Hi all, will try to keep this as brief as possible. I've always thought that I would like working in medicine, but I want to work part-time when my kids are little (maybe until they're about . I have serious concerns about whether new doctors can do this. I'm 24, and I would consider starting medical school at age 26, to finish when I'm 30. I would want to have my first kid about that time (age 30).
Is there anyway to make this work?? Can I finish medical school with a newborn, and be able to have some time with my young kids without totally sacrificing my career? Do part-time internships/residencies exist? (I don't think so).
I've considered other medical careers that might more easily fit what I want, like being a PA, dentistry, or podiatry. I'd love to be a doctor but I'm afraid that I won't be happy if I feel like it's drawing me away from my kids. So many people say to me, "you're so young, you have all the time in the world." But I don't feel this way. I don't want to put off having kids until I'm in my late 30's, and I also don't want to put off my career until then. I know that some established doctors work part time and are happy doing so, but I feel that I would need flexible hours at the BEGINNING of my career, when I have young kids at home. Is this completely out of the question?
I'm engaged to a man who will be earning more than enough money for both of us (he has a job in corporate law), so I don't care so much about making money. I would be willing to take a serious pay cut for flexibility. I also don't think that I'll be in much debt after med school. (I shouldn't be complaining, since I know I'm luckier than a lot of people--I just really struggle with the idea that being a doctor means that I'll have to be away from my kids for most of their early years).
I would really appreciate advice from moms who are doctors/anyone else who feels that they could offer a perspective on this!
Hi HMie, it is possible to work part-time in medicine, but you are correct that that option is much more available to established physicians. You can spread out your pre-med years, and you can sometimes spread out your medical school years (which may or may not have repercussions), but I think part-time residencies are very rare. The usual residency situation is a regular maternity leave, followed by maybe one easy rotation, and then it is back to 80-hour weeks. Some specialties have a research year built into residency, which could mean less hours and more flexibility for that year. And after residency, you can't really count on getting a true part-time job. It depends on the specialty and the job market in your geographical area.
The reality is that medical education and training does not really accommodate women of childbearing age very well. Things do seem to be changing, and we do have more choices than we used to, but people still end up sacrificing one thing or another. Just read some posts on MomMD and you will see the variety of ways that people have navigated the trade-offs that need to be made. You (and your fiance) will have to figure out what is most important to you in planning your life together. Good luck!
Don't be discouraged, please!
These are tough issues you are dealing with.
Talk to a mentor, and get advice about what you can do as a non-practicing MD if you choose that route although by no means does practicing or progressing in your career come at the cost of family.
I help folks like you in this situation.
There is a website called TEB Academy that I work through, feel free to reach me there and we can speak further