I am just now starting my 3rd year and my husband and I have decided to plan for a baby in my 4th year. I'm trying to figure out when the best time would be. I know this topic has been beaten to death, but I haven't found anything that pertains to cross country aways.
I am about 75% sure I want to do OB, but don't want to count out IM right now. I attend a mid-tier school on the east coast but am hoping to match on the west coast where my family is/ where I am from, so I would be doing my aways on the west coast. If I do aways, this presents me with 3 potential scenarios:
1) I'm 2nd trimester on aways and deliver before interviews,
2) I'm 2nd trimester on interviews and have a younger baby entering intern year
3) I have the baby before aways and have a newborn in tow for the duration
I know a lot of airlines won't let you fly in your 3rd trimester, so that is another issue posed with the whole cross country thing.
Childcare won't be an issue since my mom, sister, and mother in law will all be helping us quite a bit (thank god!) I'm 33, so we don't have the luxury of waiting until after I start residency. I'm just praying that my age isn't a problem with having a successful pregnancy altogether. I have a robust resume and a reasonable step score (won't blow anyone's mind, but it shouldn't close any doors either).
After all of this background info... my question is which is the least insane of these 3 scenarios? Are away rotations really that important given that I want to match regionally?
Thanks for your advice and input! I think it is so valuable to have this group as a resource!
I haven't been in that situation, so I can't tell you which is the least insane. I think #3 is the most insane, though People say that 4th year is a good time to have a baby, but there sure are a lot of factors that make scheduling it difficult.
As you have implied in your post, your decision-making process should include an honest estimation of your chances of matching where you want to match. (I have no idea how to assess that.) If you are worried about matching in this specific area (you will have to be very close to family for them to help you with childcare), then you might want to consider not doing anything to interfere with your chances of matching. Will being obviously pregnant during rotations and/or interviews interfere with your chances of matching? It is not supposed to, but I think it probably does in some cases. Hopefully OB is pregnancy-oriented enough that it would not.
This may be beyond the financial reach of many medical students, but I always wonder if IVF would be a good way to remove the pressure to have a baby at a time that is less than ideal. Of course there is never a completely ideal time to have a baby, but IVF would make waiting an option.
I don't know how your 4th year schedule works and I'm many years out of residency, but here's what I did.
In my 4th year I had 4 "free" rotations, meaning months off. These were meant to study for the boards. Most students took them throughout the year. I scheduled them for after my due date. My baby was actually born at the end of December. I took off January, then did a light rotation in February. After that, I was finished with school all together.
BTW, when I went on interviews I was generally asked what my childcare arrangements are. I told them my plan was to have a full time babysitter and my husband would be a very involved dad, arranging his schedule around mine. They all seemed fine with that.