I am a wife. It happens to be that my husband is a doctor.
I have very few close friends that are doctor wives, as well. Throughout our multiple relocations throughout the country due to residency and job placement, I’ve met some of the most amazing women, who happen to be also doctor wives, and have been keeping our relationships close no matter how far apart we are or wherever our husbands’ careers take us.
The rest of my friends or acquaintances are not doctor wives. I say this with such conviction because, well, I get judged. Constantly. For what reason to be exact? For being married to a doctor. Frankly, I’m sick of hearing the most stupidest comments or questions from these people. It’s not nice to call them ignorant, but they are. To fellow doctor wives reading this, please have enjoy laughing at this or cringe along with me. We’ve all heard this some way or another!
(Note: I had to edit this post multiple times to refrain myself from cursing throughout.)
1. “You guys must make a LOT of money!”
First of all, it is rude to talk about someone’s personal financial situation. So, don’t.
Secondly, just because residency is over and doctors begin to make an income on their own, a majority of them have hundreds of thousands of medical school loans to repay. The average amount is between $200,000-400,000 in school loans. Therefore, the first several years after training will be dedicated to repaying those loans and continuing to live frugally.
Lastly, money is not the object of every doctor’s career. They truly love medicine and helping people, and it is truly the HARDEST job, training, lifestyle that anyone can embark on. I’m disgusted by people, even by my own friends, who comment about doctors and their salaries all the time. IT’S NOT ABOUT THE MONEY.
To be honest, doctors are getting underpaid for the amount of crap they take from crappy people. Nuff said.
2. “If he’s a doctor, why are you working?”
Holy sha-moly. You wouldn’t believe how common I get this question.
Just because I’m a doctor’s wife, doesn’t mean I need to flush my master degree down the toilet. Just because I don’t have to work for financial reasons anymore, doesn’t mean I should stop working. I’m more than a doctor’s wife. His job does not supersede my career.
3. “Must be nice.”
What’s nice? The fact that my husband works all the time, 7-10 days, 12 hour shifts in a row and that leaves me to take care of the rest of our lives, our house, our baby, on my own? Please don’t tell me you’re referring to our money again. Ugh.
You know what’s really nice, though? Having an amazing husband who works honestly hard for our family, who comes home after a long shift, still hugs and kisses me and our baby with the few hours he has left in the day.
4. “Good job you married a doctor!”
I’m pretty sure I married him because he’s amazing and my soulmate. Not because of what he makes for a living. We had met long before residency and we were college students.
5. “Your husband is a doctor; you should be dressing up all the time.”
I have a 10 month old and I am a normal person. And I love yoga pants and messy hair buns. People think we need to have blonde hair, acrylic nails, be a size 0, and always be wearing makeup and high heels and wear fashionable clothes at all times. Nope. Money should never change your true self. If it does, you’ve failed at life.
Remember, work hard and stay humble.
So if you’re not a doctor’s wife, but have friends that are and they’ve confided in you that the struggle is real – don’t comment that it’ll get better with his salary or anything of the above. Just acknowledge and say you’re sorry she’s going through this. It’s hard to understand from the outside perspective how different our situations may be, but it isn’t any easier than the next person’s. Also, just in general, don’t mention about money. It’s just plain tacky. You wouldn’t nickel and dime a wife’s husband who is a teacher or engineer, so don’t do it to a wife whose husband is a doctor. Instead make nicer comments like acknowledging their accomplishments and commenting about the hard work doctors do to help patients in all health situations.
This topic stemmed from my own personal experiences with my own friends and family. It never bothered me that much when strangers commented because to be honest, strangers for some reason feel more ashamed to say things like that to me. But, with people I know, it’s been condescending, out of their insecurities or jealousy, and just their intention to be hurtful. For so long, they made me feel guilty or embarrassed even, which was so wrong in all ways possible. Do I wish more of my hometown friends were doctor wives? Of course. But that’s a path unknown and a lot of hard work that is very foreign to them. However, I am really happy I have a nice balance of those friends and doctor wife friends. Keeps me in perspective of where I’ve been and who’ve I’ve become.
Before I go off on a personal uplifting tangent here, I want to end this post saying – just think before you stay something stupid to any doctor or doctor’s wife. And if you still do say these things to me, don’t worry. I’ll still be your friend. *eyes rolling*