Hi all. Just home from a long night at the hospital. Don't you just love residency? All in all, it is not that much fun. More and more it feels like such a sacrifice as the years go by and we are still working so hard after so long. I'm a 2nd yr IM resident at a relatively laid-back program,so I shouldn't complain. And my hubby is an ortho resident at a killer program, so I can't complain. But I just don't know where any of this is going. I'm a year and a half into my 3 yr program, and I still don't know which area of medicine I truly enjoy. I enjoy hem-onc, but hesitate to really do a fellowship in it since it is so intense. I think about palliative care... maybe. I think about being a hospitalist.... but that sounds like it would get old very fast. And there is always primary care, but who really has the stomach for all of that paperwork.
I'm 28, and the baby urge has just started to emerge, which I find fascinating as there really is a biological clock in us, latent for some, but it is there. I know that once I have a baby, work will pale in comparison and I will not want to be there, only part-time if at all, and I can easily see myself being a SAHM. When I'm done, my husband will still have 2 more years of residency. After that, we will probably move back to my hometown.... I am just debating whether I should work straight out of residency for a year to utilize my fresh skills.... or to have a baby that year.... since what is the point of working for such a short time if I plan on taking time off anyway.... It is just a challenge for women in our age group to balance residency, motherhood, future career plans as the time when we finish residency is the time to expand, or start, a family...
How do you all balance these things? How steep is the fertility drop-off after 30? any gyn residents out there to chat us up about fertility?
I am in a differnet situation, but I can really relate to your feelings these days.
You write: " I am just debating whether I should work straight out of residency for a year to utilize my fresh skills.... or to have a baby that year.... since what is the point of working for such a short time if I plan on taking time off anyway.... "
I just wish sometimes that my life, and especially babies were so "schedulable" as you suggest. I debated it, too - and decided a year ago that I wanted to have a baby this year.
It did not happen.
I am 28, and have 4 year old child whom I conceived immediately after I stopped I contraception. I was very happy when that happened but I was about as unprepared for that to happen so fast as I am now unprepared to accept the fact that the second time I did not get pregnant after a full year of trying. I am finishing my residency now, I am going to start at my first "real" job in private practice next summer. I can feel the baby urge, too. But... I also have to realize that starting a new job, a new life in an other state with a big belly would probably not be the most responsible choice - so I will postpone my baby plans for some time.
Why is it that for most women (at least of those that I know) family "planning" turns out to be so much more about the planning by someone Higher, than about their own plans?
I am getting too philosophical here. I just wanted to recommend, be prepared for the possibilty that getting pregnant may take longer than you expect, even if you are still in your fertile years. It is probably much easier to accept the wait if you have a job to keep you busy and give you professional satisfaction.
Good luck to you with your family and your career! :wave:
Well not a mom yet so definately not an authority, but I have a few thoughts to share.
I just finished an IM residnecy 6 mo ago. Toward the end I was so depressed and fed up with residency that I yearned to start a family and move on with life.
I had also applied to a fellowship which was a longshot but I somehow got.
My new program is much less demanding than my residnecy and much more nurturing. I now sleep every night, have time to eat and prepare healthy food, exercise on my lunch breaks. (yeah, I actually get lunch breaks) and hike ans swim on my days off (yeah, I actually get days off).
I have dropped 15 pounds and I feel fantastic. Now I am not so sure I want to give this up right now to be a mom. I want to enjoy my freedom a bit while I have it. I think my desires to have a baby were actually a desire to get out of residnecy.
Point number 2 - many of my colleagues had difficulty conceiving during residnecy but became suddenly fertile afterwards when the stress levels dropped and the sleep level went up.
I don't think there is a "good" time to have babies in amidst pursuing a career in medicine. I had one during my fourth year and another one during intern year. It has been hard going at times, but I'm glad we started having kids when we did. Despite my our demanding jobs, they seem to be thriving, and I look forward to being able to spend more time with them in the future.
Hi Truly9, I guess the answer to your question depends on another question: will you need to work (finanacially speaking) to support your family? If your husband will be an orthopedic surgeon, he may make enough to support the family without your having to work. Of course, the answer to this depends on you and your husband's loan burdens.
Look at it this way: although there are rewards, medicine is NOT the kind of job you have for self-fulfillment "to keep yourself busy while the kids are in school". If you need to work, there are ways to do it to minimize the impact on your family (part time or other arrangements). If you do not NEED to work, it will truly be a tough sell as there are many sacrifices that need to be made, even for a part timer.
I am a practicing pediatrician (half time) with two young kids (6 and 9) and I will be the first to say if I could afford not to, I would NOT work. Not to say I do not get fulfillment from my practice, just that it is hard work and the balancing act is not always easy. And my kids come first. I am not unhappy with my work at all, but hey, if I could just be home with the family I would do it in a heartbeat!
I had my kids at 32 and 34 and had absolutely no problems whatsoever. I know this is not true for everyone though. I guess everyone's life circumstances are different so it is hard to give advice. I had my first in March of my final year of residency and my second while I was in practice. This worked out really well for us.