COMMENTARY

Marrying or Medicine: Does a White Coat Make Dating Harder?

Alexa M. Mieses, MD, MPH,

Disclosures

September 20, 2018

Is Romance With Non-docs Better for Doctors?

On a personal note, I prefer to date men who are not in medicine. As a physician with mostly physician friends, I talk about medicine...a lot. It is important for me to spend time with another person who can help me stay grounded and nurture the nonmedicine side of myself. After 25 years of school and medical training, it is easy for me to define myself by my achievements and patient interactions. To me, this actually hinders my self-actualization, as I am more than just a physician.

However, this personal preference has also caused some challenges. For example, I have met men who felt the need to compete with me or who felt outshined by my accomplishments. I have also encountered men who are threatened by my independence, intellect, and assertiveness. I have met men who simply cannot get used to the idea of me being paged to go deliver a baby while we sit and have dinner together.

Of course, all of this is just my personal experience. To be honest, I've probably just met the wrong men up until recently. Nearing the end of my residency training, I have learned that you simply cannot rush love. Although it is easy to become antsy, constantly delaying the "adulting" we begrudgingly learn to appreciate, there is no other way.

I do believe that it is possible to be in a relationship with a person who understands and respects what it takes to be a doctor and who views a partnership as exactly that. Do not lose sight of what really matters. Being a doctor isn't the only thing that defines us, but like it or not, it is a tremendous part of who we are. We are used to waiting and working toward more long-term goals, and love is no different.

No matter your gender, sexual orientation, or career choice, finding the right one is ultimately about being patient.

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