Do doctors make good husbands and fathers?

Once upon a time, male bachelor doctors just needed to advertise their availability. Maybe it’s not true anymore nowadays as perhaps the fairer sex are more picky or perhaps medicine is no longer as glamorous a profession as before. This might be the reason why some have been trying very hard but haven’t been very successful so far 😉


But what happens if you end up marrying a doctor? For the ladies, let me warn you a doc’s life is a dog’s life. You should expect your mate to be away from home for long hours at end. I know of some doctors who are so driven their children hardly recognise them. Doctors on the other hand need to be acutely aware of the need to spend quality time with their families, whatever little they have. I came across this poignant account:

Jimbo tells a very human tale on the foibles of life as a doctor. It’s a touching tale of the sacrifices doctors make during their tough training years, quite often at the expense of family ties.

It’s been a while since I last did that. Some how in the course of the years, this little ritual got lost. Now I see her only on weekends (when I am not on call); most times I am too tired to put her to bed. And when I could, it was hurried. Prayers were said (if said at all) in a few short sentences. The hugs are still there, the kiss too though now she is now less inclined to give me a kiss. The singing has long stopped. The stars are fewer now (we moved her to another room and we didn’t stick so many start on the ceiling).
I miss those days. I think I have paid a very heavy price with this Masters program.

Some of course have been so busy with their practice that they have had to make the ultimate sacrifice – stop blogging! Farewell Dr. Sidney Smith (a lady doctor btw) aka Medpundit!

Related MMR posts:
You want a faithful partner? Go marry a tapeworm



Malaysian physician, haematologist, blogger, web and tech enthusiast

26 Comments on “Do doctors make good husbands and fathers?

  1. Actually I am thinking of not only Online Locum Services but also Online Matchmaking Services for single doctors 😉

  2. Actually women doctors may need it – if I dare say so, it is harder for women doctors to find life partners compared to other professions for a number of reasons.

  3. Perhaps, Palmdoc should offer an Online Dating Service for the single doctors. : ).

    With so many amazing women and men out there, how do you know which one is right for you? The honest truth is, you don’t really—that is, unless you get out there and date.

    For the bachelors in MMR, like Vagus

    5 women every guy’s gotta date

    For the single ladies in MMR

    5 guys every girl’s gotta date

  4. “The Marriage Crunch.”

    Newsweek, the magazine reported on new demographic research predicting that white, college-educated women who failed to marry in their 20s faced abysmal odds of ever tying the knot. According to the research,

    – a woman who remained single at 30 had only a 20 percent chance of ever marrying,
    – by 35, the probability dropped to 5 percent, and,.
    – a 40-year-old single woman was “more likely to be killed by a terrorist” than to ever marry.

    Datuk Nik Aziz, our beloved Kelantan MB even proposed a solution recently – misyar marriages.

    Should single lady be worried over these statistics? Find out more here:

  5. Allow me to say two cents worth here. What’s single women hang ups now? I’m 41 years this year and have problems with male attention – yes I get them from those ages from 28 to 35 years. Single women should not be unduly worried as many single males are beginning to discover that older women who learn their lessons in life are more understanding and not bitch over small things. For single males, mind you, better to choose one’s soulmate with patience than to be married to hell like those examples I saw at One-Utama – imagine a woman scolding her husband in front of a crowd over RM5 or to use whose credit card etc. Most people are lonely, you can even be lonely if you’re married. God bless those who plan to get married, as for Miki – gosh, still wondering if it’s a good idea to get married!

  6. The “Marriage Crunch” data given above were from 20 years ago. The data from 1996 (just 10 years later) shows:

    When the Census last crunched the numbers in 1996, a single woman at 40 had a 40.8 percent chance of eventually marrying.

    These are American statistics, not local of course.

    So, miki-san, you are still at a “marriageable” age. That is, if you are not against the idea (singlehood is a blessing too.) Also, I agree that a maturity in a woman is a asset.

  7. Miki wants to get married to her soulmate – if he’s out there. Problem is Miki is Chinese Malaysian but has spent many years where Japan is concerned. Miki is more like a mixed-type where most die-hards Chinese don’t really agree or approve of (much less the would-be mother/father in law!!). We may say that we’re very broad-minded – untrue. Talking about she-devils – most marriages these days virtually end up in the trash can because there’s no respect of law and order in the ordinance of marriage. If Miki wants to get married, it’s meant to be for better or worse and share $$$ – gosh, not the horrible argument of ‘my money is mine and your money is also mine’ – God forbid this worldly attitude!!

  8. Hey Palmdoc, your question is “Do doctors make good husbands and fathers?”

    Switched around a bit, the query can be fascinating too: “Do doctors make husbands and fathers good?”

  9. Such a subjective question. Share your wisdom, Palmdoc. Good docs don’t marry, love enough not to marry and have kids. Good docs are like the clergy. What makes a good husband? Miki thinks more like Japanese where work is … shouldn’t expect the man to be always around, and provided he isn’t flirting with a colleague, with proper reasons for working odd or late hours, here’s a tip: mothers should explain to children that their dads have to work hard,; for their love and duty of care by working hard, children should love and honour their dads, not chide or be cold. No one’s perfect, neither are husbands and fathers. To all the women out there: you married or plan to marry a human, not God.

  10. Then again would you want a “good doctor” who is so occupied with work that you hardly see him? I know of colleagues whose kids barely recognise them.

  11. Amazing what happens when you shift the words around….

    When you wake up every day do you say “Good morning God” or “Good god – morning!” ?

  12. miki-san, the japanese model of a good husband and father is beyond reach, don’t you think? and for the the amount of interaction between father and children that is experienced in that kind of relationship, you’re expecting a tad too much “love and honour”, no?

    palmdoc, you’re right, the perfect doctor wouldn’t make the best husband and father. Just as the perfect businessman, the perfect engineer or the perfect statesman.

  13. It’s not beyond reach, it’s culture, actually. As for kids who don’t recognise their parents. I’m just commenting on what I know, ok? Everyone should share their views. I reiterate, good docs don’t marry, love enough to let go.

    BTW, if you and spouse have time to share that heat of passion to bring forth a child, how come got time to do that but no time to be around when the fruits of passion are brought forth? Kids don’t ask to be born.

    Being an A student doesn’t mean you end up also being exceptional when it comes to personality or character. A person who ends up marrying way before he finishes his studies isn’t strong enough to be alone. Coping alone is not easy but its better to try to finish studies first. If one must marry before that, then it appears that you have only time for your spouse, not more people. Plan for when kids come around, unless it is one of those “accidents” which my colleagues sometimes talk about!

    Filial piety is the pillar and foundation of a family. Misaki sees her father once a month, Mayumi sees her mother once a year, Takeshi goes home to Japan finally after spending 7 years overseas – citing only some examples but these children recognise their parents. Your better half if not working in the same environment perhaps take the lead and show the kids programmes which best depict the life that you live at work. Plant in them a spirit of gratitude and thankfulness e.g. without your sacrifices, where would they be? The food, the car, the bills, the maid, etc. how would they have all of these? Another example, Kobaya-san works 7am to 10 or 11pm daily – his teenage son recognises him and is proud to take his place beside him whenever possible. The father unfailingly affirms his place as his son.

    It boils down to how homebound you and your kids are. The more homebound a person is, the more likely one remembers a loved one. My dad never gave me hugs or kisses, never even read one bedtime story, in fact, he’s usually not around or busy somewhere. But I remember who’s my father. Perhaps do some soul-searching – what’s home to you? Does it really mean anything or one is pressured to have one and be one because everyone is doing it? Many years ago when I was about 26 yrs, my colleagues who are married will tell me to go home, but I would hang out in the office way beyond hours until I had my first mild heart attack. Looking back now there were wisdom in those words of encouragement. I found my own answers to what home means to me at a high price.

    I’m not saying that Japanese way of life is best here. Whatever it is, be thankful for the fact that most of time when one’s spouse is busy away, he/she is usually near enough e.g. PJ/KL or some Malaysian state. Unlike some people, their loved one is busy thousands of km away and cost a mini fortune every time to see him/her. We have a lot to be thankful for if a loved one is not geographically far away. Bless everyone of you.

  14. miki-san, thank you for sharing.

    i’m not sure whether you think that it’s alright for a father to be away from home a lot :

    his teenage son recognises him and is proud to take his place beside him whenever possible

    or you advocate a father who spends time with the children :

    The more homebound a person is, the more likely one remembers a loved one

    But on the balance, you conclude that being near is good. I agree.

  15. Aiyo, Hands, I don’t you personally, but thank you for your sharing as well. There’s no perfect life on earth. If there was, I would choose not to have cancer, received the results yesterday morning. If there’s perfect life, all fathers and mothers would want to be at home, too.

    It’s about love and commitment. If want to be a good doc, dedicated to the core for the profession, don’t drag others into the misery like the prospective spouse and unborn children who have to wait ages to see you. Which was why I said love enough to let go. Love comes in many ways, it doesn’t have to restricted to marriage.

    A good person will have lots of admirers but if one plans to be a good doc, don’t return such attention. It’s best at times to stay single for certain types of work and level of commitment. Loneliness is universal. One doesn’t have to be married to be rich. If you have true friends, you’re also rich.

    For example, I appreciate most of my docs. And if I can contribute in anyway to help them develop further like that good houseman at SOPD in HKL, yes, if surgery protocol allows one houseman to be included in the team, I would request they include him. I’m rich because I met him and others who made an impact on my life. I’m richer today because of these experiences.

    It’s one thing to be married, it’s another thing to wake up and wonder what you’re living for.

  16. BTW, there’s such a thing as documentaries.

    BTW, again, has anyone ever been recommended for cancer op in Japan? Most times, I read in SG, UK or USA. How about Japan? Most of my Japanese friends don’t know as sickness or illness is something “not to be talked” about…..

  17. miki-san, patients from Malaysia going all the way to UK, US or Japan for surgery? That would be a little too far wouldn’t it? Some patients do go to SG. That’s near. Some patients do go to India and China for treatment. Cost-effective.

    I guess cancer op in Japan might be for gastric cancer (stomach cancer).

  18. Gastric cancer op in Japan ok, two of my Japanese students had this done. I don’t teach anymore so didn’t contact them to ask them for more info re: ops for other cancers.

    Would you say that cancer care is comprehensive enough in MY? Nope, I wouldn’t really think of doing an op in Japan but a holiday yes. I should go there next spring and autumn.

  19. BTW, do you guys/gals who blog here meet or know each other? I read about this guy called “Jimbo” who seem so troubled trying to be a good father. I had a look at his writings, my guess he’s Christian. Jimbo, if you’re out there reading this, hey, look up! God knows you tried even if the whole world thinks you failed them. And I hope people out here will stop tormenting themselves with the guilt of not having spent enough time with their kids.

    Marriage is work. To the singles, if you don’t need more work now, don’t ask for trouble by getting involved with someone.

  20. Bwahaha. Wasn’t expecting to see this up (reposting old posts?). Alas, there was a time I looked like that. 2 kids and 6 years later….

  21. Hi Palmdoc,

    I could not agree with your statement below:

    “Actually women doctors may need it – if I dare say so, it is harder for women doctors to find life partners compared to other professions for a number of reasons”

    I am in the legal field and I can said that the women in the legal field finds it equally hard to find their life partners and I realised nowadays male tend to shy away if they knew the women is a lawyer. Just my 2 cent which might not be the same as others.