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36 and thinking about going to med school

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by HOLLYWOOD, Dec 17, 2005.

  1. HOLLYWOOD

    HOLLYWOOD Senior Member
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    Those of you with a family and a home how do you do it? When you get into med school are you going to move your family? And what about your house are you going to sell it? And who is going to pay the bills? Is it going to be all loans?
     
  2. blee

    blee Senior Member
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    My choices of where I applied, and eventually where I will attend, were all made with my family in mind. We live within commuting range of several good schools, but I'm fairly certain I'll pick a school in an area with a somewhat lower cost of living. We will move as a family, using the equity in our home to purchase a new home and hopefully lead to lower mortgage payments. The wife will work only as much as required to keep up with the bills, with my loans filling in as much as possible.

    Some people would say that it's better to have her work full-time and minimize the loans. Yes, it would be better that way. We have a one-month-old daughter, though, and my wife feels very strongly about being home with the baby as much as possible. We were originally going to have her stay at home while I worked, so my decision to switch careers kind of threw a wrench into our long-term family plans.
     
  3. HOLLYWOOD

    HOLLYWOOD Senior Member
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    I'm concerned about not being there for my family and about having to move them around. I have a 6 year old and a 16 month old. I'd like them to be in one school. I also just bought a home (16 mos ago).
     
  4. kimmcauliffe

    kimmcauliffe Surfer Chum
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    It's going to be difficult- that's admission #1. Admission #2 is that you have to be able to juggle about ten thousand things at once.

    I work full-time, go to school full-time. The costs are coming out of pocket (I am an undergrad). I study about 20 hours a week, not including homework time. I'm also responsible for all the cooking, cleaning, shopping, and maintenance. I guess the way that I do it is simply because I have to! And really, the only thing that I've lost in the last two years is sleep. Which I'm used to anyway! (4-6 hours a night)

    You'll figure it out. There are a lot of important things right now in your life, you will be able to find a way to balance everything. We're moving to Portland in a year, and yes med school will be mostly loans.

    Best of luck to you!
     
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  5. goodluck2

    goodluck2 Member
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    My life looks very much the same. Full-time school, full-time work and full-time family. Once, I decided to give up med school because I felt it was too much... You know, my close friend asked me if I will be able to #1 fogive my family later on and #2 to show my kids that dreams are worth to fight for.
    Yes, I applied to schools with cheaper living and better communities and schools. I do think that loans will be our main "income"
     
  6. Static Line

    Static Line America's Guard of Honor
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    I am 34 y/o and an MS-I with a family: 6 y/o daughter and a wife. First, you have to prioritize what is most important to you. Without a doubt, for me, my family comes first. We decided a long time ago that we would work everything else around our family staying together. I've been separated from them for military obligations and there is no way in he%^ I was going to leave them somewhere else, and go off to school. That just wasn't going to happen. By the time we left for school we paid off most of our debt. You will need to do that if your plan is to live off of the school loans that you will receive. We had a savings and whatever loans we can get, that's it. My wife stays at home and home schools our daughter so she doesn't work outside of the home. It's financially tough and tight but the loans are enough, and we are making it ok.

    On the other hand, I have classmates who are separated from their husband or wife and children by their own choice. All I have to say about that is you don't build memories with your family through email or the telephone like you do in person, and it's gonna be a long 4 years, especially for the children. Then there is residency after med school. If you don't get a residency that you want that is near them are you willing to forgo another 3 years without them? I couldn't imagine voluntarily giving up 7-9 years of my kids or my wife's life. My daughter has a tough enough time with how little she sees me now, but at least we get to see each other daily.

    Everyone has their own situation. Like I said, you have to figure out what is MOST important to you, and design your plan around that. Good luck.
     
  7. Beau Geste

    Beau Geste yah mo b there
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    I know first-hand what it's like to have a parent in a med school far away. My mother was about 2.5 hours from us for three years (the first year was closer and she lived at home) and it was very rough. We saw her every other weekend, because my dad was working at the hospital in our town and on call every other weekend (He was one of 2 CRNAs). Instead of uproot us, my dad opted to keep us and take care of us those 3 years. I was 11 and my brother was 8, so we were old enough to stay home alone after school. I really don't remember much family strife, and my parents kept a good job of keeping arguments hidden.

    Looking back, none of us in the family have any regrets as far as mom not being around as much. She called every night (often many times a day with huge phone bills!) and we would see her when we could. They didn't take out loans because my dad had a great job, but he did have to work harder, and ended up covering 2 hospitals for more $$. I remember late nights watching MASH while dad was in the ER.

    Anyway, sometimes the big picture is what is important too. It's hard to say that my mom did the wrong thing by going back to school and "leaving" us for 3 years, when I go back to the small community I grew up in and see people whose lives she touched and lives she SAVED.

    My brother and I are very strong, independent people and I feel we learned that from our upbringing, which was strongly affected by taking care of ourselves after school and when dad was working. We are still close to our parents too. I call them every week, sometimes more, and my brother just got out of the Navy and is living with them while he goes to school.

    So, for those that are parents and are going to go to med school (or are thinking about it), it's important to hear good stories to counter to bad ones, or people who tell you your family and kids are going to suffer. Yes, your time will not be as available, but there are many other things too that can take you away from your family. At least this has potential for a good outcome.
     
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  8. efex101

    efex101 attending
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    This will vary depending on if you are a father going to medical school or a mother going to medical school. There is a difference..."usually" (not saying some guys do not do this) the mother is the one taking care of most of the family needs like grocery shopping/cleaning/taking care of kids etc...so it is very hard as a mother to be in medical school BUT it is doable. Just be prepared to spend a lot of time studying (like the MCAT all the time!) although this can vary depending on how quickly you will pick things up in medical school.
     
  9. Beau Geste

    Beau Geste yah mo b there
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    I can see that. But thankfully, my father was a bachelor until almost 30, so he knew how to cook, clean, do laundry, etc. He was lucky, too that we were at the age where chores were important so we kids did a lot of that, too. Plus, my brother even at age 8 loved to cook.

    I wish my mom had been around to take care of *ahem* my womanly shopping needs though. How embarassing for an adolescent for her father to yell throughout the store "Do you need these tampon-thingies or the Kotex?"

    You fathers take note!
     
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  10. HOLLYWOOD

    HOLLYWOOD Senior Member
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    My family is my # 1 priority. I'll have to speak to my wife and see what she say's about uprooting our family if need be. I'm not doing this with out her support. Thanks for the help and good luck!
     
  11. HOLLYWOOD

    HOLLYWOOD Senior Member
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    My kids are very young I don't know if they will understand.
     
  12. HOLLYWOOD

    HOLLYWOOD Senior Member
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    I'm the father and I support the family. I also value my wife staying home with the kids, I think it is very important.
     
  13. Beau Geste

    Beau Geste yah mo b there
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    Sounds like you either need to get in to a med school close to where you live or move your family to be with you. What was good for my family may not be good for yours, but thanks for reading my post!
     
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  14. Beau Geste

    Beau Geste yah mo b there
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    This is a personal decision, and again, what you want for your family may be different for other people. My husband wants to be a stay at home dad someday, go figure! (and thank God!)
     
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  15. HOLLYWOOD

    HOLLYWOOD Senior Member
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    Thank you for your advise. I wish you the best.
     
  16. njbmd

    njbmd Guest
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    Hi there,
    Medical school is geared toward people who DO NOT have families and financial responsibilities. It is an uphill battle if you do have these obligations. Many people plan very carefully for the years that they will be out of income generation and your family has to be very flexible because many major decisions are out of your hands.

    You might find that you have to move your family or face the decision of attending medical school without them (not a good prospect). Again, you have to take finances and family into consideration as you do this (not fair but reality). The decision to pursue medicine often takes years of preparation and your family is in the fray with you.

    If you do not qualify for scholarships and you are not independently wealthy or have a source of finance for paying for your education, you will be taking out loans. You can borrow the max allowed by the cost of your school, from the Feds but mortgage payments and family expenses often require borrowing from private sources at higher interest.

    As for being away from your family, again, sometimes you are in the hospital overnight especially during the clinical years. This does not mean that you NEVER see your family, it means that you plan for quality time with them. Plenty of my classmates had children and happy marriages during medical school and into residency. Sure, it takes planning and sacrifice but many careers outside medicine are more time-demanding. (Try starting and running your own business.)

    With planning and forethought, medical school can be done with family. No, it is not as easy as for applicants without obligations but it's not impossible either.

    njbmd :)
     
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  17. DaveinDallas

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    It's not easy. On the weekends I've got about 2 hours of family time per day and church/small group time depends on whether or not there's a major exam the next week. I usually see the kids for about a 1/2 hour to tuck them 2 or 3 times a week. My wife works and handles the rest. Of course, we're really close to each set of grandparents. I choose to commute about 3 hours a day rather than uproot the family. With schools within walking distance, church, friends, family close by it would be hard to move at this point.

    I'm pretty much studying until 10 pm every day plus 8 to 10 hours per day on the weekends.

    Moving for residency is another matter. I'll try to stay local but we're agreed that if we have to move, we have to move. I want to be a physician and my wife and family are extremely supportive of this. We also realize that this is
    only for a few short years. After the first two years of med school, I'll try to get rotations closer and residency is a different beast altogether.

    I've missed a few soccer games and some school stuff but no birthdays or christmases yet. The kids are all into Daddy being a med. student which is good.
     
  18. HOLLYWOOD

    HOLLYWOOD Senior Member
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    Thank you . Good luck.
     
  19. Pharos

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    It's nice to see something positive on SDN for a change. :thumbup:
     
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  20. Beau Geste

    Beau Geste yah mo b there
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    Thanks! I know that others are just trying to prepare for the worst, but I like to share my story to let people know it can be done. It wasn't all roses, but it probably wasn't that bad if I remember all the good times and have forgotten most of the bad times.
     
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  21. dukboki

    dukboki Junior Member
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    just good to see another eighty-deuce alum on here.
     
  22. Static Line

    Static Line America's Guard of Honor
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    Whooa!! When were you at Bragg? I was stationed there 90-95.
     
  23. planningMD

    planningMD Member
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    what do you guys think of the "island" schools?? sgu/ross/auc
     
  24. Static Line

    Static Line America's Guard of Honor
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    I think you should start your own thread instead of going on to other people's threads and posting this same question.
     

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