Getting through the first date is just one of the obstacles you may face when dating a resident doctor.

How to Date a Resident Doctor

by Ashlea Campbell

The term "doctor" comes with prestige and images of financial success. But it doesn't happen all at once. A resident has a medical degree, but must complete extensive training in a hospital before practicing medicine. Dating a doctor -- whether man or woman --- can require thick skin, patience and flexibility.

1. Be Flexible

Most doctors, especially residents, don't know when they're going to be called in to work. In fact, it may be difficult to get through the first date without a resident physician bailing on you. Help your mate plan a schedule for work and personal life, but understand that he may not always be able to stick to that plan. Learn to be flexible and creative. Think outside of the traditional evening dinner date at a fancy restaurant. While you may not want to frequent hospital cafeterias, you can pick restaurants near the hospital. Instead of evening dates, consider breakfast dates or a quick bite to eat after a workout.

2. Be Confident

While you may envision a doctor knowing everything about science and the human body, your mate may enjoy learning a thing or two from you. Doctors are likely to investigate anything you mention or interrogate you for more information. Also, don't assume that just because doctors supposedly make "big bucks" that they will look down upon you. "One guy I went to dinner with brought his pay stub. He was worried that I didn't think he made a lot of money," recalls Dr. Heidi Huser, a family practitioner. The assumption her date made can cause any first date to fizzle fast.

3. Just Don't Ask Us To...

Most doctors are willing to answer medical questions for their loved ones and friends. But if you want your date to hold off on the medical jargon, it might be best not to ask too many medical questions. While you may want to ask some questions about your date's medical training, try to keep those questions to a minimum. Focus on his or her life outside of the residency. What do they enjoy doing in the little free-time they have?

4. Need for Sleep

Blame it on their lack of sleep, but many resident doctors just want to relax. Consider low-energy dates. Doing this will help your date get to know you. If possible, they may occasionally put away the pager or cell phone for a couple hours and relax. Help your date to feel as though he did not just end a long shift.

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