I recently graduated as a pre-med biology major and accepted a position for a 2 year research fellowship, as research is a passion of mine and I needed more time and money before applying to medical school. I recently found out I am pregnant. My boyfriend who has a year left of law school was thrilled - we knew we wanted a family at some point but realized juggling a family and two demanding careers would be difficult at any time in our lives.
I am also excited; although it was not planned, it is becoming apparent this timing is financially convenient as I will have a steady income, paid maternity leave, incredible health insurance, and my boyfriend will soon be working and done with school. I have several concerns, however. It has been my lifetime dream to become a physician, but I have not longed always to be a mother. I want a family, but hopefully not at the cost of my dream and career. How feasible is it for me to apply to medical school and possibly attend with a child who is anywhere from 2-4 years old, depending on how long I wait? How likely is it that I will be able to handle the rigors of medical school, with a toddler, and a husband trying to maintain a demanding law career? Does it sound like a recipe for disaster (honestly)? At this point I will not give up the baby, but I am not sure if I need to be prepared for the possibility of putting off medical school even further than I had anticipated - or indefinitely.
Any relevant stories or experience, and even opinions, are welcomed. I'm not easily offended.
Hmmm where to begin! Well for starters I am 35 and just had our second child and she has an older sister that's four. I am retaking the MCAT b/c it turns out that studying while pregnant is actually a bad idea . And to bat will submit my application three years afyerwards (typing on my iphone btw- dont want you to think Im an illiterate or something, so please i hope you dont mind the missing punctuations). So anyways as I was saying, a bit of background on myself/situation. I am a CRNA that makes a very good six fig salary but have always wanted to become a physician and more once i became a CRNA.
I know that it will be difficult to go to school with two kids but as I was doing my prereqs and encountered other but very few other moms that we were the most driven students in the class. We would be first to complete assignments. And also look the most exhausted too. I have lots of bills to pay or at least be at a place where my hubby and i can survive on his Officer's pay. You dont have to apply right away to school. I am taking MCAT AGAIN this oct but not applying until 2016 for 2017 entry. This approach would also give you some breathing room.
Ultimately please dont become those women that use children as an excuse to NOT fulfill your goals. They are an obstacle sure but not a hinderance.
Phewww, got caroal tunnel on this one. Hope this helps
Hi, Ap! I can't speak to the part of being a mom of a toddler and starting med school-- hopefully other moms will chime in on that. I can speak to the mom part since I have a child that is presently in the 2-4 yo age group. I guess some questions that I have is you initially said that you needed both time and money prior to starting med school. The thing is with a new baby you may have less of both, but you can always budget and be more organized/efficient with your time. I know since I have become a mother I definitely have become more efficient with my time. The thing is that you can only stretch a dollar so far and there is only 24 hrs in a day. I do think that you can still go to med school and become a dr, but you really need to look at the supports you have in place. Do you have family that can help you with childcare and if not then do you have the finances to pay for childcare-- daycare, nanny, au pair, etc.
I went to med school with folks that had kids and later I did an MPH and there were a lot of moms in my class then too. It is definitely possible, but you should also see how you feel when you become a mother. Like many posters have said on this website sometimes you are still the career driven individual you always were but sometimes your perspective really changes. I don't think I personally could be a stay at home mom, but if my job ever got in the way of me being a mom then I would leave it in a heartbeat (of course if I was financially able to do so). You only have limited time with your children and 18 years is gone in a blink of an eye. At least that's what everyone with teenagers tell me. Congrats!
I think baby before med school is a great plan. The first two years of med school are the most controllable part of medical training anyway. Starting off with a two year old when you already have a good handle on the parenting thing is a million times better than exploding a newborn into your medical training at pretty much any point between third year of medical school and the end of residency. I only wish I'd been in the right relationship to have kids before training got going.
It's been my observation over about 20 years that the best time to attend med school as a Mom is either when your kids are very young, <6 years old or almost adults > 15.
I'd also like to state that if YOU decide to put off attending med school for whatever reason, there's NOTHING wrong with that. You get ONE chance to raise your kids into responsible, successful, and productive adults and only YOU know what's best for YOUR children. Some kids do just fine with their Moms being in a career that takes them away from family and others do not, but you won't often hear of those stories where the outcomes for kids aren't so rosey. The most extreme example I can recall is of a mom that attended med school, whose kid got pregnant before finishing high school (and for the record, she wasn't a URM). Would that have happened if she hadn't attended med school? I guess we'll never know, but I know I would have felt an enormous amount of guilt had I decided to attend med school and my kid's life had been adversly affected by my decision.
Doc201X wrote: ....but I know I would have felt an enormous amount of guilt had I decided to attend med school and my kid's life had been adversly affected by my decision.
My mom was a SAHM, and my brother has a mental illness and can't keep a job. You'd better believe people would be shaming her her whole life (and she would have been shaming herself) had she been a doctor instead of a SAHM.
You do the best you can with the resources you have. So Ap, that is my advice to you.
There is no shame or guilt inherent in being a mother in medicine.