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Brody’s Better Half realizes that embarking with your student into medical school can be stressful and challenging. To help you in this journey, we have put together a list of local resources that we frequently use Favorites & Frequents. Also, below are some tips from the Office of Student Development & Academic Counseling (OSDAC), for adjusting to medical school life:
It is normal to find it difficult and lonely to be a significant other of a medical student. To make medical school possible, many families often relocate to accommodate the student. That means being uprooted from your comfort zone, adjusting to a new environment and making adjustments to your life and career plans. You may also feel frustrated at the medical student who, most likely, spends a lot of money on textbooks, takes on a large student loan and devotes most of their spare time to studying. Many significant others also find themselves being affected by the emotional stress of the medical student. It is not easy to spend time with someone who is constantly under a lot of pressure.
TIPS for surviving relocation
TIPS for surviving medical school:
- Be patient with yourself – it takes time to adjust.
- Keep in close contact with your family and current friends. Make use of emails and social networking sites.
- Even if you tend to be shy or introverted, make an effort to meet new people. Where? Through Brody’s Better Half! Also consider your place of employment, school, neighborhood, religious organizations, volunteer organizations, support groups, hobby-based groups, etc. Find a group of people with whom you have something in common and start up a conversation. Even if it takes a while to build relationships, you have to keep trying.
- Take some time and figure out what you need in place to make a place your “home”. It may be small things like cooking your favorite meal, or putting up your favorite painting, having a place to pick up coffee every morning. See what you can recreate in your new location to get it closer to calling it your “home”.
- Take advantage of things that you can do in eastern North Carolina that you couldn’t do before. That can be things like going to a local restaurant, picking up a new hobby, attending local festivals or events. Think of things you have gained, as a result of your losses from relocation.
- Go through the medical school experience together. Communicate your feelings with your significant other. By keeping that line of communication open, you can both stay on the same page and be each other's friend.
- Set aside a regular time for the relationship – eat dinner together, take a 30 minute walk, watch a TV show together, etc. It does not have to be a time-consuming activity, but find something that works for both of you and your family.
- Make it easy for the medical student to join you in non-medical school activities, such as family activities or gatherings. Invite the medical student to attend, even if it is for a limited amount of time.
- Attend as many functions as possible with Brody School of Medicine so you can be part of the community and get to know the people with whom your medical student spends time.
- Find your own support network of people who understand you and support you.
- Keep yourself busy with activities that are meaningful to you. This may be work outside the home, raising a family, finding a new hobby, etc.
- Use humor and remember that medical school does not go on forever!