I don’t think about the male perspective as much as I probably should in most areas of my life. But one place in particular where I overlook it, is being the spouse of a doctor. I think in general society has led us to embrace the term “doctor’s wife” quite naturally. But one term we don’t hear too often is “doctor’s husband.” I think part of the reason I personally don’t hear it as often is because Mr. Dr. has chosen a field that is primarily dominated by males. But at his program, there are 2 women in his class that will one day be operating with drills and rods. And even the ortho surgeon on Grey’s Anatomy is a female role. Interesting. So why is it I easily forget that there are husbands out there that are experiencing quite the same feelings I am while our significant others are out in the hospital training their booties off to be skilled craftspeople in their field? Maybe it’s because guys don’t vent as much about the challenges of being married to a doctor. Maybe it’s because to them, it isn’t a challenge. Maybe it’s because there are less doctor’s husbands out there. Maybe it’s because us women can’t relate on the same level as the men when it comes to this sort of thing. Whatever it is, I think it would be interesting to get inside the head of a doctor’s husband and understand if he feels the same way I do. Guys and girls are programmed differently on all sorts of levels so in the instance of being a medical spouse I am curious.
This is not to be confused with couples that are both doctors. That is different. Both can relate to one another on the medical level. No I am strictly referring to men like me. A spouse in a completely unrelated field who is playing the supportive role while their significant other is going through doctorhood.
On the one hand I picture a husband sitting on his couch in sweats drinking brewskies playing his PS3, loving the fact that he gets ample alone time to juggle multiple fantasy football leagues. On the other hand I picture a husband hard at work as a stay-at-home dad who loves to cook and carpool, and is president of the neighborhood book club. I am sure there are doctor’s husbands out there that fit both descriptions but do they both get lonely? Do they ever feel like less of a man because their wife has an M.D. at the end of her name and they don’t? If they did, would they tell people?
I know it sounds silly. But if we reminisce for a minute about traditional roles then it seems backwards. Men feel macho by providing for the family and being the protector. But if their wife takes on that role I just wonder if their husband is truly comfortable with his place in life. Simply because of the way they are allegedly programmed. Or are the men that are married to doctors the small focus group of males that aren’t programmed to feel like that? One would argue with me that in today’s world things are different. Women have proven themselves in the workplace in all career paths and working mothers are out there more now than ever before. But personally, I can’t help but feel like in medicine…when you hear the word doctor you still assume…male. But the reality is not the assumption. There are doctor’s husbands out there. Lots of them. I just wonder if those men think like me when it comes to medicine. I guess I won’t ever really know unless I decide to undergo a sex change surgery. But I think it’s good food for thought. Don’t you?