The word “career” has two meanings. A career in medicine fulfills both meanings quite neatly. In the traditional sense, it can be defined as an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life. On the other hand, it can mean moving swiftly and in an uncontrolled way. As in, “Her car careered across the road and into a ditch.”
Being a physician is a blur of late nights, cold food, endless charts and declined family invitations — the constant need to remain compassionate and available to one’s patients. If you’ve ever tried to date a doctor, you know that their schedule is impossible, and they’re more than likely to cancel on you at the last minute.
Despite the forward-thinking times in which we supposedly live, being a female doctor is especially frustrating. The perfectly made-up, pristine woman with tousled hair and radiant, sweat-free skin portraying a doctor on primetime television is just a beautiful liar. Real female doctors are tough, powerful, and unflappable, although sometimes dead tired and in serious need of a shower.
This small group of incredible, intelligent, interesting women, however, represents some of the most eligible single individuals. Humor, resilience, brains, compassion — they have them in spades. Why is it that so many female physicians struggle to find partners?
Of course, it would be easier to stay single and focus on their demanding careers, but often all that’s missing from a hard-working doctor’s otherwise-fulfilling life is a partner willing to support them through all of their sacrifices.
With all their desirable attributes, shouldn’t doctors have potential partners lining up to date them? Maybe — but finding the right partner amongst a full waiting room of suitors is a hefty task that doctors don’t often have the time or patience to undertake. Other professions may have the luxury of time and energy to triage their way through countless online dating profiles before stumbling across one that fully checks their boxes. Doctors, after a sleepless night of saving lives? Not so much.
Dating a doctor is tough. There’s even a wikiHow page for it. Really. It contains smart tips like “Have patience” and “plan dates around food,” but some are a little more heart-breaking, such as “Learn to love spending time alone.”
Physicians find it difficult to fulfill the role of a traditional partner. Time is short, and schedules are unpredictable. A lot of one’s emotional capacity is invested at work, leaving little left for one’s personal life. Without having experienced the chaos that is life in medicine, many non-medical partners cannot relate and are left wanting.
Some doctors feel immense pressure from their families and society to find a partner who is “well-suited,” whether in a religious capacity or on a comparable educational level. Some apply that pressure at a personal level, aiming for excellence in a partner — and as high-performing, successful professionals themselves, one honestly deserves nothing less.
Unfortunately for heterosexual females, highly educated male partners are becoming harder to come by. In 2020 in the United States, only 6.5 million male undergraduate students were enrolled in degree-granting institutions, compared to 9.2 million females. The struggle for women to find educated partners is therefore made even worse, as their numbers decline while educated female professionals grow in number.
Another sad reality is that a large proportion of heterosexual men are uncomfortable with dating a woman in a more successful position or prestigious profession. Despite the advances of recent decades leading to women gaining parity with men socially and professionally, old-fashioned ideas of needing to be the breadwinner continue to sneak into the male subconscious. Professional working women have therefore been known to “dumb themselves down” in the early stages of dating potential life partners so as not to seem intimidating. What a waste of an incredible set of skills that a woman should be able to boast about – all females (including physicians) should never dim their light for anyone.
That’s where other doctors come in. A group of like-minded, independent, intelligent people in clinics, hospitals, and professional networks. They understand working late. They understand being tired and cranky. They understand crippling student loan debt. They understand the emotional toll of being a doctor in a way that no one else could. Most of all, they acknowledge that their colleagues are some of the best and most eligible single individuals available on the dating market, as they share similar values and traits. They just get it. Who better support a doctor as a life partner than a colleague?
One female doctor decided to answer the page for help after witnessing the peak of isolation endured by colleagues during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, the dating app DownToDate was created and cheekily named after the renowned physician resource UpToDate. Designed exclusively for qualified physicians, all users are vetted for the authenticity of their qualifications. The platform allows doctors to find and connect with single colleagues who have an inherent understanding of the demands of a medical career. It caters to a specific and unique set of dating needs and allows users to filter singles by location, level of training, and specialty, as well as standard dating filters such as age and religion.
DownToDate removes the uncertainty of expectation, concerns about education, excess time,h and hassle out of dating in 2023 and has become the simplest and most efficient way for qualified physicians to find like-minded potential partners. And best of all, it works — the team at DownToDate is celebrating the first engagement of a couple who met on their platform! Here’s to hoping that those who dedicate themselves to the noblest and most sacred calling can find their own love.
The author is an anonymous physician.