Doctors command a great deal of prestige and respect in society for the kind of work they are associated with. Add to this a healthy income and you have one of the most attractive potential partners for marriage. At the same time a doctor as a spouse has its share of challenges as well. So if you are thinking of getting hitched to a white coat, here are a few pros and cons to consider.
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You can have a comfortable life
Doctors are one of the best-paid professional groups in developed countries like the United States. In general their annual earnings exceed even those of college teachers or even engineers. Among the doctors too however, there is a wide range in earnings. This is partly because of the nature of specialization into various disciplines like cardiology, oncology, obstetrics or family practice. Among these, the cardiac surgeons and anesthesiologists have some of the highest earnings in America while salaries of general practitioners and podiatrists are on the lower range. 2003 statistics from the US Department of Labor reveal that the average salary of general and family practitioner in the country is $139,640 a year while an anesthesiologist on an average makes around $184,880 a year. Yet another factor determining a doctor’s salaries is the area of practice. The best paying states for surgeons for example in the us are New Hampshire and Nebraska while general physicians in Nevada can expect to get a higher pay packet than even some specialists. If you are marrying a doctor, especially one who has specialized in successful disciplines like surgery or anesthesiology, you can look forward to a life of comfort. A large home, domestic staff, membership to exclusive clubs as well as lavish holidays could all become a reality for you. You may never need to go on with that boring job of yours and still be able to afford most of the luxuries and comforts you have always dreamt of, having married someone wealthy.
You have the respect of society
Another major advantage of marrying a doctor is the social regard the profession enjoys. A doctor is equipped with the skill to heal physical suffering and even bring back a person from the dead which is why they are looked upon with love, hope and awe by their patients and their families. This along with the fact that many doctors help their patients much beyond the call of duty makes the profession a truly noble one. As the spouse of a doctor, you stand well-placed to share the respect and love that people are likely to have for your partner. You realize that your spouse has the power to make a great difference in the life and well-being of another human being. This is a matter of great pride and often far more satisfying than the financial success that comes with the profession.
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You can bring up your kids well
It is well-known that children who are surrounded by material and intellectual resources while growing up have a better chance of leading successful adult lives than those deprived of such advantages. If you plan to have a family, marrying a successful doctor is definitely a good idea – not only because of the fact that you will be able to give your kids every kind of material advantage but also because of the intellectual environment at home. With a parent who is intelligent and devoted to a profession considered noble, your children are more likely to respect intellectual and humane motivations rather than mere financial success. Above all if you are the kind of person who values the ability to make a difference in other people’s lives, a doctor may be the ideal partner. At the same time you will have greater opportunities of sharing interesting conversation or intellectually-engaging interests if you are the sort who likes a relationship to be compatible on all fronts.
A doctor always on call
On a more practical note, having a doctor for a spouse means that you need not go anywhere else to treat a flu or get a prescription. Having a doctor in the house also means that ordinary medical emergencies including those common for kids like swallowing nickels and playground falls will be effectively attended to without your having to rush to the emergency room.
Your will have to put up with erratic hours
The biggest disadvantage of marrying a doctor is of course their erratic working hours. The very aspect of their job which earns them the regard of society also compels them to be at the beck and call of their patients’ condition. They have to be ready to respond to medical emergencies or give immediate medical attention to those under their care. Thus you may find yourself changing romantic plans for the third Friday in a row or cancelling a long-awaited family vacation as a result of your spouse’s profession.
Possibly an unromantic nature
A lighthearted outlook on life is virtually a must for all those married to doctors. They are so used to the human anatomy that sometimes they may not even give you a second look when you drape on something sexy on a Saturday night. At the same time they are not particularly known for their fashion sense and you may be surprised to find your partner turn up for a thanksgiving dinner in an outfit to match his genius.
Sometimes emotionally unavailable too
If you are married to a doctor, you have to possess patience – loads of it. You need to understand that your spouse is different from the ones you have dated in the past. He/she may not always remember social commitments or he/she may not always be available when you need a shoulder to cry on or share a good news. At times, your doctor partner may not even be able to give you the kind of attention you deserve – but not because he/she loves you any less, but because there people’s lives and well-beings at stake and to which he/she is bound by professional ethics.