Valentine's Day Special: Insights From Two Alumni Couples in the Health Professions!

We at the HPAO alumni blog wish you a happy Valentine’s Day! To celebrate, we interviewed two couples who graduated from UMD and are now working in the health professions. Keep reading to learn about how they met, their thoughts on dating as a health professional, and their advice to current premeds :) 

Meet Darby Moore '20 and Justin Tabatabai '19: HPAO matchmaking success story!

darby and justin
Darby and Justin

Darby and Justin first met as Recwell coworkers in their fourth year at UMD. They then became close friends after continuously running into each other while visiting some of their favorite people on campus: Dr. Bonnie Dixon and their HPAO advisors. In fact, it was with the support of HPAO that they began dating about a year later—and they’ve been together ever since. Darby is now studying at the University of Maryland School of Medicine while Justin studies at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry. They are both set to graduate next year!


Darby Moore and Justin Tabatabai with Wendy Loughlin
Darby and Justin with Wendy Loughlin

Meet Megan '11 and Mike Baird '11: Lab partners turned partners for life

The Bairds
Mike and Megan

Who says pre-med classes can’t be a place for blossoming romance? Certainly not Megan and Mike, who met in senior year through their neurophysiology lab class. Since they lived near each other, they grew close after walking home together every week. Megan works now as an orthopedic physician assistant, while Mike is completing his final year of residency in orthopedic surgery at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. In 2015, Mike proposed to Megan in Hornbake Plaza and they now have a beautiful 8-month-old together! 

The Bairds
The Bairds

Q&A: Thoughts on dating as a health professional

[Notes from the editor: We gave each couple the option of answering several questions, either together or individually. Below is a sample of the responses we received, either from the couple or individually]

Q: Are there any unique challenges that you and your partner faced due to both being in the health professions? If yes, how have you overcome them, and do you have any advice for future pre-health students who may be in a relationship?

Mike/Megan: We have an 8 month old, and when he is sick and needs one of us home with him, it’s difficult because we both have patients that expect us to be there. Since Mike is still in training, it usually falls on Megan, and this can be challenging. Obviously neither of us have the option to work from home.

“Still, it is nice to have a partner who understands the demands of medicine, especially the training. When one of us has had to spend time away, explanation is rarely required because we have each been through it.” -Megan

“Medicine can be consuming especially during busy periods, so it is key that when you are home, you are truly present. It is important to prioritize the people who are in front of you (and listen to them if they tell you you aren’t!)” -Mike

“Dating in healthcare can be a challenge. However, as long as you are both good at communicating your schedules and priorities, it can be the most wonderful thing as well. Justin is my rock and I am so thankful that he is a part of my life. Honestly, he has only made medical school more enjoyable!” -Darby