About the ads

Med Student Lifestyle: Information for Students by Students

Discussion in 'Allopathic' started by lilnoelle, Jul 6, 2007.

  1. SDN is a nonprofit organization. Services are made possible through the generous support of SDN members and sponsors. Thank you.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. lilnoelle

    lilnoelle Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    Messages:
    2,896
    Location:
    crazyland
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 5+ Year Member

    SDN Members don't see this ad. (About Ads)
    Welcome to the Medical Student Mentor thread!

    This thread will be an area where individuals can ask questions to current medial students who belong to a variety of different lifestyle categories. Some of these categories include married students, students with children, LGBT students, ESL students, nontraditional students, HSPS students, NHSC students, and more!

    We have more and more mentors signing up daily. So keep thinking about your questions.

    Watch this thread for more details!

    Please read the FAQ before posting.

    Standard Disclaimer
    Remember, everything posted on any SDN forum, once posted becomes permanently available to the general public. Members are encouraged to avoid posting anything that they would not want to be associated with publicly. Use caution in sharing identifiable information or overly personal details.

    Mentors and students posting in this thread are individual volunteers. Advice given by mentors and/or students does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the Student Doctor Network or CRG. The mentor forum should not be used as your only source of advice when making career or academic decisions.
  2. lilnoelle

    lilnoelle Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    Messages:
    2,896
    Location:
    crazyland
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    What is the purpose of this thread?
    One purpose of the Med Student Lifestyle thread is to give premedical students a glimpse into the lives of medical students. A second purpose is to give Med Students a place to ask each other questions about topics of concern or interest.

    Who are the Mentors in this thread?
    The Mentors in this thread are all medical students who have volunteered their time to answer your questions in this forum. They represent a variety of lifestyles and backgrounds and come from both allopathic and osteopathic schools:

    MSmentor001 - Single Student, On Rotations
    MSmentor002 - Single Student, On Rotations
    MSmentor003 - URM Student, ESL Student
    MSmentor004 - Mom, Older Student
    MSmentor005 - MDPHD, URM, Married, Rotations
    MSmentor006 - LGBT, Older student
    MSmentor007 - International, PBL student
    MSmentor008 - LGBT, Older student
    MSmentor009 - IMG Student
    MSmentor010 - DO, Systems based, On Rotations
    MSmentor011 - Research, MS1/MS2
    MSmentor012 - Older student, career changer
    MSmentor014 - DO/Mom/Nontrad
    MSmentor015 - DO student
    MSmentor016 - Older, Married, PBL
    MSmentor017 - Single Student, On Rotations, Research
    MSmentor018 - Ex-Military/CareerChange/PBL/older
    MSmentor019 - ESL Student/Research
    MSmentor020 - DO/Single student
    MSmentor021 - Married/DO student/MPH
    MSmentor022 - IMG student

    What types of questions should I ask?
    What do you want to know? Questions about schedules, finances, social life, dating, family life and much more are all fair game.

    How should I phrase my question?
    Brief, specific and to the point is best. Avoid being overly verbose or sharing too much personal information. Your question should be written in standard written english, using proper grammar and avoiding use of internet slang such as "ur" or "plz."

    What types of questions are not appropriate?
    This is not the place to ask questions about the MCAT, admissions or other things PRE-medical. We have two threads in the Mentor Forum where you can ask med school admissions questions. We also have a mentor thread about post-bacc and special masters programs. See the next post for some links. Admissions questions posted to this thread will be deleted. This is definitely also NOT the place to discuss potentially contentious issues such as MD vs. DO. There are plenty of discussions of that topic on the regular forums.

    I just posted. Where is my post?
    Posts on this forum are not visible until approved and answered by one of our Mentors or a moderator. Please be patient. It may take a few days for your question to be answered.

    Can I ask a question by PM?
    All questions need to be asked on the thread. The Mentors in this thread do not have PM access and are not available for one on one consultation.
  3. All4MyDaughter

    All4MyDaughter SDN Mommystrator Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor Partner Organization

    Joined:
    May 7, 2005
    Messages:
    22,693
    Location:
    Cube Farm
    Status:
    Pharmacist
    Pharmacist SDN Partner SDN Published Author NCPA Kappa Psi SDN 7+ Year Member
    If the question you are thinking about asking concerns admissions or anything PRE-medical, please hit the back button now. :laugh:
    This thread is not for admissions questions but is reserved for questions about actually BEING in medical school.

    For those of you who need admissions help, here are some links:

    Where can I get advice about the MCAT?
    Try the SDN MCAT Forum.

    I need help with my personal statement.
    There is a great thread with personal statement advice in the pre-allo forum.

    Will the mentors read my personal statement?
    No. We have writing mentors who will provide technical advice and critique short passages. We aren't able to offer full-service editing for personal statements, so please don't post them on the Mentor Forum. Any personal statements posted will be deleted.

    What are my Chances?
    Pre-allopathic: What are my Chances/Where to Apply?
    Pre-osteopathic: What are my chances?

    Advice from Adcoms (non-Mentor forum, identities not verified)
    ADCOMS: Semi-Solicited Advice [Part I]
    ADCOMS: Semi-Solicited Advice [Part II]

    Mentor Forum Admissions Threads
    Medical School Admissions: Special Circumstances
    Medical School Admissions: How can I Improve my Chances?
    Post-Bacc & Special Masters Programs
  4. MSmentor001

    MSmentor001 Single/On Rotations

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Messages:
    3
    Hello everyone, I'd like to take a moment to introduce myself to the mentor forum. I am a newly minted 4th year medical student who is here to answer questions about being in a life similar to my own. While all the different mentors will come from a variety of backgrounds and social situations, hopefully as a group we will be able to answer your questions, address your concerns, and most of all give honest, straightforward advice about life as a medical student.

    As for myself, since this thread is about lifestyle, I will focus on relevant personal information for my introduction. I am just shy of 25 years old, and have just entered my fourth year of medical school at an allopathic school in the northeast. I am a single male, living in a moderately sized city. I participate in sports and volunteer work in my free time. I have given advice on SDN before in an informal fashion, and have been a member for several years, but this is my first day as an official mentor. I am happy to answer any of your relevant questions, and I will probably take a very easy stance on what qualifies as "relevant". There are no issues too great or small, so ask away!

    Just as a forewarning, we may delete posts just to keep this thread tidy, but we will be sure to preserve the question when we give our answers. Thanks for your understanding!
  5. MSmentor002

    MSmentor002 Single/On Rotations

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Messages:
    5
    Good morning everyone! I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself. I'm a 26 year-old female and am just beginning my third year of medical school. I took a few years off in between undergraduate and medical school. I spent most of my first and second years with my nose buried in a book, but like to think that over time I managed to strike a balance between medical school and outside life. I enjoy running and lifting weights and almost anything that involves being active. I'm single and go to a school where most of the student body is either single or dating someone; a small minority of the students are married.
  6. MSmentor005

    MSmentor005 MDPHD/URM/Married/Rotations

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4
    Hi, I am also a new mentor but SDN regular that will be helping out on this thread. To parallel MS mentor001:

    I am a female URM just shy of 30 and am in my last year of a MD-PhD program (4th year med student), so I am applying to residency this year. I also got married 1.5 years ago. I live in a large city. I will be answering your questions related to the MD-PhD program lifestyle, being a URM, and being married without kids. Hopefully we can cut through some of the crap that ends up on the pre-allo forum by giving qualified answers to what med school is really like.

    Best of luck to everyone! :luck:
  7. MSmentor003

    MSmentor003 URM & ESL student

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    IL
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Hi everyone, let me drop everyone a quick introduction of myself.

    I'm originally from South America (I'm 25 and have lived about half of my life in Brazil), so I'll be taking care of questions for underrepresented minorities (URMs) and English as a second language (ESL). I'm a second year med student in the MD/MPH program (decided to do the MPH part before med school for a twist) at school in Chicago.

    Med school can be a great time for all of us, so I can answer any questions you may have about the lifestyle of a med student (whether it's related to URM/ESL or not). I'm probably the antithesis of a gunner, but I take care of business when I need to so that I can have as much time as possible outside of the classroom/library/etc. In my spare time I like to play sports (especially soccer), go to concerts, hang out with friends, volunteer (public health programs, free clinics, anything that has anything to do with health care)... and enjoy the great nightlife here in Chicago.

    In any case, hello, and feel free to ask me anything.
  8. MSmentor004

    MSmentor004 Older student & mother

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Messages:
    10
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Hello everyone. I wanted to introduce myself. I am a 4th year medical student, in my 30's, married and have children. I will be happy to answer any lifestyle questions with regards to the ups and downs of being a parent and a nontraditional student in medical school. :) I have used a variety of different childcare resources for my family over the past 3 years and can speak to those experiences as well.
  9. MSmentor007

    MSmentor007 International, PBL student

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    Messages:
    3
    Hey All,

    I am a first year med student at the Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q) which some of you may have heard of as the first American med school to open a branch campus over seas. I was born in Russia but did a lot of my growing up in the Middle East (United Arab Emirates) and now study in Qatar, so perhaps I can be useful to those seeking information regarding studying as an international student in an American medical school as well as about the practice of medicine outside the United States. WCMC-Q goes by the PBL type curriculum, so perhaps I can be useful for those questions too.
  10. MSmentor009

    MSmentor009 IMG student

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    Messages:
    1
    Hi Everyone. I'm a 25 year-old American originally from the east coast of the USA that attends medical school in Western Europe. I'm current in my 3rd year of what is considered a "Graduate-Entry" program which is designed for people that already have a bachelors (or equivalent) in a natural or applied science. The program is only four years instead of the traditional five/six and is structured more like a medical program in the US.

    I'll be happy to answer any questions concerning what it's like as an American to attend a medical school outside the USA as well as the various issues or complications one may come across or consider before applying or accepting admission to such a program.
  11. MSmentor008

    MSmentor008 LBGT, Older Student

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Urban suburbia...a cultural nightmare
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Hello everyone:

    I'm older, queer, out and a medical student. My partner and I have been together for more than 10 years and she works at the medical school I attend.

    I returned to school when I was 28, took seven years to earn a B.S./M.PH while working nearly full time. I've been out since I was 16, and honesty, problems with my family over my sexual orientation were part of the reason I dropped out of school when I was a kid. My family and I have since reconcilled, and I am happy to report that I sometimes I think they love my partner more than they love me!

    I am happy to answer questions about any of the following: being out in medicine, coming out to yourself or your family, when to be out and when to be careful, being a non-trad, whether to reveal you are GLBT in the admissions process (the short answer is "yes" and "no," judge carefully about when and how to do this), public health, how to signal to GLBT patients that you are an ally, attending med school as an older adult, dealing with prejudice, dealing with younger students/finding your place, and many other things.

    I will not answer any of the following quesitons: I will not comment on your opinion of whether my sexual orientation is God/Diety approved, I will not answer questions about why I love women and not men, I will not debate religion or politics, I will not answer questions about my sex life, and I will not answer any question that frames my sexuality in a pejoritive manner.

    My aim is to offer help to other older students, other LGBT students and those interested in public health. Anything else is outside of the purview of my mentorship.

    I'm happy to help!

    MSmentor008, at your service!
  12. MSmentor002

    MSmentor002 Single/On Rotations

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Messages:
    5

    I think 3-4 hours a day might be pushing the limit a little bit; however, a lot depends on how you prioritize. During first and second year if I was extremely organized and didn't have a test coming up within the next week or two, I might find myself with 3-4 hours to spare on occasion. Usually by the time I took care of everything that needed to be done (laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning) my spare time was closer to 1-2 hours a day. During test weeks that dropped down to about an hour, which is the amount of time I find I need to "unwind" at the end of the day.

    With that said, I've had friends who have remained fairly dedicated to their various outside activities throughout med school. They usually involved some sacrifice. It can be difficult to balance an intense outside activity with stellar grades. If you are happy with passing you will definitely find you have more spare time.

    I would suggest that you allow some time to adjust to medical school. Cut your practicing back to a couple hours a day at first. Give yourself some time to get in a rhythm and find what works for you and then reevaluate your time commitments.

    I think it's great that you are looking to stay involved in something that you enjoy and that helps you relax. If I had the opportunity to re-do my first year of medical school I would definitely follow your lead. Lots of :luck:!
  13. MSmentor007

    MSmentor007 International, PBL student

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    Messages:
    3
    The application process for an international student is almost identical to that of any other college graduate, and all the same things (such as having a good set of extracurriculars, recommendation letters, research, etc) apply. Obviously try to get the best possible MCAT score, and dont relax on the verbal section no matter what anyone tells you (someone told me that the verbal section isnt as important for internationals). However, there are some additional things you should demonstrate as an international student. Most importantly you have to leave no doubt regarding your competence in English. If you went to college outside the US, do the TOEFL and get a great score. Although you definately have better chances of being accepted if you studied for atleast a couple of years in North America. Also, your personal statement becomes even more important.

    Tuition is high everywhere and Qatar is no exception (same price tag as the NY campus). Most financial aid programs I know of are need based. Its more difficult getting financial aid for international students since you dont qualify for a lot of the offers by virtue of not being a US citizen. Still, its possible. Look into what student loans are availiable to you. There should be a person availiable in the Student Affairs department at the schools you are applying to that can help you figure out who you can ask for reliable information. In Qatar there is an organization called Qatar Foundation that provides student loans (which I have made use of) and I have a part time job.

    Apply to as many as possible, both private and state. 10 sounds like a good number.

    So far its been crazy difficult, but in a good way :). No clue about residency yet.

    Best of luck in applying!
  14. MSmentor006

    MSmentor006 Gay guy, 35 years old

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    Messages:
    1
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Hey, all. I'm a non-trad (35 years old), a gay man, and an MS1.

    My campaign for acceptance to med school was pretty elaborate and involved, as I felt I had some definite weak points in my application. (I'm not a career changer, but rather someone who took a long time to come to his first real career.) The process was long, sometimes discouraging, but in the end it did go pretty well. I applied to 18 schools, was invited to interview at 9 (mix of top tier and mid tier, private and public), went to 7 of them, was accepted at 6.

    As far as experience in health care, I've worked in a residential skilled-nursing/adult-day-health facility for people with AIDS; a community clinic (primary care); and volunteered in a big county hospital emergency department. At this point EM is my goal, but I'm also actively considering primary care (probably via IM/Peds, but perhaps FP), otolaryngology, ophthalmology and anesthesiology, roughly in that order.

    I'm happy to answer questions about just about anything, really, though I'm primarily here to address questions abbout being gay in medicine. The one thing I ask is that questions come only from the perspective of open acceptance of gay people and of homosexuality in general. There are many places on SDN to argue about various moral positions on sexuality, but I'm here to answer the questions of gay people and their friends and family members about my experiences in medicine and med school. I look forward to corresponding with you all and hope that I can be helpful.
  15. MSmentor004

    MSmentor004 Older student & mother

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Messages:
    10
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    I have used childcare, au pairs and babysitters over the last 3 years. Honestly, the best arrangement for my kids was the au pair.

    Daycare:
    A major plus for this is that you know they will always be there, except for holidays. You don't have to worry about the sitter being sick, her car breaking down, etc. Daycares are constant and reliable. You also know what the bill will be each week and there's no negotiation of benefits, raises, etc.

    A major minus is the sick child issue. If your child is sick, you cannot take him or her. This will happen fairly frequently if your child has not already been in daycare for a long time. (I would say expect at least once a month illness in a small child.) Parents will bring their sick kids to your daycare and your child will get sick. You must have some backup arrangement for your child's sick days! Another drawback to many daycares is the high turn-over rate for their workers and the generally low educational level of the people who work there. This is a mostly minimum wage job, so be very picky about where you take your child. Daycares affiliated with colleges or near them so that they employ students majoring in education, etc, are great.

    Nanny: the only childcare I have not used myself.

    Plus: in your home, greatly reduced illness for your child. Familiar surroundings for your child. Consistency of childcare provider.

    Minus: You have to kiss a lot of frogs, meaning it may take 2-3 trials before you find the right person. You have to worry about their sick days, their car breaking down, their boyfriend's wanting to move, etc. They are expensive and I have seen people get into uncomfortable situations with nannies demanding raises and the parents feeling trapped because they need the nanny. Do your homework before hiring anyone!

    Au pair:
    Plus: Lives in your home, doesn't have as many sick days or "car broke down" days. Has a contract with their agency and you, so that pay and benefits are not up for negotiation. Wonderful consistency for your child, as they live with you and are part of the family life. They are generally young, educated, and enthusiastic. Always, always go through an agency to find one, this protects both you and the au pair from being taken advantage of. The pay is equivalent to fulltime childcare, so less expensive than a nanny.

    Minus: You have to be comfortable having someone else live in your home. They will get homesick, etc, and will come to think of you as surrogate parents, much of the time. You need to be a bit flexible about food, travel, etc.

    We had AP's for a couple of years and would do it again. Only reason we don't have one now is that our children are older and don't need a live-in anymore.

    Sitter:
    Our current arrangement is a high school student whose family we know.

    plus: cheaper, more fun for the kids.

    minus: reliability can be an issue with teenagers, you need to find the right one!

    Okay, that became a very long reply, but I hope it's helpful!
  16. MSmentor004

    MSmentor004 Older student & mother

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Messages:
    10
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Hi

    I'm married and have had no trouble getting loans and fin aid. Of course, it's harder to get need-based loans because if your husband is employed, it is assumed you have that money to contribute to cost of living, etc. I don't think it should be a problem for you at all. If you play your cards well, you will probably be living more comfortably than your single classmates who have to live entirely off loans.
  17. MSmentor003

    MSmentor003 URM & ESL student

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    IL
    Status:
    Medical Student
    MSmentor007 had some great points--let me add a couple of things--

    I'm not sure if you're a permanent resident, but let me talk about that since that's my case. I went to college here in the United States, and from your MDapplicants profile it looks like you did the same (which probably means you wont have to take the TOEFL). Financial aid in med school will be no different than college (except that there will be much more of it and you will probably be considered an independent student in professional school).

    You will also have a much better chance (at both admissions and scholarships for financial aid) if you are a permanent resident. I ran into no problems with either the admissions process or financial aid as a permanent resident. I had to provide a copy of my green card, but that was the extent of things. Also, as MSmentor007 stated I can't apply to some scholarships, but there are many more scholarships that I can apply to then there are those that I cannot. The greater majority of scholarships are open to permanent residents and many are open to anyone.

    As far as how many schools you'll need to apply to, there really isn't an exact number. Here are a few things that you need to do.
    1) consider your financial situation--the application process is expensive and your budget may limit the number of schools you can apply to
    2) apply to you dream schools, but also apply to those within your reach. There are no "safeties" when it comes to med school and remember that there are some obstacles as a foreign applicant (although they are much smaller as a permanent resident). I would say that carefully selecting which schools that you apply to is more important than how many schools you apply to. You can also call the schools to see if you'll have to submit extra materials of if there are any extra requirements as a foreign applicant.

    Good luck :luck:
  18. MSmentor002

    MSmentor002 Single/On Rotations

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Messages:
    5

    I know there are some other dedicated exercisers on this thread, so hopefully they will contribute even though I'm taking first stab at this!

    I began med school with the "I don't have time to study, I'm a MEDICAL STUDENT" excuse. That was mistake #1. I let myself get by with it for all of first year and half of second year. That was mistake #2.

    DISCLAIMER: I was a "home school med school" type student for my first two years. This worked exceptionally well for me, and thus my schedule was built around only mandatory classes.

    It can be difficult to incorporate exercise into your schedule, but it should be very possible during the first two years. It may become difficult for even the most dedicated fitness buff during 3rd year, but there are ways around this challenge. To start, you need to find what works for YOU. You say you can't do early mornings or late nights and I understand that - I can't either. My solution to that is to make my workout a study break. I studied until about 5 or 6, drove to the gym and changed there. I worked out for ~1 hr and then drove home. At home I showered, ate a quick dinner, and maybe even took a short nap for 20-30 minutes. By the time I was done with all this it was about 7:30 or 8 pm. Often if I had been productive during the day I was done at that point. I might skim a high yield book, or do some questions if I felt like I wanted to put in more time. If I had a week to go before tests I often put in another hour or two.

    When test weeks got really busy I started using the gym at school instead of my off campus gym. I would jog over there and back and use the elliptical for another 20 minutes. After I jogged back to my study spot I changed my t-shirt and sat back down to study. They weren't the best workouts I've ever had, but it kept me moving and helped me stay focused.

    The only challenge I see with exercising right after school is that the gym is often at its most crowded around 5 or 6. At my gym this isn't a terrible problem and I can still get the equipment I want to use within a reasonable time. It will probably take a bit to figure out when is the best time for you to use the gym, and you might want to check out a few different options (if you are considering something other than your school gym) at peak hours to help you decide which works best.

    Good :luck:!!
  19. MSmentor003

    MSmentor003 URM & ESL student

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    IL
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I'll second MSmentor002--I really had the same experience.
    Coming in I really thought that I wouldn't have any time to play sports, etc... the reality is that you do have enough time (maybe the exception is around exam/finals time) if you plan and prioritize well.

    You really need to find something that lets you forget about the stresses of med school for a couple of hours to keep yourself sane. Working out is a very popular way for med students to do this. Also, you and your classmates can set up intramural teams, and that's a good way to get together with classmates, exercise, and get rid of some stress. The main thing is to not drop everything that you liked doing before med school--otherwise, you'll go crazy.
  20. All4MyDaughter

    All4MyDaughter SDN Mommystrator Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor Partner Organization

    Joined:
    May 7, 2005
    Messages:
    22,693
    Location:
    Cube Farm
    Status:
    Pharmacist
    Pharmacist SDN Partner SDN Published Author NCPA Kappa Psi SDN 7+ Year Member
    Is there a question you'd like to ask but don't feel comfortable asking in public, even using just your "SDN Identity"?

    Have something sensitive or personal that you'd like to ask anonymously?

    Introducting the Mentor Forum's newest subforum:

    Confidential Consult

    In Confidential Consult you can ask your questions anonymously and have our mentors and other members who have similiar experiences weigh in.

    Come visit, read the FAQ and ask away. We hope that you will find this new subforum to be a safe, non-judgmental environment for you to discuss important issues with mentors and peers.
  21. MSmentor010

    MSmentor010 DO/systems-based/Rotations

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Messages:
    9
    Hello everyone!

    I wanted to take a minute to introduce myself to the mentor forum. I am a single, female, 3rd year, D.O. medical student that just finished taking the COMLEX and the USMLE step 1 and start rotations at the end of August. I go to school in the midwest and our school teaches system-based learning, so I can answer any questions that pertain to any of the above. I just ask that you don't start a debate about DO vs. MD or anything of the sort. We are all going to be medical professionals and it is our job to help each other succeed as well as doing whatever is best for our patients.

    Since this is a forum on lifestyle, I will focus on some of my personal information for my introduction as well incase you have any more specific type questions. I am a bit timid, 27 y.o. medical student that received a bachelors degree, masters degree and then took a year off to explore research as a research associate prior to my entrance into medical school. My medical school is located in a moderately large city in the midwest; however, I will be doing my rotations in a larger city that is located in a different state. Besides having my nose in the books for the past two years, I have been active in several organizations on campus as well as being highly active in the AMA and our state medical association. I will do my best to answer any of your questions! Best wishes to all of you!
  22. MSmentor011

    MSmentor011 Research/MS1 & MS2

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Messages:
    5
    Hello everybody!

    I'm a 3rd year student at an allopathic school and have completed Step I and started rotations. I'm a 26 year old male, in a relationship that started during school, and am more than happy to talk about issues that arise in 1st and 2nd year. My lifestyle and interests are a bit more outgoing and liberal than those of my school and the city I live in. Talk to you guys soon!

    :Edit: Oops, I forgot to mention I received an M.S. in basic science and am involved in clinical research now.
  23. MSmentor015

    MSmentor015 DO student

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Messages:
    6
    Hello!

    I'm a 25 yr old MS-I starting at an Osteopathic school with a very non-traditional classroom and clinical training program this Fall. A little bit about me: I'm a former EMT-B and Emergency Department Technician currently hoping to practice EM, but will keeping my mind open in case I hear the calling from another specialty down the road. I also have a background in basic science research, having spent two years as biology lab technician. While in school, I will be involved in a long-distance relationship with my significant-other of 3.5 years. In my spare time (if I have any) I plan on taking cooking lessons and running as often as possible.

    I'll be happy to answer question regarding being an Osteopathic medical student and any of the topics touched on above.
  24. MSmentor014

    MSmentor014 DO/Mom/Nontrad

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Messages:
    2
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Hello Everyone,

    I am currently an OMS1 on summer break and will be heading back by the end of this month to finish up the year and move on to being newly minted OMS2. My path to medical school has been tough, with a lot of pessimists along the way. I'm a married mother of two children, went back to college after many years off, applied to medical schools and got in. For all of you non-traditional pre-meds out there, it can be done with enough determination and perseverance.

    I look forward to answering any questions you have and wish you the best of luck!
  25. MSmentor004

    MSmentor004 Older student & mother

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Messages:
    10
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Yes, actually. I run 30+miles/week and have even completed a marathon in med school. In my opinion, it's all a matter of organization and priorities. (and having good help with the kids!) I choose to run in the early morning before my family is awake so that I'm not taking time away from them.
  26. MSmentor004

    MSmentor004 Older student & mother

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Messages:
    10
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Wow, this is kind of an intimidating set of questions! ;)

    Okay, the short answer is that yes, this can be done. Certainly, if you can balance a full time job, a 1 year old and a Chem class, then you are more likely to be able to handle med school than someone who is not already juggling such a load.

    How do I do it all? I have a LOT of help! Here is a short list:
    1) Husband- super supportive, cooks dinner when I'm not home or studying, ferries kids to various evening activities, keeps them out of my hair when I'm studying at home. He also is my shoulder to lean on when I think I can't possibly do one more day of med school.
    2) Sitter/au pair- We had an au pair for 18 months who took care of the kids before and after school, made simple dinners on weeknights, did their laundry, and also ferried them to activities on days when I had to work late.
    3) Housekeeper- on and off we have had once a week help with the housekeeping. The job falls to my husband most of the time when we don't have help.
    4) My mom- she doesn't live here, but has been known to fly in and bail me out more than once when childcare issues became critical or husband was traveling during finals, etc.

    When I was in preclinical years, I would study during the day until dinner time, make dinner for the family, help kids with homework and then return to the books until 9pm or so. I would usually spend 8-10 hours one day of the weekend studying and take the other day off. During exams, the family did see less of me, of course.

    As a clinical student, I spend less time doing household stuff when I am on a busy rotation. That's where the help becomes critical.

    A few caveats:
    1) P=MD - I'm not saying that I don't care about my grades, I do! However, there is a point of minimal return when I know that 3 more hours of studying or reading will only yield me a point or two on an exam. I weigh how much time I've spent with the family and how badly I want those few points. Usually the family wins out. On rotations it has actually been easier to excel because most of the work occurs during rotation hours, not at home.

    2) I'm not gunning for a super competitive residency- This means I don't have to be AOA or have 3 published papers. (nor do most med students!)

    Am I tired all the time? Not really. I've learned to work well on 6-7 hours of sleep a night. The exercise helps a ton. I'm less tired when I'm exercising regularly.

    The kids? My kids are not babies, so seeing me for an hour or two a day is pretty good for them. I make time for special things.

    Yes, I do have bad days. Yes, I cry sometimes when I get totally overwhelmed. I have been too tired to make an omlette for my son and stood in the kitchen and bawled about it. It happens. You make some adjustments and move forward. (hubby takes over dinner duty when I have rotations with call nights)

    Organization is key!

    hope that answered at least some of your questions!
    Dr Curitas likes this.
  27. MSmentor011

    MSmentor011 Research/MS1 & MS2

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Messages:
    5
    Hi. Perhaps the best way to start this is to define what a traditional premad has been. Essentially, someone who started college immediately after high school and progressed through college into medical school without any delay. Often, they majored in a science related to medicine (physiology, biology, biochemistry) or one of the pre-medical prerequisites (chemistry or physics).

    With that said, a non-traditional is someone who doesn't fit that mold. Typically, from my understanding of the word, it means someone who is older than the typical applicant and has worked in a career or as a homemaker prior to application. A non-traditional pre-med may be someone who is going back to school to fulfill the prerequisites or someone in a special program to help people in different fields translate their knowledge into medicine.
  28. MSmentor011

    MSmentor011 Research/MS1 & MS2

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Messages:
    5
    I'm sorry to hear about your loss. I'm sure you and your new friend will have some great times.

    I must confess that I may not be the best person to give advice on this issue as I had a puppy for my didactic years but felt it was in his best interest to stay with my parents as I began my clinical years. My concern was spending > 8 hours/day inside or cooped up in a crate is not healthy for him. I may take him back as my load lightens, I'll keep you posted with ideas if I do.

    Anyhow, I know several students who have dogs and no roommates in 3rd and 4th year who manage. Here are some of their strategies. One has his heavy rotations (surgery and medicine) during the summer time and has a neighbor kid who's home for the summer dogsit. Another girl has a fenced in yard and can leave her dog to play all day. This actually works out for another student as they live near one another and both utilize the yard. Another girl I know has a small dog that lives inside permanently and uses a disposable mat to relieve itself.

    I think with a little planning you everything will work out for the two of you. Good luck! :luck:
  29. MSmentor004

    MSmentor004 Older student & mother

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Messages:
    10
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Some of my classmates had parttime jobs like working in the children's library at the hospital or being a receptionist during lunch hours in the academic offices, during the preclinical years.

    I put my husband through graduate school and he has professional employment. The first few years of our marriage were focused on his career and our young family.

    My married classmates also depend on their spouses income to support their families, as well as student loans. (I don't know about all their financial arrangements of course, but I do know many of us also take out student loans.) Some married students live in houses and some have small efficiency apartments like many of the single students.
  30. MSmentor010

    MSmentor010 DO/systems-based/Rotations

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Messages:
    9
    Sorry to jump in on this one as I am single; however, several of my friends are married and manage a job and medical school. There are even two sets of married couples in our class that have children. A lot of it probably has to do with each individuals' situation, but it can be done -- I see it everyday with the two couples in our class. One of my friends, is married, is a phlebotomist, and works at the school. She also has time for her family and she is in the honor society for her grades. She is just able to manage her time very well, but she does have to take out loans. I would just hate for you to go with plan B, but not be completely happy. I had another friend that went to dental school as his plan B because of his family, and he is not at all happy. Just know that anything is possible if you put your mind to it and are determined. Just keep talking to different people to see how they did it, and see if you are able to do something similar. Best of luck with everything! I wish you the best!
  31. MSmentor018

    MSmentor018 Hooah! SDN Advisor

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    Messages:
    895
    Location:
    land of mickey mouse and alligators
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Physician Faculty SDN 7+ Year Member
    Hey everyone!
    i am an older non trad, DO student and about to start my 2nd yr! i have a background as a trauma/ICU RN, special operations in the army, and multiple other jobs before I got buried in the books. feel free to ask anything, I'll try to answer as much as I can (or just make it up...just kidding.) :laugh:
  32. MSmentor018

    MSmentor018 Hooah! SDN Advisor

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    Messages:
    895
    Location:
    land of mickey mouse and alligators
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Physician Faculty SDN 7+ Year Member
    orthodoc-I am in the same boat, have 2 little ones that are old and take meds twice daily. so the whole 3rd/4th yr rotations have been in my mind for quite a while. I've narrowed it down to 3 options: 1.get all rotations at the same hospital, small place with a yard or baby gate for the kitchen. 2. by a RV/camper and a portable fence from lowe's. 3. get as many rotations as possible near your home and a friend/sitter for the rest of the weeks you're gone. I'd perfer to have a house with a doggie door and yard for them to roam but I still don't know what my ultimate plan will be..... good luck !!
  33. MSmentor015

    MSmentor015 DO student

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Messages:
    6
    I can't address the time management difficulties of raising children in medical schools other than to say there are students who do it (and they're super heros in my book), but I'd like to address your financial concerns:

    The majority of medical students have to take out federal or private loans to cover all/part of their tuition and living costs. If anything, having a husband, who is employed, will help minimize how much you take out for living expenses and help pay off the interest on your loans while you're in school. You shouldn't feel that the only way to pay for medical school is to work while in school, use your savings, or have your spouse pay for it all; with a doctor's salary, loans are a feasible choice.

    ALso, If you're looking for health career alternatives that take less time, allow you to diagnose and treat patients while earning a 6-figure salary, I'd recommend optometry, dentistry, or physician assitant. All three can be completed with 4 years of schooling vs. the 7-11 years (counting residency) for an MD/DO.
  34. MSmentor015

    MSmentor015 DO student

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Messages:
    6
    Getting married between the first and second year is probably the best time to do so while in medical school. This will be the last time you have a summer vacation; after year 2 you go straight into clinicals which run June to June, not to mention you'll be stressed out over the Step 1. As for how difficult it will be to plan the wedding during the first year, it depends on how elaborate of a wedding you are planning and how much help you'll have from your family. If it's going to be a big affair, I recommend planning as much of it as you can during your application year, afterall most wedding venues need to be reserved one year ahead of time.

    Perhaps others can give you better advice on how to keep the marriage strong during school, but one of things that I had to determine about my own relationship with my boyfriend is whether he understood how much of a time and emotional committment medical school was going to be for me and to discuss what we would do to make time for eachother. If he's unfamiliar about the whole medical school process, there are a couple of books out there about med school life, the requirements, the Match process, residency, etc. that often include chapters written for spouse and families of med students, which might be good for him to read.
  35. MSmentor004

    MSmentor004 Older student & mother

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Messages:
    10
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Hi. :)

    I can't answer this from personal experience, since I had my kids prior to med school. However, I have 4 classmates who have had babies during med school and there are at least 2 others who are pregnant now. While being pregnant isn't easy, all of these students were able to have their babies and maintain their studies. 2 had babies in the middle of our first year, took a few weeks off and rescheduled exams that they missed. Because our school does not have an attendance policy and lectures are videotaped, it wasn't too difficult for them to keep up. The 2 students who had babies during rotations just scheduled a lighter rotation just prior to due date and took a month or two off once the baby was born.

    It's important to know how flexible your school is. Will they let you reschedule an exam if you're in the delivery room? ;) I'd almost assume this is a yes, but it's good to know what the policies are ahead of time.

    One woman to another, I would hesitate to delay pregnancy into your 40's. Not only do you run risks of Down's, etc, but it's much harder to get pregnant and it's harder to carry to term. So if worrying about the schedule is the only reason to delay, I would rethink it.

    There's a website for MomMD's where this topic is discussed frequently and there are several pregnant med students that post there.

    Good luck!
  36. MSmentor018

    MSmentor018 Hooah! SDN Advisor

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    Messages:
    895
    Location:
    land of mickey mouse and alligators
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Physician Faculty SDN 7+ Year Member
    I just finished my 1st yr of PBL in DO school. advice....
    1. keep on top of your assignments. buy a monthly calander to write down daily goals (read ch.., review clinical...etc)
    2. leave some time to prep for the next day
    3. before starting to study/research....check out what resources do you have? ask librarian what's available (you'd be surprised how underused they are), advice from 2nd yrs, what review books are good, how are the tests?
    4. study partner is always a good motivator. I usually study individually and meet up with friends for breaks
    5. take breaks...you can only take in so much. watch you tube, coffee with friends, walk down the halls, whatever, just get away from your books
    6. try to eat right if possible, take some vitamins. your eating habits gets worse as test time rolls around
    7. listen to all advice given by people.....then filter out what works for you!
    8. time is your worst enemy..keep it in check...always!!!
    9. you'll have ups/downs, either with grades/comments/personal life..take it in stride and drive on.

    extracurricular-I have about 2 hrs day for exercise/dinner. once a week we all try to go out for a movie, bowling, beach, actual sit down meal with cloth napkins! or go to a party somewhere. you have to do something to relax. but watch your time....

    change- better study habits. i am still developing them. I wished I would have improved my test taking skills before starting med school. they say it'll all click...eventually. one thing I did that I would not change is travel. as soon as i got in, I traveled as much as possible, saw the US, see the world. do something! you won't get much off time after your 2nd yr
    NYKnick likes this.
  37. MSmentor012

    MSmentor012 Older student/Career changer

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Messages:
    1
    Hi everyone!

    Well I signed up to help out from the career changer/older student perspective. I am just starting out as an MS 1 this summer, so I will have more to add as time goes on.

    Hopefully I will add a few helpful words for some people. My previous career would be considered a very non traditional one - I took my first science class nearly 20 years after high school. So that also gives you an idea of my age... ;)
  38. MSmentor016

    MSmentor016 Older/Married/PBL student

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Messages:
    1
    Hello to everyone! I've been on SDN for a while now, posting or PMing advice as much as I can on the subjects I already trudged through myself. Instead of my normal SDN name I got an "anonymous" MSmentor number (16). I'm a little older (31 when I started med school) and currently an MS2. I've got a grad degree and did biomedical research for 10 years prior to med school. I figured I would be plugged in wherever I think I can help. SDN provided a lot of information for me when I had none, so I am just happy to help out.:thumbup:
  39. MSmentor010

    MSmentor010 DO/systems-based/Rotations

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Messages:
    9
    I may be able to answer some of your questions. The developing/practicing test-taking skills before your first year is really going to depend on your school. I didn't come right out of college and go straight to medical school, but I just kind of jumped in when I got to med school and didn't develop any test-taking skills prior to my entrance. You are taking classes, so I would think that you are developing some test-taking skills by taking those classes. I think it would be really hard for you to prepare for medical school tests because everyone has different test formats. Our school has all multiple choice tests, and they are set up like a board exam (well, a mini board exam) - ~200 questions in 4 hours. It is kind of hard to practice before you get thrown in. Most non-traditional students have more trouble with the studying aspect since they haven't done it for awhile. You kind of have to get used to all of the hours of studying again which can be difficult depending on the individual. You can always call your school and ask how they set up their courses/tests. This will give you an idea if your tests are written or multiple choice at least.

    The other questions that you ask kind of depend on the school as well, but I may be able to provide some insight. I'm 27 and I am single as well. We have a few students that are over 30 and single and then we have the students that are 22 and want to party like they did in college. Different schools are going to have a different range of ages, but at our school we have girls that are 25 and are dating someone that's 30 or so in our class. So, you can definitely meet people and date. The trick to medical school is balancing your studying with a personal life. It can be done and definitely should be or you will make yourself insane. At our school, the older students do tend to hang out together - go to the movies, hang out, go to swing dancing lesions and such. Then you get to know your classmates, have fun, and meet lots of people. It is difficult to find someone that understands the hardships of studying medicine, but they can definitely be found out there. So, if you don't find someone at your school that you care to date, maybe you'll find someone on one of these such outings.

    If your class doesn't seem to be so social, but you still want to meet more people. I would suggest getting involved in one of the national organizations whether it be the AMA, AOA, or one of the national organizations for a specific specialty. Get involved and go to the conferences. You will learn a ton of stuff, and you will meet tons of people. I have met tons of friends this way, and you never know when you'll meet someone that may live close to you -- we have several medical schools that are pretty close to each other, so again, this would depend on which medical school you are attending.

    I hope that gives you some ideas on how to meet people. It definitely can be done, and there are so many new couples in our class that are dating each other. It seems to happen quite a bit, so you might even find some people in your class that you would like to date -- or the class above you. It has happened both ways. There are plenty of ways that you can have a life/date and still study hard and do great in your classes! I hope that helps. Best of luck!
  40. MSmentor020

    MSmentor020 DO/Single student

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2007
    Messages:
    15
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Hello all. I'd like to introduce myself to everyone here in the mentor forum. I am currently entering my first year at an osteopathic medical school. Thus, I truly believe I will bring an interesting and refreshing view on many subjects and am here to answer any questions anyone might have. Of course, I may not be able to answer every question, however, I hope that my fellow mentors here will jump in at any time to give any advice that they may have as well.

    I am just shy of my 24th birthday and as stated above, will be entering my first year. I am also a single male that lives in a major city and so please don't hesitate to ask of all the obstacles I've stumbled upon in that area as well. :laugh:

    I'm definitely friendly and a people person so please ask away!
  41. MSmentor011

    MSmentor011 Research/MS1 & MS2

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Messages:
    5
    Hi there. I was in your position when I entered school and ended up deciding not to enter the MD/PhD program. I did lab rotations the summer prior to matriculation, throughout first and second year, and the summer after first year. Most of the rotations were arranged by me by contacting the investigator. There are several institutions in my city and they all are open for medical student participation. Arranging for your PhD work in a lab that isn't in your home institution may present a challenge. I do know of someone who had a faculty sponsor at the home institution but did the work at an outside lab. The PI of the lab is on the thesis committee but doesn't have an appointment at the school.

    Generally, during the year my rotations involved meeting the people in the lab and getting a feel for the dynamic as well as project goals and productivity. During the year this involved a lot of reading and attending journal club or lab meeting but not much actual work. Coursework provides a large enough workload that running experiments on the side as a bit difficult. During the summers I got involved in projects and performed experiments. I was looking for a group in a field I was interested in that is very productive and led by great mentor.

    In my experience, the clinical skills taught during the first years are like riding a bike, in that you are a little rusty but it comes back very quickly. Honestly, I enjoy the medicine years more because it provides patient interaction and that's why I wanted an MD.
  42. MSmentor017

    MSmentor017 Rotations/Research/Single student

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Messages:
    1
    Hello all, I wanted to introduce myself. I am an M3, involved in research, and on the admissions committee at my school. Let me know if you have any questions!!!
  43. MSmentor019

    MSmentor019 ESL student/Research

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Messages:
    1
    I am an entering M1 student this fall. I was born in the US to parents with very limited English. I did not start to learn English until I was in elementary school.

    I have also been in a research-based master's program. I have experience in both bench (laboratory) and clinical research. I will not answer questions on specific laboratory methods.
  44. MSmentor005

    MSmentor005 MDPHD/URM/Married/Rotations

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4
    Hey healthnut, I thought I'd chime in with MSmentor11 from the perspective of someone who is in a MD-PhD program....

    It is pretty uncommon to do research during your first year - most in official MD-PhD programs just do seminar courses, etc, on top of regular medical school classwork.

    I looked for interesting research, but towards the end of my selection process I realized the most important this is to find a good mentor, especially if you are going to do a PhD with them. As the adage goes, "Find someone you like, because you will hate them by the end of the process" (not quite, but you will disagree). The most important thing with regards to the project is that it is doable, not too risky, and that there is a back-up project or two in case it fall through or you get scooped.

    You know, I have enjoyed them equally well :), but they are very different. In the lab, you quickly establish autonomy and are expected to act as a colleague in a relatively casual environment - there is no limit to the intellectual stimulation and no excuse to be bored. Plus, you can listen to your ipod all day. The downside is that every once in a while, you wonder if your little molecule will ever really help anybody. On the other hand, medicine is a bit more formal and you have no real role or true autonomy (the hardest thing to get used to again), but you are honest to God helping someone every single day, even if it is getting their pain under control or helping them poop, you know you have helped someone when you go home.

    In terms of transitioning, the hardest part is getting used to not being important again (as a senior grad student lab meeting may not even start without you, whereas your team might forget you exist for the day), as well as learning all that clinical info. Rarely does anyone study during medical school during their PhD, though I did hit the books while waiting for my thesis committee to read my dissertation.

    It is probably possible, but not advisable. You could ask Tildy et al. on the academic medicine mentor forum, but in general MD-PhD students are strongly encouraged to stay at home for funding and other reasons. I would focus on finding a good mentor in a broad area that interests you, and leave the specifics to your postdoc/residency research.

    Hope that helped

    Ole Numba 5
  45. MSmentor010

    MSmentor010 DO/systems-based/Rotations

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Messages:
    9
    I guess your question may depend on how difficult your undergrad education was and what your degree was in. I was a biochemistry major at a rather large state institution, and in undergrad I probably had 3-4 hours a day off for free time, but I also wasn't in class as much as I am not. There is a rather large transitional period once you enter medical school from undergrad study habits. You are in class longer usually (how long will depend on the medical school), and you have much larger volume of information to get through in a shorter amount of time. I would always make sure that I set aside at least 1 hour a day for free time so that I wouldn't go insane with studying all day. Then I would give myself longer on the weekends; as long as, I got through enough information during the week. If you are great at time management skills, and are able to make yourself a schedule then you may be able to give yourself more amount of free time. I also did a ton of extracurriculars for organizations at school, so I just kind of fit them in for short breaks while I was studying. You'll figure out what schedule is best for you, and if something is very important to you ie. exercise, significant other, tv etc... , you can find time to do the things that you love. You'll just have to set your priorities and what's important to you and work around that. Definitely do what you enjoy. I know engaged individuals in our class that would not study past 5pm ever so that they could spend the evening with their loved ones, and they did just fine. You just have to make your study time effective and efficient, but it can be done. Hope this helps a little! Good luck!
  46. MSmentor021

    MSmentor021 Married/DO student/MPH

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Messages:
    3
    Hi all!

    Just introducing myself to the forum! I am a 28 yo osteopathic student from the Midwest that just completed USMLE Step 1 and COMLEX Level One. Currently, I am taking a year off between second and third year to obtain a Master's of Public Health with an emphasis in environmental health.

    Prior to medical school, I worked for several years in a research lab, and I can answer questions about research opportunities available in medical school.

    I recently got married (my husband was in HPSP and is currently a naval intern), and moved out of state, and I am confident that I can answer questions about personal life transitions.

    Cheers! :D
  47. SoCuteMD

    SoCuteMD

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2005
    Messages:
    8,274
    Location:
    No more rounding!
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    You ask a valid question, but I think it's really been answered very thoroughly by MSMentor004 in this post (post #26 on this thread). Read her post carefully, and feel free to post any follow-up questions you have after reading it on this thread.
  48. MSmentor021

    MSmentor021 Married/DO student/MPH

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Messages:
    3
    N/A,

    To preface my response, understand that I will starting my MPH program in two weeks and I just read through the orientation materials yesterday. :) In any event, I am doing an MPH with a concentration in environmental studies. I had done extensive research on the effect of pesticides on neonates prior to entering medical school, and I was looking to integrate my past experience with my medical degree.

    As far as the MD/DO overshadowing the MPH, I think that it may be more appropriate to say they will complement each other. Having a marked interest in something outside of direct medicine better suits you for a residency/fellowship in an academic setting. My program has classes on statistics and epidemiology that I think are necessary to understand how to analyze/interpret current research models, and I intend to use this program to integrate academic and clinical medicine in my practice. I have also entertained the opportunity of shifting from practicing medicine to the administrative side of medicine as I get older - something to which the MPH student is well-suited.

    The program at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill is designed for working professionals and is known as their Executive Master's Program. They have both an MPH and an MHA program that you can apply for. Because of personal reasons (my husband is a Navy doc), I chose to take a one-year leave of absence from medical school to complete the bulk of this program. As it currently stands, I will have to take about one or two classes per semester once I return to medical school. With the aid of a my school's administration, I should easily complete the degree requirements by the end of third year (the only caveat is that UNC requires 5-8 days on-campus per semester that I will have to steal from my vacation time!).

    I encourage you to look on-line for other MPH programs or talk with someone from student services at your school if you are considering pursuing it from your current institution. Feel free to PM me if you have additional questions or want to know more about how my program is going!

    ~MSmentor021

    Link to my program http://www.sph.unc.edu/hpaa/executiv..._programs.html
  49. MSmentor003

    MSmentor003 URM & ESL student

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    IL
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Originally Posted by Nevadanteater [​IMG]
    Hey All,

    I'd like to enter into a MPH program when I attend med school and am curious about your experiences in these programs. I'm partially concerned that the MPH will forever be shadowed by the MD (ie, despite doing the MPH not getting to actually get involved on the public health side of things).

    Specifically I'm curious about getting involved on the public policy side of things, so I'd like to know how much freedom you've had in your studies (like a concentration in specific areas for example). Also, I'm curious if you know of any programs that allow you to pursue an MPP or MPA instead of the MPH.

    Thanks in advance!

    N/A



    Let me add to MSmentor021's response:

    First, let me explain how I went about doing the MD/MPH thing. I began taking some MPH classes while I was in undergrad--about a semester and a half of credits--and finished my coursework and field experience before med school. This way, I don't have to worry about taking any classes during med school or in any of its summers. In retrospect, I love being able to draw on the experiences that I gained through going to the MPH program first--it's invaluable during med school (not so much for your science classes, but on projects/clinical experiences/volunteering). I would seriously recommend trying to finish some of your classes and/or field experience before med school. That gives you great experience and much needed flexibility. If this is not an option for you, there are two or three other options that med students use to finish their MPH-- 1) year between M2 and M3 or year between M3 and M4. 2) during your residency. 3) throughout med school--which is extremely difficult and really waters down both MD and MPH aspects of your education.

    Secondly, whether the MPH gets overshadowed by the MD or not, you can choose to focus on whatever level of healthcare you feel is the right choice for you. If you choose to do more "MD stuff", you'll still have public health training that will influence your decisions. The same is true with "MPH stuff." I'll give you a great example in which a MD/MPH decided to pursue public health interests--My advisor at the school of public health, a MD with an MPH, was a former director of the state public health department. I don't think he practices medicine at all.

    In any case, I applaud you for making the decision to also pursue a MPH. It's not glamorous, but the training will give you invaluable experience.

    Good luck in your studies!!
  50. MSmentor002

    MSmentor002 Single/On Rotations

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Messages:
    5
    I'm not a parent, but I know a number of med school students who are married with children. I think you might be jumping the gun a little bit by thinking about PA school vs. DO school in terms of the summer schedules that they provide. Schedules vary from school to school and region to region, but I started my first year of med school more than a month before local public schools went back to school. I ended first year a few weeks before they got out for the year. My summer overlapped with the local public school for about 5 weeks that first summer, and then I went back for 2nd year. Second year ended in mid-May and I had 5 weeks off. I spent all but probably 6 days of that studying intensely for Step 1. Almost as soon as I was done with Step 1 I went back to school (June 25th) and haven't stopped since.

    You really only get one summer in medical school - the first year, and even that can be cut short depending upon your school's curriculum. I'm not saying you can't somehow find a way to have additional time off - I know people who have taken vacations or pushed off taking Step 1 to have more time for outside interests or for studying. This will ultimately be up to your school and whether they will permit it, though.

    As far as childcare, I was the child of two working parents, one of whom worked a schedule with very odd hours. My mom found another mother with two kids at my school who was trying to make extra money without leaving her family and I went over there before school. I went there after school too, and was like a third child in that my activities were coordinated with theirs so that I could still take ballet and play soccer. In retrospect I guess it was a rather odd arrangement, but it worked well for me and my parents. My mom quit work when I was six or seven and stayed home with us after that, so I don't know what she would have done if I were older.

    Hopefully some of the med students with families will contribute, but I thought I'd give what little input I could!
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page


About the ads