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I'm getting discouraged...Keep feeling like I can't do it

11 years 3 months ago #7638 by solace
tmom, there is no mom md who would not say she has not had the exact same thoughts as you along the way. Your third year will likely be your hardest but the fourth year is usually quite improved. Be very thoughtful prior to applying for residencies. Taking some time off after fourth year may really help you clarify what will work for you and your family in the long run. As things stand right now you have likely a good bit of debt for med school so look into alternative careers for MDs (teaching, public health, research etc..) that offer better lifestyles but help you pay down that debt. Really explore which specialties offer more flexibility in scheduling and volume of workload. Most of all try not to too hard on yourself - you have achieved amazing things already and your hard work will pay off for you and your little one soon.

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11 years 3 months ago #7639 by HAM
Hi tmom - I swear I could have written your initial post in my 3rd year. It was MISERABLE for me. I because super depressed and the entire year regretted ever going into medicine because I was away from my son. However, fourth year is WAY better depending on how you schedule it. Still, after you are done, medical school was still a major time monopolizer and stress. Here's how I did it:

Complained and was miserable throughout 3rd year. Though the medical school will say they're "supportive," what that usually means is that they smile when you say you have kids but none of the attendings care less if you have one or not, you are expected to be there to kiss their butt throughout the duration. I told quite a few of them to stick it and that didn't necessarily serve me well but I spent more time and don't regret it.

I got pregnant in the beginning of my fourth year, opted not to do a SubI and frontloaded the year. I took absolutely no breaks except maybe 2 weeks over Christmas. I was done with school February 15th and spend 6 great weeks with my son and had my baby at the beginning of April. Then had another several great months and graduated. But that wasn't enough (and I knew it wouldn't be) - so I deferred residency and am now in the process of applying. I have absolutely no regrets now. Third year is merely a horrendous memory. Fourth year pregnant (with type 1 diabetes) was still a breeze. Now I am so darned happy I wonder why everyone doesn't do it this way. I've found quite a few family-friendly residencies and know of many more in other specialties. Don't do surgery or OB-GYN or any super-competitive academic institutions and you should be fine in residency (private programs tend to be a lot more laid back).

That's my perspective. It gets better. Know that third year is miserable for most - moms in particular. You're in too deep now to back out. There are doable options for residency.

What got me through it was knowing that I had to make sacrifices. For me, sacrificing AOA was a no-brainer. At the end of the day, when you graduate, you'll still be a doctor. Give yourself a break, tell your attendings/supervisors you need to be home several days a week to see your child and keep your eye on the light at the end of the tunnel.

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