A new study conducted by University of Michigan Medical School researchers finds 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 interviewed physicians and spouses to learn how "medical marriages" succeed and the resulting report was 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 knew how to stitch a bad cut.
The report revealed the following strategies for success when one or both spouses are physicians:
We rely on mutual support.
We recognize the important roles of each family member.
We have shared values.
We acknowledge the benefit of being a physician to our relationships.
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.
The study is published by the Association of American Medical Colleges.