive all of the support it is important to give sometimes too. It is hard on the spouse when their SO is going through medical school and residency. They want to be there to support you but also need your support. I know its tough, but to make a marrriage or relationship work takes both people working on it.

  12. Sheiila

    Sheiila Member 10+ Year Member

    Jun 11, 2000
    Boston, MA USA
    Look at med school as a test of whether your relationship can make it through residency. Let her see what she is getting herself into.
  13. Djanaba

    Djanaba Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    May 4, 2000
    Minneapolis, MN
    I'd agree that it's a similar kind of stress, yet different: med school, it's the ability to study wherever you want (home, library, lab) but have to choose to study rather than spend quality time together. Residency, you have hours, usually crappy, which prohibit the useful hours from being shared as well. Plus, add in the fatigue factor... if you can make it through med school, I think you're likely pretty well off. A lot of work and commitment are required, but every great relationship incorporates them both regardless of what each party does in real life.

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