As the numbers of female physicians continue to grow, fewer medical marriages are comprised of the traditional dyad of male physician and stay - at - home wife. The “two - career family” is an increasingly frequent state for both male and female physicians’ families, and dual - doctor marriages are on the rise. This qualitative study explored the contemporary medical marriage from the perspective of male spouses of female physicians. In 2010, we conducted semi - structured, in - depth interviews with nine spouses of internal medicine resident and faculty physicians. Interviewers queried work - home balance, career choices, and support networks. We used an interpretive, inductive, iterative approach to thematically analyze interview transcripts and develop broad, consensus - derived themes. A conceptual framework based on three major themes emerged: “A time for us? Really?”, “Supporting and protecting her, sometimes at my expense,’” and “Hers is a career, mine is a job.” This framework described the inflexibility of physicians’ time and its impact on spousal time, career development, and choices. Having a set time for synchronizing schedules, frequent verbal support, and shared decision - making were seen a s important by the husbands of female, full - time physicians. This exploratory study examined the contemporary medical marriage from the male spouse’s perspective and highlights specific strategies for success. Keywords: Academic Medicine, Gender, Career, Qualitative Research, Work - Life Balance, Medical Marriage


Academic Medicine, Gender, Career, Qualitative Research, Work - Life Balance, Medical Marriage

Publication Date


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.




Submission Location


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.