Many medical students are married or become married in the course of medical school, but statistics indicate that these marriages have a poor prognosis.
In some medical specialties and subspecialties, divorce rates climb over 50 percent, while in others, 20 percent is expected.1 In 1992, the average divorce rate for first-time marriages of younger adults in the United States was roughly 40 percent,2 but this statistic is based on a cross section of a diverse population including high-risk marriages (e.g., teen marriages).
Medical schools are often highly competitive, using standardized entrance examinations, as well as grade point average and leadership roles, to narrow the selection criteria for candidates.
In most countries, the study of medicine is completed as an undergraduate degree not requiring prerequisite undergraduate coursework.
Because the general population is a more heterogeneous group than the homogenous subset of physicians, it is difficult to interpret and compare these divorce rates. Physicians-in-training are subjected to stres-sors like long hours and emotional strain, but so are many other professionals-in-training.
There isn't a widespread divorce phenomenon in the military, for example, where the stresses of combat training and on-duty time are equal to, if not more than, those of medical students and residents.
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