PodcastDr. D’s German Medical School Experience

March 7, 2016by Frank Love0


Podcast Episode:
Ever want to make a change, but don’t want to lose the advancements that you have already made. If so, you’ll love today’s guest’s story on this edition of Frank Relationships.



Guests: Dr. D
Date: March 7, 2016

Frank:  Ever want to make a change, but don’t want to lose the advancements that you have already made. If so, you’ll love today’s guest’s story on this edition of Frank Relationships.

Yup, those are my babies. As always, thanks for getting daddy’s daughter today.

Welcome to Frank Relationships where we provide a candid, fresh and frank look in the relationships with goals of acceptance, respect and flexibility. I’m Frank Love and you can find me, my blog and my various social media incarnations at franklove.com.

You can also find me on ABC’s Good Morning Washington most Friday mornings during the 9 o’ clock hour. If you’re listening to the show on Blog Talk Radio, please follow us and if via iTunes, please subscribe so that you can effortlessly get each show each week. Also, if you’re enjoying the show and of course you are, please share with your family and/or friends on your favourite social media platform. We are looking to add new friends to our social media family over the course of the next week so please help us, help our community by spreading the word about the show.

Frank: Greetings to my super duper co-host, Nancy Goldring. What’s up?

Nancy: How are you, Frank?

Frank: I am great.

Nancy: Awesome.

Frank: She is the consummate generalist…

Nancy: Yes, interested in just about everything.

Frank: Alright. Well let’s see what you think of today’s guest.

Nancy: Okay.

Frank: What’s in the news? You got something for me today?

Nancy: Oh my gosh. So…

Frank: Relationship news.

Nancy: Relationship news, alright. So I’m driving over here this morning and I’m listening to the radio and of course they’re talking about the elections. In this particular segment, they’re dealing with Trump’s popularity with evangelical Christians. So you say, “What’s that got to do with relationships, Nancy?”

Frank: I’m listening.

Nancy: So, but the thing that really got my attention was that naturally, leaders in that community are flabbergasted that their group, even evangelical Christians are all in the Trump camp. So they said they made this comment that while Bill Clinton was a “moral failure” that Donald Trump is a “moral degenerate.” And I just couldn’t contain myself… But here’s the kicker… They made those assertions based on how these men conducted themselves, what? In relationship.

Frank: Interesting.

Nancy: So, the deal was that Bill Clinton had obviously had his illicit affairs. Actually, pre-Whitehouse and during the Whitehouse.

Frank: Is that obvious—is that a given? Remember he is—

Nancy: Well it’s a given we know it now. You know his—

Frank: Well he only got felatio from Monica Lewinski. That’s the—

Nancy: That’s what we were told… Yeah.

Frank: That’s it.

Nancy: But that is a form of sex and it’s an illicit sexual encounter when you have commitment to someone else—am I wrong about this doc? No—am I crazy? So… And Donald Trump they throw out that he’s been married three times and you know… Why is this community aligning with this human being? And I’m thinking, because they’re getting real about who they are as people.

Frank: That’s interesting.

Nancy: That we may aspire to the more high ground but are we living on it? and I thought—oh my goodness. Rock n’ roll, America. It’s getting crazy.

Frank: Does our unintroduced guest over here have something to say?

Nancy: While you’re still unintroduced, you may hold and remain…

Guest: Yeah, maybe I should. I think I would just add that I think that felatio is definitely a form of—

Nancy: Thank you!

Guest: —sexual intimacy.

Nancy: Come on Frankie!

Frank: Well see, you said a few things. You talked about him having these relationships or “affairs” before his relationship but that happened—

Nancy: Before his presidency.

Frank: Before his presidency.

Nancy: Yes.

Frank: But that happened during his presidency.

Nancy: No, no, no.  I’m saying he not only had these relationships before his presidency but during it. So they’re calling him a “moral failure” but Donald Trump who was married three times…

Frank: I got it, I got it.

Nancy: Bill’s only been married once! Married three times, he is a moral degenerate and I thought okay.

Frank: My question is, do we really know… We know about Monica Lewinski.

Nancy: Yeah.

Frank: Do we really know what—

Nancy: We know about Jennifer Flowers.

Frank: Oh, okay.

Nancy: Come on now. Come on now. Don’ play. Don’t play. We know about her. And I believe she wasn’t the only one. That’s the only one I remember.

Frank: I sincerely doubt it but I’m talking about the keyword “know.”

Nancy: Know? Oh you mean do we know for real?

Frank: We just believe versus we know.

Nancy: Well here’s the thing…

Frank: We know about Monica Lewinski. They copped to that.

Nancy: He didn’t cop to the Flowers?

Frank: I think he did cop the Flowers.

Nancy: No thank. Yeah.

Frank: But I forgot about that one.

Nancy: Okay, okay, okay.

Frank: Jeff, you got anything?

Jeff: You really want to know— you know that rappler like Elvis was a hero at the most? Clinton was a hero. Well, two things about that. I know women who’ve been in the presence of Bill Clinton. They have not had relationships with him but they have said they were physically affected by him,—

Nancy: His energy.

Jeff: —the persona is so strong, he turned on… when he walked into the room. So that adds to the reputation of him being a sex symbol.

Nancy: Yes, yes.

Jeff: More importantly, you’re talking about the moral grounds of Donald Trump and lack thereof, the democrats have a female person whom will probably get the nomination, who lives with that guy.

Nancy: Who lives with that guy, yes.

Jeff: So there’s a whole other –

Frank: Well do we know that…

Jeff:  Yeah, [unclear].

Frank: That we know.

Jeff: Who remained married after all of this and there are many, many women and men who stay after infidelity. But there are more questions to be asked about that IF you’re going to ask a moral question. Personally, I don’t think religion or what happens in the bedroom has anything to do with what people do professionally, but I do understand that it is something that goes into decision making. You want the best person to be making the decisions for our country. And if they don’t make them for their house, maybe they shouldn’t be trusted to make them for OUR house.

Nancy: OUR house. Yeah, yeah.

Jeff: I’ll close my mic now, Frank.

Frank: Alright, alright. Well said though.

Nancy: Yes, yes.

Frank: Jeff has a habit of showing up and saying something really nice and then hiding, goes back to—

Nancy: Running back behind his mic. Yes.

Frank: I was… I’m skipping topics now. Is that okay?

Nancy: Yes, that’s fine.

Frank: Unintroduced guest, is that alright?

Guest: Unintroduced is okay with that.

Frank: Okay, okay. I was talking to my wife this week and we were discussing the landscape at Atlanta in terms of the number of gay men that are flamboyant, wearing high heels and makeup and what you generally see women do… And… So the number of gay men doing that, the number of gay men who just I guess are not considered gay but have sex with men don’t call themselves gay like there’s—I think that’s… There’s something to that.

Jeff: It’s called hiphop.

Nancy: Oooooooh, ouch!

Frank: Security…

Jeff: Do you have—give me 90 seconds to explain.

Frank: Of course.

Nancy: Please, in a hurry.

Jeff: And I may be dating myself. So let’s go back 20 years, hiphop community. I didn’t realize how prevalent homosexuality or homosexual acts were IN the community. And it stems from, a lot of it does from a prison mentality. A lot of people who are very active in that community also spend some time in prison and the ramifications of being with the same sex enclosed in one place for a long period of time.

Nancy: Sure.

Jeff: However, hiphop community, when I was doing music videos, a lot of them in New York always attracted in big crowd and a lot of females are interested in the performers. That’s just the state of what entertainment is about.

Nancy: Right.

Jeff: I went to LA to do a hiphop video and I was in South Central and in the Compton area, and there are no women around. But there’s lots of homies, there’s a lot of friends, there are lots of partners, there are lots of people who are very supportive and very close community and added to and lead to a lot of success. “Straight Outta Compton” is a great movie in terms of that period of time and that community. However, no women. And I come to find out from reliable sources including the artists themselves, a lot of the inner circle, not only have spent time in prison but sex to them was… just something they did. It was a—I want to say a sport, but it was an activity. So…

Frank: With each other?

Jeff: Well I’m going to play basketball and I’m going to need this release and there aren’t women around but there’s the homie on the corner who happens to do that. Not to get graphic, but the mentality was—I don’t know this true be true now because I’ve been out of the game for a little bit but if you’re a pitcher and not a catcher, you’re not gay. And you would be very surprised, and I’m certainly not going to spread names—you’ll be certainly very surprised that a lot of the names that come up in that community.

Frank: You said that you saw that on the West Coast. Now does that mean that it’s relegated to the West Coast?

Jeff: Not necessarily.

Frank: Okay.

Jeff: Not necessarily. It’s the only time I witnessed it… And what was downplayed in the movie “Straight Outta Compton” was easy ease promiscuity and—

Frank: Was that downplayed because—

Jeff: No, with men it was.

Frank: Oh man. Okay, Jeff.

Jeff: Okay. And again I don’t know that to be a fact. I’m just saying the unfortunate disease he did pass away from was AIDS. So again, I’m not here to spread rumors. I’m just saying that that is a reality of that community, that could still and could not exist anymore. For the record, since a lot of people listen to your podcast, I’m not passing judgment. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong.

Nancy: Right. You’re just stating the—okay, okay.

Jeff: That’s exactly what happened and a lot of the lyrics are very much ease mode laden, you know. Certainly back in the day it was, how you like me now and—

Nancy: Yeah.

Jeff: I’m bigger and better—well yeah, yeah. [Unclear] So with the macho and the I’m wearing black and a chain and it was all very masculine, again, not that there’s anything non-masculine about being gay but there is that certain of confusion that a lot of the public and the fans aren’t aware of… But now they are.

Nancy: I don’t even know if I can say—unaware of I can say that it’s still not discussed.

Jeff: Right, open.

Nancy: Yeah.

Jeff: And then on the female side if you get, Melissa Etheridge or Queen Latifah or someone who’s—

Nancy: Openly.

Jeff: —open.

Nancy: Right.

Jeff: That’s just the label.

Frank: I haven’t heard that Queen Latifah is open about anything.

Nancy: Really?

Jeff: I think she is.

Frank: I haven’t heard that. I mean, I’ve heard that she is a woman that sees women—I’ve heard that but—

Jeff: I don’t know why I would know that then and feel comfortable enough to say that.

Nancy: Right.

Jeff: I worked on her original talk show and sexuality never came into play.

Frank: Well that might be…

Jeff: Maybe but now 20 years later, I just thought that was common place. You just know Ellen is, you know Melissa Etheridge is…

Frank: Well you know Ellen is. Ellen is like “I’m married to a woman.” But—

Jeff: But Queen Latifah I thought was in that same category. Maybe not—

Nancy: Got it. I’m not unaware. I just know her of her roles that she’s played and you know…

Frank: Particularly set it off.

Guest: Set it off and then the Best C—

Jeff: Best C, that was the name of the movie.

Guest: The Best C. Yeah.

Frank: Oh alright, okay.

Guest: Kind of highlighted homosexual relationships but… Yeah I think still most a lot of those relationships in hiphop are more rumoured although maybe now they are becoming more… open.

Jeff: Prevalent.

Guest: Yeah.

Frank: Well you know, where I was taking this…

Nancy: It’s never our way to [unclear]…

Frank: I was talking with my wife about the prevalence of gay men or men who have sex with men in the Atlanta community. As she was saying, “What do women to do when you have so many men that are interested in men?” Now, I think it’s worth noting men who have sex with men does not mean that those men don’t have sex with women.

Nancy: Got it.

Frank: So I think that that is worth noting and that that doesn’t exclude relationships with women. But if we’re just talking about men who are interested in other men and how that may reduce the pool for heterosexual women, it’s also worth mentioning that there are women who are just interested in women. I wonder if the number is similar but I kind of—in our conversation—we both seem to assume or concede that those numbers weren’t the same and that there were a lot of heterosexual women that were looking for heterosexual men and the numbers were not equal.

So, for the sake of argument, I’m going to throw out these numbers. Let’s say in a given community, country, call it whatever the grouping is, that you have a 120 women and 60 men. If you are—and it’s a pleasure to be sitting with two women right now because you’re [unclear]…

Nancy: And be the only man in the room, aside from Jeff. Jeff is married. Jeff is married too for the record.

Jeff: Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

Frank: So okay, alright. You got 60 men, 12 women. If you are one of those 60 women that we’re going to say are married to the 60 men, what do you do as a woman with those other 60 women who are—I’m going to say your sisters—do you leave them to just… Go somewhere, leave my man alone? Or do you concede that these women have needs, may want children and share.

Alright, the mic is open. Your mic works. Come on, speak into. But you have been married Nancy?

Nancy: Sure.

Frank: So you can go back to that point in time. Silence is not going to work here.

Guest: I usually use that. I usually use my [unclear] rights. It’s not working? Okay.

Frank: We are on the radio.

Nancy: Let’s just say for the record that we are socialized to believe and expect that when we marry, we are committing to one, that your husband’s committing to you, you’re committing to your husband especially in the intimate relationship. And for all intent and purposes, the whole relationship should be intimate, not just sexually.

Frank: Now let’s define “we.” We are socializing.

Nancy: Meaning, American culture, okay?

Frank: Okay.

Nancy: So you have… I like to… quote Caroline Mace in her assertion and I’m sure it could be… pulled out a history that marriage is in fact a contract, a survival contract and that now that women and men for that matter, now that we no longer need marriage for survival, we’re not entering into this language of partnership and even me, it’s taking a little bit of an adjustment to get used to women referring to the man in their life as their partner. I’m so accustomed to hearing people use the partner language if there’s a homosexual relationship. So for a woman to refer to her man, her husband, her boyfriend, whatever you want to call it, as her partner still takes a little bit of mental juggling on my part. And so, to say that he’s my partner versus my husband, is deliberate language and it says that I don’t need him to take care of my survival needs. We are together by choice.

So there’s that distinction that maybe needs to be made especially when you want to transition into sharing that partnership openly with other men and I would expect—other women, I’m sorry, if you’re saying there’s 120 women and 60 men. So I’m saying okay, if—I’m always going straight to—if you can see other women, can I see other men? That’s all I want to know. Are you cool with that? That’s the thing we have to establish first. And then it becomes a matter of are we open about that? is this something that you’re going to do and I got to find it out? I’m at some event or whatever and everybody in the room knows that you’re sleeping with half a dozen women except for me or is it going to be something that I get to actively and intelligently and emotionally participator in? I don’t need to be the victim.

Frank: Well you don’t need to be the victim even if you don’t know.

Nancy: No, but what I’m saying is there is some—I definitely don’t need to be the victim if I don’t know, I got that. However, knowing, giving me that opportunity—

Frank: There’s something there.

Nancy: Suggest.

Guest: That could be part of the contract or the—

Nancy: Yes, and determine whether I want to participate or not or if I’m going to by default be participating in an open relationship, do I need to be committed to you?

Frank: Well that’s not by default.

Guest: There’s 59 other—

Nancy: There’s 59 other men out there and I’m going to have to share one, are you the one I want to be sharing?

Frank: Well isn’t that always the question? Are you–?

Nancy: No.

Frank: The first piece is are you the person I want to be with in the first place?

Nancy: That is—yes.

Frank: So we get past that part by you—

Nancy: But listen, underneath of which you’re saying is the assertion that you know why I married him. You think you know—oh yes, I love him, he’s fabulous, he’s—

Frank: No, no, no. I think you married him because you wanted to.

Nancy: Oh it’s not that I didn’t want to, the question is—why did I want to?

Frank: Well that’s another question.

Nancy: That’s a whole other issue.

Frank: But that’s all I think that is under it.

Nancy: Okay.

Frank: You married that person because you wanted to marry that person. That’s it.

Nancy: Okay. You’re not going any deeper than that.

Frank: You got money, it may be—or who knows?

Nancy: Okay, okay.

Frank: Unintroduced guest?

Guest: Yeah, I think at some point in a relationship, even if you kind of begin under disguises of the more traditional American or western marriage conditions that as you grow as an individual and realize your own needs, then you may at some point decide to renegotiate the terms of those marriages or of your marriage because of your personal needs or desire to stay with that person but also realizing and somehow embracing these other desires or other possibilities of relationship structures. So if—I think the openness is pretty much or the courage or… yeah, the courage to say “This is what I want and this is what I’d like to do” because it is a sort of a contract that you’re in. Not even like a paper-contract but an agreement.

Nancy: Yes.

Guest: So if the terms of the agreement change, then you should inform the person with whom you’re in an agreement that I’d like to change it this way, and it may be if that person is okay with it and it works for you, if it works for those two people, because who knows what marriage is really supposed to be.

Frank: Right.

Guest: But I like the idea of survival and I actually still think marriage as survival.

Nancy: Sure, it is.

Guest: Because you know…

Frank: If you’re going to say “Sure it is” why are you saying that it is—

Nancy: It is deeper than economics now, that’s what I said.

Frank: Okay.

Guest: Yeah, living, growing old… it helps to have someone—

Frank: Companionship.

Guest: Some companionship and someone to help you out and of all the things you got to negotiate through this life, that’s certainly—one aspect, one advantage of marriage is having that go-to person—

Frank: A warm body?

Guest: Yeah.

Nancy: That’s an expectation of marriage.

Guest: Yeah.

Nancy: I’m going to consider that a guarantee of marriage. There’s an expectation that if we are married and we’ve taken vows that I can expect you to be there.

Frank: What if you didn’t take no vows?

Nancy: What if I didn’t take any vows?

Frank: Right. You can be married without taking vows.

Nancy: You can be together without taking vows.

Frank: You could be married without taking vows.

Nancy: You can be—oh okay, alright. I’m someplace else entirely right now, Frank. I really… I’m in two places.

Frank: Oh boy.

Nancy: Number one, I just had this conversation yesterday so I’m in that.

Frank: Alright.

Nancy: I mean like god, that’s like right back up again. And number two, I’m in this other conversation that says—I remember many women, elders in my community would say “You don’t know a man until you’ve married him” which suggest that when you transition, when you cross that threshold of marriage that there are ways of being, maybe, that don’t come online for you or for him until you’ve… committed.

Frank: Okay. But what is a commitment—see, [unclear]. Okay, what is a commitment that’s a whole other conversation because commitment to me is just doing what you say you’re going to do. If you are in a relationship and you say “I’m going to do this, I’m not going to o that,” then that’s committed. I’m not going to do nothing. I’m committed to doing nothing.

N: That’s true but some people don’t hold that quality of relationship to their word unless they are bound.

Frank: Okay.

Nancy: And even if they are bound by the law or spiritual doctrine, they may not.

Frank: Oh even if they are not bound, they may.

Nancy: Yes. No question.

Frank: Oh okay. You said something—and I want to backtrack—we do actually have a guest in the studio that has a story…

Nancy: Somehow, there’s a connection…

Frank: You said that the first thing that comes up in a conversation like this, my 60 and 120 scenario—

Nancy: Sure, sure.

Frank: —is whether you can see other men.

Nancy: Yes.

Frank: Now why’s that the first thing that comes up?

Nancy: I need that—for some reason—I need… I think because most of the time, historically this conversation around the man being involved with one woman… I assert that most men are not particularly interested in their woman being with other men. I cited for you. I think last week or the week before, a quote from Dr. Joyce Brothers book that’s forever old wherein she says if a man has an affair, he’s communicating something. He wants—there’s a problem and it can be fixed. But if YOU have an affair, she says and I quote, “If you are woman enough to have an affair, you had better be woman enough to deal with the guilt because he will not understand.” So… and she says she even had this one… patient client on which he would come but in one situation, the man was so blown away that his wife had an affair. He was intrigued by her. It was like all of a sudden, maybe there was more to her than he thought but he could not transcend the fact that she had been with someone else.

Frank: Okay. My question was—why is that the first thing that comes up?

Nancy: For me?

Frank: Yes.

Nancy: Because if you want me to open up the relationship for you to be with someone else, then atleast psychologically, I need that freedom. I need that freedom to explore because that’s what it’s going to—I don’t need to actually do it but I do need to know that I’m not facing… extinction in your emotional world.

Guest: Wow. That’s interesting.

Frank: What if you don’t—

Nancy: Like don’t lie to me. Don’t ask me to tolerate your involvement with other women when really what you’re doing is transitioning out of the relationship.

Frank: Okay, that didn’t even come up.

Nancy: It may not have come up but I’m only giving you a window—god knows—into my psyche. So I’m saying if you want to be involved with other people but you want to keep me around, I want to know why. Why do you want to—if you want to be involved sexually with someone else, then it is not all about this promoting a community.

Frank: How do you know?

Nancy: I’m saying that’s what you’re saying.

Guest: If she doesn’t or if the woman doesn’t have the opportunity to explore her feelings, because in to some extent in a marriage, if you decide to commit to one person, then you’re agreeing to in some ways forsake other possible relationships…

Frank: Okay.

Guest: …to be with someone else—

Frank: We could go with that.

Guest: Could be but then if you want to call it an open relationship then open means that you’re open to explore those feelings again. Otherwise, you’re just seeing someone else.

Nancy: Exactly.

Guest: That’s not an open relationship.

Nancy: Thank you.

Guest: That’s not open.

Nancy: Thank you so much.

Frank: Why—? Okay, okay. So—

Guest: You’re open but I’m not so that’s not open.

Frank You’re right. It’s not open, it’s more like polygamous.

Guest: Yeah, and I’m sorry I don’t know the exact definition of that but polygamous mean they like—

Nancy: A male with more than one woman.

Guest: Yes. So that’s not an open relationship.

Frank: Right.

Guest: That’s a very structured relationship. I’m pretty sure that—

Nancy: It’s a contract.

Guest: —who are contracted into that are not open to do that.  that’s—[unclear] So and I think that that can be used to skew what’s really going on in the relationship because that open relationship is a very catchy term. It sounds good. But it’s not open if both people are not open, the skip around the meadow and smell the flowers…

Frank: But I’m not using the open relationship term.

Nancy: You may not want to box in the scenario that you are creating into terms polygamy, polyamory, marriage… You may not want to box it in. I can respect that. That doesn’t mean that at some point it isn’t going to find itself in one of those boxes. There isn’t going to be a whole lot that’s all that avant-garde about which you’re talking about except that you make it honest and open. Atleast in polygamy, the existing wives understand that the husband wants to bring in another wife. And the husband is only able to have as many wives as he can what?

All: Afford.

Guest: Preach.

Frank: Mentally and economically—

Nancy: And then physically.

Frank: Yes. That’s real.

Nancy: Physically. So wait a minute, don’t ask me. Here’s the real truth on this Goldring.

Frank: Alright.

Nancy: Don’t ask me to share you and you ain’t taking care of me.

Frank: Okay.

Nancy: You want me to say “Oh yes honey. Get out there, explore, support the community!” and I’m sitting here saying how long has it been? And wait a minute. We ain’t even got an issue.

Frank: She is talking today.

Nancy: We haven’t even gotten to do I even enjoy it enough with you to share it. see, I may not be with you for sexual gratification.

Frank: So if you don’t enjoy it enough…

Nancy: But I may be into you enough to support, to be a witness and a support structure for your success on this planet. It may transcend what I want from you sexually. So if you—

Frank: So why would you prevent that?

Nancy: Which is all the more reason why I’m saying is it okay for me to get out there and explore?

Frank: Okay. Did you have something, unintroduced guest?

Nancy: Because he doesn’t want to deal with me right now.

Guest: I’m just saying, I’ll try to go back to your original question like would it be okay to share [unclear].

Frank: Oh somebody heard my question?

Guest: The 60 and the 120 ad I think it could be a simple conversation. Is it okay to ask for… the partners in that marriage to say “Is it okay?” Because I’ve had conversation like my best friends are single and they don’t have children. The two best friends, one’s male and one’s female. We’ve talked about that and both of them are not willing to get into relationships just based on the facts—just to try to sort of achieve this marriage status or have children. It really has to be the right thing, it has to click for them. Otherwise, they’re not going to do it and they are going to stand by that. They are not changing this.

Frank: They in the 30s, 40s, 50s?

Guest: They’re 40s, in mid-40s now.

Frank: Okay.

Guest: They’re like no, if it’s not right, then we’re not settling. They’re not going to settle. So in that case, they’re not looking for a shared—like god just give me a baby or something, or give me a relationship. I think that in the world that we’re living in now, getting away from more of that survival necessity of marriage or partnering with someone that a lot of people who are not married is in some way, there’s a choice driven.

Frank: I’m going to talk about that in a second. I want to play with that. Back to Ms. Nancy here, the verbose one…

Nancy: I’m shutting down all operations over here. I have probably said too much.

Frank: Why would you make your interest in exploring contingent upon him if you want to—

Nancy: I’m married to him.

Frank: Okay, but if you want to explore, why not that just be something that you put out there. if you’re in the 60, 120 paradigm, why would you make it contingent upon him saying we’re—I’m framing that by saying because he may not necessarily be the one to say it. In fact, in the paradigm I’m suggesting, he’s not the one saying it. It’s actually the woman who’s married looking at her sister who’s unmarried or who doesn’t have children and want some that’s saying, “I don’t want you to be left out of having children or left out of a relationship so I would like to share with you.” That’s more of the paradigm that I actually discussing. But—

Nancy: But that’s not what you put out there.

Frank: I don’t know what I said at the beginning.

Nancy: I got it, that’s cool. I’m not holding [unclear]. I’m okay in—

Frank: That’s what I’m interested in sharing about but hold on, hold on…

Nancy: Okay.

Frank: But even if you’re in the other paradigm with a man suggesting it, why would you wait for him to put his interest or desires or whatever out there about another woman to introduce your interest in possibly another man when they don’t necessarily have anything to do with each other?

Nancy: No. Okay, so—let me be responsible for how I’m listening to you. How I’m listening to you is I’m already married. The demographics around us have changed in the time that we’ve been married. And all of us—

Frank: Why?

Nancy: No, I’m saying that’s how I’m hearing it.

Frank: Okay.

Nancy: I’m hearing you from the vantage point that when I went into this marriage, I went into this marriage under the impression atleast that the goal, the moral high ground for us is to only be—

Frank: The “moral high ground…”

Nancy: [unclear] The moral high ground for us is to be a unit—

Frank: A one-on-one. A one-to-one…

Nancy: A one-to-one unit, okay.

Frank: Okay.

Nancy: So, now if when I marry you the demographics are such that I understand that I’m marrying one man out of 60 and there are 120 women and that’s the conversation we need to have before we even get married. And it’s not like oh because you’re looking at things this way now I can or anything like that. It’s just based on the agreement I made. So now, if you’re telling me that this is the dynamic that I’m stepping into, then that’s the conversation first of all that I need to have with myself. What am I up for? What am I into? What am I willing to participate in for the development of my own person and the spiritual growth of the person I’m with?

Frank: Okay.

Nancy: So yeah. But I am telling you, this is… oh my goodness. I got to so let it go because I have yeah, I won’t say anymore.

Guest: But I guess if the woman asks—if the wife asks the husband to participate in a relationship with another woman, then… that’s…

Nancy: I don’t know too many [unclear].

Guest: I don’t know—I’m just hypothetical based on the scenario that you [unclear]…

Nancy: Not necessarily object if the wife—well you know, and then again some might say well that just kind of takes the buzz out off it. I know I certainly would have been one of those people [unclear] my life. Oh you’re asking me? If it’s okay to mess around, I don’t want to. I need intrigue. I need all that juice.

Frank: The intrigue being what?

Nancy: Being that somebody in the equation doesn’t know what I’m doing.

Frank: That’s what you want?

Nancy: I’m saying if I’m going to do that then at one time it was like that’s where the juice was is. It was in the secrecy, the espionage of it all. But now, if you’re talking about—you’re really talking about entering into this thing with some degree of consciousness.

Frank: Or finding some degree of consciousness, not necessarily just personal but communal also. So I’m saying, and I have certainly frame the conversation. And I’m saying if you as a married woman see another woman—

Nancy: Truthfully? Yes I could do it. Especially if she doesn’t have any children and I don’t have any children but that’s my choice. Listen, if I marry a man who doesn’t have any children; he wants children, he prefers his own children. I atleast am willing to entertain the fact that he can have those children with someone else and I would even be willing to participate in rearing those children. maybe more actively because they’re not mine. And so, I don’t have a bloodline responsibility to engage them with the same rigor that I might if they were my own. That doesn’t mean I don’t love them.

Frank: I understand.

Nancy: Or engage them but for me sometimes, I need a little emotional distance and I think that that would be—if I’m married to the man I love and he doesn’t have  children then I’m not going to have any and we have an opportunity for him to have his own child with a woman that he thinks is suitable,–

Frank: Or that you think is suitable, that you like.

Nancy: Or that we can agree is suitable. I really want to believe that I could participate in that but still, Frank, you’ve given me an opportunity.

Frank: I got it, I got it. But it was the way I introduced it or the way I meant to introduce it was meant to give you the opportunity in the first place. It was on—I was really saying as a woman, seeing another woman—

Nancy: Yeah, yeah.

Frank: Would you be willing to share.

Nancy: For women that really want to be mothers and be nurturers, I would not deny that in any woman. I would not.

Frank: Fascinating.

Nancy: Yeah.

Frank: Unintroduced guest, you got anything on that before we actually introduce you?

Guest: I’m trying to imagine the scenario but I don’t feel like I could do that and I feel that I could be that generous.

Nancy: Good. Now we’re balanced in the argument. Because you know I can get into a whole lot of stuff that people might consider to be radically on the fringe. So it’s good to have balance really, really.

Frank: Thank you ladies. Today’s guest has quite a story. As a medical student in Washington DC, she knew that something was off and wasn’t satisfied with the way things were going in her life so she did what every dissatisfied medical student does. She moved to Germany. Yup, Germany. And she isn’t German, don’t have German roots, in fact, she’s African-American, didn’t speak a lick of Germany and had never been there before but it doesn’t end there. She actually continued with her medical school studies and graduated from medical school in Germany. Well, you’re about to hear all her story and all the details.

So, if you want to know about the difference and the cost of her education between stateside and German medical school, how she learned German and completed medical school relying on an unfamiliar language AND of course, on the relationship side, how she found her husband, then stay tuned as your Frank Relationships team talks with a very unique woman about her very unique trail to becoming a physician. She is Dawn, and we’re going to call her Dr. D. Welcome to the show.

Dr. D: Thank you.

Nancy: Welcome.

Dr. D: Thank you.

Frank: First question. You want to ask her for me, Nancy?

Nancy: Oh. Okay. What advice, Dr. D can you give a 25 year old couple that has a baby due in 2 months based on your journey?

Frank: Well based on being a mother.

Nancy: Indeed.

Dr. D: I thought about this question but I really didn’t come up with an advice. I thought my feeling about hearing that story is congratulations, best thing you could be doing with your life.

Frank: There you have it.

Nancy: Wow.

Frank:  Give a pat on her back right here.

Nancy: Great.

Frank: Ok so we’d your journey start?

Dr. D: In terms of going to Germany?

Frank: Yeah, Germany… but that’s where we’re going but in your own just wherever you want to start. Where’d your journey start?

Dr. D: Journey started? Journey started… I guess I would say the journey started in medical school which I started here in the states and medical school for me is my own decision. I decided probably when I was 6 years old, that’s what I was going to do when I grow up. Just I had a… tendency towards things kind of scientific and natural science and just interested in everything, in most books, just everything. Like I knew that’s where I was going—I wanted to learn about the body. So that was all a no-brainer until I actually got into medical school and I kind of sort of hated it.

Frank: Really?

Dr. D: I did not like it. I didn’t like—I liked the subject matter but the rigor and the demands… I mean I was in a medical school here in Washington and the classes were taught in basically a basement. So you basically spend your day—you get up early, spend an entire day listening to lectures underground. Like literally not seeing light for the entire day. But I could sort of deal with that because I don’t know, you go to school your entire life so you’re kind of accustomed to studying and listening, taking notes and taking tests but when it really got here, it was when we crossed over into the clinical—

Frank: Well the medical school is 3 years?

Dr. D: 4 years.

Frank: 4 years?

Dr. D: 4 years.

Frank: And when it was the clinical—when in that 4 years?

Dr. D: 2 years. After 2 years.

Frank: Okay.

Dr. D: So generally you do 2 years of pre-clinical work and then you—I don’t know how it’s structured now but then we would take the first step above the medical licensing exam, USMLE and then you start your clinical work. The problem with the clinical work was… for me it was the cost. The overnight working, the hours and I really—because I don’t have any physicians in the family, I wasn’t really exposed to this process or physician training. Then you start saying like “Hey people are working overnight here” like 35—I mean now 30 hours is restricted work day.

Frank: But you can sleep, right?

Dr. D: If you can sleep, you can sleep but you know… but if there’s work to be done… It’s sort of this rite of passage, it’s really like a pledging process of medicine. So kind of the harder it is, the better—

Frank: The more you’re respected of that?

Dr. D:  …they look down and kind of laugh… it’s hazing. I mean, what if you can’t sleep for 30 hours, is that—that’s like not a physiological…

Frank: Yeah.

Dr. D: So that was when I was exposed to that, and then… I became progressively less connected to this pathway. I had some connection but I just couldn’t see myself and especially when I started learning about what was going to be expected in residency which is even worse. I just sort of—there was a disconnect for me there. So I wanted out, out, out and didn’t have a plan B and so after—I basically finished med school but didn’t want to go on with the licensing exams and residency.

F: So you finished the 4 years?

Dr. D: I finished the 4 years.

Frank: At your first? Okay. Alright, alright.

Nancy: Oh okay.

Dr. D: But for me, finishing was just that finishing like—I hadn’t until that time ever not finish something like start school and not finish it, like I don’t even know just dropping out right. So I finished it but I also kind of passive-aggressively didn’t apply for residency, didn’t take the exams that I needed to do. Just didn’t do any of the things that would then—

Frank: Take you to the next level?

Dr. D: Yeah.

Frank: That you had to do.

Dr. D: That I had to do, right. So I finished medical school but that means basically nothing because you have to do a residency, you have to train further in order to be a licensed physician and for me, I was just like “Ah I’m finished, I’m out and finished.” So…

Frank: Residency is an additional—?

Dr. D: An additional, atleast 3 years to be a board certified in anything. You can do one year and work but to be let’s say family physician or an internist or a surgeon, it has to be atleast  3 years up to 5 to 8, 9 years if you’re going to be a neurosurgeon, takes a really long time.

Frank: So you ended up doing what?

Dr. D: Taken off. I went to—I had lots of friends. I went to school at Atlanta so I thought we were going to go more into the Atlanta thing that’s interesting that the observations you and your wife were making because I need some similar ones when I was there recently but so I had lots of friends around the country. I just kind of—I had a friend who was moving to California so I just kind of peace mailed my way to California, went here North Carolina for a while, went to Chicago for a while, picked me up, we finished driving to California, one of the best scenic trips of my life and just kind of bounced around, try to figure out what I wanted to do, experiment it with some fitness careers and things but I was really more some kind of burned out from school.

Frank: Okay.

Dr. D: I wasn’t ready to start another career.

Frank: Until what? What lead you to Germany? What was that trigger?

Dr. D: Well I had to either decide on doing something else, another career and even more so, deciding to completely disregard or kind of—I don’t want to say trash but like throw away everything that I’ve done so far and I wasn’t really ready to do that even though I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do. So I had a professor at my medical school who had studied in Germany. I just went to him, it was suggested that I talk to him about what options I could have and I wasn’t—Germany was not a country that I picked. I was just open—actually I was open to going to another country. I specifically wanted to go to another country.

Frank: Were you and this professor close? Did you know each other well?

Dr. D: Not close. I knew he had taught a class that I’ve been in but I was not close to him until after I’ve maintained a relationship with him since that time but yeah.

Nancy: Prior to that. Okay.

Frank: Okay so professor says what?

Dr. D: So I listed some places that I was interested in. We were talking about we were like oh okay—

Frank: Bahamas? Jamaica?

Dr. D: I did—no, I wasn’t even thinking about that but no. The reason was—

Frank: Yeah, why didn’t you go to Cuba? Because Cuba has—

Dr. D: The best medical—

Frank: Yes!

Dr. D: …rich, strong… I don’t think that I was—for me I was keenly interested in living in a country where I had to learn a new language.

Frank: You know Spanish?

Dr. D: A little Spanish.

Frank: Okay.

Dr. D: With Spanish being more familiar being from this area, it wasn’t as much of a pull to go to a Spanish-speaking country.

Frank: Okay.

Dr. D: Basically, any other language which you know is completely foreign to me and I wanted to go to a place where I had to learn the language and—

Frank: Look at Nancy… putting out that Cuba thing. You—I thought about that last night but wouldn’t there. You said that and it triggered—look at you. Glad to have you, Nancy.

Okay so, Germany?

Dr. D: So he suggested Germany. I had a list of places that I was going to look into. Germany was just the one that he had contacts and exposure. So I was going to go there first and then just kind of travel around Europe.

Frank: I mean you were going to go there first and go to med school or you’re just going to go there?

Dr. D: Yeah, I was just going to go and check it out. Like check and see what’s Germany like and kind of look into those context that he gave me, or make the suggestions that he gave and then move on to another country that…

Frank: Might work there too.

Dr. D: Might work or might be interesting to me.

Frank: And so you Germany? What happened?

Dr. D: Well I found out that it wasn’t quite that easy to just bounce around it and not know anyone, not know any language and find a college…

Frank: How’d you find that out?

Dr. D: By experience.

Frank: So you did go to Germany?

Dr. D: Oh yeah, I went. I bought a one-way ticket to Germany.

Nancy: Wow.

Dr. D: And just left in the middle—I think it was April… March or April?

Frank: A one-way ticket… Wow.

Dr. D: Of ’99.

Nancy: Okay.

Dr. D: And just like—I’m going to do this right now. This is a trip, I’m going to take it and so I went and got started. Yeah.

Frank: You experienced what? Fast forward. When did you enroll in med school in Germany? You went I April or something?

Dr. D: March or something like that and I’d say I came back about 3 months later. So by the time I came back, I had enrolled in a language school and I had a dorm room. So just doing those things takes time. I mean, with the help of complete strangers, I met a woman when I got to—well, I flew in to Frankfurt, [unclear / Bakum], this is the place where I studied is about a 4, 5 hour train ride from there. [Unclear] all kinds of people in—

Nancy: Adventure.

Dr. D: Yeah. Along the way and when I finally made it to Bakum, my meadow woman in a subway station, she saw that I was trying to use a payphone which is really complicated with the card and like I could not figure out. She helped me, she’s like “Oh, do you speak English—are you from America?” and she spoke English and so I ended up going home with this woman and staying with her for—

Frank: Where were you going before you met her?

Dr. D: Like hotel, hostel, wherever I found to stay that night, which I arrived in the night.

Nancy: Wow.

Dr. D: So…

Nancy: Alone.

Dr. D: Alone with my backpack and…

Frank: Wow. This reminds me—I had a guest a while ago by the name… Well he wrote a book called “Walden on Wheels” and he went to Duke while living out of his van, he had student loans that he wanted to get rid of so he basically had minimal expenses while he worked. He was a fascinating guest. And he travelled from New York to Alaska many times. He hitch hiked from New York to Alaska or back and forth or Alaska—he did. I think he did it several times. He was a fascinating guest, the book was fascinating. It reminds me of your journey. What was his name? I’ll think about it but if you’re listening and of course you’re listening, otherwise you wouldn’t know what I’m talking about. Check out the archives of the show Walden on Wheels and you can check out what I’m talking about.

So you’re at a payphone going to a hostel in the middle of the night and you don’t even know where you’re going.

Dr. D: Yeah. I don’t know where.

Frank: A hostel, a hotel…

Dr. D: I saw that there was a hotel by the train station so I figured I’ll go there but I was going to actually take the subway to the university to maybe there would be a place close by there. I wanted to contact this doctor, this professor whose name I had from the professor here in the states but yeah, I was trying to get to call him and then I met this woman and she invited me after a brief conversation, she asked me if I’d like to come home with her and I could just stay there until I figured out what was going on and where I needed to go and how to get there.

Nancy: Nice.

Dr. D: And she just happened to live in that university area, community.

Frank: How long did you stay with her?

Dr. D: About 2 months.

Nancy: Wow, nice.

Frank: Wow. You still stay in touch with her?

Dr. D: I haven’t spoken to her in a while but she’s been here to visit me. Her daughter has been here and yeah.

Frank: Oh that’s great. Relationships come from all over the place.

Dr. D: Yeah.

F: Okay. Alright. So those 2 months, I assume you learned about the school, what it’s going to take to enroll in the school…. what happened?

Dr. D: Right. I had to find out about a language course. And so it’s… well, I had to find out about a language course and knew there is an exam just like there’s an exam here like English as a second language. I think it’s the TOEFL exam? And so there’s a similar exam in Germany to study on a University, you have to…

Frank: Pass?

Dr. D: …prove proficiency.

Frank: So how did you get proficient?

Dr. D: I went to a language class. I started—they have a series of language classes and then I was living in Germany so I have the advantage of—

Nancy: Everybody around you speaking the language.

Dr. D: —being forced… Although I didn’t understand a word. It was months until I could hear a single word. It was just all blah blah blah.

Frank: And this language class went on for—how long did you do the language class?

Dr. D: You know, I did the language class in total probably 9 months but I think there was some time that I didn’t—like it wasn’t all consecutive. There was some time that I was away. I can’t remember exactly because I know I ended up going to a different university to finish. But yeah, they had a language course there that was really—if it wasn’t free, it was very inexpensive.

Nancy: Okay.

Dr. D: As opposed to some of these other places like [unclear / Ashorta] like the Goethe-Institut which may have more… kind of expedited courses where you can do more intensively and more quickly but they’re also very expensive.

Frank: So you ended up staying for 9 months not going to medical school—?

Dr. D: Well, actually I did enroll in medical school for atleast a year and a half or maybe more because of the timing of when you can enroll and okay, the other thing that I had to do was I had to take my transcripts and credits that I had from the states to a central office which was in another city to be…

Frank: Converted, made sense of?

Dr. D: Converted. Right, right, exactly. To say well this person has the equivalent of this many years of medical school education and this is what they have to do to complete a medical education in Germany and that took some months. I think it’s quicker now because I’ve known people who’ve done it subsequently and the turn-around time was quicker. But it took atleast like 3 months or so to get that information back. So yeah…

Frank: Alright. So starting… You got the language, you’re proficient in the language according to this test.

Dr. D: Yeah.

Frank: I assume you passed. You start med school… What’s it like?

Nancy: You out of the basement?

Dr. D: I’m not in the basement. I kind of skipped all of my credits kind of…

Nancy: Transfer?

Dr. D: …transfer so that I don’t have to go back to that didactic.

Nancy: Okay.

Dr. D: So and their classes are not in the basement.

Frank: Would you have then—okay. Alright.

Dr. D: Just happened not to be in the basement anyway but still didn’t have to do a lot of the big huge lecture whole things. So most of the classes were at a hospital, atleast there and somewhat practical. Yeah.

Frank: Alright. You like it? is it just different or do you actually like the experience you’re having and maybe even wish you had that experience back stateside.

Dr. D: No I can’t say that. I would say it was just different. It’s pretty much the same.

Frank: Really?

Dr. D: It’s pretty much the same.

Frank: Wow.

Dr. D: Yeah.

Frank: So it’s not utopia, it’s not better—

Dr. D: No, no.

Frank: —it’s just in Germany.

Dr. D: It’s just in German. It’s in German and I’m living in Germany so that’s interesting for me and speaking a different language and kind of having this international experience. That’s the kicker for me, just being in someplace else but studying—and I’ve done it in other places because I did an externship. From Germany, I went and spent 4 months in Brazil doing a surgery rotation and it’s the same there. It’s the same—and it’s funny because medicine has this Latin base and that’s used in most places that teach like western allopathic medicines. The terms are similar so you can—it’s transferrable but it’s about the same.

Frank: Any cultural—in fact, what did you learn or what did you see as differences in relationships, romantic relationships? Or even relationships and just how people deal with each other comparing stateside and Germany?

Dr. D: Biggest difference that I noticed when I was there is that people… they pair into pretty committed relationships a lot earlier and… it’s much more prevalent there. Like most people, they said they have a girlfriend or boyfriend and that means something, like that they’re with—they’re often in those relationships for long periods of time and their of substance, like they live together, they’re like partnered. That a lot of marriage but a lot of partnerships in younger… people, teenagers… they are too much at larger extent in committed relationships. Yup.

Frank: Did race, you being an African-American, did race play an issue in your adjustment? Did you find that to be anything?

Dr. D: I was you know… Well there were not a lot of black Americans in Germany and not a lot of black people, I would say, in general there. But in the area where I lived, I didn’t feel—there’s still this kind of right radical…

Frank: Nazi?

Dr. D: Nazi, neo-Nazi segment in Germany and unfortunately I think that has become a little more prevalent since—with changes that have happened, this refugee crises and those things. I’ve heard there is a lot more activity there than it was when I was there. So that’s there, but in the area where I lived, it wasn’t a dominant cultural issue. I had some contact with it but I was able to move into what I needed to do… pretty freely.

Frank: How about dating?

Dr. D: Dating? Yeah…

Frank: Well if you want to EVEN go there… sex. But go wherever you want to go.

Nancy: Waiting to witness your honor.

Frank: I am [unclear].

Dr. D: Dating… I would say I didn’t… I didn’t find as many people or mates that I was attracted to in Germany. When I got to travel to some of the other places… Germany at that time, it was sort of—it was a little bit more homogenous than some of the other… European countries in that area, Holland and France… So but yeah… I didn’t do a lot of dating when I was in Germany.

Nancy: Okay.

Dr. D: No.

Frank: And so how did you end up finding the hubby?

Dr. D: The hubby? Hubby… I like hiphop music, okay. So when I got there, I saw a store that seemed to have a hiphop—

Frank: Feel?

Dr. D: —feel to it. It was a clothing store and I went in there and he was there.

Nancy: Wow.

Dr. D: So we talked and I asked about music in Germany and so I got into hiphop… You know actually make music and I thought okay, yeah.

Nancy: Really?

Dr. D: But it turns out later that he really did.

Frank: And did he have any talent or he just made music?

Dr. D: Yeah actually he did, he did. They have their kind of fun, collaborative there in that area, you know… produce some Germany hiphop classics and so it was that connection. We also did—well we met then maybe probably in the first week that I got to the city where I was living which is called Bakum and then we reconnected. So we didn’t stay in touch then but then we reconnected at a later time through capoeira because I had—I did capoeira here, I started doing it and I found that they had a group there and then we met again there because he’s half Brazilian. So…

Frank: So he’s not—is he German?

Dr. D: He is German.

Frank: Okay.

Dr. D: His mom is German and his dad is a black Brazilian and he grew up I Germany. His dad moved to Germany before he was born. So he grew up in Germany. He considers himself Brazilian but he grew up in Germany. His mom is Germany like…

Nancy: Interesting.

Dr. D: Yeah.

Frank: What lead you to trust your professor’s experience or advice so much that you were willing to take that leap of faith?

Dr. D: Oh it really wasn’t a matter of trusting him. I already knew I wanted to get to go, like it was just—he gave me a name, oh great. You have a name? Because I’m going to go anyway. I’m going to go. I probably would not have gone to Germany. He was the link to Germany. I would’ve gone to—I probably would’ve gone to France. I was interested even in Scandinavia. So like foreign, I was like I wonder what it’s like there… and that was interesting to me. But I would’ve gone any place.

Frank: Did you ever meet that person he gave you the name?

Dr. D: Yeah, I did.

Frank: And how did that individual help you? Or did they?

Nancy: Right.

Dr. D: Well he was a person that I could—he was a… just a… the person I contact, but he actually… I mean, he helped me, directed me to probably that office that I had to go to take my credits and transcripts but… Most of the things that had to be done were just a matter of me doing them. I had to do the language class and take those things and then roll.

Frank: What type of position are you?

Dr. D: Internal Medicine.

Frank: Got ya. And did you come back and forth to the states?

Dr. D: A lot.

Frank: Oh. So you—?

Dr. D: A lot, I mean atleast once a year but oftentimes more. It was a lot less expensive to travel then. It really was. And then—

Nancy: And less complicated.

Dr. D: —it was a free 911, mostly this took place before that. So it was just a lot. It was just easy and then it was, for me at that time was like travelling, it’s like okay… Now, it’s a totally different story now.

Frank: And is your husband stateside or he’s staying in Germany?

Dr. D: He is.

Frank: Okay.

Dr. D: He’s stateside.

Frank: Alright. And talk about your—how do you see your experience as being a tool for self-development?

Dr. D: Well you know, I just didn’t see the way forward before like through like just this traditional training for medicine… I’d kind of put all my ace in that basket in a way but my…

Frank: Spirit wasn’t there…?

Dr. D: My Spirit wasn’t there. School is always—school, training is something I do but I’ve always had my whole life of doing something else or other friends, I didn’t feel married to medicine, you know…

Frank: Yeah.

Dr. D: And so it just came to an impasse there where I just couldn’t—where I was being asked into sacrifice more for the career and I just didn’t—

Nancy: Get to the point.

Dr. D: —couldn’t do it. And so…

Frank: What advice would you give someone who was interested in possibly going to school internationally or who was just not satisfied with the way things were going and they’ve committed so much to one particular track? So you got two people sitting in front of you, those two stories, what do you say? To one or both of them.

Dr. D: Yeah… well as far as studying internationally, I’d say really go for it because there are lots of advantages or—

Frank: Like what?

Dr. D: —things you could advantage of.

Frank: Including the price.

Dr. D: The price, number one. The price. So at the time that I went to Germany, it was basically free to study in Germany. I paid a school fee which basically the majority of which was to pay for a discounted travel card that allowed me to travel by train through about 10, 12 cities in Germany. It was excellent. On all public transportation was free by paying for this student fee twice a year. So that’s huge. Medical school costs—I don’t even know what medical school costs these days. I’m sure it costs about 45, $50,000, maybe upwards or $50,000 a year.

Frank: A year.

Dr. D: So huge to avoid that debt. And then the chance to live—I’m really into the language thing. Not like I’m like a gifted-language person but I just feel like you should go somewhere where you have to speak another language. Be a foreigner. Have that experience because… it’s just a big world out there.

Frank: It’s humbling.

Dr. D: It’s humbling and you can appreciate what people are doing all around with so many people from other places here… appreciate what they’re doing with their vision and what they’re trying to do. So for the international study, I’m…

Frank: all for it.

Dr. D: All for that. for the person who wants to do something different, I probably don’t have as much to add because I feel like I didn’t explore—ultimately, I ended up back in medicine after I got to this point and in medicine I’m like ahh I want to do these other stuff but I ended up back in medicine. So I guess it was okay for me.

Frank: Was it okay—you’re not even… So there’s still more for you to explore in many ways?

Dr. D: Yeah.

Frank: There’s more for you?

Dr. D: It must be.

Frank: Interesting, interesting. What was your experience like converting your medical school, whatever experience, degree back to the US?

Dr. D: Yeah, there are a few hoops to jump through to do that and it’s definitely difficult, there’s people I know who have studied in other countries and try to come here with medicine, there’s just—foreign medical grad is just sort of…

Nancy: Not even accepted, right?

Dr. D: Well, it will be accepted but you have to do a lot of exams and certifications and there are things you have to do and then it’s difficult to get residency as a foreign medical grad here in the states.

Frank: Why? Because there’s just a stigma?

Dr. D: I think it’s a stigma.

Frank: Okay.

Nancy: But you had your initial training here in the states.

Dr. D: I know but I’m considered—well, first of all, I’m considered a foreign medical grad and then, you know, every deviation from the…

Frank: Norm?

Dr. D: Track from the norm is…

Frank: Suspect?

Dr. D: With scrutiny.

Frank: Yeah.

Dr. D: It’s terrible. Even now, well now I’m starting to feel like I don’t care what you ask me in terms of interviews and—explain this block of time when you didn’t do this, I mean that I was…

Frank: I [unclear].

Dr. D: Yeah, I didn’t want to do this like [unclear]. And that’s not really an acceptable answer.

Nancy: It’s finding myself.

Dr. D: Right. I was finding myself, it seems to be not a popular answer. Maybe it’s changing somewhat but… it requires that you just do that, that, that.

Frank: Or maybe you’ll change it.

Dr. D: Hopefully. I hope so.

Frank: Any interesting book that you’ve read ever that you can share with our guest and me and the lady sitting to my right?

Dr. D: I really only read one German novel when I was there.

Frank: I didn’t say German. One way, anything—

Dr. D: But I’m going to talk about [unclear]…

Frank: Okay, alright.

Dr. D: …I thought about.

Frank: Hit it.

Dr. D: It’s by a guy named [unclear / Hansier Gut Masakway]. It’s called [unclear – German]—

Frank: Gosh she sounds like she knows German.

Dr. D: —which means… I said that word that’s the hard word. But it means like that’s just like kind of a teasing song that they would say to little black kids. It’s like [unclear – German] would be like chimney sweeper. So niger, niger, chimney sweeper. And it’s about this half German guy like his mother is German, father is I think Liberian. So it’s about—it’s like growing up during… is he [unclear] or some…

Nancy: It’s true.

Dr. D: Yeah…

Nancy: That’s a true story?

Dr. D: Yeah.

Nancy: Okay.

Dr. D: Yeah he ends up being the editor of Ebony and Jet later.

Frank: Wow.

Dr. D: What?

Dr. D: Really cool. The book is amazing.

Nancy: Wow, and there’s an English translation?

Dr. D: I’m sure.

Nancy: Okay, okay.

Dr. D: But that’s something I read in German, but yeah. I would recommend that.

Nancy: Okay, okay.

Frank: We’ve been talking with Dr. D as in Dawn, a physician that completed her medical studies in Germany after being dissatisfied with her stateside experience. Along the way to becoming a successful doctor here in the Washington DC area, ain’t that correct?

Dr. D: Yes.

Frank: Along today’s journey, we’ve discussed finding a fruitful relationship at the train station. The homogenous, international, medical school experience that one that basically is the same everywhere you go—

Dr. D: It’s the same… Sorry guys.

Frank: And bringing that experience back home. What it took to become a professional here and to continue your success. I hope you’ve had as much fun as I’ve had learning about Dr. D’s, an American’s German medical school experience.

As always, it’s my wish for you to walk away from this conversation with a heaping helping of useful information that I hope you create a relation that’s as loving and accepting as possible.

Let us know what you think of today’s show at facebook.com/relationshipflove, on Twitter at @mrfranklove or at franklove.com. If you’re listening via Blog Talk Radio, make sure you like us there and if via iTunes, make sure you subscribe so that you can receive each week’s show.

This is Frank love.


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