It Takes Two for Medical School

Hello Everyone:
Are you a spouce or significant other? Then we need you in OPM!!!
In the future for the 2003 and 2004 convention, we are planning activities for spouses and significant others. Attending medical school is a team effort! It takes the student and you the spouce/SO and the entire family unit to work as a team to see that a medical dream is fulfilled! If you are a spouse or significant other, start participating on the web forums . . . The executive council is making ways for you to become a part of the society, or shall I say making a way for ALL OF US to become a large extended family!
On the forefront for the society in the next couple of months is the development and implementation of Regions. Following on campaign promises made by your new officers, we are in the process of selecting and developing regional directors throughout the United States to create regional groups of the society that plans outside events, activities, provides support, and a local network in the state or region in which you live, and in which spouses and significant others can participate! A way of meeting members off-line to motivate and assist each other in the same way as an extended family.
Start posting to this form, introduce yourself, discuss problems, your fears, ask questions. WE all are here for you as well! We need you in order to accomplish our dreams, and for you to live the dream with us!

OK- I’ll jump right in here and (hopefully) get things started…
I want to say that I really enjoyed getting to meet everyone at the conference. It is really wonderful to put faces to names that I’ve heard about for a while. Although very little of the material presented in the conference was of personal interest to me (no WAY am I even remotely interested in going to medical school!), it was so interesting to watch the faces of everyone as they soaked in the info like a bunch of sponges. I would really love to see more spouses/S.O’s there next year.
Several people at the conference asked me what it’s like to be married to a medical student. It’s one of those things that can’t possibly be answered simply. It is wonderful and terrible, exciting and scary, frustrating and fascinating. Sometimes it is all of those things at once, depending on the situation.
Patrick touched on something in his intro letter about telling your fears. I’ll throw mine out there and see what happens. My fear: living in a place that I hate for Dave’s residency (that’s the present situation for 3rd and 4th year rotations). I’m not sure how I would keep from being so depressed if I have to spend that 5 years in a place I don’t like. It’s already a struggle here; I’m not sure I can keep doing that for that much longer. :(
Responses? Solutions? Hope? Anyone?

OK- I’ve tried twice to respond to this and something has happened each time. I’m hoping that the third time’s a charm.
Basically, Patrick called it correctly. Med school does take both parties to be in full agreement and commitment to this process in order to survive. It changes so much about your life even if you don’t pick up and move. Your life becomes so much different than that of all your pre- med school friends. A lot of people simply don’t understand why your spouse would give up a good job to go back to school, especially when that process is several years long. You have to learn how to not roll your eyes when the umpteenth person tells you how great you have it because you’re married to a doctor :) or tells you to look at it as an adventure (this is usually from someone that has lived within a 5 mile radius their whole life!)
There’s also a lot of wonderful stuff in this process. To see Dave’s face when he has gotten to do something really cool reminds me of why we are doing this. We have made some truly wonderful friends along the way. It’s also a little scary sometimes. If I let it, my mind runs away with all the things that may not work out like we want along the way— What if he doesn’t match for residency or for internship? WHat if he does match but it’s to somewhere that I can’t bear the thought of living? What if the internship and residency are in different places and we have to move that many more times?
So, I have to remind myself to take things one day at a time and not let myself worry about it. Most days it works fairly well.
I’d love to hear other’s thoughts, questions, fears etc. DOn’t let me be the lone confider!!!


1 Like
Quote (Wendy @ June 05 2002,13:36)
OK- I've tried twice to respond to this and something has happened each time. I'm hoping that the third time's a charm.

I'm sure it's just the person operating the computer!! LOL J/K :D

Just wait until I find that picture I took of you picking your nose! It’s gonna be ALL OVER the place now!!!

Well if you post pictures like you post messages I have nothing to worry about!! LOL

I'm a new comer in this forum. I'm actually only 21 in pre-med at montana state university. I have a 4 year old and a 3 month old. I won't be attending medical school for another 3 years but I already I'm full of fears and doubts. I'm not so worried about the difficulty of medical school, that is really no secret that it is tough, I am most worried about the affects on my family. But for now I'm just enjoying the pre-med thing and spending as much good time with my wife and kids as possible. I think it will work out (i hope)

Welcome! We're glad to have you! By all means, spend lots of time with your family now-- it does change when you start medical school. But, you'll see as you read through the posts on the board, it can be done very sucessfully as long as you keep your priorities straight.
You may want to make sure you've also posted your introduction in one of the pre-med forums on the board. I'm not sure how many people check out the spouses forum on a regular basis.
Anyway, we look forward to getting to know you!

As one with kids myself, I would admonish you to have your family's support in your med school journey and definitely take time to be with your family. No matter how important, kids don't understand it if you have no time for them.
Good luck,

Greetings all,

I overcame some obstacles to be sure, (see post # 47248) but the central single factor in my success (I give credit where credit is due) was my wife of 23 years Kathy. As I read many of the posts in the section, I cannot help but simply realize that I was GIFTED and really had no other possibility but success. What do you mean some spouses would not give the last full measure for each other?

I have often shared with younger classmates (single or “newly weds” as defined marriage less than 10 years), NO it is YOU who have it hard, you do not have the “mainline dose of confidence” any time you need it like I do. I value obove all else the absolute faith and confidence in each other… win lose or draw.

We were forced into bankruptcy in 1996 for you guessed it a medical disaster (in-between jobs child with meningitis). Funny thing, we were never closer as a couple and a family than when we had NOTHING. I think that put the fire in our bellies more than anything else… we became activists with a common mission.

She has always been an expert supporter and encourager, any new thing I wish to try, “Gee Kathy, I want to gamble everything and go to medical school, of course I need a 4 year undergraduate degree first, I will probably have no gainful employment for oh about EIGHT years”. Her reply was automatic and instant, “YOU GO BOY! You are gonna be awesome!” Although, I still drove a semi-truck during summer break and often over Christmas.

Whats more, my six kids were also “on board” with my vision “my daddy’s gonna be able to help people”. The sacrifices they ALL made over the last 7 years are too great to fathom. She managed to get by on our grants. Kathy clothes everyone from a great thrift store nearby, she was able to scour local references and find “free” activities for the kids. I could only be home on (some, fewer first and second year)weekends for the first 6 years, so she made sure there were NO “honey-do’s” when I got home enabling me to have “quality time” with her and the kids.

She (almost to a fault) shielded me from most stressors, like the time after finishing finals, I came home to discover Kathy standing on the counter with the broom handle in the sink trying to budge the locked up garbage disposal and about half the appliances in the kitchen were out of order.

She did MORE than just share the load, no way I would be here doing this without her…

We are finally able to live under the same roof again so nice to be together… only 9 more months to go!


Sorry for the double post, but I forgot to mention some stuff that occured to me after clicking “post”. If you will indulge me…

In our “modern society”, I suppose Kathy’s chosen avocation seems odd (she wears the monicker “that eccentric Boyd woman” with absolute pride), despite my skepticism (I could not believe my ears) when we talked about marriage all those years ago and my occasional queries to her, “Well Kathy, you know, I want you to be fulfilled in anything you choose, I know people grow and change… if you want to do anything else you certainly have MY whole hearted support”, from the very beginning the answer has always been, “I (refuse to quote “just” here) wanted to be a MOM and to mold some new humans into ‘learning’, ‘caring’ and giving’ grown-ups”.

As we grew as a family, one fact became obvious: my wife has a knack with KIDS, firm but loving, always up for fun. One example I can share is “making homemade movies”:

(here is my son Ricky’s first movie, he wrote and directed the production, Kathy of course encouraged it.)

Connecting with even the “mean” ones including teens in MINUTES (I have never seen anything quite like it SHE would be the better physician).

Since we bought a house in an “eclectic” “old” part of Wichita, we have an equally “eclectic” collection of neighbors. There is one child (probably 12 or 13) who from the beginning has been involved in most of the “malfeasense” (and of course complaints of being “mean” from other kids). I chuckled when I came home from my sub-I last week, Kathy was in the kitchen making cookies, the “usual entourage” was present (at least three nationalities) as I trudged to my office I looked over, I noted with a smile, the little neighborhood “tough” donned in Kathy’s apron had the “honor” of mixing the batter.

Since, I have ADHD, it should come as no surprise that 4 of my six do as well, our oldest was pigeon holed in elementary school as having a “learning disability”, when Renee got to middle school (I needn’t tell how cruel that particular demographic is), we noted our precious little girl becoming cynical and hard.

We decided (not for “religious reasons”) “over our dead bodies” would we let that little girl drift out to sea… SO in 1996 Kathy pulled her and (you guessed it, home schooled her).

After 18 months, we tested to see “how we were doing”, a YEAR above grade level in reading and at grade level for math. That did it, we pulled the others (at the time THREE). My family and Kathy’s (as usual) bashed her, but by then it was “long distance”, we had log since divorced them and moved away from both sets. In my case after the first few years of criticisms, I realized the damage they were causing

(I note with some concern that MANY posters here still care (much less are even aware of) what their families or in-laws think about medical school?)

Thus, after repeated warnings and admonitions that my loyaly was with my wife PERIOD and NOT to force me to choose… “they chose unwisely”.

Having grown up in a house of teachers, the home school took me a bit to get used to, but I just reminded myself to have faith in my wife and kept any doubts to myself. As they say, “The proof is in the puddin’” (I think someone said that anyway). Renee with the “learning disability” is now a sophmore in college (94%tile reading and writing, 95%tile math, 4.0 her first year, private school, full academic ride), the second daughter Erin is a Freshman this year (99%tile reading & writing, 75%tile math applied too late for the “ride”, but since we are “PO FOLKS”, the financial aide MORE than covered it [OK she takes after me as far as math is concerned]).

Having a big family, Kathy looked into food stamps, the SW was so enthralled, and (while we have always considered ourselves wealthy beyond measure, we really recognized the quantity of “treasure” we possessed when we were in bankruptcy) we met “societies criteria” for “low income” food stamps and medicaide.

I was the most squeemish about accepting “charity”, until I realized that we paid in for MANY years, and our use is finitely temporary and we would be able to “pay back” to the community in still unforseen ways.

Honestly, as a medical student, accepting public assistance really gives one a unique look and perspective regarding “income challenged” people. WE have walked a mile in their moccasins…

BTW, Once, I got into medical school the cash flow problems DISAPPEARED (I better explain THIS one). For those of you who are still “pre-med” and have NO money, and want to practice primary care in an underserved community, KANSAS has a DEAL for YOU!

The Kansas Medical Loan Repayment program (KMS)is the deal of the century as far as I am concerned, acceptance is AUTOMATIC for ANY student accepted to the KU School of medicine. The terms briefly, the state pays for your tuition in full (KU SOM is a bargain anyway) and gives you a stipend of (the legislature just raised it March) $2000/ month. In return, you must agree to practice primary care (defined as FM, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics or ER)in a “rural, underserved county” in Kansas (as defined as everywhere except: Douglas, Johnsom, Wyandotte, Shawnee and Sedgwick counties) for ONE YEAR for every year you get the grant (one to one payback, done in 4 if you take the grant 4), heck that is even better than the military who want a 7 year payback. The one caution, the repayment terms are a little punative if you decide to go elsewere, payback is at 18% interest unless you finance it somewhere else.


Kansas’ deal sounds great. Just a correction but the military does not require a 7 year payback for their scholarship (HPSP). If someone attends the military medical school, USU, then yes there is a 7 year payback but not for HPSP.

Regardless joining the military for the money is never, ever a good thing but moving to Kansas for 8 years shouldn’t be a problem.