Dr. Rachel Elizabeth Outterson and Dr. Jason Reed Saleh were married Saturday at Alba Vineyard in Milford, N.J. The Rev. Hugh D. Outterson, a Presbyterian minister and a grandfather of the bride, officiated.
The bride, 28, and the bridegroom, 30, met at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, from which they both graduated. They are both residents at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, she in anesthesia and he in orthopedic surgery.
The bride, who is keeping her name, graduated magna cum laude from Williams College. She is a daughter of Linda A. Outterson of Audubon, Pa., and the late David H. Outterson.
The bridegroom graduated from Rutgers University. He is a son of Janet L. Travis of Hillsborough, N.J., and Ramzi Y. Saleh of Baton Rouge, La. He is a stepson of Wilson Travis.
Dr. Outterson and Dr. Saleh met in fall 2004, when they were assigned to tables next to each other in the gross anatomy lab. He was immediately attracted to her, but she didn’t think he was her type.
"I didn’t think I would like him,” she said. "He has this athletic build and he looks like a football player and I’ve never liked football players.”
They lived in the same dormitory across the hall from each other. In March 2005, he was playing golf in the hallway. She came out and yelled about the noise.
"To placate me he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him, and I said yes,” she said, laughing. They became friends. "I also found out that he was a sensitive, guitar-playing photographer as well as being an orthopedic surgeon.”
Dr. Saleh said he was only half joking about the proposal. "What little I knew of her I knew was perfect, and I knew she was the kind of person I wanted to be with.”
In fall 2006, Dr. Outterson started dating someone else, and she and Dr. Saleh drifted apart. "It was hard to be friends after that,” she said.
He avoided her. "Being around her was a constant reminder that I did know the person I wanted to be with, and I can’t be with her,” he said.
By spring 2008 Dr. Outterson was single. She began to have regrets about her missed opportunity with Dr. Saleh. "I started realizing he was more than a friend, and I had let it go.”
They became friends again, and in June they started dating.
But their timing was off; she was headed to Philadelphia to study while he remained at Mount Sinai. They dated long distance, but they sometimes saw each other only once a month because of their schedules.
On her birthday in January 2009, Dr. Saleh made a two-hour train trip to Philadelphia to see her for 40 minutes while she was doing a weekend shift. She was in delivery, and he called from the lobby.
"By the time I ran down to see him, we only had 10 minutes,” she said, before she was paged and had to rush back to work.
Was it worth the effort for 10 minutes? "It would have been worth it for 10 seconds,” Dr. Saleh said.
In October 2009, after two years of long-distance dating, Dr. Outterson requested a transfer to Mount Sinai, and in July they were finally working in the same hospital.
"It’s nice to see all facets of her,” Dr. Saleh said. "I look up to her and admire how intelligent she is, but the bigger thing is I know that if I want, I can see her that day.”
"And it makes everything easier,” he continued, "to know at the end of a rough day, she’s there.” PAULA SCHWARTZ