Post # 1
At 23, my SO has decided that he wants to go to med school. This would require a year of postbac starting in the fall. And then of course it could take another year to get in if the first time doesn’t happen, and then there’s the entirety of med school. I’m going to support him no matter what, and he wants to do this for long-term stability so that he can give me and our future kids the life he wants us to have.
This seemingly came out of nowhere, although I understand it. Before this, the vague plan was for me to be done with grad school in the next 3-4 years with him working for a few years and being ready to officially settle down after that. He said that he thinks we’d be ready to plan a wedding in about three years. That was all fine by me. Now he said he’ll just be happy if he’s a doctor by 35. 35?! That’s 12 years from now. I will probably try to convince him to get married sometime during med school because I do not want to just be the girlfriend until he’s officially a doctor. We were talking about marriage probably about 6 months in and it’s pretty clear that this is it for us. This just messes with so many of my ideas for the future. I don’t want to wait until I’m 32 to start having kids. I want to have time to be a settled married couple and have time to travel and all those things. His ideal concentration is not one of the super intense, on call all the time type, and he has said that he will not do anything that will threaten our relationship or our possibility for a family. But the process of med school and residency may take away our chances of all of those things I was wanting. And it throws in the possibility of long distance for 2-3 years which really threw me for a loop. We were planning on living together in a year and a half, but now we might have to end up in different states.
I’m going to have to accept all of this, and I’m fine with that. I’m not very good with change, so it takes me a while and he understands. He wants to do this for our future, and he supports my dreams. And this is all still hypothetical – it may not even happen but being the type of person I am, I have to prepare for the worst case scenario because I can’t handle the uncertainty of the situation for the next 1.5-2.5 years. And it’s particularly hard now because he just told me this a few days ago, and he’s been 8,000 miles away with family for two weeks. He’s coming back this weekend, but it’s been hard enough not having him here, much less having to think about about all of this.
Anyway, I just had to get all of this out because I don’t want to overwhelm him with emotions. I’m going to have a discussion with him about all of this once I have settled down some more and he’s back. Not to persuade him of anything, just to be open about my feelings. Still kind of freaking out internally, so any advice or calming words would be appreciated 🙂
Post # 4
Wow. I work in a hospital and I see how hard it is on the residents. And med school is crazy expensive. This is a major decision and I think it needs to be made as a couple. Because this really affects both your lives very significantly. In the end, it’s his decision, but he should definitely discuss it with you and take your oppinion into account. Have you guys talked about how this will affect your timeline for marriage/house/children? I think these are important discussions that should be addressed now, before he gets too deep into things. My husband and I are currently living apart for his work and we’r waiting to see if he will get one of the pharmacy residencies that he’s applied to. And it sucks. Royally. I really want to be able to figure out what we’re going to be doing for the next few years and right now everything is just up in the air. And that’s what med school and residencies mean. If this is what is best from you as a family, then I would absolutely be as supportive as possible. But I’d definitely weight pros and cons. From your post it sounds like he’s doing this mostly for the money and I don’t know that it’s worth that. But if it’s something he’s truly passionate about, then that’s a different issue. Regarless, this deserves a sit down discussion (or several!).
Post # 5
@juliana192: Hey, first off, *big hug* to you! I was kind of in the same boat as you before. I must say Kudos to your SO for thinking about you and your future together and wanting that long-term stability. That is really sweet of him to think with that kind of mentality. But Med school is a big step. No. A HUGE step. It can be nerve-racking for sure. It can also be expensive as heck. Whatever your SO decides, ultimately just let him know about how you feel, but of course support him in every way that you can. I know when my SO was in pharmacy school, it was really hard for me to adjust, cause there would be days that I wouldn’t see him cause he was just so busy with studying and rotation and exams every other week literally. Then again, I was in nursing school too at the time. I will tell you though that it was a learning experience for the both of us, for the better. It only made our love for each other stronger.
I know 2 other couples. The one couple, one of them (the bf) went to med school in the west coast and the gf is living in NY and they are so in love with each other that she told me would wait for him…they want to get engaged and be married too. The other couple, the gf is a PA student, but she lives and attends school in the same state as her bf. Different situations, but they make it work.
It’s ok to freak out, it’s normal. Just try to breathe, relax, and when SO comes back have a heart to heart sit down talk with him. Like you said, he supports your dreams and he wants to do this not for himself, but for you as well and for your future babies. I hope everything works out and I’m sorry if my advice doesn’t help :/ wow that was long.
ETA: had to fix the spacing!
Post # 6
@JenGirl: Oh this will be many many discussions!! He is so concerned about being able to support us and our future family for long-term purposes. He didn’t do so well in undergrad although he did start off as premed. He’s been thinking about going into business and/or sales, but he knows that it’s not a stable career and he is concerned about what would happen if he were to be laid off and not able to find another job. He is so concerned with long-term stability which is a good thing but is also super stressful. He had a good upbringing, and he really wants our kids to have a similar lifestyle (even though I keep telling him that we will be fine regardless). He’s not materialistic, he just wants to be able to provide. He said he would want to be a pediatrician because he loves kids and it’s a field where he wouldn’t have to work in a hospital setting and be on call all the time and whatnot. He definitely has a passion for it and unfortunately he had a bad streak of semesters in undergrad which deterred him from applying to med schools. But he’s really smart and is planning on doing a postbac program to increase his chances. It’s good that he has that option but it also sucks because we won’t even know for sure until 2.5 years at the latest if he will even end up in med school.
I’ve expressed some concerns to him over text, and his response is that nothing is 100% decided yet and that our relationship is his #1 priority and he will never put anything above that. I’m holding off on any sort of real conversations until he is home and we can talk about it in person. Fortunately he’s a really reasonable person. I think that he will do the postbac program regardless because he wants to prove himself academically, but if that doesn’t lead to med school then that’s only a year lost! That year I will be finishing up undergrad and he would be about an hour away, so that’s not a big deal.
@NYCkindaBee: Thank you! Most of my response above applies to your post as well 🙂 I am confident that we would be able to survive it and that our relationship would come out stronger – how could it not when I’m seeing him work toward our future together?! You know, aside from all the stress haha. But we are pretty good at prioritizing our relationship when it needs to happen and also giving each other space and support when needed.
Post # 7
@juliana192: Medical school is a huge commitment. If he is not passionate about it, it will be very difficult. Has he considered other options in the medical field? Physician’s assistant studies is a master’s program. There are many other ancillary positions that go into making healthcare work. There is also a Master’s program in healthcare management, especially if he likes the business aspect of things.
But if his heart is set on medical school, you guys can make it work. It will be tough, but doable. Yes, many students get engaged and married while in school. A lot will even have children during residency.
I wish you guys the best of luck!
Post # 8
oh other positions working with children are Speech Language pathologist or Respiratory Therapist.
Post # 9
@CocoLoco523: Those are great options, thanks! Even if med school doesn’t work out, I know he really wants to do some sort of further schooling and I would love to have him think about some other options so he can try to simultaneously prepare for a couple if possible. I feel like the postbac program would prepare him for any sort of masters level healthcare-related field.