Post # 16
Thank you!! Fingers crossed!
I don’t think it’s necessarily common for doctors to get married and live separately, no — because most couples who want to live in the same city couples match (meaning they pair their residency match lists so they end up going to the same city for residency). If they meet in residency, they obviously can’t couples match for residency since residency already started! But I think it’s pretty unusual in general to meet someone long distance and start dating them long distance… Most couples who meet in residency are meeting because they’re in the same program or same city, so they don’t have that issue.
I do know of some couples who weren’t able to match in the same city or decided not to couples match, so they ended up being long distance for residency. I don’t know anybody who dropped out of residency or transferred to a worse residency program to be near their spouse (although I know someone who moved to a better/equivalent residency program to be near his spouse, but he continually emphasised to me that what he had done was highly unusual and somewhat unprecedented, and it was mostly because he was unhappy at his other program). I also know some people who changed to a different specialty partway through residency which necessitated changing programs… But that’s a different situation altogether.
Giving up your top choice program that you love and is highly academic and prestigious and which will prepare you for your dream career in order to transfer to a community program with a not very good reputation is really, really inadvisable IMO.
She should DEFINITELY spend more time with him before making this monumental decision, especially if this is her very first relationship and they haven’t spent much time together before. Most residency programs give 3-4 weeks a year of vacation, but it can be challenging to get those weeks to line up with someone from another program’s vacatoin weeks.
I’m worried for her on your behalf, bee!! I do agree with the others in that she’s an adult and going to make her own decisions… But I 100% understand your concern and where you’re coming from.
Post # 17
Umm. He didn’t ask her to give up being a physician, just to look at changing programs. People do things like that (make major moves) pretty frequently. It doesn’t appear to be coercive but rather wishful thinking. He’s a physician as well & its not like he’s some aimless person… he does however seem very focused & driven and this might be carrying over into his personal life, as well. Still not seeing the red flags
Post # 18
Like I said earlier, changing residency programs is really really really not just a casual thing that people do all the time, it’s a huge deal and very difficult and highly discouraged, since you’d be leaving your own program high and dry without a resident — so you’d basically be screwing over the rest of your cohort since they’ll have to cover your call shifts and schedule if the program suddenly has one less resident. That means that instead of the other residents in your cohort doing a 24 hour shift every 4 days, they might have to do one every 2-3 days at times. That’s huge. It’s not something you can take on lightly. Additionally, going from a prestigious academic program to a community one with a low reputation is SIGNIFICANT, and really asking her to give up a LOT. People work incredibly, incredibly hard to get where they want to go for residency since it can really make or break your career. And asking someone to leave their top choice program for a much lesser program for a new relationship when you haven’t spent much time together is pretty shocking, and does not demonstrate respect for what is best for her and her career/hopes/dreams. It’s not just “well you’ll still be a doctor so why does it matter” — different training atmospheres and different mentors have a huge impact on the future.
Medicine is a weird culture, and medical school and residency programs don’t follow the conventions of a lot of other jobs and careers. I think the advice that many of the bees on this thread are giving would definitely hold true and be applicable in many many other career fields… It just doesn’t quite translate the same way to medicine. I hate feeling like I’m saying my career path is special so the rules don’t apply, and that’s not what the vibe I’m trying to give off. It’s just that residency has its own rules, its own culture, and its own contracts. This guy is very well aware of all the ins and outs of residency, since he’s in it himself… So him making those requests, well aware of the norms, is quite surprising to me.
Post # 19
Is it reasonable to be concerned for her? Yes. Is there anything you can really do about it? No. She’s an adult. You can express your concerns and then support her in her choices as her friend.