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Dating a doctor: what it is really like

August 12, 2013

There are some well-known reasons to date a doctor and some oft-repeated warnings about the process.  There have been a few things that I would say my mate never expected. Maybe there are some perks but there are also plenty of quirks. Be warned! Any mystique the MD once had will definitely fade with this post.

You know you’ve got the hang of dating a doctor if it doesn’t phase you when:

- you wake up next to your significant other who is holding a measuring tape around her calves and has the Well’s criteria for DVT Calculator open on her iPhone.  “What? I might have a DVT! Well I probably don’t, but I’m on that birth control pill which has an increased rate of DVT, I’ve had calf-pain for 3 days, and I just don’t want to be one of those fools who doesn’t go to the doctor until they are dead.”

- your counterpart sizes up any lump or boil that you have, offering to incise and drain it or to cut it out of you, and is frankly a little let down when you won’t invite them to do so

- there are several drawers in the bathroom that if you open too quickly, various medications and medical implements (ciprofloxacin, metoclopromide, sutures, gloves, etc.) fall out. “Well, you never know when you might need them,” she says, and you are starting to agree.

- she learns that your work has benefits like a dental plan, she seems a little too excited about the prospects of sharing yours and expresses how excited she is to be able to see her dentist who she misses dearly  [No, doctors don't get any extended health benefits, including no drug coverage, dental care, etc. and most of us think it's ridiculous or are cheap so we can't wait to be on your benefit plan ;) ]

- with friends, your doctor partner cannot resist talking about work, and it usually degrades to gore stories about messy deliveries (the taste of amniotic fluid), breaking ribs during CPR, or that one time the guy’s abscess burst all over her shoes – and you can listen to any conversation, even while eating raw sea creatures for dinner

- she has to ask for your guidance or expertise in order to know how to spend unplanned time off; “how do you… like… what will we DO with that time? Maybe I should just take more shifts?”

- it’s hard to have a meal out without her commenting on the artery-hardening or diabetes-producing qualities of the food, yet she eats every last bite of it; you are beginning to question why there is EDTA in your salad dressing [since we are being honest, my fellow calls it "ESPN" with a laugh]

- after first meeting your new doctor girlfriend, within a day, your dad asks for her to apply her surgical skills and remove a sliver from his foot; your mom is embarrassed, your doctor girlfriend is delighted, and dad hands her the paint thinner (“sterilizing solution”), a blunt needle, and puts his foot up on a chair

True stories.

Doctors, what has your partner put up with? Partners, got any hard-to-come-to-terms-with ‘gems’ to tell about being with a doctor?

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 12, 2013 9:51 am

    ; ) Love it…

  2. Eva permalink
    September 28, 2013 10:25 am

    We-e-ell, let me tell you it’s also pretty strange growing up with a med-student-then-doctor older brother living in the same house…. By the time I was six: I had handled and could name the bones in the human skeleton (well, the left half, anyway–it was called Lefty and lived under bro’s bed); I had held a pickled human brian in my hands; I could identify the more colourful skin diseases at sight from fascinated study of the coloured photos in his book; I was on first-name terms with the rows and rows of bottled specimens in the dimly lit med. museum, and my ick-factor threshhold was so high not even lurid narratives from the dissecting-room could put me off my dinner. Of course there were added perks: at 11, I fell off my bike on gravel and ripped a hole in my knee; my bro. was on duty at Emerg. (or the Casualty as they called in the Old Country), so he let me watch as he supervised a med. student nervously setting lovely green stitches in it. (I enjoyed much less being held down and having my swollen tonsils painted with iodine on a feather, in those far-off days when penicillin was kept for dire things–but the upside is, really controllable gag-reflex!) It was over half a century ago. Thanks for the memories! E.

    • September 28, 2013 4:01 pm

      Quite a different time, but your intimate awareness of all things “ick” is the common theme; it comes in many different flavours but it seems like you found the only way to survive it – join in!

      I don’t have any skeletons under the bed but perhaps one will appear on my wish list.

  3. Sarah Leo permalink
    September 29, 2013 2:08 pm

    My husband accidentally sliced off one of his moles while shaving…it became an abscess…and yes, I I+D’d it at home with some rubbing alcohol and a sewing needle.

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