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MCAT & USMLE
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TOPIC: USMLE before or after birth

USMLE before or after birth 5 years 1 month ago #71577

  • Mishema
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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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Re: USMLE before or after birth 5 years 1 month ago #71579

  • isamd
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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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Re: USMLE before or after birth 5 years 1 month ago #71606

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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Re: USMLE before or after birth 5 years 3 weeks ago #71810

I took all 3 steps of the USMLE pregnant. Seriously. :) And I agree that studying pregnant is a cake walk compared to trying to even get a shower in with a newborn.
ResidentMom<br /><br />"If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do well matters very much." --Jackie O.
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Re: USMLE before or after birth 5 years 3 weeks ago #71822

  • asunshine
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before before before.
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Re: USMLE before or after birth 4 years 10 months ago #72427

  • odoole
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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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