Many people outside of medicine see the Forbes headliner that “doctors are in the top 1% of income-earners” and assume they must be rolling in it at.
The REAL sacrifices it took to get there don’t enter their mind.
They don’t see that it meant spending their youth in school and training to become educated, skilled, and compassionate — and while doing so, missing most evenings and weekends to make memories with the family. They also don’t see the bananas-high student loans and late retirement savings.
Likewise, they don’t see YOU and the sacrifices you made as a doctor’s wife. Instead, you are casted as a “trophy wife” and “entitled gold-diggers,” which is not you. It’s unfair.
But I see you. And I know the truth.
I know how much you are a part of your success.
Your DrSpouse hit the jackpot — not because he got into medical school — but because he married you.
In the book The Millionaire Mind by Stanley, many self-made millionaires polled attributed choosing the right spouse as the source of their success.
Having a supportive, resourceful, responsible, and loving spouse is the key to everything.
Give yourself a lot of credit, girl.
Four Traits That Make Your Dr Spouse Very, Very Lucky
I will go through all of these traits YOU possess that makes your DrSpouse very, very lucky.
A friend said during a speech at a wedding that marriage is never 50/50.
“It is 100/100,” he said.
In a good marriage, both spouses put in everything, not holding anything back.
Ironically, 50/50 is how you split things in a divorce.
Doctors are the kinds of people who leave their families so they can take care of other families, and it takes an incredible amount of devotion.
That 100% you are carrying at home is a heavy load.
Shoveling the driveway.
Cutting the grass.
Taking the kids to church and activities solo.
Packing and moving.
Traveling to visit grandparents.
Going to weddings alone.
If it weren’t for you caring for all of that, he wouldn’t be able to do what he has to get done for work.
In marriage, you vowed to love each other “for better or for worse, in richness and in poor.”
As a medical family, worse and poor were underlined, bolded, and italicized because your DrSpouse presented you with problems for you to solve, and you are probably tackling them alone:
- You figure out where the good schools are for your kids and home resale value.
- You find banks willing to refinance or lend to you despite your incredibly disproportionate debt to income ratio.
- You watch YouTube to unclog the drain or clean the lint built up inside your dryer.
- …the list never ends!
You solve your family’s problems, so that your DrSpouse can solve other families’ problems.
Put it this way: having a high income is like having a lot of power. But as Uncle Ben in Spiderman says, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
When your household income increases 4 to 10 times when your DrSpouse finishes residency or fellowship, society will expect you to YOLO right away. And it’s tempting to do so.
Instead, you don’t increase your spending (at least much) for 2-5 years after training so you have plenty to throw at student loans and retirement and catch up on building net worth, which will lead to financial stability.
Being a doctor who is financially sound makes him a better doctor because he can choose to take his dream position without giving salary the highest priority.
As a doctor, it’s sad but true that your DrSpouse is at high risk for feeling angry, frustrated, and helpless with his workplace. Being on the spectrum of burnout is becoming more common as healthcare changes and doctors have less autonomy at work.
Just as your DrSpouse feels he can’t possibly take on any more and is burning out, your ability to listen, love and accept him is his lifesaver. Your love also reminds him why his professional identity doesn’t define his core being or his identity, and that he has a life outside of work.
- Supportive — you handle everything so he can focus on being the best doctor
- Resourceful — you learn how to solve problems
- Responsible — you plan long-term growth to build net worth
- Loving — when he is at risk of burnout, you remind him of the bigger picture outside of his work
Anybody who has ever been successful knows the spouse is just as important. Just ask those self-made millionaires who say the right spouse was the source of their success.
Your DrSpouse is a great doctor because of all that you do. So if they turn to your DrSpouse and wonder, “How did he do all of this??”
They need to turn to you. The answer is — he could do it because of you.
What has been the hardest for you during the medical journey?