Making friends – splinter thread

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    I was inspired by the post in the Physicians forum about not having many friends. I though it valuable for us all to discuss.

    How many friends do you have? How do you make friends? Any tips for making friends for those in need?



    I would say that this is a really tough time for me to make new friends. My switch (in other people’s eyes) from SAHM to applying to med school has left many folks not knowing how to react. They say encouraging things, but they also seem to think that I have lost interest in coffee dates and the “little” things!

    It’s sort of a limbo thing. 🙁

    Oh yeah, and the new people I meet kinda look at me like there’s something “different” about me. Can’t wait to meet some fellow moms in med school!

    I could really understand what the physicians were saying about friendships being difficult. I think that’s true for many highpowered professional women. That kind of perceived success and intelligence is intimidating.

    oN a positive note, one of my best friends remains my strongest supporter! We’ve been friends for 10 years now and she’s known me thru all my incarnations!


    I think it’s very difficult to make friends, especially girlfriends. I’m an engineer, so I’m pretty much surrounded by men, or extremely busy women. Most of my freinds are guys, because most girls assume I’m too smart for them or that I’m not interested in anything they’re interested in.

    I have a couple of female freinds, and one of them is getting her PhD in Chemical engineering, another is going to law school, and my one non-professional girl joined the peace-corps and is shipping out to Madagascar. sigh.

    I was really thrilled when I found this forum, because it does get to the point when you think absolutely no one knows what is like to be a medically minded woman who also likes chick flicks and reading Cosmo. 😉



    All my female friends in medicine (from med school and residency) say we’re all lonely, yet we never have time to get together–even the ones without kids yet. Thanks to my very outgoing and sociable husband, I do have a good circle of non-medical friends. But I miss being able to talk with my medical friends and gripe and commisserate. My non-medical friends don’t have a clue about my life (or my student loans–they all think we’re rich!). They’re always asking us to do things before 6 pm (when I usually get home at 7) etc. I also don’t think they fully realize that I’m really a doctor!!! Go figure.


    This has been a hard issue for me as well. I moved here for college and stayed (and met my husband, and stayed for school, etc.) All my college friends moved away after graduation or shortly thereafter, then the couple people I knew between college and medical school moved away, then I had some good friends during medical school, but many of them matched in other cities. The story of a lot of our lives, I’d imagine. I do have a few friends in my MD/PhD program — we’re all in this thing so long that we get to know each other, and one of them even started out in my anatomy group first semester of medical school. I really hope she matches here next year!

    As far as meeting others … may I advertise a website I’m not affiliated with? It’s free and it’s at — you enter a lot of information including ages of your kids, education, profession, and most importantly, zip code. Then you can search all the other posted profiles and sort them by how far they live away from you. I have had mixed success, as you still have all the same problems with scheduling as with anyone else, but at least you know that everyone on that site is a mom looking to meet other moms, and you can match up the ages of your children.

    Besides that, I retained one friend from the new mothers’ group I went to after my daughter was born. At least half of our outings get canceled because of children getting sick or other commitments, but we persist and it’s quite worthwhile! She also works full-time, so she understands all those balance issues very well. Well, good luck to us all!


    I quit frankly, don’t have any friends. Well I do have one that I went to nursing school with. We chat on the phone from time to time. I have always been this way. Not having friends. Even in highschool. Part of the problem was that all the girls who I did talk to at school came from middle to upperclass. I worked to dress well but boy was I lower class. I was embarrassed of my house etc. So I think that had something to do with it. As a teenager, you are soooo self-conscious. I had several cousins around my age so never really cared about making true friendships.
    Now that I have grown up, I still am a loner. Sometimes I long for friendships, but very rarely. I have found that having friendships can be very invading on one’s time. I know that sounds awful. But one time this girl I became friends with as an adult who grew up around me became very obsessive/compulsive. Like calling every 5 minutes when I said I would call her back, and when I would not answer the phone she would actually drive by my house to see if I was in fact home!!!!!! :yikes:
    I have different feelings, I suppose having more friends would not be all that bad. I just don’t go out of my way to make any consistant friends.



    Good topic.
    I too, can relate to all this, especially to Dana. Although I have perodically had close female friends, I have never been one to have them for long periods of time. We always grow apart. I can relate to the feeling of friends taking up a lot of time. I never really know how to act around females because every girl I meet just wants to talk about boyfriends and clothes. I thought I met this really cool girl in my biology class, I was so excited. She was pre-med like me, so I thought we would totally hit it off. We went outside to collect bugs for our lab and she got all squeemish and acted like a little girl, all the while I am digging in the bushes with a popsicle stick…
    Not to judge but why can’t I find any friends that are like me? Then I thought I found another cool friend and all she wants to do is cut the profs down… not really my style either. So once again, loner style for me. I hang out with my bf and a few friends from University.
    Guess I am just not cut out to be a “clicky chick”… :boggled:



    I’m just a premed now so I don’t know what it’s like for med students, doctors, residents, etc. I have a few close friends and I consider myself lucky. My “best friend” from high school is still a part of my life and we talk on the phone a lot, IM, and e-mail. She lives in a different city and state so if I’m lucky I see her once a year around the holidays. I have 3 good local friends: 2 females and 1 male–and then there’s my boyfriend, who’s really my best friend. The one woman I met was a former housemate and we stayed in touch. The other woman I met was a co-worker from my first job and we stayed in touch. And the male is someone I met through co-ed volleyball, which is also how I met my BF of 4 years.

    It’s hard to meet people you “click” with. I guess you just have to give it time. But, yeah, I would ditch anyone who takes up too much of your time though (those that are needy) or “fake friends” who only call you when they want something or have nothing better to do. I hate that. A real friend understands you and knows that your life is going to be chaotic from time to time, and you’ll try to see each other when you can. What’s the cliche–a true friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you anyway.


    P.S. I’ve always found organized activites a good way to meet people. Join a sports team, some kind of hobby club, or take a class in something you are interested in.


    I worked to dress well but boy was I lower class. I was embarrassed of my house etc. So I think that had something to do with it.

    I was in this same position and I think that it still has an affect on how I make friends even now that I am in medical school. I feel that I really have only one true friend and she is 6 hours away. Though she is none medical and doesn’t fully understand what I am going through, she at least tries. Since I have moved to start medical school, I have pretty much given up on making friends here that are like me. I do have “friends” at school but they aren’t people that I feel comfortable calling just to talk and I am certain that none of them would be interested in going out for a beer after a rough class. I may be on the road to becoming a professional but I do not intend to become uptight or forget where I came from. I guess that I feel like people, even those in medical school with kids, don’t understand me. I do miss have girlfriends. I had just gotten comfortable with a great group before I had to move. 🙁 Now, I just don’t know if I will ever be that comfortable around other women again. They all generally intimidate me and I find it very difficult to just be myself. Sorry this was so long and that I seem to be talking in circles.


    Hey Emily, PremedRN,
    I know what you mean. I was the picked-on geeky girl with the JC Penney’s clothes in a school full of rich kids, and I STILL find myself fighting the same “Nerd on the inside” defensive battle everyday.
    It makes me kind of stand-offish in school/work settings, and I don’t feel like I make friends very easily.
    Funny, isn’t it, that when people go on and on about what a great thing it is to be smart, that it can be kind of isolating?
    But, I keep on trying. And the great thing is, that now I know there are other people who feel the same way, I don’t feel quite as much of an “outsider”



    friends are hard to make & keep. true friends that is

    I find that most of my girlfriends tend to stray once they have kids. Naturally they start hanging out with other new moms & their priorities change. Even with trying to keep a relationship up- they are exhausted & their schedule becomes less & less flexible.

    I found that in med school my friends would all hang out in groups. We’d get together for pizza or hit a bar or just chill. We all were going through the same stuff. Mostly we talked about how we were gonna get through anatomy & “what’s the mnemonic for the xyz” & that kinda stuff.

    Once we started to figure out our specialty of choice & match- I think the friendships kinda dwindled. New different problems/concerns arose.

    Then in residency same thing. Complain about the schedule, this attending etc. But time off when not at work or in the hospital – we never had time for girlfriend kinda stuff. That was time for families, boyfriends, just getting sleep.

    So now in the real world I find it still hard to maintain girlfriends. Even some of the other female MDs can be kinda stand-offish I find. Why I don’t know. and those with kids just don’t have time.

    I have enjoyed just being me & not Dr me when I join groups ie quilting classes or whatever. then I’m more approachable & may find someone to hang out with that way.

    I do still have my one best friend from high school. She went through vet school & then did residency in vet dermatology so in a way we’ve been through common things but still remember the days of bad hair & what were we thinking when we see pics of certain outfits! 😮

    and that’s what counts really- having at least one someone you can consider a true friend. I don’t too much care for the superficial ones.

    boy did I go on…. Sorry

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