How do you manage relationships in med school with such a hectic day-to-day schedule?
I get this question from med students all the time! So, in this post, I and my beautiful wife are going to help answer just that question!
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Making Relationships In Med School Work
In this post, we are going to answer a few questions on how to manage a relationship because it’s hard and we admit that.
But we’ve also managed to have a relationship in med school for four years. We did long distance, got engaged, and also got married at the very end of med school so we can check out a lot of different boxes.
A lot of people are probably reading this and something that we say is probably gonna fit you.
Either you’re somebody just wondering how you can have a relationship with somebody in medical school or you’re somebody in med school or in residency wanting to know how you can make a relationship work. So, let’s get on with it!
Lakshya: What’s the most important thing to make a relationship work in med school?
Priya: The two Cs is what I like to call it, communication and compromise. Having those two are most important.
Lakshya: What are some ways that you felt like we kind of communicated or made that work?
Priya: Well, in general, just communicating every day, talking to each other, keeping each other in the loop, telling each other what our schedules look like.
Yes, you’re busy, but I also do have a schedule. So, just having that time set aside for each other is beneficial.
Lakshya: Yeah. I think one of the biggest things is that; as a med student, your life is busy but somebody outside of med school may not know that. So, the best thing you can do is to communicate.
Say something like, “Hey, I have a test this Friday, so expect not to hear from me very often.” Or like, “Hey, this is a pretty slow week. Let’s do something together.”
And as I mentioned, we had a long distance relationship, so we did Skype almost every single day or in the first year of med school.
It was also my first time living alone, so that kind of support system was really good. We always had a Skype call every night or Google hangout (if that still exists😶).
Priya: It does. 😄
Lakshya: We would also call each other from classes when she would be going from her class and she knew that I’d be free. She just gave me a call for just around 30 seconds and often interrupted by very loud buses.
But, those little moments really make it feel like you’re not going through the journey alone and the person feels like they’re part of your journey.
So, communication is huge and number two is compromise.
I think one thing that you hit on this right on the head is that it’s also important to make sure that while you’re busy, you are making them a priority in some form or fashion.
Some of the ways we did that is we interacted with each other almost every two weeks. Even though we did long distance, I would somehow find a way to go back home and drive to Austin which is where we’re both from.
Priya: In-person interaction.
Lakshya: Yes, in-person interaction is much nicer if you can do it. I would just drive and surprise her or tell her I was coming.
Sometimes It was just there for an evening and I’d be out the next day because I’d have a test. But having dinner together and just having that time is worth it!
Just like I tell you guys all the time, schedule med school into your life and not your life into med school. Find out what’s important in your life and make sure those individuals are blocked off and then find the rest of the time to study.
Priya, next question. What are some good and cheap date ideas to do knowing that med school students are on a budget?
Priya: I enjoy the outdoors, so a lot of times we just went on walks around the Lake or we went hiking. We’re both from Austin originally, it’s very beautiful outside and so it wasn’t really hard to find much.
Lakshya: That’s true. We’d find parks wherever we were and have a picnic.
When I brought her down to Dallas ones, there’s a nice lake that we found that has airplanes flying over because they’re landing right by the airport.
Priya: Yeah. We did grilled cheese with some pasta or something.
Lakshya: Those kinds of dates are really fun! Whatever city you’re in, whether you’re in a nice and upbeat city like Austin or somewhere quite boring, look to see what free things are going on.
Maybe there’s food trucks or music events and you can take the person you’re interested in having a relationship with there and it keeps you on a budget, but you also get to interact with each other.
Speaking of nature that just brings this back to my mind. For our honeymoon, because we got married a couple of months ago, we went to Banff in Canada which was beautiful.
If you want to see how beautiful the place is, I have a couple of clips for you in the mid part of this YouTube video, Relationships In Med School – How To Make Them Work!
Another big question is; how do you find the time and know if you have the time to make a relationship work in the med school? Do you have some things that you feel we did well that made our relationship work?
Priya: Again, we talked about communication and compromise, but I think us being in a relationship in general, we weren’t always very dependent on each other. If that makes sense.
We had our own lives and we were okay with being ourselves. I think that was key; just being okay with ourselves before we were okay in our relationship.
Lakshya: Man, she just got deep😯. But, I agree, I don’t think you can be in a relationship with somebody if you’re not okay with just spending time by yourself.
Priya: Right. You can’t rely on the other person to make you happy. You have to be happy yourself.
Lakshya: Exactly. There are times when I’m not busy but Priya’s busy. So, I have to understand that she needs to be able to take care of her life and that I have to be okay with spending time with myself.
So, I would go play basketball when she’s busy and she would do things with her friends and her obligations and we still do that in residency.
That brings me to the last question. How do you make a marriage or a relationship work in residency, which is even busier?
Priya: Knowing each other’s schedules is key. At home, we have a calendar put onto our fridge so we always know each other’s schedule.
We just need to glance at it real quick, so I know when he’s on call, on clinic week, or his research week (like he is now, so it’s very chill). And for me, when I’m going into town and literally hopping on a plane in 30 minutes, he knows.
So, it’s just knowing each other’s schedule and knowing when you can have that free time for each other.
Lakshya: For me, it’s to communicate my schedule as soon as I know it and I know when we can have date nights together or other things like that are super key.
Just living with somebody is already a compromise in itself. One of the quotes that I heard that always stuck with me is;
But it does have to be important to you that it’s important to them.
One of the things, for example, that Priya hated that I did is that I would never open up the packaging all the way until I could get my hand in there and take it out.
I didn’t care, but I did care that she did. So, I would just rip it off and I still do that now.
Likewise, some things annoy me that don’t bother her at all, but she’ll do it because she knows they’re important to me.
Finding those areas of compromising have made our lives easier. That way, the relationship can flow and get better.
This, unfortunately, is the end of this session guys.
But if you have more questions about relationships or making anything in med school work, just leave your comments down below!
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Until next time my friends…