Dating a Doctor Long Distance

dating long distance

Let’s say, you just found out that your partner (the doctor) recently ‘Matched’ at a Hospital that requires them to relocate for the next 3-5 years for their Residency Training to become a Board-Certified Specialist. You, on the other hand, have a great job or you are still in school and moving is not an option. So, you’re probably asking yourself is Dating a Doctor Long Distance doable? The answer is YES.

So, what are you to do? The best advice I can give you is don’t panic; this arrangement is only temporary, and a lot of things can (and likely will) change within a year: you could get a new job (a better job), you could transfer schools, or you could finish up your plans & move later-on. I have experience and seen these events happen so many times. Even after Jake became an attending and got his first job in a different state than where we were currently living. Don’t ask google about long distance relationships, because you will find nothing good and they are not relatable.

Dating a Resident Doctor – Long Distance

During the early stages of my relationship with Jake (aka the Doctor), we dated long distance for about 11 months when he started his Surgery Rotation in Ohio. Because it’s completely normal for doctors to Match somewhere unexpected, you might already know this is coming. So, at this point before this happens, I recommend you talk about these possibilities, of “what if you Match across country and how can we make this work?”

If I am being honest, moving far from each other increased the intensity a little bit knowing we would not see one another more often. Jake and I were both nervous. Nervous about how things would turn out.

How to make a Long Distance Relationship Work?

It was extremely hard-for-me at first, but maintaining a long distance relationship is possible, and more common with physicians. Here are our my top tips for dating long distance.

  • Talk on the phone and FaceTime or Video chat as often as you can!
  • Text as often as you can. If you don’t get any replies for hours – do not panic. This is normal, especially if they are in residency training. Read more about why this is normal.
  • Make plans to see each other on weekends off, whether you are going to visit, or vice versa. Figure out his rotation/schedule once they find out what it is. This will be super helpful when making plans ahead. Some programs don’t release schedules until a month or two out, so be ready to make last minute trips.
  • If your partner is going to be in their program for more than 2-3 years, then start talking to each other about future plans of moving closer to each other, even if you know they will be swamped with work 24/7.
  • Lastly, breathe. It will all work out.

How to make Long Distance Relationships Interesting

I know it sounds ridiculous – but you’re probably asking yourself this very question. Some of my tips on this would be:

  1. Watch a movie/TV show or play a video game together but from afar – you then will have something in common to chat about.
  2. Consider sending surprise gifts to one another. Send cute/thoughtful gifts like this one, or send sexual/random gifts.
  3. Send dirty texts if that’s something you feel comfortable doing.
  4. Plan your next get together. Nothing makes you both excited then planning your next in person trip together.

Real Life Experience on Dating Long Distance

Fast forward – After Jake finished his Surgery Residency, I noticed that Jake and I were not the only ones that made our relationship work. There were several residents in his program that had a long distance relationship and they made them work. A few started dating in Medical School and are still together today, so it’s possible if you know what challenges lie ahead and if you have friends you can talk to about this life. A few of Jake’s co-residents, lived in Cleveland while their partners ‘Matched’ to different specialties at different hospitals: in NYC, Chicago, and Los Angeles. One of those couples also spent 5-years living apart, and are now married.

I hope this information helps you, especially if you just found out that you or your partner will be moving away from you or, you currently are experiences doubts about a long distance relationship.


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  1. Thank you so so much for this! I just started seeing a surgeon who’s about to move to another hospital (he’s done with residency and fellowship) in my neighbor country and I’ve been so doubtful about whether this was a good idea or not. It’s so true that Google will just tell horror stories if you try searching on this. You have given me hope! Thanks again😚