Louisville Medicine Volume 67, Issue 9 - Page 17

MARRIAGE & MEDICINE PHYSICIAN COUPLES IN MEDICINE AUTHORS Janet Smith, MD and John Roberts, MD L ooking at the class photos, you can understand why John mar- ried Janet, but why, you might ask, would Janet marry….that? Yes, despite all the marvels of modern medicine, mysteries re- main. But the authors have solved the most vexing problems that occur in physician-physician marriages and they intend to tell all in their new book: The Smith Roberts Guide to a Sometimes-Successful Physician-Physician Marriage and How to Raise Children Who Can, At Times, Act Like Adults by Janet L. Smith, MD and John L. Roberts, MD.* (See page 16 for more information.) The authors have been married over 45 years (to each other!) and have raised (at least) five children that both acknowledge. In their tell-all book Dr. Smith (hereafter referred to as JLS) speaks frankly to women physicians and Dr. Roberts (hereafter referred to as JLR) speaks directly, mano-a-mano, to his male counterparts. WHEN IS THE BEST TIME FOR PHYSICIAN-PHYSICIAN COU- PLES TO GET MARRIED? The authors were married in the junior year of medical school after seven years of courtship. JLS: I wanted to make sure he could graduate. JLR: That is when she would finally say “yes.” The first two years of medical school are very difficult, all-consum- ing years and that time, in JLR’s view, is not optimally conducive of sorting out a new relationship. Additionally, the authors have seen many physician marriages strained after graduation by the long work hours of internship and residency. JLR: It was nice to have two years of settling in with each other before we each disappeared into internships. HOW DO YOU KNOW HE (SHE) IS THE RIGHT ONE? JLS: This is a question far beyond physician-physician re- lationships. For me, John dazzled me with his good looks, compassionate nature and genuine devotion. He fit like an old shoe – comfortable, warm and supportive. However, keep your maiden name – you worked hard to get where you are – don’t put your rep- utation at risk! JLR: Guys, we all know the right one is the one who will have you. As for me, I guess I needed to be worn in, sort of like an old shoe. But as to why I chose Jan, I found her beautiful, intelligent, mature and practical. After nearly 45 years of marriage, I still do. Another bit of advice to fellow male physicians – marry an older woman – someone needs to be the adult and it shouldn’t be you. What other excuse, than immaturity, will you have for some of the stupid things you will do? HOW IMPORTANT ARE THE EARLY YEARS? JLS: Every time period is important. You need to share your experiences, make time for each other, and for family pursuits. You also need to come to terms with what is important to (continued on page 16) FEBRUARY 2020 15