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Dating & Relationships During Medical Residency

Medical residents and fellows know all too well the late shifts, long hours, and years spent missing out on personal life events. While they all can relate in shared experiences, have you ever wondered how your colleagues find time for their dating life? For some they may have found the one, for others they may be keeping it casual. InCrowd recently surveyed 500 medical residents and fellows in August 2021 to find out about their personal dating and relationship experience. 

We began by asking What are your opinions and/or experience with dating during residency? 49.6% of respondents were married, 32.7% we’re currently dating, and the remaining 17.7% responded with various factors including previously dating, not enough time, or not interested. One respondent summed up their experience by saying  “Intimate relationships during medical training are always very hard. Medicine owns your time, and decides where you go. At least during training. Afterward you have more control.”

For those that had tied the knot, 43.3% met during medical school or residency and 56.6% met before. We asked respondents to elaborate on their experience being married including the best parts and the struggles. 

The best parts:

The struggles:

For those open or interested in dating, Are you more likely to date someone within the healthcare space or outside of healthcare and why? 58.5% said within healthcare noting similar reasons such as it is easier to meet people within the field, and shared understanding of work demands and schedule. 41.5% said outside of healthcare to have some perspective outside of medicine, separate work and personal life, and to expand their social circle. One respondent summed up both viewpoints by saying  “This is a tough question because I think you shouldn’t limit who you’re with. I think it may be easier to date someone who “gets” the lifestyle. However it is nice to be with someone not in healthcare so that there is variety in activities and conversation and perspectives in life.”

If you did date, did you date within your program/hospital or outside?More than half of respondents, 51.8% said they dated outside of healthcare and their partner was in a different professional field. 25.3% outside of their hospital but another HCP. 18.2% within hospital/program, 4.7% other.

Have you used dating apps as part of your dating experience? The top most used dating apps in order were Hinge, Bumble, Tinder, and Coffee Meets Bagel. While PewResearch in 2020 showed about 30% of adults 18-30 were using dating apps, our research found that in the cohort of medical residents and fellows, the number using apps is more than twice the average adult usage of dating apps. this isn’t a surprise given the difficult schedules and pressures of medicine. 

What was the most difficult part about dating and relationships during residency? By far the schedule and time commitment of residency programs seems to be the biggest hurdle in having a successful dating life or relationship.

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