It's currently 3:30 am and I was just woken up by the anxiety about my decision to pursuer a career in medicine. I'm currently in the application process and it's now towards the end. I'm 23 (age will become relevant when offering advice I think)
I've always known that what I wanted most in life was a family. I want to be able to be with and take care of my kids and spend time with my husband (no promising prospectives yet). Now, having gone to college and it being a new day where women don't sit at home waiting for a suitor, I found it hard to decide what sort of career I should be working towards if not towards becoming a mother. I didn't just pick md out of a hat and have truly showed passion for the material and art of the job, but I'm scared. I'm scared that I won't find a husband, scared that I will be stuck in a career that's too demanding for the lifestyle I want (as of now the technical skills of surgery are so appealing), and scared that while I may eventually find a part time job as a physician that I love, the overly worked hours during medical school and residency will have been too much during a period in my life optimal for starting a family.
I really need advice and truthfully think I'm looking for encouragement rather than discouragement, but I would love your honest thoughts. Thanks!
Also what are some specialties in medicine that work well as part time careers/careers for a working mom?
I am a burned out resident and single mom, so take my opinion with a grain of salt, but I for one wish I had listened to my gut when I felt hesitance about going into medicine. It is a ten year commitment. Even if you get married during med school/training, expect to have a lot less time to enjoy your marriage compared to your friends in other careers. Medicine can be a very fulfilling career, but it comes at a price. Time is probably the "currency" of earning an MD. I almost went into dentistry instead of medicine because I was interested in helping people, using my hands, procedures, and doing mission work. I honestly wish I had chosen that path instead- residency is optional!! at least consider other options in medicine- CRNA, dentistry, podiatry, etc. and really think about what you're getting into....
That said, you can have part-time work in medicine, but you have to earn it after 7 years minimum of 60+ hours/week. Also, you have to be willing to choose a specialty that allows for part-time work. Not every specialty can offer this lifestyle.
Just my thoughts! hope this helps! Good luck, whatever you decide.
I agree with clovermom. Medicine is a long arduous road and you want to be absolutely certain that practicing it for the rest of your life is your dream and passion before you embark on this journey. I love the art of medicine too, but practice in today's world takes most of the joy out of the profession. If you want time enough to build a family and spend with them, part-time of any job would be the way to go. But everything you go through to reach that point in a medical career is not worth just a part-time job. You can spend that time/money/energy on a different path and still reap satisfactory benefits. If I could start over, I would not choose this path. I'm at a point where my career is set, but I barely see my spouse and we hardly have time to even conceive a child, let alone raise one! This is definitely not how I envisioned it back then.