In this episode, we talk about relationships in medical school which include personal relationships, relationships with family and friends, and newly-formed friendships.
This is a very important topic to discuss because, in more ways than one, becoming a physician will affect you, and your relationships will change.
Experiencing some disconnect from friends and family is likely inevitable. They simply aren’t going through what you’re going through, so it’s easy for frustration and tension to arise. Therefore, understanding and good communication are crucial for you to be able to focus on your path to medicine while still be able to maintain healthy relationships.
On a more positive note, medical school can introduce you to awesome new friends or even the love of your life!
Listen to this podcast episode with the player above, or keep reading for the highlights and takeaway points.
Why Relationships Change in Medical School
- You have limited time to interact with the outside world.
- Most of your time is spent on studying.
- Medical school is very different from college.
- Once you enter the medical school world, you speak a new medical language.
How Relationships Change in Medical School
- Frustration and tension from people who are not going through your situation.
- You can’t really explain to another person who’s not going through what you’re going through what it’s like.
Talking to Your Friends Outside of Medicine
- Not everyone likes to hear about the gooey or bloody stuff you do because it’s not something they’re comfortable with.
- You need to assess what everyone’s comfort level is before getting into those detailed stories.
- Family and friends are going to keep asking if you’re a doctor yet.
- There can be an overwhelming amount of details for family to take in.
You Will Build New Relationships in Medical School
- As things are changing, you also get to form new relationships in medical school.
- You’re with your fellow medical students all the time, so you get to know them and grow with them.
Romantic Relationships in Medical School
- Relationships don’t always make it through medical school.
- There can be a disconnect because you’re going through very different things.
- Your partner may feel jealous or frustrated about how much of your time is taken up by medicine and studying.
- You may also find the love of your life in medical school.
[Related episode: How to Protect Your Relationships as a Premed and Med Student.]
Some Pieces of Advice for Premed Students
- Be patient with your family and friends if there is a discrepancy between what they understand and what you’re trying to share with them.
- Reserve as much time as you can to keep your relationships going.
- Communication is key. Let your family and friends know that you still love them and care about them but you’re just in the middle of something really busy.
- Enjoy meeting new people in medical school.
Links and Other Resources
- Check out Sarah Epstein’s book Love in the Time of Medical School: Build a Happy, Healthy Relationship with a Medical Student.
- Related episode: Should You Consider Romance When Selecting a Med School?
- Related episode: Avoid Burnout as a Premed, Med Student, and Beyond.
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