It’s a question I’m asked on a regular basis, in fact, it seems almost reflexive for people to ask it. Like when people find out I’m from Kansas and they say, “Well, you’re not in Kansas anymore.” I have a whole host of sarcastic responses to this remark in my head, mostly to entertain myself, but usually I just laugh good-naturedly when people throw the Wizard of Oz line out there. Admittedly, the general population can’t help it that Kansas is widely notable for very few things: Dwight Eisenhower, Kansas University men’s basketball, and, of course, the Wizard of Oz. Allowing that most people are not history buffs or NCAA Big 12 basketball fans, they must default to trying to connect with my Kansas heritage via Dorothy and her little dog, too. But, no harm done, whatsoever.
The question comes up in get-to-know-you type conversations conversations, in catch-up conversations with friends, in one-on-ones with family members,
“So is it hard for you guys, both being in medical school?”
Simply put, the answer for Cody and I is “no”. For one thing, we’ve never known anything different in our marriage because we took our summer after first year of medical school to get married and then travel (I highly recommend this, by the way). So our entire marriage so far has been contained to our years as medical students. Secondly, our crazy-busy stressful periods always coincide, so there is mutual understanding that activities of daily living, like cleaning dishes or grocery shopping or watering the garden, might suffer, and no fingers of blame can be pointed because we’re equally occupied. Third, we’re able to support each other in a way that a non-medical spouse could not (no insult to non-medical spouses, I know some really lucky med students with phenomenal wives/husbands). When I’m having a stressful moment/day, Cody is johnny-on-the-spot with words of encouragement and the foresight to remind me that we’ll be able to do somebody some good someday, even if we can’t right now. There’s a solidarity between us that we couldn’t know unless we’d traveled this road in tandem steps.
It’s probably true that our lives are busier than many other twenty-something married couples. But our lives are still lives of abundance, full of great friends, time with family, and even outdoor activities, probably more often than you’d think.
So, married in medical school? No problem.
And of course, I have to give a huge shout-out to my husband, who keeps me level-headed, and who shows me self-sacrificial love on a daily basis.