Dating in Medical School

April 22, 2014
Emily Hause

dating in medical schoolHello my springtime readers! It’s that time of year again when the sun comes out, the birds are singing and love is in the air. Which brings me to the question- how does one find love in medical school, or at the very least, start dating in medical school? When you’re spending most of your free-time studying, stressing, or practicing your skills in clinic, finding an amazing significant other is not necessarily easy to accomplish.

So, what avenues can you pursue? What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of different dating scenarios? Disclaimer: the majority of my class began medical school in a committed relationship, which means in my class, the single folks are vastly outnumbered. I’m working with a small sample size here.

1. Dating someone in your class
Pros: Classmates are very understanding of your schedule. You probably get to see them every day. You have a permanent study-buddy and they’re less likely to be crabby about you stressing before your test because they’re crabby too.
Cons: It’s pretty much social disaster if you break up. There’s only so many people in your medical school class and a nasty break-up has potential to alienate some of your friends and make life awkward for everyone.
2. Dating someone in a different med school class
Pros: The pros here are similar to dating someone in your class with the added bonus that if they’re in a class above you, they can lend you books, give advice and help give you a heads up about what’s coming next.
Cons: Being in different classes leads to having slightly different priorities. It’s hard to be a first-year fretting about your regular exams while your second-year significant other is stressing about their USMLE exam. You also get the joy of dealing with a third-year schedule not once, but twice in your relationship.
3. Dating a medical professional
Pros: They understand what you’re trying to accomplish, can help you study and like to talk about medical topics. They’re also generally sympathetic about your need to gush about the cool things you’re learning, and have dinner conversation revolving around surgery and gross diseases.
Cons: They might be done with school which means they’re working a job with real hours which can make for scheduling conflicts when you have to spend the weekend studying for an exam, but are free on Monday afternoon. If they’re not done with school, your exam schedule will inevitably leave the two of you always dealing with opposite testing schedules.
4. Dating a non-medical professional
Pros: You get to interact with people outside of medical school! These significant others don’t always want to talk about medical things or your tests and can provide a good respite from your science and patient-filled days. Sidenote: Several of my classmates have had success finding either medical/non-medical professional significant others on Tinder. Seriously.
Cons: They don’t always get your need to discuss the pus-filled thing that you got to lance today. Turns out that not everyone likes talking about caseous lung tissue over dinner. Who knew? You will also have to make a conscious effort to schedule some time outside of school to spend with your significant other.
That is just a few possible dating scenarios. What do you think? Do you have advice for my classmates who are trying to find love in medical school?

Emily Hause Emily has been a teacher for Kaplan for over eight years; she's taught MCAT, ACT, SAT, SAT2 and tutored pretty much every subject under the sun in both the classroom and live online (aka Classroom Anywhere) settings. She's also worked for Kaplan in content development and teacher mentorship roles. Emily is currently a fourth-year medical student at the University of Colorado and is hoping to go into Pediatrics. She's involved in many campus opportunities such as being a Prospective Student Representative, admissions committee member, CU-UNITE member, and co-president of the Education and Teaching Interest Group. Prior to medical school, Emily got a BA in Biochemistry and Spanish from Lawrence University and a Masters in Public Health- Epidemiology from the University of Minnesota. In her free time, Emily enjoys dancing, baking, playing tennis and exploring her new Colorado home.

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