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Lives of Doctor Wives: Housing during med school

Monday, October 12, 2009

Housing during med school

Kristin emailed in a question. So, let's hear what you think, ladies!

Did you live on campus while your husband was in med-school? Did you live off campus? What was your experience like? My boyfriend and I are looking into where we should live once he is in med-school/after we are married and we are considering living on campus, however, I'm just curious as to what everyone else's experience has been/is! I know, every situation is different, but any advice would be great!



Blogger Tasha said...

We live incredibly close to campus (about a block away) because the on-campus housing has a very long waiting list. I love how school is less than 7 minutes away because then he'll actually come home for dinner but then can go back to the school/anatomy lab. Others I know wish they lived closer because once they leave it takes too much time to come back (which either means they pack both lunch and dinner and stay all night or study at home). We looked everywhere around campus and found a way better deal than the on-campus housing (more space, free laundry and hot water, etc.), so I'd definitely shop around.
I suppose it will depend on how your future hubby best studies: at school or the library. Even though we live so close to campus, we don't really feel like we should have lived further away to 'getaway' as some people say. Living close is the best thing we've done so we can have more time together. When we didn't (his first year), he didn't come home until 10 pm and he'd just crash when he got home.

October 13, 2009 at 6:21 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I agree that living close to school has proven to be a wise decision for us. My husband was able to walk to and from his classes and rotations, and if he had an hour off, he could come home for a real meal and some respite from the stress. When you have such a full and demanding schedule, saving that 20-40 minutes of driving time each day can really come in handy, not to mention avoiding the dangers of driving while exhausted.

October 13, 2009 at 8:40 AM  
Blogger Melisa said...

We were in a different place when we started med school. We already had a child and were mostly concerned with school and safety. So, living next to the school wasn't ideal for us. It would have been nice to be so close, but it wasn't our priority.

October 13, 2009 at 10:58 AM  
Blogger Mrs T #3 said...

Our program does not have on-campus housing for medical students so we live (and have for 3 years) less than 5 miles away. It is very easy for DH to get to school, rotations, library and convenient for me to get to work. I think one bonus to living off campus for DH is that when he is home it feels like 'home.' He doesn't want to spend any more time close to school/hospital than he has to!

October 13, 2009 at 11:29 AM  
Blogger Jessica Lee said...

My husband is in his second year and we live off campus because there is no on-campus option for medical students at his university. It has been ideal to have an apartment that is very close to his school and he can make quick trips back and forth if needed. We did look at a school where the majority of the med students lived on campus but you had to be married to live with him. At the time we were only engaged and that is one thing we hadn't thought of - if you aren't married you can't live on campus together at most schools. Good luck in planning - I think one of the best parts of being with a medical student is the fun you can have when visiting and living in all sorts of new places! :)

October 13, 2009 at 11:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My husband and I have lived on campus all four years (well, 3 1/2 so far) and it has worked out really well for us. The rent here is super cheap, which has really helped us save money.
Also, living on campus has been a great way to get to know other med students wives (Hi Megan!) who I may never have gotten to know otherwise.

October 13, 2009 at 1:13 PM  
Blogger Christy said...

We lived off campus in a rent house. And I must say that I miss that house, to this day. It had a fantastic porch where we had some great times...usually around a pony keg! ;)

I couldn't bare the thought of living in a dorm again. I just couldn't do it.

October 13, 2009 at 2:05 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

My boyfriend is an MS1 and we're renting a house less than 10 minutes away from campus. His school doesn't offer on-campus housing and if it did, I don't think we would have chosen this option. My MS1 likes living about 10 minutes away because it means he spends less time commuting and more time at home! I know a good amount of his classmates live nearly 30 minutes away and they don't seem to mind it. Every Tuesday a group of us get together for dinner and it's nice to live close to campus because we always go to a restaurant close to the school. If you can live off-campus, I would recommend it--he'll spend enough time on it, that he'll definitely want time to get away. And yet, he's still close enough where he can run back into the lab for some last-minute studying. Hope this helps! :)

October 13, 2009 at 7:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While my husband was in med school we lived in an apartment that was about 20-25 minutes away from his school, but I was only 15 minutes away from my work. His school was in a "not-so-nice" part of town so we didn't want to live too close to campus. He preferred to study at home so he only had to go to campus for class and then he came home to study. The first 2 years were classroom based but the second two he had to travel for his rotations (occasionally he would have a lecture on campus) so it wouldn't have mattered where we lived because he would of had to commute either way. I would say to check out the area around the school before you sign up for on-campus housing...good luck

October 13, 2009 at 8:30 PM  
Blogger Beth Hollenbeck said...

For med school we bought a home about 5 minutes from school. It was in an older neighborhood with smaller homes (a little over 800 sq. ft. that we ended up having two kids in..aagh!), but it was the best decision we ever made to be that close. We are also a little older than the traditional med student and had worked as professionals for 5 years prior to school, so we were able to easily buy our first home. Honestly, I couldn't even have imagined living on campus at that point in my husband's education. We were in such a different place in our lives. However, I am sure it is a good match for some. Overall, I think living close to school is a bonus if you feel safe and like the area. We are now 20 minutes from the hospital for residency and are putting our house on the market because it is a hassle with call. It is a 5-yr. residency which makes it possible to sell and buy again. I would think about living as close as comfortably possible for residency as well. Best of luck!

October 14, 2009 at 3:50 PM  
Blogger faith said...

we had two kids when my husband started last fall (now three), so we needed a decent-sized house. we're renting about 15 minutes away from campus. it's worked out great for us. when my husband has to stay late i know he'll get home in only 15 minutes still.

October 15, 2009 at 1:27 PM  
Anonymous Mrs. D said...

My husband's med school had campus housing, but we decided to spring for air conditioning, a dishwasher, and garage parking and get an apartment off campus. We lived in the same apartment for 4 years. It was a 10-minute drive to the med school, in a nice neighborhood. His med school (U of R) also had a lot of decent and not-super-expensive housing right across the street from the med school. (They call it the White Coat Ghetto because so many residents and med students live there.) It's also in a safe, family-friendly neighborhood.

Lots of Husband's classmates lived in the campus housing, though. And it seemed just fine. Super close to the med school. But dorm-like in style of the apartments. I'm not sure about cost, but pretty much everywhere we looked had very reasonable rents.

October 15, 2009 at 5:40 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

My husband went to two different branches of his medical school (first two class years were in one city; last two rotation years were in a different city). He lived in the grad student dorms his first year. We got married after that year and moved into an apartment during his second year. Then, we moved to the next city and into a different apartment for his last two years of medical school. It was much easier for us to rent apartments because of financial reasons and proximity to where he went to school and I worked. Once he was in residency, we decided to buy our first house, since he was making money, too. I was so happy when we finally had a place of our own!

October 15, 2009 at 10:34 PM  
Blogger Mrs. B said...

We live off campus but Mr. B's school doesn't offer campus living. He spends a lot of his time up at school in the library. If they offered on campus housing we probably would have seriously looked into it. It would be so helpful to live closer to school so that we could get those extra twenty-minutes together a day. I wish you both the best of luck with everything!!!

October 16, 2009 at 6:13 PM  
Blogger MW said...

We live on campus. We're in a very HCOL city, so the low low cost of student housing is a big plus. Sure, we don't have a dishwasher (argh), but we have everything else we'd have at an apartment in this city and more - AC/heat, internet, cable, elevator, doorman, amazing view. Plus, we're right next to two of the hospitals for the program as well as the classroom buildings. It's also cool to be around DH's classmates and really be a part of that environment.

For us it was really a no-brainer. I could definitely see it being different at different schools, though.

October 27, 2009 at 1:00 PM  

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