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From med school to SAHM, MD

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11 years 9 months ago #69792 by MDDM
great blog. Very touching. I am an MD and have 3 kids, awaiting our 4th in a couple of months. My husband just started to work and with our expenses it is impossible for me to stay home to ake care of our kids. Always a dilemma. I love my profession, but as you mention it is very demanding. I am hoping to stay home in the future, but it does not look to be very near future. Residency was grueling. Even the most family oriented program is grueling, given the fact you are training to be an attending physician with full responsiblity of peoples lives. If I could do it all over again I would think twice before going into medicine, knowing what I know now, and loving our little ones so much.

DMMD

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11 years 9 months ago #69793 by SAHMdoc
Let's see- it's been several months since I've updated AGAIN! We're all well here. My older son is still attending school part-time and doing fine. Of course, it's a constant struggle to make sure the school holds up their end of our agreement- and they don't always do that- and often try to cut corners- so I have to stay on top of them all the time. I do like the principal and the new teacher, but I'm less than thrilled with some of the others involved. But as long as my son WANTS to go to school, I'll keep fighting the battle with the powers that be to make this possible for him. But- if he starts developing too much anxiety, I'm prepared to pull him out and homeschool in a heartbeat. So, we basically take it day by day for now.

As for my part-time career as an adjunct faculty, that's going really well. I just got my evaluations back from last semester and they were fantastic! "Best teacher I've ever had" ..."I wish she taught more classes", etc. etc. I'm thinking- wow! Maybe this career DOES have some potential for me. In fact, the college currently has an opening for full-time biology faculty and I could probably get the job if I wanted it, but I know I just can't commit to a full-time job right now. Still, it's nice to know I might have that option someday- it's a 9-months/year tenure-track appointment, fantastic state benefits, not sure about the pay but I'm guesstimating at least $50K or so. And the bottom line is- I really do enjoy it. And I'm GOOD at it. And if I REALLY scrimp and save, maybe I could eventually pay loans off on it. But, for now, I'll just have to stick with 1-2 classes per semester for what basically amounts to minimum wage.

So this makes it REALLY hard to get motivated to study for Step 3! I've only got 2 years left before my 7-year eligibility period expires- and then I would have to retake all three steps including CS and I am telling you, there is NO WAY I could EVER go through all that again! So, I really need to get it in gear here and STUDY!

Problem is, I just can't ever see myself doing a residency. I refuse to leave my older son alone until he's able to verbalize his needs and take care of himself (like his 3-year-old younger brother already does so well!) I guess someday my kids will be grown and hopefully both independent and maybe then? I don't know. I'm actually looking forward to spending some time with my husband when that day comes. We still have basically no relationship- we live in the same house and he works and I pay the bills and we both watch the kids and help each other with the chores and that's about it. It's not that we fight a lot or anything- we just don't have a marriage! It's like we're both live-in nannies or something. And it's been that way for several years now and shows no signs of changing. And since we have no help with the kids, there's really no easy answer. I suppose we'll just keep plugging along...

But, marital issues notwithstanding, I'm still thankful for my husband. I'm thankful that he supports me, both emotionally and financially. I'm thankful that he spends all his free time home with the kids. I'm thankful that I'm able to stay home with my son- even if it means my $155K of debt may never get paid. My DH earns enough to put a roof over our head and food on the table- so thankfully, my income isn't essential to our survival.

And while we're on the subject of giving thanks-
I'm thankful for all the huge strides my son has made over the last few years. I'm thankful that I discovered RDI and that it's equipped me with the tools to help my son develop to his fullest potential. I'm thankful that his younger brother shows no signs of autism. I'm sure there's a lot more to be thankful for, but that's just off the top of my head. And it's getting late and I'm starting to ramble yet again, so let's call it a night.

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11 years 8 months ago #69794 by Peds_MD
Dear SAHM MD,I have spent the last few days reading your blog and it has been both heart wrenching and at the same time strengthening for me.I admire you!

I am also a mom of 3,I completed 2 years of residency, had my 3rd child,my program closed and I was unable to find a place to do my final year.I'm still hoping but I've been a sahm for 9 months now and I'm grateful for the oppurtunity o be able to spend this time with my children.

I wish you well...you are a fighter and I know your sons will turn out perfect.

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11 years 2 months ago #69795 by SAHMdoc
Wow, where has the time gone, once again? Busy, busy, busy....Where to begin?

I am still teaching part-time at the same community college and LOVING it. Recently, I started teaching online courses as well- which is definitely different from teaching a live class. Actually, I don't like it nearly as much as a live class, but it does give me the opportunity to work more hours from home. And with gas prices near $4 per gallon, that's a good thing! I still absolutely love, love, love my on-campus anatomy and physiology class. The students tell me over and over again how much they enjoy my lectures- and I really enjoy being a mentor to the next generation of healthcare professionals. I could totally see myself doing this full-time if I had someone to watch the kids. I'd never get rich doing it, but I think I could make ends meet. Maybe someday, when the kids are older...

My 6-year-old is now officially homeschooled and I am his primary teacher. I'm enjoying that as well. It gives us tons of time to work on things that are really important for him- like socializing with other kids at frequent playdates, homeschool group meetings, preschool activities, etc. He's a bright kid who is academically way ahead of his grade level, so our formal school work is quickly accomplished. Instead, I use every possible opportunity to work on the things that he needs help with the most. I'm not happy with how things have (not) worked out with his school- he really wanted to go to school, but the powers-that-be refused to work with us to make it possible for us. It's a long story that I don't feel like going into all the gory details right now. Actually, if I could afford it, I'd love to hire an attorney and take this one to court. But I can't, so that's that. I'm hopeful that, with continued intervention, he will someday be able to function independently with typical peers. Right now, I try to keep him with younger kids, like 3 or 4 year-olds, as much as possible, because developmentally, he's more on that level. His speech is more like a 4-year-old and I've found that he can hold his own with that age group. He doesn't feel the least bit out of place, even though he's a head or two taller than the younger kids. So that's why we do Kindermusik, gym classes, storytelling, etc. with the preschool crowd. He's even starting to tell kids to "STOP!" when they are physically aggressive towards him- which would have been impossible for him a year ago! He's even made a couple of friends among the younger kids- which is something I would never have DREAMED possible just a year or two ago. He's making tremendous progress and I am so thankful for that.

His younger brother is 3 1/2 and doing well. A bit high-needs, but a sweet kid and exceedingly bright (Actually, he's almost scary smart- like doing 2-digit addition in his head!)

I know a couple of moms that I've become friends with over the past few months. I've met even more in the homeschool group meetings. I'm definitely feeling a lot less isolated these days.

And I'm actually making myself study for Step 3 on the side. I have less than 18 months of eligibility left before I have to repeat all 3 steps. So...my plan is to take Step 3 sometime in 2009, then if I don't pass on the first try, try again in 2010. Hopefully it won't come to that. I scored in the 230's on both Steps 1 and 2, but of course, that was years ago when I was actively engaged in the study of medicine. But I'm told that Step 3 is supposed to be the easiest of the three, so hopefully that will prove to be the case for me as well.

Really, I'm not sure why I'm even bothering to study for Step 3...I don't see how I could ever do a residency without destroying my family. But I guess I just don't want to slam that door shut forever...you never know, right? Maybe when the kids are grown and have their own lives...

Many of my colleagues from med school have now finished residency and are practicing medicine. Now that IS a sobering thought. I could be earning 6-figures right now. I have the same amount of debt (or more!) as they do, but I will probably never earn enough money to pay off that debt. My economic hardship deferment expires this year and after that, I can apply for up to three years of forbearance. After that, I will have to pay up. Well, maybe by then I'll have a full-time job teaching online. Maybe I can do that and homeschool at the same time as the kids get older. Guess we'll just have to keep taking things one day at a time.

So there's the update from this end...if anyone is still out there reading! I'll try to update more frequently if anyone's interested.

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11 years 2 months ago #69796 by rugratdoc
Hi SAHM mom,
I am a pediatrician, and currently just volunteer once a week in the evening at a clinic for the uninsured. I am homeschooling my three children 9y, 71/2y and 4 y. I am teaching quite a bit to my kids as well as others.
PM me. I would love to chat and compare notes. Hope to chat soon.

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10 years 7 months ago #69797 by MDDM
Hi SAHM mom,
Keep up the good work, you are an inspiration to many. I finally delivered our 4th child and went into postpartum depression. I went out of work for a couple of months only to go back and then to come out again. I don't feel the same and feel very down. I wish you the best.

DMMD

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