It’s incredibly difficult to find others who truly understand the hardships, challenges, and transitions physician families face through medical education and beyond. If you didn’t know there are membership communities for physician spouses and partners available, you probably wouldn’t even think to ask.
It’s already hard enough to explain to your neighbor or friend when you’re struggling as a physician spouse, who (albeit unknowingly) have made it clear that what you’re feeling is inconsequential because, you know, you’re “lucky to be married to a doctor”. How can you tell them how you really feel if it’s already been insinuated you shouldn’t be unhappy?
If you’re searching for a place to feel welcome and understood, check out these five communities, exclusively built to support physician spouses and partners.
Whether for a big residency move, fellowship, or even if your family has finished training, The MedCommons Circle connects you with other physician spouses and partners in your area who are on a similar journey so you can find much-needed friendship, community, and understanding. Think of it as a friending app exclusively for physician spouses and partners.
To join, complete your profile by adding your photo and answering a few fun questions about your interests, like where you are in the medical journey and how far away you’d like us to search for friends. Once completed, you’ll get a list of other physician spouses and partners that match within the radius of your zip code.
If you find someone who you feel has similar interests and you’d like to connect, send a ‘friend’ request and they’ll receive that request via email. If that person also decides they’d like to connect, they accept your friend request and you can message each other through our online chat. No need to give out personal information until you’ve both decided you’d like to develop a friendship. What could be better? It’s all for free!
Is your spouse or partner a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) or studying to be a DO? The AAOA is a non-profit organization made up of the spouses, friends, and family of Osteopathic physicians and supporters of the Osteopathic profession. The goal of the Advocates is to support public health and educational activities that inform and engage patients and families on the benefits of Osteopathic medicine and public health.” Membership dues may apply.
The AMA Alliance is an organization funded by the American Medical Association and created to support physician families. Spouses of physicians and medical students, as well as physicians and medical students, can join. AMA Alliance chapters are available throughout the U.S. There is a membership chapter fee. If you’re interested in becoming a member, check out their website to see if they’re available in your area. Membership dues may apply.
Side by Side is an organization with local chapters throughout the US. They’re a ministry for women married to medical and dental students, residents and fellows, and staff physicians and dentists. They are a non-denominational, Bible-based ministry that is evangelical in nature.
Side by Side chapters are locally run and vary in the events they hold and the support they provide. We’ve seen some fun things scheduled on local Side By Side Instagram accounts that include bi-monthly meetings, childcare, morning groups, evening groups, holiday parties, and more. Membership dues may apply.
Dads Married to Doctors+ is a community designed specifically for men in medical marriages. To join, your spouse or partner must be a Medical Doctor, a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, or hold a Bachelor of Medicine or a Bachelor of Science.
Founder Curtis Webster Jr. has done an excellent job of meeting the goals of DMD+ by bringing together men from all over the country and encouraging them to be better dads and husbands, thereby strengthening the physician family. The group has been known to invite coaches to speak on issues specific to men in medical marriages, organize gatherings so members can come together to discuss these issues (and have a bit of fun), and even organize couples retreats to focus on improving the medical marriage together.
We hope one or multiple of these communities for physician spouses and partners is attractive to you and provide the social and supportive community you seek. If, on the other hand, none of these speaks to you, worry not! There are other ways to find a group or community that works for you. Ask the program director of your spouse/partner’s medical program if there’s a support group within the residency program or the community. You can also find over 150 physician spouse groups on Meta (aka Facebook). Start by searching for ‘doctor wife” or “doctor spouse” and you’ll find plenty of matches. Verification will be required to join.
Regardless of how you find your perfect community fit, once you do, you’ll realize the positive impact it has on you and your family. We hope seeing just these few communities encourages and reassures you that you’re not alone and helps you feel empowered to find what suits you!