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MS4 thinking about not doing residency

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6 years 3 months ago #91007 by lyn2006
It is great you have no loans so that doesn't have to factor into your decision.

If I were you (and I don't know you so take this all with a grain of salt!!) I would match and start residency and see how it goes. In the meantime, try to get pregnant and see how that goes. There is no rule that you can't have a baby during intern year, and in fact it has been done before :). Plus, once you're matched and in a program - if it's a family friendly program - they might be able to work with you to take time off when you have the baby with the guarantee of coming back at some point to continue residency. People have done residency part time (it's not common, but it's possible). And people get part time jobs in medicine as attendings. There are so many excellent jobs available once you finish residency in my opinion that I don't see a downside to at least starting with a program.

I will also say that there are a lot of unknowns in your life. Will it take awhile to get pregnant and if you decide to not match/do residency, will you be sitting at home stressing about the lack of being pregnant? When you have the baby, will you actually want to stay home?? Not everyone does! I actually really enjoy my job.

I'm finishing my last year of anesthesia residency, and am actually getting my MPH as well, and have two kids (ages 16 months and 3.5 years). The MPH thing has been awesome for lots of reasons and that might be a good option to do next year. For me, the class time actually counts as anesthesia time so I get full credit towards my months of clinical time, someone else is paying for the degree, it is really excellent training (there are more components to the program than just an MPH actually), and - the best part in some ways - I am FLEXIBLE WITH MY TIME!! I sometimes meet my nanny and the kids at the playground for 2 hours in the middle of the day to play and eat lunch and then go back to finish my work! I study when the kids are asleep and am fully present when they're awake. PM me if you want more info about what program I'm at because I would highly recommend it :)

Anyways, the bottom line is, I love my kids, love my job (less than my family of course), and would very much dislike staying home with them all the time. I think there are great careers in medicine available and there's nothing to lose by starting residency. Good luck!!

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6 years 3 months ago - 6 years 3 months ago #91010 by niash
There is no such thing as "family friendly residency". I think women end up having children in residency because we don't have any other choice- I know one who is pregnant for the third time and I can not say she is exactly functioning at the level expected from a third yr resident.

It is the comfort level one has with toelrating minimum 3 yrs of residency. OP may not even get pregnant esp if she is real stressed out due to internship year.

Last Edit: 6 years 3 months ago by .

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6 years 3 months ago #91011 by lyn2006
Yes, residency is much less family friendly than lots of other careers but I think that there are actually some programs that are supportive of having a family (maybe friendly is the wrong word...). It depends what you are expecting and what you want out of residency in my opinion. Do you want to work 20 hours a week to have something be "family friendly"? Well, then, you're right - there will not be a family friendly residency out there for you. Do you want a program that has lots of parents as residents and a supportive environment with co-residents who help out if you have a sick kid? I think those are out there and are actually fine to be a parent in if someone is interested in doing a residency (which I am not sure the OP is).

I think there is not much to lose by applying through the match while also trying to get pregnant. But that's just my opinion :)

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6 years 3 months ago #91012 by AmmaMD
Whether it's possible to find a "family friendly" residency depends not only on how you define that but what specialty you're in. I'd say my residency is, once you're into outpatient years. The finances of it are another matter, but other than that, we can take as long as maternity leave as we want (just, most of it is unpaid), then come back and work anything between 50% and 100% time, and finish when we finish. I could be working 25h/wk right now if I wanted to. I realize this is unusual, but it does exist. Just for the record =).

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6 years 3 months ago - 6 years 3 months ago #91013 by niash
Let me explain- medical training is what you put into it. So, when I had to make the choice, I had to consider if I could do a psych residency. I could not. I could not even attend interviews. It is just not my cup of tea.

I work long hours but I know this will end soon and I don't mind it. For the record, I don't have any loans, my husband always kept a decent job throughout my medical traning. I am doing this because I don't want to throw away 7 years of hard work (that is how long it took to switch careers so far). But then, I will not have any more children. I am happy with the one I have and too old to have more anyways.

Last Edit: 6 years 3 months ago by .

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6 years 3 months ago #91022 by lydiasmommy
I'm a resident with a baby. Currently a second year psych resident. My baby is ten months old. I don't want to discourage you but to be honest I've found it very difficult to leave my baby. Even leaving her with my husband who stays at home and is a great dad causes a lot of heartache. I have loans so for me finishing is a must and I'm sure in the end I will be happy I did. I would recommend to at least start residency. I feel its much more enjoyable and rewarding than med school. You have nothing to lose and can always leave if you find it wasn't the right choice.

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