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UBC medicine support for spouses/partners

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I'm excited to start my medical training this coming August, but I will be coming from Ontario, with a significant other who has major concerns about our relationship. 

He is aiming to finish his graduate studies by this summer, but depending on his supervisor, he is unsure exactly when he will be done. This means that we will have to do long distance for at least a couple of months, which he has said since we started dating that he does not think he can handle a long distance relationship - fair enough. On top of that, he is also worried about the time commitment for medical school, and I will have no time for him. We have discussed the possibility of him moving out to BC with me, but understandably, he is concerned that he may be unhappy living there, as his whole life is here in Ontario. It has always been his dream to work and settle down in Toronto. With his field especially, he thinks that he is more likely to be able to build a successful career in Toronto. Moving out to BC with me would mean that he is sacrificing his dream for my dream - this is what he told me. This would be a huge burden for me to carry.  

Anyway, sorry for spewing out all my personal problems out here, but the question I have is, does UBC provide any support/have any support groups for spouses/partners...etc.? I can't seem to find any information regarding that, so I'm not very hopeful, but I thought I should ask anyways. I have read that a lot of medical schools generally have support groups or resources for spouses and partners of medical students. If UBC offers something like this, I can see how this can potentially help with the situation that I am in right now. 

Thanks a bunch!

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Just my two cents for what it is worth ... I have been married for 12 years ... It sounds like he has pretty much said he will be miserable in BC... You will have so much on your plate with medical school, that in my opinion, you don’t want that additional stress and anxiety! Let it end peacefully now as opposed to an ugly break-up during the middle of medical school. You don’t want the burden of asking someone to sacrifice their dream ... you have your own dream to follow! If he does decide to join you here, make sure it is very clear that you don’t want to have his decision used as “emotional blackmail” later on in your relationship. Congrats on getting into UBC! 

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As a BC medical student, you and your family can access some short term counselling through the physician’s health program: https://www.physicianhealth.com/

But I have to agree with @ATG4B here, it sounds like he’s saying he doesn’t want to move and he won’t be happy here, and he also won’t be happy long distance. It’s one thing to change ones long term goals to accommodate a spouse in order to have new shared goals together, or because they derive happiness and satisfaction from supporting their spouse. Its an entirely different thing to feel pushed into giving up ones “dreams” when they don’t want to, and that way breeds resentment and unhappy relationships. Counselling might be helpful for you two, even if it’s just to get on the same page in terms of breaking up amicably or personally coming to terms with the decision. But I don’t think it’s going to fundamentally change how he feels.

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I didn't know how to word this appropriately, but I think ATG4B has said it quite well. While it is great to have a spouse/partner in the same city as you during med school, it can be a bit of a one-way street many times, in that you'll need their support more than you can give them. Moving to a new city with no connections, while you'll be making many many new connections might be very isolating, and the job market here can be difficult depending on what area your partner works in so getting coworkers and even work friends is not a given. All of these things put together sound like a recipe for major issues down the road. If you can afford it (or have coverage), please seek out some couples counselling, or have a clear conversation about what each of you want over the next 4 years (plus remember that residency match is a bit of a gamble so you may have to move again to a new city in 4 years and repeat this whole process again!). If this is something that's just going to build resent and the feeling of being a martyr from your partner, it is likely not healthy and not worth it. 

Saying all of that, to answer your actual question: please also reach out to Student Affairs. Their job is simply to help students through both the academic and life portions of medical school and I'm sure they can help direct you to some resources or offer you some additional advice specifically surrounding support for partners while you're in school. They can also help support you if you are struggling with a breakup and need some support after you move here. 

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