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#83804 - 02/02/12 09:09 PM How to support family while in med school?
phdtomd Offline
Member

Registered: 11/07/10
Posts: 5
OK, so it turns out I may really be nuts, and I'm in the process of completing the premed coursework, planning to take the MCAT this summer, planning to apply this fall for Fall 2013... The problem? My current (somewhat underpaying) job/career has been the main source of support for my family, and they will need to eat, be housed, go to school, etc., while I am in med school as well. It's also not fair to expect my spouse to go to work full-time to pay the bills, when he will be needed domestically more than ever.

I'm hoping to qualify for scholarships and have no fear of loans--since I view this as a worthwhile investment. But I have heard that there is a limit on how much can be used for living expenses, etc. Does anyone have any advice or insight here? I'm really very torn, because I can see my way to a rewarding career transition--but I MUST provide for my family during that time frame or it will not work.

Thanks!
phdtomd

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#83806 - 02/02/12 09:36 PM Re: How to support family while in med school? [Re: phdtomd]
sahmd Offline
Super Elite Member

Registered: 06/15/05
Posts: 1595
Originally Posted By: phdtomd
It's also not fair to expect my spouse to go to work full-time to pay the bills, when he will be needed domestically more than ever.


I think it's fair. It is one of many options. He could stay home with the kids or he could get a full-time job (and you could hire someone to do the domestic tasks) or there could be some combination of the two extremes.

Sorry, I don't know anything about the details of loans, but good luck!

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#83811 - 02/03/12 10:52 AM Re: How to support family while in med school? [Re: sahmd]
phdtomd Offline
Member

Registered: 11/07/10
Posts: 5
Thanks, sahmd! I finally broke down and called the financial aid office of the school I plan to apply to, and they were very helpful. I will certainly consider your thoughts, as well as loan options.

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#84062 - 02/28/12 04:12 PM Re: How to support family while in med school? [Re: phdtomd]
Cabinbuilder Offline
Super Elite Member

Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 1093
Loc: Oregon
Originally Posted By: phdtomd
It's also not fair to expect my spouse to go to work full-time to pay the bills, when he will be needed domestically more than ever.



I just don't understand this statement. It's ok for women to work full time and deal with all the domestic duties as well but it's not "fair" to expect the husbandto do the same? I beg to differ on this one. My husband worked full time while I was in medical school and did the majority of the child shuttling, dishes, housecleaning, and laundry. I paid the bills, bought the groceries, and didthe kids' paperwork. It's got to be a team effort, if your husband can at least do a part time position that is flexible every little bit helps. With four years of med school and 3+ years of residency ahead of you, there is going to be a time where you will have to let go and expect him to take over some home duties.
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#84233 - 03/09/12 04:47 PM Re: How to support family while in med school? [Re: phdtomd]
Paramadman Offline
Member

Registered: 03/09/12
Posts: 1
Loc: Madison, AL
Originally Posted By: phdtomd
OK, so it turns out I may really be nuts, and I'm in the process of completing the premed coursework, planning to take the MCAT this summer, planning to apply this fall for Fall 2013...


You’re not nuts—perhaps a bit masochistic trying to become a doctor, but definitely not nuts. wink

Originally Posted By: phdtomd
The problem? My current (somewhat underpaying) job/career has been the main source of support for my family, and they will need to eat, be housed, go to school, etc., while I am in med school as well. It's also not fair to expect my spouse to go to work full-time to pay the bills, when he will be needed domestically more than ever.


Not fair to expect your spouse to work full-time and handle the domestic chores? Nonsense!

As a man who worked 3 jobs in order to put my wife through undergraduate (later graduate) school, I can say unequivocally that asking your husband to work full-time as well as tend children, cook and do housework, is not merely fair (and read this closely):

It Is His DUTY!

Whilst in university my wife was (usually) able to arrange to have classes during the day which coincided with our kids time in school and this did help (when it could be arranged) but it was not always possible. When it could be so arranged my schedule went something like this:

1.) I would fix breakfast at 5:30am for my wife and kids and then go to my 1st job from 7:00am until 2:30pm (working through lunch for the extra pay) in a warehouse lifting boxes that weighed as much as 200lbs and placing them on shelves as high as 23 feet above floor level.

2.) I would pick up the kids at school about 3:00pm and take them to everything from piano lessons to girl scouts, get them home by 4:45pm and the three of us then spent about an hour doing housework together.

3.) After we finished with these home chores I would set them down to do their homework and help if they needed it.

4.) My wife would (usually) arrive home from class (after grocery/other shopping on some days) between 5:00pm and 6:00pm, then I'd fix dinner and we'd eat together as a family before sending the kids to bed.

5.) Then (if we were both still conscious) we might even make some grownup time together. I would usually go to sleep between 7:30pm and 8:00pm, get up at 9:30pm and drive to my second job as a security guard where I’d work until 4:00am. I’d get home at 4:15am, sleep on the couch (to avoid waking Melanie) until 5:25am and start over again.

6.) On Saturday I would “sleep in” until 11:30am, shower, shave and go to my part-time job putting hot-tar on flat commercial building roofs. (If you’ve never done this kind of work the closest analogy I can give you that might allow some vague level of understanding the extreme discomfort in doing this job is to ask you to imagine yourself standing next to a vat of a thick, gooey, black, and highly viscous liquid [similar to that found at the La Brea Tar Pits] heated on site to a minimum temperature of 450 degrees, filling a special bucket with this hellish concoction and carrying it to where it’s needed, and then spreading it evenly across the roof a section at time until the job is finished.) I was extra careful and only ended up in the hospital with second and third degree burns (on my right arm) once in the four years I was forced to do this horrible job.

7.) On Sunday I had it easy. I merely worked from 7:00am until 10:00pm at a local convenience store and was only robbed at gunpoint twice in the six years I worked there.

Oh, yes. My wife did watch the kids and cook on weekends. Please feel free to show this to your husband and perhaps he’ll man-up and do his duty to you.

By the way, by the time my wife had finished graduate school my daughter was ready for college so (although I could cut back somewhat) I continued to work multiple jobs whilst she went to undergrad and then grad school. Then it was my son’s turn when my daughter was a junior so my wife and I worked to pay his way through both undergrad and, ultimately, medical school.

To make a long story short because of these delays (which I was both duty and honor bound to fulfill) I was forced to put off returning to university myself until the age of 43, and (trust me here) I was, by FAR, the oldest physics major at the University of Alabama, Huntsville. I was granted a full scholarship at the age of 48 and was 50 when I finally earned my PhD in physics at Cal Tech making me one of the oldest students granted a doctorate in that schools history.

Forgive me if I feel no sympathy at all for your “harried” husband. When he married you he took on an obligation that he either is or isn’t ready to live up to. If he cannot rise to this occasion, do that which is necessary in order for him to live up to the promise he made to you when he placed that gold ring upon your finger, he possesses the honor of toad, the trustworthiness of a career politician, and a nihilistic personality unworthy of hard-working woman like you.

Paramadman



Edited by Paramadman (03/09/12 04:51 PM)
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#84240 - 03/09/12 10:14 PM Re: How to support family while in med school? [Re: Paramadman]
DrD2B Offline
Member

Registered: 11/14/09
Posts: 2
Thank you Paramadman for your post. I randomly bumped into this post and really needed to read what you wrote. Thank you again!

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#84281 - 03/14/12 06:32 PM Re: How to support family while in med school? [Re: DrD2B]
Cabinbuilder Offline
Super Elite Member

Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 1093
Loc: Oregon
WOW to Paramadman for an awesome post. My husband worked similar hours to get us through medical school. Now that I am a "real" doctor he got to "retire" and be home full time with the teenager.s
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#84350 - 03/19/12 05:50 PM Re: How to support family while in med school? [Re: Paramadman]
Zizi Offline
Member

Registered: 03/19/12
Posts: 4
wow Paramadman that's amazing. But did this schedule affect your health? How did you function with such a lack of sleep? I want to be able to do it but so far my body is having a hard time adjusting to less than 7 hours of sleep. I feel horrible the next day.

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#84410 - 03/26/12 02:38 PM Re: How to support family while in med school? [Re: Zizi]
AnnaM Offline
Super Elite Member

Registered: 08/22/05
Posts: 1020
Loc: midwest
Agree with all of the above. There is absolutely NO reason that your husband cannot work full-time and take on some of the child care and home responsibilities. As a medical student, you may be able to work part-time during the first year and maybe part of the second, but after that, you will not be able to work. You will be able to contribute some to the care of home and family, but your hours will be very irregular and unpredictable.
Re: loans: Obviously, some loans will be necessary, but you SHOULD be afraid of loans, and definitely should not plan on paying all of your tuition, fees, and living expenses for 4 years with loans. Graduating from medical school with hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt is just insane. The bottom line is that, except for some very high-paying specialties, you will likely not make enough money in medicine to pay off large loans easily. The pressure is even on those high-paying specialties right now to accept lowered reimbursements, and the folks that make high incomes in those specialties are working a ridiculous number of hours every week at all hours of the day and night. Sorry to be the black cloud, but these are the coming realities in medicine.

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#84541 - 04/04/12 04:53 PM Re: How to support family while in med school? [Re: AnnaM]
lynee Offline
Plus Member

Registered: 01/26/12
Posts: 33
There are four of us pregnant this year (MSIII). Two of us (me included) are women, and the other two students are men (whose wives are pregnant). My husband and the other husband work full-time (although my husband works from home for himself). The two wives of med students that are pregnant are both stay at home moms. They don't have much money, but they have been able to secure enough loan money to pay their bills. I understand your desire to have your husband home. If it came down to it, I would rather my husband be jobless (and us live on loans), than have to send my kids to a sitter. (Although I do imagine that maxing our your loans all four years would complicate repaying your debt).


Edited by lynee (04/04/12 04:55 PM)

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