The Secrets to Being Social as a Medical Spouse


The Secrets to Being Social as a Medical Spouse

Oh boy, do I remember those days! I used to come home feeling completely wiped out. And it wasn’t just physical exhaustion— it was the emotional drain of meeting a ton of new people each day. Even on good days, it felt like getting smashed by a tidal wave of people. 


30K patients??


Looking back on my near-20 year medical career, I think I must have met about 30000 patients. That’s a lot of people, even for an extrovert! But for an introvert like me, it makes my head spin. Give me a hotel room, a good book, some room service, and I‘m in heaven. These days though, as a stay at home mom, I’m much more willing to go out and be amongst people. I enjoy being around people at the slower rhythm of life that most people enjoy.


So, what about when you want your doctor spouse to join in on social activities? I’m still married to a doctor, and I started to notice our appetite for socializing was mismatched after I left medicine. He is still meeting so many new people each day that socializing outside of work feels like a chore rather than a fun activity.


Here’s what I’ve learned: even when I was overwhelmed by people, I still wanted and needed social interaction with people other than patients and coworkers. But I never seemed to be in the mood for it, so my relationships suffered.


Plan in advance


So, one thing that's worked for me is scheduling social events in advance. After all, your doctor spouse might not be in the mood for socializing after a long day at work. Who can blame them? So if you plan in advance, your spouse can mentally prepare and have something to look forward to. Plus, when you schedule events ahead of time, it gives your spouse time to plan their work schedule accordingly.


Pick things they enjoy


It's also a good idea to find activities that your doctor spouse enjoys. If dressing up to go to a fancy dinner isn’t his thing, then pushing it on a school night isn’t going to be something he looks forward to. On the other hand, you could plan something you can all enjoy— a bowling night? Who knows, they might even start to look forward to social activities (stranger things have happened, right?). By incorporating activities they enjoy, your doctor spouse might feel more motivated to participate and engage with others.


If you're coming my way... bring pie!


My husband actually likes it when I schedule our social life for us, as long as I don't go overboard. (Hey, you don't want to burn the guy out, right?) It might take a little sneakiness on your part, but trust me - your spouse will thank you once the company shows up with a bottle of red and key lime pie.

I'm going to help you remember what self-love looks like

We guilt ourselves out of our own health way too often. In medical families, it can seem so virtuous, because the physician seems to be working so hard— we don’t want to be a bother. I say, BS! That line of thinking is so sneaky, you have to nip it right in the bud. You put your own oxygen mask on first, sister.


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