1. Something is always stressing them out. There is always another test to study for, another practical to pass, electives to take, a volunteer shift to work or residencies to apply for.
2. Your home will now have new fun toys. Who hasn’t wanted to have their own otoscope at home? Any time you’re concerned about whether your ear drum is looking healthy, your med student spouse can check it out and let you know.
3. You will have lots of time to pursue your hobbies and other interests. And hopefully your hobbies and other interests are plentiful because med students will be occupied most of the time.
4. Life will fit to the rhythm of the test schedule. The first week after a test, your spouse will be somewhat relaxed and may be willing to socialize. It will remind you of how things were before med school. The second week you will see very little of him or her. The week before a test, assume that your partner will be MIA and fill your social calendar with other plans. Consider feeding your partner in the day or two beforehand to prevent them from relying too heavily on takeout/vending machines.
5. You will learn factoids about the human body and various diseases that you wish you could un-learn. This is especially true when your med student is studying the gastro-intestinal system.
6. You will learn factoids about the human body that surprise and intrigue you. At times being in a relationship with a medical student is like getting the fun parts of med school without having to dissect a human. It’s fascinating to learn that the ear and the kidney develop at the same time in embryos, so if there is a defect in someone’s ear, the kidneys should be checked too.
7. The tunnel vision required to be successful in medical school is simultaneously inspiring and frustrating to witness. If he or she can concentrate this hard, then this is probably the right path and when your spouse becomes a doctor, their patients will be lucky to be treated by them. However, their ability to tune out your needs and your life in order to absorb so much material can make you question where you rank to them.
8. Their passion and focus may change you. If you haven’t already found your own sense of purpose and passion in your work, watching someone work so hard so that they can eventually save lives will encourage you to identify what you want to spend your life doing.