You’ll see each other once a year.
1. She’s a listening pro. She spends all day listening to patients, lecturers, residents, attending doctors, so she’s basically a professional listener. So if you spill your deepest, messiest emotions, she’ll accept them and try to understand them. Unless it’s the day after a 24-hour call day, in which case haha, no, she already fell asleep.
2. Plan every date at least 10 years in advance, if possible. See no. 1. Sister’s bat mitzvah? Best friend’s wedding? Casual cup of coffee? She can’t make it. She has a test tomorrow and every day x 1,000 forever.
3. You’ll only see her once a year at, like, 2:45 p.m. for 10 minutes. Because even once she finishes finals, there’s always another final. And a final after that. And then a presentation and an oral exam and a 500-page review textbook to read. Basically, “I love you but I’ll see you in five years” is something she’s told you as a joke that was not a joke at all.
4. You’ll assume she can fix any medical problems you have and you will almost always be wrong. If your throat hurts or your back is spasming or even if you have a small paper cut, you will automatically assume she can fix it with her med student magic. In reality, she probably has no idea why you’re having leg cramps, but that doesn’t matter because she will pretend to know anyway. Hint: She will just give you aspirin and a lot of the time, it’ll fix everything.
5. She gives terrifying new meaning to the term “type A.” Med students and doctors generally have some form of OCD or, at the very least, a seriously regimented routine, and you better get used to it because she is physically and emotionally incapable of changing it in any way. If she gets a muffin at 6 every morning from the same place and you ask her to try a new place, she might have a breakdown, so just accept it and move on.
6. Prepare to hear about nothing but work. Whether it’s a cool patient she saw that day, a surgery she observed, the size and quality of a poop her patient had (no, but seriously, check out the Bristol stool scale), you’ll hear about it. You will then think you had the most boring day ever by comparison and also wonder WTF the Bristol stool scale is. (Don’t worry, she’ll happily tell you.)
7. You could fart and have diarrhea at the same time, and she wouldn’t flinch. She feels totally comfortable talking about pee, poop, UTIs, periods, and anything else you find gross. To her, it is her job, and an everyday occurrence that she talks to people about. This is actually great since you are a human with a normal body and honestly, everyone should feel this OK about these things.
8. Be prepared to move because surprise! She has to move now. If you happen to stay in a committed relationship during “the match,” aka when med students find out what specialty and residency they will be working, be prepared to move with her. The field is damn competitive, and every spot for residency is coveted. It’s a sacrifice, but hey, you may end up marrying a doctor/someone you really love.
9. Med students can be diiiiicks. High stress + competitive people = bad attitude. Find one who is more laid-back (aka, not any type of aspiring surgeon. Seriously. Do not date an aspiring surgeon. I’ve talked to aspiring surgeons who told me not to date aspiring surgeons, so I know what I’m talking about) and you’ll be fine.
10. Medical residents work 24-hour shifts that may turn into 28 or 30 hours. She has a great ability to stay up beyond what is humanly possible. This also means she needs to sleep, and often at weird hours. If she has Saturday off after working a 24-hour day Friday, yeah, she’s not going to wake up and go to brunch Saturday because she will be in bed all day.
11. Her drive and motivation are contagious. This will push you to work your hardest and to be your best, which is second nature for her. Go for that promotion or that job you never thought you’d get! She will stand behind you and respect you for it, you know, once she looks up from studying.
12. She still parties like a college freshman who’s never had booze before. After all the tests and group projects, she will still inevitably go out and get wasted like she’s a freshman in college. Few people drink as hard and fast as med students after exams, god bless ’em. They are so sleepy and psyched to get hammered.
13. She won’t freak out if it doesn’t work out between you two. She’s been through years of rejection from med schools around the country so you not being ready for a relationship right now is unlikely to send her in a tailspin.
14. She works so hard at what she does, so she’ll work hard on your relationship. Most med students are generally perfectionists, so as hard as they’re working on changing the world and helping other people, they’re going to work just as hard at being the best girlfriend they can possibly be. You know, unless you date a surgeon, which I already specifically warned you about.