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A question for the ladies (guys, you can weigh in also).

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by AnnaZ, Oct 24, 2002.

  1. AnnaZ

    AnnaZ Junior Member
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    So here is something I've been struggling with for, oh, a long time. I want to be a doctor. As do all of you, I guess. But what of the children? Not the ones who are here now. The ones those of us with 2 X chromosomes are planning to have in the future.

    Here goes some rambling: Will I be able to be a good mother and be a doctor? I don't want my kids to have a full-time nanny. So obviously my career may suffer when I take some time off to raise them. Does that mean medicine would be better off without my fabulous self in it? I don't think so, but I'm not sure how prevalent this attitude is. I mean, in an interview, if I said that I was planning to raise my children and work part time, does that mean I'm an automatic reject? It shouldn't, should it? I think it takes all kinds in the world. I'm not ragging on moms who work full-time, I just don't see it in my future. But I do see medicine. Any thoughts? Anyone else have this inner struggle?

    Then there's this comment from my friend the other night "If I could just marry a doctor I'd be the best wife in the world. No job for me, I'd cook, clean the house, and be fine." Now, we were kidding around. But it's definately a sacrifice and I just don't see how it's possible to do it all. (I mean, I also said "I only break up marriages when there are no children involved." And I wasn't 100% serious about that. I mean, I'll break up a marriage if there's one kid and a really hot husband.See, kidding.) Don't get your panties in a wad yet.

    Definately interested to hear your thoughts....
     
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  3. Joe Joe on da Radio

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    as far as time with children goes, it's quality not quantity. that's how i see it.

    jj
     
  4. isidella

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    in reply to the interview question about children, I severely doubt such a question will be asked of you (I have scanned interview feedback and have yet to find a question like that-if anyone knows of a school who asks it, remind me to steer clear of it). I also believe it is a form of discrimination to ask such a question of female interviewees (again, correct me if I am wrong).

    As for raising kids and being a doctor, it happens, every day. Seek out MomMD or DrMOM (?) on the forum. I also believe there is a website for women who are mothers and doctors/aspiring doctors.

    Good luck! (PS-For the record, I think kids are little monsters and I don't forsee myself ever having the strength to pursue them :D So much for my contribution to the human race. . .)
     
  5. JScrusader

    JScrusader Senior Member
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    Anyone get the new Fortune magazine? Front page article about "trophy husbands" and their high power wives. Pretty interesting
     
  6. Street Philosopher

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    where do i sign up?
     
  7. Slinkie

    Slinkie I need a subtitle?
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    Well... my mother is a doctor, and so is my grandmother. My aunt and my two great aunts are also doctors. They have all raised children while working. They all had only one or two kids each, and some of them did rely on the help of babysitters or nannies occasionally. But over all, however screwed up we all turned out to be, I don't think we are more screwed up then the general populace... So I never doubted that a woman can have a career and raise kids at the same time. Of course... I haven't even gotten into med school yet or have any plans to have kids in the next 6-7 years... Still, it never occurred to me that one can exclude the other.
     
  8. relatively prime

    relatively prime post happy member
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    That was awesome! Though... he needs me be a little hotter if you ask me :).

    To the OP: I know plenty of women (3 of the top of my head) who are doctors and mothers. Of course... they all have "trophy husbands" that either have low stress flexible jobs or stay at home with the kids.
     
  9. Woots32

    Woots32 kinda funky, kinda fine
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    I'm planning on having kids. If this means that I won't be able to practice full time, then so be it. Of the many reasons I had for choosing a career in medicine, one was that I would be able to provide a stable upbringing for my kids, at least financially - barring any unforseen tragedies, of course. (And please don't flame me about wanting to do it for the money, because that's not what I mean.) I want my kids to have at least as good of a childhood as I did, with similar opportunities. Isn't that kind of the point? I've heard about how hard it can be to start a family when in med school/residency, etc, but for now I'm not willing to admit defeat. At least not until I've been there and tried.

    Besides, to have kids I first need to find a decent guy, and I'm thinking having the actual kids may be the easier of the two. ;) But that's a long way off. Hell, right now I'd settle for an okay date w/ a semi-decent guy... ;)
     
  10. SunnyS81

    SunnyS81 Senior Member
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    Most female doctors I've met have either doctors as husbands or guys with low stress jobs. The former have nannies, while the later has the husbands take care of the kids.

    I'm a guy mind you. My roommate and I were joking around about girls who come to college to get their "Mrs.". My roommate then said to me, "You are the only person who is going to medical school to get your "Mr." so you can live out your life long dream of bumming around doing nothing."

    I don't really want to be a bum or have aspirations of marrying a doctor, but I found it to be a humorous comment.
     
  11. Yogi Bear

    Yogi Bear 2K Member
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  12. ::Seabass::

    ::Seabass:: bringing burkas back!
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    I hear you Woots, sometimes I wonder when the time comes in my career that I will have the time to start a family, if there will be a guy around. Finding a good guy is hard enough, never the less finding one when your biological clock is ticking? ;) :D ;)
     
  13. ::Seabass::

    ::Seabass:: bringing burkas back!
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    Anna, you can absolutely do it. I am a big believer in the saying that you make the time for those things that are important to you.

    That being said, both of my parents are doctors and extremely busy people. My father is a cardiologist and my mother specializes in infectious diseases, mainly TB. In fact, she is the state consultant in TX for TB and the CDC sends her to train states like CA on how to handle their TB problems. They even want to send her to places like the Phillipines to develop programs there for TB, but safety is somewhat of a factor right now. On top of that, I am the oldest of 6 kids, and my parents made it work. In fact, my mother loved medicine so much, my dad had to beg her to have me. Six children later of course the joke is I was so wonderful they had to keep going till they cloned me (which they kind of did :).)

    I guess this background is to say, my mother is a great doctor and still has a large family. Now for the good mother part. My mother did have a slightly different situation because she was in the Air Force to pay for med school so after finishing her commitment to them she did take 1 year off. After that she did work for the state of TX which allowed her to work part and 3/4 time at different points throughout her career. She is back to full time and the youngest is still 8. I think if you want to find a situation where you work part time, you can do it and there has never been a problem with our mother being there for us when we need her.

    Sometimes she can't always do everything, but as her children, we all have tremendous respect for her and the example she has set which is something to keep in mind. We see her get up at the crack of dawn to work on her talks and read her journals and we know how important her work is to her. She has set an excellent example of giving 100% to all of us. We understand her time conflicts because all of us are very involved and also encounter the same problems and have to make sacrifices. I would say none of us feel cheated and all feel like we couldn't have a better mom. We have always had some kind of maid, and now we have a full time one (who wants to clean anyways?) We've also had full time babysitters except for when my mom took the year off. Something you may not realize is, the babysitter if chosen correctly, can be an integral part of the family and another role model for your children. I know we have all been close to ours and they are seen as someone fun who comes in and has fun with you. Remember when you used to get excited as a child when your parent(s) would go out and your favorite babysitter would come? It is kind of the same thing. As the oldest I have also had a lot of responsibility, so if you want a lot of kids, pop out a girl first. :)

    For the guys out there, as a cardiologist, my father is also extremely busy, but he always makes it to all our important events. It is all a matter of what kind of role you want to play in your child's life. I remember being little and my dad taking me on rounds (to cheer up his patients, now the littlest gets to go) and thinking how cool my dad was and looking up to him so much for being such a great doctor. BTW, I feel absolutely no pressure to excel in medicine. ;)

    Okay, I've talked enough and its time for breakfast, but you can do it Anna, you just have to know you can.
     
  14. crazyA

    crazyA Senior Member
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    Working full-time and having kids can work (as other people here have said)...both my parents are physicians and my Mom worked full-time while my siblings and I were growing up...

    I think it took a lot out of her though...she really had no time to herself until the end of the day, and still doesn't...so be prepared for that

    While I'm fine with the whole deal of my Mom working full-time, some of my other friends whose mothers are doctors as well) don't seemed to have handled it too well, some are even a bit bitter towards their parents for not being there as much as they should have

    At my office, it seems that most of the women physicians had kids between residency and fellowship (took off a couple years in between)...though one physician is pregnant now and is going on maternity leave in a couple weeks...it seems that they rely on extended family to take care of the kids during the day
     
  15. AnnaZ

    AnnaZ Junior Member
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    Heck yeah! Why am I even worried about kids when I can't find an interesting guy to date? :p

    Seaworthc, thank you so much for your words of encouragement. It's great to know from someone who has grown up with 2 MD parents can turn out as well-adjusted and insightful as you.

    And where can I get a trophy husband?? I know someone who will only consider men who are in the arts, for balance. (Because hey, he can always paint/write/whatever at home, while she's off being a neurosurgeon.

    And to whoever brought up the point of it being an illegal question, it is illegal to the best of my knowledge.
     
  16. lola

    lola Bovine Member
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    i plan on working part-time if possible. i also plan on waiting until i finish residency, but i may change my mind about that. it would be really difficult to have children and be in med-school or doing a residency, but i don't intend to plan my life around my job. so, if i want to have kids in 5 years, i'm going to have kids in 5 years!
     
  17. Woots32

    Woots32 kinda funky, kinda fine
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    I'm thinkin - go to a school w/ some sort of grad program. Research or law might be nice, but a vet would be sweet! :):laugh:
     
  18. Woots32

    Woots32 kinda funky, kinda fine
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    Seaworthc - thanks for the encouragement! It's always reassuring to hear about real people who made it work! :)
     
  19. ::Seabass::

    ::Seabass:: bringing burkas back!
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    As long as both partners really want the kid, it will work. My dad was begging my mom to have me, so he was willing to drive me to the hospital in the middle of the night when my mom was on call during her residency so she could breastfeed me. I think it might also have helped a little that my dad was a year ahead of my mom.

    Those kind of questions are illegal, but my pre-med advisor said to be prepared to answer such questions.

    Glad I could help Anna and Woots!
     
  20. LJoo83

    LJoo83 learning...
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    Hey, to all the co-future world savers :)
    1) I'm so glad that there is a thread for this subject. I thought I was one of the rare who actually was wondering and concerned about this subject, but I'm not and it's nice to know there are others out there like me. So thank you.
    2)Seaworthc-thank you for that awfully wonderful and inspiring story. It definitely made me rethink my doubts of whether I can be an awesome mom and an awesome doctor simultaneously. We need women like your mom as our role models for us to look at, inspire to be, and one day become.

    Here is my all time perfect plan: Find a guy to be interested in, be friends/date/be engaged for a few years, and after I receive my ba in whatever, get married. (in between all this I'm applying to med schools, etc). See which med school I got accepted to, pick up, move, and stay kidless for my med school years. Then when I am done w/med school, pop a few of em out, have my husband help me take care of the kids, and hope for the best that they don't turn out too screwed up. :)

    I was reading today of how women, along with holding down a full time job, also work 33 hours in the home while men, also holding down a full time job, only worked 16. now tell me there isn't something strange with that.
    we are something special, you know that? women are multi-tasked survivors. we bear children, we cook, we clean, we nurture, we care, we hug, we love...we are awesome. it is an awesome thing to be a woman. :) cherish yourself!
    and now i'm off my soap box :love:
     
  21. ::Seabass::

    ::Seabass:: bringing burkas back!
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    I only date guys who can cook. ;)

    As Joan Rivers once said right after she got married to her husband, "I can only be good in one room of the house, either the bedroom or the kitchen, you pick." I think we all know what that room will be. :D
     
  22. Woots32

    Woots32 kinda funky, kinda fine
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    Yea! The newest incarnation of Tein commenting on working moms! Does it get better than this? :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
     
  23. ::Seabass::

    ::Seabass:: bringing burkas back!
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    Tein, where do you find those smilies?
     
  24. lola

    lola Bovine Member
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    here's another discussion on this topic:

    kids

    i'm going to be almost 35 when i finish my residency :( it makes no sense to start having kids then and not work. ugh!! i try not to let it bother me. sometimes i think i might be better off becoming a nurse.
     
  25. uclachris

    uclachris Doctor Doctor Member
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    It's all about the effort. Those that put the effort into making it work, will make it work, either male or female. The fact is that people don't generally see the commitment required in both marriage and kids. Now since MDs and dedicated professionals tend to be dedicated people who are supposidly good at making decisions, I wonder (1) how the divorce rate of physicians compares to other professional fields and to the general population and (2) how the rate of "achievement" of the children of physicans compares to that of other professional fields and the general poplulation as well-- though "achievement" will be a very hard quantity to define......


    Just my 2 cents.
    C
     
  26. AnnaZ

    AnnaZ Junior Member
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    GO US!!!!!!!!!!!!

    LJoo, Woots and Seaworthc (and everyone else), it will all work out. I'm sure there are a few hotties out there who would buck the trend and contribute, oh, up to 20 hours of housework. And if not, there's always the aforementioned maid.

    Seriously, it's hard to plan life around a profession as demanding as medicine, but there isn't another that appeals in the same way.
     
  27. ::Seabass::

    ::Seabass:: bringing burkas back!
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    1) I think the divorce rate is pretty high for those in the medical field. of those couple comprised of both physcians, I don't know

    2)my mom has a theory on this for male doctors who have a non-doctor wife...... as it has been previously discussed, many premeders are somewhat dorky and many guys just have no idea how to get girls. not all, but a large number. these guys all of a sudden get their md and with it a lot more respect from the general population and some female admirers impressed with those initials. all of a sudden the guy finds himself being able to get the girls he never could in say, high school. you know the super popular type who aren't necessarily as smart as they are cute. these guys then get married with their "trophy" wife and pop out some kids and the smart, ambitious, motivated genes become diminished in his progeny. (did I use that word right? its been awhile since genetics) being the motivated father he is, he pushes his kids to succeed and becomes frustrated with the results. this isn't true all the time, but I can think of MANY families where this is the case.... so I would have to agree on my mom's observations
     
  28. ::Seabass::

    ::Seabass:: bringing burkas back!
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    guess I better run this by jjackis before we go out this weekend. ;) he is not the tidiest person I know. in fact, he is the messiest guy I have ever dated.:rolleyes:
     
  29. Biodude

    Biodude The Biology DUDE
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  30. AnnaZ

    AnnaZ Junior Member
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    Seaworthc, I love theory #2. I waitress and tonight was a special function for a bunch of doctors. And there were trophy wives aplenty. I totally, completely see where this theory is coming from.
     
  31. ::Seabass::

    ::Seabass:: bringing burkas back!
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    :D :D :D
     
  32. Street Philosopher

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    aside from all the 'you can do it no problem' comments, it seems like there are two choices for parents who are both professionals, namely a maid or extended family. what do you do if you don't want a stranger in the house (maid) or you don't have extended family?

    also someone mentioned the divorce rate. does anyone seriously worry about this or is this another case of 'it will never happen to me'?

    compounding the problem... if you have kids and both barely have time for them as it is, and then you divorce. who takes care of the kids then?

    sorry to be pessimistic but gleeful optimism only gets you so far. i really don't know what to think about these situations, so hopefully someone can reply with a solution or something.
     
  33. Woots32

    Woots32 kinda funky, kinda fine
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    Actually, I think there is a third choice that has been mentioned on this thread - have one of the parents work part-time. Granted, you may have to rely on day care or a nanny some of the time, but you don't necessarily (sp) have your children totally raised by strangers or extended family members. I personally would have thought about entering a private practice as a "half partner" with less salary, but fewer hours.

    And I am concerned about the divorce rate, but I think that the answer may be awareness of the problem. Marriage is a huge commitment, and if you don't put enough thought and time into who you marry, you could have serious problems down the road regardless of what profession you're in. And if husband and wife are both professionals, then they probably need to be very concious of their time together, and to work on having a fulfilling marriage.

    I'm far from gleefully optomistic about my personal life in the years ahead. But I try to stay positive, otherwise it would be too much to handle, and I probably wouldn't have made it this far.

    And now that I've shared my thoughts on building a stable family life, I'm off to try and get some random booty. :D
     
  34. ::Seabass::

    ::Seabass:: bringing burkas back!
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    Now thats a girl I can relate to. Go get em Woots!
    :clap: :clap: :clap:
     
  35. dlc

    dlc Senior Member
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    Its funny I should happen upon this thread today because this particular subject has been on my mind lately. Do any of you know of a female SURGEON who is also a mother and whose family life hasn't suffered too much? I really see myself doing surgery in the future but I haven't really heard much about how pregnancy and motherhood are taken care of. I know, though, that I am headed for a busy lifestyle (probably the busiest, right?), which is fine with me...just need to find that trophy man I guess. Well, maybe I'll be able to catch one of the cute guys here at Duke (there are a lot!)...if all goes according to plan, I should be here for the next 9 years!
     
  36. I agree that this is a very good thread and I am glad that this subject was brought out. I have shadowed couple doctors and we have had couple female physicians who come and give speech on the life and demands of being in medicine. So far, the female physicians that I have met, have been able to work things out pretty great, balancing family life and medicine. One of the doctors i shadowed is a Pedicatric Oncologist. She told us that her husband is in business and things are fine between them. She is in partnership with two other doctors so she works about 4 months out of the year and that way other 8 months, she spends time with her family and children.

    For me, I have decided that I want to get married after med school and have kids during or after residency and I know i will probably end up marrying a doctor as well. It does scares me, sometimes, thinking about it, and I know it will be very difficult to be a wife, mother, and a student, all at the same time, but I really think that it depends on how close you and ur spouse are. If both understand the demands of the profession and if there is trust and compromise between them, then one can really balance both, professional and personal life, nicely. :)
     
  37. woolie

    woolie Intermountain West
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    Here is my $0.02 on the house husband / working and having kids thing. I have met alot of guys over the years (ok, I am probably older than alot of SDN people...) who were real solid guys, decent and kind and real 'man's man' types - who have said to me quite honestly that they would be happy to stay at home and have their wife make all the money. I used to think what is it, is it me? why are all these guys telling me this? But at the same time I have noticed a trend where women with all kinds of jobs are the bread winners and their partners are staying home either full or part time and being the more domestic one.

    Personally, I think it's a real positive influence of the women's movement. I think alot of men do have softer, domestic sides that have been allowed to come out - and thank you God! because I just love men like that! I mean, who can cook as well as me and who cherishes his time with the kids, etc. I was never very good with the business school types who wanted me to follow them around and just nod my head in adoration. :rolleyes:

    I think it's great that we can do both, work and have good home lives, and why not? Everyone benefits especially the children. Studies have shown repeatedly that the loving support and interactions with a Dad are crucial for positive emotional development and later success in life. It's a really great thing ...
     
  38. texasgal1112

    texasgal1112 Member
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    Another option that I have thought about is staying in the same city as your parents or husband's parents so that they can help you with your children. To me I would prefer to leave my children with family than a nanny or babysitter.
    On the female surgeon comments. My cousin is a female GYN surgeon and she has arranged it so that she can perform surgeries twice a week and see patients once a week. The other two days a week so has off to be with her children. So again it can be done. :)
     

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