A prescription to enjoy super 'medical marriage'
Are you married to a doctor and not been able to achieve fulfillment both at home and at work? Don't worry as researchers have carefully dissected what are the secrets to stay happy in a medical marriage.
A University of Michigan research report reveals four key strategies for success when one or both spouses are physicians: Rely on mutual support, recognise the important roles of each family member, have shared values and acknowledge the benefit of being a physician to our relationships.
"Physicians tend to marry later and their marriages last longer even as they face the challenges, like others with demanding professions of giving time and attention to their partners and families," researchers noted.
To understand what goes into their married lives, researchers interviewed physicians and spouses to learn how "medical marriages" succeed.
"The results are rich with data and anecdotes about live-in in-laws, role definition, financial security and the advantage of avoiding the emergency room because Mom or Dad knows how to stitch a bad cut," said lead author Monica Lypson from University of Michigan.
In interviews, participants appreciated having role definition - knowing what they needed to do around the house and knowing what duties their partner would perform.
Many of the physicians and partners interviewed relocated far from families for their medical careers.
Physicians earnestly acknowledged that support from extended family and partners made a difference in their ability to do their jobs, according to authors.
"Noting the important role of support provides insight into the ways in which physician relationships manage to remain resilient amid ongoing career demands," said Paula Ross, a sociologist at University of Michigan.
Physicians and their spouses experience challenges to their relationships, some of which are shared with the general population and others of which are unique to the field of medicine.
"Navigating a work-life balance is an important topic to integrate into formal courses in medical education," Lypson added.
The paper was published in a journal by the Association of American Medical Colleges.
(Posted on 14-08-2014)