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#71577 - 10/11/09 08:06 AM USMLE before or after birth
Mishema Offline
Member

Registered: 10/11/09
Posts: 1
Hello everyone,

My husband and I are debating when to have our second child. I would like to go into surgery and would like to have my children before I begin surgical residency so I would like to become pregnant in medical school.

Does anyone have the experience of being pregnant while taking Step 1? How was your experience? On the other hand, does anyone have the experience of having a newborn while taking Step 1? Can you elaborate on your experience?

My husband is concerned that I will be too stressed while studying which could have a negative impact on the pregnancy.

I took classes, studied and worked while I was pregnant with my first child so I feel that I could study for Step 1 while pregnant.

I feel that being pregnant will be easier than having a newborn and breastfeeding.

Thanks for your insight.

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#71579 - 10/11/09 10:37 AM Re: USMLE before or after birth [Re: Mishema]
isamd Offline
Member

Registered: 10/11/09
Posts: 1
Hi Mishema!

I did my step 1 before my second pregnancy ( first one was a miscarriage and I was absolutelly sad for that), and I tried the step 2 during this time... I gave up, because I was feeling very tired and with a low amniotic fluid, my doc recommend me to rest. I was scared and I could not imagine myself sitting for 8 hours in front of a computer to do a test in the way that I was feeling. After birth, I was so busy with my premmie baby, and I did not have any kind of support here to have some time to study. Six months later, I got pregnant again ( ops!!), with the same low amniotic fluid and with an infant to take care, it was impossible to rest, but everything was fine , thank God. So, I taught in trying to study after that, but my first son was diagnosed with autistic disorder, and I was busy with the early intervention support for him and taking care of my kids. Now, I am a SAHM, trying to focus again to do my step 2 after 4 years, and I can tell you how hard this is for me, because I fell guilt as a mom, and as a md, not knowing how to dedicate enough time for everything I want. I was 35 years when I had my first son. If I was younger, and if I could choose again, I will choose to do the steps first.

I have a friend who did the step 1 during pregnancy and it was ok.

Good luck in any decision you do. Listen to your heart, is a good advice!
_________________________
Isa MD

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#71606 - 10/14/09 07:36 PM Re: USMLE before or after birth [Re: isamd]
Baby Einstein Offline
Super Elite Member

Registered: 11/17/05
Posts: 1728
Definitely when pregnant!!! You may be nauseous, tired, a little less focused, but that doesn't compare to studying with a newborn. Why is your husband so concerned about stress? Do you tend to get very anxious about tests? I wasn't much more stressed before taking Step 1 (except maybe the day of, and day before) than I was about my school finals. Not any extraordinary amount of stress that would make me concerned about pregnancy.

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#71810 - 10/31/09 03:00 AM Re: USMLE before or after birth [Re: Baby Einstein]
residentmom Offline
Super Elite Member

Registered: 04/24/03
Posts: 1587
Loc: Farm Country
I took all 3 steps of the USMLE pregnant. Seriously. smile And I agree that studying pregnant is a cake walk compared to trying to even get a shower in with a newborn.
_________________________
ResidentMom

"If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do well matters very much." --Jackie O.

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#71822 - 10/31/09 06:25 PM Re: USMLE before or after birth [Re: residentmom]
asunshine Offline
Super Elite Member

Registered: 07/02/02
Posts: 1899
before before before.

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#72427 - 12/29/09 10:05 PM Re: USMLE before or after birth [Re: asunshine]
odoole Offline
Member

Registered: 12/29/09
Posts: 19
Yes, definitely while pregnant. I took it 25 weeks pregnant. Honestly, Step 1 study was a welcomed break to help me keep my mind off being pregnant and all the discomfort and worry that comes with it. You're not going to want to drink or do anything fun during Step 1 study anyway, so might as well cook a baby while you're at it. (-:

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#72491 - 01/03/10 02:41 PM Re: USMLE before or after birth [Re: odoole]
nbp Offline
Super Elite Member

Registered: 12/07/05
Posts: 556
So I wouldn't go so far as to agree that "Step 1 study was a welcomed break", since I hated every moment of studying and wanted to do nothing but sleep, think about the baby, eat, think about the baby, and sleep some more. laugh That being said, I agree 110% with everyone here - do Step 1 while pregnant over with a newborn! I took it 30 weeks pregnant, and I got exactly my target score (I may have been aiming on the low side, but hey, I had realistic expectations). Yes, you'll be tired and studying will be harder than before pregnancy, but doing ANYTHING with a newborn is next to impossible (I do not understand moms who are able to go right back to school, but boy do I admire them!). Of course, if you end up with a complicated pregnancy you may have to reconsider, but you just have to plan the best you can and deal with the unexpected if and when it comes up!

Also, on the stress note - if you want to avoid high stress levels while studying for Step 1, I would stay far, far away from your classmates. Maybe others have had different experiences, but listening to my peers stress out amped my stress levels way up. Since I was pregnant and exhausted, I didn't go out much and mostly studied alone at home or in the library, and it definitely helped not to feed off of everyone else's stress.

Good luck with everything!

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#72492 - 01/03/10 02:45 PM Re: USMLE before or after birth [Re: nbp]
nbp Offline
Super Elite Member

Registered: 12/07/05
Posts: 556
Oh, and one more thing - re: your husband's concern about your stress having a negative impact on your pregnancy. I think it would be more likely for it to have a negative impact on you after birth, when you're hormonal, the baby won't stop crying, and you feel like you can't do anything right (ok, well that's how I felt at least). Just my 2 cents smile

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