A Letter to Spouses and Partners of Graduating Medical Students

Dear Spouses and Partners of Medical Students,

As we approach Match week and graduation, we want to take a minute to acknowledge your role throughout this journey. You’ve been a rock, their confidant, and their biggest cheerleader for your medical student – providing endless support over these past four years. 

Your support is a large part of the foundation on which your loved one has built their success. Through the long hours of studying, the stress of exams, and the emotional ups and downs, you’ve provided comfort and encouragement. You’ve been there to celebrate the triumphs and offer solace during the setbacks. Your sacrifices should not go unnoticed, as they have undoubtedly made a big difference in your partner’s journey.

While you’re celebrating this achievement with your medical student, take some time to recognize the sacrifices you’ve made along the way. You’ve been instrumental in enabling your partner to pursue their dreams in medicine. You’ve juggled responsibilities, made sacrifices, and offered a listening ear during moments of stress and uncertainty. You’ve created a soft place to land.

As you look ahead to residency, it’s crucial not to lose sight of your own needs and well-being. It’s all too easy to get swept up in the whirlwind of deadlines, rotations, and residency applications, but remember that your mental, emotional, and physical health are just as important. Take time for yourself, nurture your own passions, and lean on your support network when needed. Remember that you are a vital part of this journey, and your well-being matters just as much as your partner’s professional success.

Marriage or partnership with a doctor does not guarantee smooth sailing or immunity from life’s challenges. Medical training can place immense strain on relationships. 80+ hours per week away from home, frequent relocations, and the emotional toll of patient care test the strength of relationships to their core. There will be moments of exhaustion, doubt, and frustration for both of you, but in these moments be sure to remember the bond that brought you together in the first place.

So, as you navigate this next chapter together, remember that your relationship is a partnership built on love, mutual respect, and shared goals. It will take effort and dedication from both sides to not only weather the challenges of medical training, but also emerge stronger than ever. Lean on each other for support, communicate openly and honestly, and never lose sight of who YOU are.

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