Med School Widow(ers)

Med school is weird. Ok, I said it. There is a lot of mystery and pretty much no definitive answers in terms of the lives of the students. “What is  your schedule like next week?” “When will you have to decide what specialty you want to focus on?” “When is the last time you slept 8 hours?” are all followed with answers of “I dunno” or “I’ll worry about that tomorrow, or next year”. Good luck trying to explain the uncertainty to your “civilian” non-med-school-related friends and family. The concept of explaining that your med student genuinely cannot guarantee that they can or cannot attend a wedding that is six months away is merely unfathomable. And it certainly doesn’t help when well-meaning loved ones hit the point home by emphasizing how important these things are. We know. And there isn’t a whole helluva lot we can do about it.

At moments like these there are a few select individuals who can relate and appreciate the weirdness of your day-to-day: your fellow med school “widows” and “widowers”. Your fellow comrades in the trenches, living the same life, day-by-day.  Luckily, I met a partner in crime very soon after my B and her J started.

A packed up and moved from Seattle to the Midwest with her then-boyfriend, now fiance. I know she could be a guaranteed Friday Night Date, while the boys take exams or are on rotations. When there is a concert, or a food festival, or just an On-Call night that I would rather watch TV and have a glass of wine with someone else than alone, I can call her up, knowing she’s thinking the same thing.

Not an atypical activity of ours. Can't recommend. Too sweet = awful headache.

Not an atypical activity of ours. Can’t recommend. Too sweet = awful headache.

Also, as neither of us are from here, we can swap homesick stories and plans for our next trip home. So sometimes when I’m bummed out because B is working ten days straight, I remind myself that many adults have to sacrifice friend-time for spouse-time and work-time. So maybe it’s not such a bad thing afterall?


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