A pre-med asked me earlier this week about the social lives of medical students. She particularly wanted to know if we have the time to date. While you’ll do a lot of studying in medical school, you’ll certainly have free time for going out like you did in college. One trend I’ve always thought peculiar is that students—after spending 8 hours a day with each other—then want to spend their nights and weekends together. Since many of us came here without knowing anyone before school started, we usually don’t have friends outside of our classmates. We usually don’t branch out to meet others. Hence, we also end up dating each other, too.
You’ll hear lots of warnings about dating classmates such as, “Just remember that things are going to get awkward in the anatomy lab once you break up.” I’ve also heard the colorful advice, “Don’t shit where you eat.” While I imagine that there’s some truth to feelings that you two might have towards each other when the relationship ends, I have two cautions of my own.
First, medical school is just like high school: you know all of your classmates and you know all of their business. My campus is not alone in spreading gossip through the school. Some things are true—such as two students having an affair—and some are just plain false—such as two students having an affair. The problem comes in when everyone else believes these rumors to be true and then, finding them to be too juicy, will pass them on to other members of the class. If you want a private life, you must realize that other students are off-limits—including upper classmen.
The second warning is about the small selection of datable students. Some people will already be married or in other long-term relationships. Many of the women will be asexual (i.e., they aren’t looking for a relationship of any kind). Therefore, the pool becomes very small. To compound that problem, let’s take a moment to look at the type of person that decides to become a doctor. Everyone of my readers is well aware of the sacrifices that must be made to get to medical school. The applicant must be near flawless in every part of the application: good grades and scores, the right extracurriculars, saying the right things during interviews, etc… The only type of people who would willingly put themselves through this kind of torture would have to be crazy—literally.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a bit weird, but compared to my classmates, I’m probably the most balanced one here. One artist has stated that there are 12 types of medical students. I’ll just summarize as saying that they’re all nuts. The women here have more issues than a magazine stand. These people could fill psychiatry textbooks as case reports. Just keep that in mind when you start flirting with one of your classmates. Also, several students are completely controlled by their parents. Usually mommy, M.D., is footing the bill, meaning that mom comes on the dates with you. Seriously, I knew one girl who had certain rules for her condo because her mother told her to enforce them.
Go on a clinical rotation, find yourself a nurse, and never look back.