× Thinking of a Becoming a Doctor

To be or not to be (a doctor)

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5 years 8 months ago #92084 by MommyMiles
Hi everyone,

I'm new here and have been really inspired by some of the stories, so felt it would be a great place to share mine and hopefully receive some insightful feedback.

I've thought of being a doctor since I was in high school, but about midway through my undergrad I realized I needed to want to be a doctor because I wanted to and not because someone else wanted me to be one. Being rebellious (and a bit spiteful), I switched gears from a biology major to a psych major and did very well. Of course, it wasn't until my last year that I slowly began to figure out that yes, I was still very interested in pursuing medicine. Go figure, but at least at that point I knew that I would be doing it for the right reasons.

I began to map out how and when I would complete the rest of my prerequisites when I found out I was pregnant. I thought it was all over, but I did manage to finish my degree on time. I also managed a 3.8 the semester I was pregnant and the semester I had my son (neither of which were a walk in the park, especially when my son spent his first week of life in the NICU). Between my ability to still keep a handle on school and do well, I held on to the hope that I could do medical school even as a mom and wife.

I met with an admissions rep from a local medical school and she seemed pleasantly surprised that I did so well despite being pregnant and taking care of a newborn (my husband had a job away at the time so it was only myself and some helpful family members taking care of my son during the week). The admissions rep said that they have had plenty of parents go through their program and that in her opinion it is very doable if I have 110% support from home. According to my health professions counselor at my school (who arranged my meeting), the rep was "very impressed" with me. So encouraging!

Fast forward to the present and I have taken the year off to do some serious thinking about this and I feel like I haven't made any progress. Hence why I'm here telling my story I guess! I want to be a doctor so badly that it's all I can think about, but at the same time I admit I'm scared about such a big decision. It's almost like there's a part of me jumping up and down in excitement saying "Yes! Let's do this!", and another part that's like "Well hang on now, let's make absolute sure about this first". Honestly the only thing holding me back is my fear of my husband and son being unhappy because of what I'm doing, though my husband does insist that he will support whatever it is that makes me happy.

I have researched every alternative career under the sun, and even though there are certainly more "family-friendly" careers in healthcare, my mind ALWAYS wanders back to a physician. I almost feel like if I were anything else, I'd always wonder if I could have done it (especially if I were working with physicians).

I'm sorry for the novel but I wanted to give a good representation of my background and where it all leaves me. Are there any moms out there who had a similar situation? Or who have had babies/young children along their journey? Any insight or advice would be very appreciated!

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5 years 8 months ago #92085 by English
Reading your post my impression is that you really want to do medicine so I would say just go for it. I mean it seems pretty obvious that you can handle the rigors of med school and you are already a mom so you know how to multitask! I think the other factors to consider are the financial burden, other family support (family members that are willing and able to help at odd hours, etc), and your own feelings of being a mom/med student.

I had my son well into attending hood, but I had my own struggles with not having family support nearby and a spouse who is a very involved father, but often his work keeps him at the hospital for crazy hours. As an attending you have more financial resources for childcare then you do at any other point in your training, but if you have good family support then this is not as much an issue.

Your husband has already given his support. As for your son-- I think there is a phase when some kids really want their moms around. My mom keeps telling me that my son will soon ask me why I have to go to work. My cousin works 3 days a week and her son still notices if she can't volunteer for a field trip and is really sensitive to it. I think that is all child dependent and my mom mentions that I did this as well, but when I look back at my working mom now as an adult I just think how she was superwoman and even though she worked we always knew her family was far more important to her through her actions and words.

Good luck!

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5 years 7 months ago #92088 by MommyMiles
Thank you so much for sharing! It means a lot. My mom worked really hard when I was young, too, and I don't hold it against her at all. I figure if I'm going to be working outside the home, it should be for a career that I enjoy or else I will resent it (if that makes sense?).

Thanks again for your encouragement, and for mentioning the other aspects to consider as well. I've signed up to attend an info session at the medical school I mentioned in my original post. We'll see how it goes!

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