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Dad Called Out For Discouraging His Stay-At-Home-Mom Wife From Applying To Medical School

couple in an argument
Vladimir Vladimirov/Getty images

People often thrive best in a career that they are passionate about.

For some, it’s not about the money, but about their passion, which can sometimes result in an abrupt and sudden career change.

Change that doesn’t always earn support from friends and family.

Redditor throwawayfinanny was happy in a highly lucrative career, which allowed him to support his wife and two children.

However, when his stay-at-home wife wanted to pursue a new career, the original poster (OP) was less than encouraging of her decision.

Needless to say, his wife did not appreciate his lack of support.

Wondering if he was being insensitive, the original poster took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for not letting my wife go to medical school?”

The OP explained why he didn’t think his wife’s sudden desire to enter a new career was a terribly advisable idea.

“I (35 M[ale]) have a wife (34 F[emale]) who stays home to take care of our two children.”

“I am a relatively wealthy software engineer, and I have been trying to be financially responsible to save money for retirement and my children’s college.”

“After getting into a few medical TV shows, my wife has had an obsession with being a doctor and has been trying to convince me to pay for her applications to multiple medical schools.”

“I think this is a stupid decision because my wife has been out of her communications degree for eleven years now, and she hasn’t even taken the MCAT or anything like that.”

“And if by some slim chance, she gets into medical school, her tuition would wreck our finances and cause all sorts of problems with childcare.”

“I tried explaining to her that this decision isn’t realistic and suggested that she tried to do some other training like being a CNA to get a taste for the medical field first, but she got mad at me and said that I am stealing away her career aspirations.”

“I told her I would support her taking a smaller step into the medical field by becoming a CNA or nurse first because it’s more realistic for her to get that position and then advance to medical school.”

“Also, I never forced her to stay at home and do childcare.”

“I do a third of the housework on top of my job, and she asked to stay at home since we got married.”

“She just recently changed her mind.”

“I don’t overly restrict her spending, and any financial rule that we create that is imposed on her is also imposed on me.”

“All large-scale financial decisions, over $1000 have to be approved by both of us to occur.”

“We both can buy necessities, and anything we want underneath $1000 occasionally.”

“Since her 50 applications exceed $1000, we both needed to approve, and I don’t approve at all.”

“Additionally, my wife is refusing to take the MCAT despite my encouragement to do so first, because she thinks studying for it will slow down her timeline.”

“And to those who are suggesting I agree to let her apply to fewer schools, she does not like that compromise.”

“She insists she has to maximize her chances by applying to at least 50.”

“She also doesn’t like the compromise I offered of trying another medical career first like nursing.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

The Reddit community generally agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for discouraging his wife from applying to medical school.

Everyone agreed that the OP was probably right that his wife hadn’t really given going to medical school due consideration, and was right in having some doubts about sending applications to as many as 50 schools.


“This doesn’t sound like a case of letting her go, the title makes it sound like you’re literally forbidding it.”

“I just don’t know if this is something she has a legit interest in or a ‘I watched Scrubs, and now I have a romanticized fantasy of being a doctor because I can do that too’ scenario.

“I don’t know the full process of becoming a doctor, but med-school is not easy to get into.”-StringMonkey


“This is terribly unrealistic, and 50 applications is an enormous amount of money.”

“With a communications degree, she likely doesn’t even have the required coursework for medical school.”

“Perhaps she should try the MCAT first, to see if she really wants to do this?”- Magoo69X


“I’m a pre-med student, and there is so much work that goes into applying to medical school.”

“Not just the MCAT, but also the required science coursework, the clinical experience, shadowing doctors, volunteering, research, recommendations, etc.”

“Applying with little to none of these would be an insane waste of money.”

“If she’s really interested in a medical career she can start accumulating these experiences and apply later.”

“People spend their entire undergrad years + gap years to become competitive applicants to medical/dental/PA/etc. school, and even then there’s no guarantee of admission.”

“Tell her to read the neurotic premed subreddit lol.”- notjaredbutcantread


“My wife won’t let me go to the moon.”

“Go figure.”

“Seriously though, your wife should take the MCAT first then figure out how realistic those schools are and narrow it down a bit.”

“Submitting 50 applications when you don’t even know how competitive you’ll be is insane.”

“There’s a lot of middle ground here and ways to be supportive without tilting at windmills.”-DarthPopperMouse


“Retired nurse here.”

“Ask her if she would apply to nursing school.”

“If she has her bachelor’s degree (any field, as long as it’s a bachelor’s degree), she can apply for a 16-month accelerated RN bachelor’s program.”

“She can always pursue more advanced degrees if she chooses.”

“She’ll soon see how television programs in no way ever reflect reality.”

“There’s a huge demand for nurses, but again, she will quickly realize why there are so many positions available.”- nonymahoney


“Just an FYI, she literally can’t apply to medical school without meeting certain course requirements first (organic chemistry, bio, etc).”

“There is also no credible medical school that will accept you without an MCAT, that’s part of the process.”

“It sounds like she hasn’t actually put much work into researching this.”

“I would tell her that if this is ultimately her dream then you want to support it, but you need her to actually look into what is required to get into med school and how long it will take after to actually make money and become a doctor.”

“She’s going to have to take some basic weeder prerequisites first anyway.”

“Maybe she will excel at them, or maybe it will give her the reality check she needs.”

“Grad school is tough, med school is the literal worst.”- NotAnAd2


“I came here prepared to call you the AH based on the title but kinda sounds like she may be the AH.”

“Her degree isn’t science-based so does she have any scientific background?”

“Maybe just pay for her to take the MCAT, so she understands this isn’t the field for her.”

“Side note: I have no idea how much the MCAT is, I know I only paid around 125 for GRE, and as a software developer (no kids tho) this seems a small price to pay to nip this nonsense in the bud.”-Informal_Football724


“Tell her to prepare for MCAT.”

“See how dedicated she is and I doubt she would pass.”

“I have had friends fail, and they were well prepared and just out of school.”- betsycrocker


“If your wife had a communications degree 11 years ago, she might have to take some undergrad courses to meet the prereq’s before she can even start applying.”

“If she starts on undergrad courses right now, she’ll be in her late 40s before she becomes a doctor depending on what specialty she decides on.”

“And will likely have to relocate for med school and residency.”

“That being said, it won’t cost that much time or money if she wants to take some undergrad physiology and anatomy undergrad courses, and go volunteer in a hospital (because TV shows are generally not realistic representations of reality).”- Mangosaregreat101


“You’re not telling her no, but you’re asking her to realistic.”

“She might not even be eligible for med school with a communications bachelor’s and no MCAT.”

“Maybe instead of nursing, ask her to take some college classes just to get a better sense of the field.”- poopbuttfartbreath


“While worded poorly, your wife is being extremely unrealistic and unreasonable.”

“Wanting to go to medical school because of ER and Grey’s Anatomy is like wanting to become a cop because of Knight Rider.”

“Medical school is expensive, difficult, and time-consuming, and your wife wants to do it because of television.”

“She does not want to work her way up, she wants to start on third base.”- MeatShield12

It would be one thing if the OP was forbidding his wife from following a dream she’s been harboring all her life.

But just because you see something on television and like it doesn’t mean you should make it your calling.

Maybe shadowing an ER doctor for the day might give the OP’s wife a better idea of what it’s really like.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.