heart ekg - assumptions about marrying a doctor
Life & Family,  Marriage

The Most Common (& WRONG) Assumptions About Marrying a Doctor

A few months ago, we visited our parents and my mother was telling us about some new medical information she had read about. My dad immediately responded by saying “you’re telling the wrong people, they know that already”.
We did NOT in fact know about it.

It amused me because it’s something that happens often- people making assumptions about what our lives are like due to my husbands job as a physician.

When I wrote 7 Things That’ll Shock You When Married To A Resident, I wrote about the surprising things that are true about marrying a doctor who is going through residency.

This time, I’m letting you in on the things that everyone seems to think are true but are really not.

Assumption #1:
We live the healthiest lifestyle at home

Do as I say, not as I do” should really come embroidered into white coats. (Hmm…business idea anyone?)

The truth is…there are doctors that live exceptionally healthy lifestyles but there are also doctors that smoke, doctors that don’t eat balanced diets and doctors that haven’t run a lap since it was mandatory in middle school!

Think about it, most of us don’t neglect healthy lifestyle habits because we don’t know about them. We neglect them because they can be hard to adopt and difficult to maintain. Well, because doctors are people, the same applies to them.

So yes, cat’s out of the bag-
We both like carbs more than vegetables.
Sometimes, we let weeks pass between workouts (mostly me).
We even have the nerve to skip the occasional annual check up with our own doctors!

Though health is important to us, we find it to be just as much work to maintain a healthy lifestyle as everyone else does.

Assumption #2:
We are rolling in dough

This seems to be the assumption that is hardest for people to shake.
My husband and I often find ourselves explaining that becoming a doctor (or marrying one) does not put you on some expressway to wealth.

We are very thankful to have careers that afford us a comfortable life.
However, if it was money that we were after, there are more straightforward, easier and cheaper ways to have gone about getting it!

As a physician (like some other professions), what you make highly depends on your specialty. Trust me when I say that an orthopedic surgeon’s paycheck is going to be a whole lot different than a pediatrician’s. A lot of people seem to think that all physicians are making anesthesiology money, but it’s not true. Certainly not in our case, being that the husbae is still a resident.

Another thing to keep in mind is that “to whom much is given, much shall be required” (Luke 12:48). Between steep loan payments, practice insurance and the opportunity cost of years and years of schooling, it’s not as lucrative for all doctors as you would think. (This site breaks it down really well).

If you’re reading this, you would love: 5 Creative Ways To Spend Time With Your Medical Partner in Residency

Assumption #3:
Our family gets free medical care whenever we want

This just isn’t the case and for multiple reasons.

Firstly, doctors treating their own family members is frowned upon from an ethics standpoint.

The American Medical Association recommends against it because “professional objectivity may be compromised when an immediate family member or the physician is the patient.

Secondly- there are many different kinds of physicians and depending on their specialty, they may have no clue what’s going on with you. If your spouse is a psychiatrist, don’t expect them to diagnose the weird mole on your back. You’d do just as well consulting Doctor Google.

The truth is that my husband’s expertise and professional insight is useful and convenient but it does not replace our need for appropriate medical care.

What he can do is give very educated assessments and tell whether something needs more attention or not. He helps me understand my lab results and imaging. He puts my mind at ease when I think a simple blackhead is cancerous (I do this way too often). He collaborates with my doctors and speaks their language to make sure I am getting the most thorough care possible.
And he does this for our family members as well!

So even though he can’t do my pap smear at home, I am extremely thankful to have him!

Assumption #4:
I set out to marry a doctor

I’m not going to lie- sometimes it makes me uncomfortable when someone comes at me with one of these: “ohhh a doctor? good catch“.

I don’t think people that say that have bad intentions. But sometimes, I get the vibe that they think I somehow plotted and schemed to catch me a doctor…like they’re pokemons or something.

It actually couldn’t be further from the truth!

I’ll let you in on some tea- doctors were actually on my marriage blacklist. I had dated a medical student before and decided the lifestyle was not for me. (God apparently had other plans).

Point is- I didn’t marry my husband because of his aspirations to be a physician. I married him because I love his character, his values, his face (heart eyes emoji), his personality and I chose to do life with him in spite of his doctor lifestyle.
And I’m glad I did!


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At the end of the day…

I truly believe people mean well but just like any other lifestyle that is different from our own, misconceptions will be had.
I’ve shared the most common assumptions about marrying a doctor that people automatically express and now you know the truth!

What is the first thought that pops into your head when you think of being married to a physician?
Comment and share below

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