I know that this may be beating a dead horse to bring up this topic again but I just finished reading a book about motherhood and it has got me thinking. I have a one year old son and have just applied for entrance into the class of 2007. My question is 'How can I do both?' I am 29 and was premed in college 7 years ago. I took time off to play music, and I have enjoyed it. Now I am ready to go back to school but I am wondering if it can truly all be done well. Will I regret entering med school when my son is 2 and not spending these years with him? When will I have another child? I love being in the clinic and personally, I never really wanted to stay home and be a mom. I always wanted a career and medicine is what I have always wanted to do (besides sing). Now that I have a son however, I am not sure. I want to do the best that I can with him and I know that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to be with him before he grows up and enters school. I guess I am wondering how other med students have done it and what other ramblings people might have on this topic. Thanks. Jessica
P.S. I have a friend who is an internist and she has an 18 month old and only works 2 days/wk. So it seems like once you get out there are opportunities to spend time with the family. I know that med school is going to be all consuming however.
Hi! My name is Ray and I'm in the same boat with you except I have a one year old and a 3 year old. I will be applying in 2003 for the class entering 2004 and by that time I will be 29 when I start school. My kids will be 3 and 5 by that time. I was premed in college and took off time to get married, have kids and get a Masters. Now I want to go back but I wonder if its best to go when they are young versus when they hit puberty. Which years are the best to miss (knowing that all time with them is important) My husband is very supportive yet he is also concerned on the toll it will take on our relationship. I want to be a family care physician (pediatrics) so I'm looking on average of 7 years of school. I am hoping that I can manage spending time with them and my hubby. Hope someone responds. Thanks for the post.
Hi Jessica and Ray:
I think many of us are in this predicament. My children are 10, 6, 4, and 3. I too have debated this with myself. We are all different and must consider our temperaments, abilities, and interests as well as those of our children. I feel that I have given my little ones a strong grounding and continue to show them that I love them and want the best for them. I have applied for the class of 2003 and if accepted will opt to spend my summer of 2003 taking gross anatomy to give me an easier fall and spring. I have talked with older med students and learned much from them. I will share a few things:
During a panel discussion our questions were considered. The younger students (20ish) said the best students and most adjusted med students were those with families. They saw them as sincere in their work and able to deal with family and school ties. They made time to study. The older students said that the med schools were cognizant of their situations and provided opportunities (such as study carrols and closer parking) that allowed them to spend their "free" time at the school studying thus allowing for time at home with kids. Several older students just didn't go to class if there was something special for a child because that was the most important thing on their agenda and yet they still did well. They learned to balance priorities. This was valuable advice and good for me to hear because it is my philosophy also.
If I get accepted to 2003, all four of my children will be in school during the day so going to school during the day will not be a problem for me. I also spent a lot of time deciding and planning before ever beginning the process to have arrangements for my children when not in school. My mother (she's the best in the world) has offered to retire (she's an RN) if I am accepted and move from TX to WI to be nanny for the children. This will give me time for studying at home.
Another thing that I did before beginning the process was discuss it with my husband. His first question was "do we have to move?" Although he has a job (pilot) that allows him to live anywhere in the nation, he does not want to move because we are in an ideal situation. With 2 deaf children and 1 child who is suspected of having bi-polar disorder, we have an excellent school system that we would not want to take the children out of. That said: I looked at what med schools are within driving/commuting distance and so only applied to those. My husband suggests that I have an apartment if I am accepted for those nights when additional private study time is needed prior to an exam.
In essence, I feel that if I go to school now rather than wait until they are teens, I will be in school with them and be still available for them to talk to as they mature. My 10 yr old even thinks she can help me study. She is excited and tells her friends that we will graduate the same time (HS and Med School).
It is SO IMPORTANT that all members of your family be insync with your plans. The little ones don't understand but they need to know that mommy will go to school and she still loves them.
Hope this helps. I'd like to hear how others dealt with these issues.
Thanks for the replies, Ray and Determined2b. It does help. Determined2b, it sounds like you have a great set up with your family. I am also applying for 2003 and am also only applying to the schools in my city. There are two. My husband is very supportive but his usual work week is averaging around 60 hrs. right now so we will have some definite restructuring to do when I get in. Both of our parents live in town which is the primary reason why we don't want to move. I am feeling more at peace with it right now though I do wonder how I will get it all done. I think hiring a housecleaner is going to be a must. I also think that having a young child gives me more peace during the application process. I know that if I don't get in this year, then I get to spend another year at home with my son and that takes some of the edge off of the 'Will I get in????' anxiety.
Each family differs in their makeup so what works for one may not work for another. Just be careful...children are a precious gift and we only get one chance with them. Each day comes only once and it can never be retrieved. I know I am prejudiced... my son was diagnosed at 7 with a rare life threatening illness. There was no warning, nothing at all to hint at what was coming. I treasure those years and am SOOO thankful I spent those early years with him. No one knows what the future holds. Devastation can hit at any time...1 year, 10 years, who knows? Pursue your dreams but be sure if the call we received ever comes to you, you don't have any regrets. Best wishes, Cynthia
It can be done but it is difficult. I was pregnant with my first child during my first year of med school. My school did not make any special parking places or places to study but they did allow me to complete my second year over two years (after my mother died 3 weeeks prior to my delivery.) Another woman I knew who delivered shortly before me did not get the same and ended up repeating courses. I knew several mom med students at the time and they all fared differently. Some of us succeeded without much compromise while others failed their boards or failed different courses. There will always be compromises on both sides--med school and family. Fortunately they do not have to be detrimental to all. Good luck and if it is truly what you want to do you will surely find a way to make it work. For more of my story you can read previous posts.