After four years as a physician’s assistant, Scott Jerome found himself back in Baltimore in December 1987 for a two-month medical residency. While running a 10K race, his brother’s friend told Scott that he had the perfect girl in mind for him.
So, Scott called Barbara Chait and left multiple messages.
Barbara was impressed by his diligence but failed to return his calls.
“I wasn’t interested in dating,” said Barbara, who had experienced a failed marriage. She had left a career as a child life specialist and turned to sales to earn enough money to support a family, whether or not she married again.
With the sixth call, Scott finally reached Barbara, who was heading to the mall. She suggested he meet her there, hoping to provide herself with an out if she didn’t like him.
Instead, he picked her up.
Scott paid for Barbara’s turkey sandwich. They had a playful afternoon, which included him trying on boas and jewelry.
They went out a few times, and Scott called early each week to schedule the next date, insisting she commit to a date before her schedule filled.
Scott failed to reveal he was a medical student, and today, Barbara insists if she knew she would not have dated him. She had worked in a hospital and dated her share of doctors. The long work hours didn’t fit for what she wanted for a husband.
Scott believed they were “clicking,” and after a rotation in Boston, he scheduled himself in Baltimore and York, P.A., to be near Barbara. After his graduation, he signed a contract for an internship in Dayton, Ohio. Barbara refused to join him, but she did visit every few weeks.
After a year, he readied for another year in Ohio. Barbara again refused to join him, so he opted out of his match and chose Sinai Hospital. After that year, he accepted the Ohio position.
He proposed during a trip to West Virginia, and they married Aug. 4, 1990 at Chestnut Ridge Country Club with Rabbi Jacob Max officiating. After a one-night honeymoon to the Inn at Perry Cabin in St. Michaels, Scott
returned to work at Sinai.
Scott’s cardiology fellowship took them to Detroit, where Hailey was born in 1995. Eric joined them in 1999.
As Scott’s medical career blossomed, Barbara served as domestic engineer, managing all aspects of the family and their Westminster home.
“One of the reasons he married me was because he knew I didn’t need him,” says Barbara, 60. “I could take care of things on my own.”
“We fell into traditional roles even though it’s not the way we think,” said Scott, 57. “It’s more of a partnership. We never fight, and our belief systems are the same.”
They reflect on their 25 years together, which Barbara considers “unbelievable.”
“He’s a good guy. We respect each other, we trust each other.”
And Scott still elicits laughter 25 years later.
“I wouldn’t put it past him to put on a boa to make someone laugh.”