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12 Signs You’re a Spouse of a Doctor [in Training]

The medical industry in cities across the nation can often times provide a community within a community, especially in the areas of Medical School and Residency/Fellowship. Here in Charleston, it’s no different. When you come across another mom at the park, school, grocery store…there is an immediate bond when finding out you share this common thread, and the relief that you share in knowing that someone else is living through this same journey… Long days turn into months, turn into years, of standing by your spouse while they’re working towards their career goal. The more veteran mom usually gives the cliche advise we’ve all heard, “Hang in there. It gets better.” For all those spouses/moms, here are 12 signs you’re the spouse of a doctor [in training].


  1. Is there a Doctor in the House? All of a sudden family and friends call you with medical questions to ask your spouse no matter the area of medicine they’re in, as though your spouse should know what current medicines they’re taking and their past medical history.
  2. Paging Doctor Dad. However, on the flip side, you have a doctor in the house, so you don’t have to make sick visit appointments to check for an ear infection, when your spouse can grab their otoscope, before you make that call. No more rushing to the ER for a “false alarm.” When my girls come to me for an ailment, I tell them to go tell their dad.
  3. Age of Technology. Speaking of pagers, not many professions still carry one of those around… or have it by their bedside, going off at all hours. How is it that he can wake up to the sound of his pager buzzing, but not the crying of his own child?… a true medical mystery.
  4. Is it June, yet? Not because you love summer… but it marks the last month of whatever year they are currently completing. Check off another year! Oh no… July is next! New schedule, new position, new Interns.
  5. What Traditional Gender Roles? Do you have a friend that speaks of these, as though they’re common roles every husband/wife takes on? “My husband does all the yard work, and I do all the cleaning.” Or possibly, even the shared roles… “I do my laundry, and he does his.” Not in your house… It’s more like, “the trash needs to be taken out, and I’m the one here to do it.”
  6. “Is this Normal”? All of your friends from medical school are now further along in their own speciality, and your contact list now includes a pediatrician, dermatologist, obgyn, and orthopedic surgeon, so you can comfortably send a text of your malady to those who won’t judge or cringe at the sight.
  7. Mail for Doctor Dad. Are we opening our own medical office in our home that I didn’t know about? We certainly are getting enough medical journals for the waiting room. Some of which need a protective cover (like they have at the grocery store check out line for the more adult-friendly magazines) for the faint-at-heart. I didn’t need to see that just as I’m about to prepare dinner.
  8. White Coats. And knowing the difference between short and long. One of my favorite stories from Medical School was when a good friend of mine was having her first baby. Upon entering her delivery room, she kindly reminded the nurse to not send any “short coats” in there. She already had “one of those.”
  9. Match Day. All the past tests, training, and interviews cultivating on this day to find out what program/city your spouse [and you/your family] will be matched… Never been more dependent on a computer sorting program. I just had flashbacks to sorority recruitment/rush.
  10. “Is he a Doctor, yet?” A: Yes. He graduated from Medical School. Q: So, he has his own office/practice/patients? A: No. He is in Residency. It’s more specific training for his area of practice. He’ll be doing that for another 3-4 years. Q: So, then, he’ll be a doctor? A: He’s a doctor now. And could be finished, if he doesn’t choose a specialty and enter a Fellowship. Q: How long is that? A: Another 1-3 years.
  11. “I’m walking out the door, now.” Ever get this text, only to have him walk through the door two hours later?
  12. And my personal favorite… Together time. Picture this: kids are tucked into bed, kitchen dishes are clean, favorite show on tv/favorite book in hand, glass of wine poured, and your husband is sitting next to you on the couch. Asleep. At 8:00 PM.

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2 Responses to 12 Signs You’re a Spouse of a Doctor [in Training]

  1. Lauren
    Lauren October 12, 2016 at 8:47 am #

    Good read, thanks for sharing!!

  2. Rachel October 12, 2016 at 12:11 pm #

    This is spot on. Thanks for sharing!