Jul 30, 2017
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Hello friendly folks of SDN,

This is my first ever question here so pardon my errors if any.

I am a mom of a 2 year old, IMG with EAD, who did a Master's in Clinical Neurology by research at Oxford,UK hoping to apply for a Neurology match. As I outlined above, my question is to moms/parents as well as anyone who can tell me if you think a neurology residency is doable as a single parent? How are call schedules? How often will you be on call and what happens with programs which have night floats? I'm quite concerned if this is the correct choice family wise even though it has been my dream to be a neurology since 3rd year of med school. There are days when I think that leaving my child in other people's care for extended periods of time during residency might affect my child and therefore the whole career progression will essentially be useless. I am hoping to hear some inspiring stories from those who have done it and think it is possible. I welcome cautionary experiences as well which will help me tread through this carefully. I have considered moving to a slightly less busy speciality but mentally I keep coming back to Neurology. Is Neurology in the states family friendly? I have heard about part time flexible residencies ( like less than full time training in the UK), are they just anecdotal? I'd love to hear from someone who did or knows anyone who did the same. I live in the Bay area, California and I have heard of something in UCSF, of course, that too was hearsay.

Please help me out guys n gals.
 

Thama

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Different programs have different call schedules but part time residency is not a thing. I know several residents who came into residency with one or more children but invariably it only worked because their partners had flexible schedules that permitted them to absorb most of the childcare burden. One of my good friends in residency is from the UK and from my discussions with him I think you'll find that the medical culture in the US is quite different from what you're used to and people work many more hours here, especially in residency, with the expectation of great sacrifices to their personal lives that would be looked at as insane across the Atlantic.
 
OP
J
Jul 30, 2017
4
0
Different programs have different call schedules but part time residency is not a thing. I know several residents who came into residency with one or more children but invariably it only worked because their partners had flexible schedules that permitted them to absorb most of the childcare burden. One of my good friends in residency is from the UK and from my discussions with him I think you'll find that the medical culture in the US is quite different from what you're used to and people work many more hours here, especially in residency, with the expectation of great sacrifices to their personal lives that would be looked at as insane across the Atlantic.

Thank you for your response. Yes, I am aware that it will be far more hectic here, it was a good reminder as well. I live in California at present and came across someone who did a flexible residency thing with UCSF, however it was only n Pediatrics. I was hoping to get any info about any such option in Neurology.
 

neurochica

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Aug 31, 2009
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There was about 10 of us in my residency class all 4 four years) who had kids while in residency. The best advise I can give you Is to look at Clinic base residencies. Call should be less compared to major stroke centers.
 
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oopsy

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Dec 21, 2012
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I had my first child while in residency. It is very challenging to imagine doing my intern year and my Junior neurology year again with a child, much less as a single parent. I have leaned very, very much on my spouse. She does more than 90% of the drop off and pick up, and I routinely only see my child for less than an hour a day when I'm on service. As a junior resident (and as an intern), in many programs, you're basically on service the whole year, and on that schedule, there is no way I would make bedtime. That said, I went to an inpatient heavy residency, and there is definitely variability across programs. Other programs are distinctly much more outpatient oriented, had a lower call burden, and the call burden was more evenly distributed across the three years. It is definitely possible to have kids during residency, it's just harder.

I also echo the above poster. The medical culture in the United States is very different from that in Europe, and the expectations are frankly quite a bit more taxing. Many of my colleagues who've come across the Atlantic have noted how different and bizarre the culture is here.

I encourage you to look for outpatient oriented neurology residencies, particularly if that is your professional interest. Also, it would be enormously important to have some kind of support, either family, friends, or the means to maintain paid services to ensure that your child is picked up, someone is home when you're on call, etc. It would literally be impossible for me to care for my child alone in my residency program, and remains challenging between me and my spouse was also working. All of the above examples I imagine are made possible by partners who pick up the slack in our absence as residents, and that certainly applies to me. Residency is already a challenging experience, and certainly more challenging when you have someone you're responsible for (and want to get home to), but it is certainly possible to thread the needle if you're judicious about where you train and what kind of support your able to coordinate. I wish you the best of luck.
 
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Ibn Alnafis MD

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I had my first child while in residency. It is very challenging to imagine doing my intern year and my Junior neurology year again with a child, much less as a single parent. I have leaned very, very much on my spouse. She does more than 90% of the drop off and pick up, and I routinely only see my child for less than an hour a day when I'm on service. As a junior resident (and as an intern), in many programs, you're basically on service the whole year, and on that schedule, there is no way I would make bedtime. That said, I went to an inpatient heavy residency, and there is definitely variability across programs. Other programs are distinctly much more outpatient oriented, had a lower call burden, and the call burden was more evenly distributed across the three years. It is definitely possible to have kids during residency, it's just harder.

I also echo the above poster. The medical culture in the United States is very different from that in Europe, and the expectations are frankly quite a bit more taxing. Many of my colleagues who've come across the Atlantic have noted how different and bizarre the culture is here.

I encourage you to look for outpatient oriented neurology residencies, particularly if that is your professional interest. Also, it would be enormously important to have some kind of support, either family, friends, or the means to maintain paid services to ensure that your child is picked up, someone is home when you're on call, etc. It would literally be impossible for me to care for my child alone in my residency program, and remains challenging between me and my spouse was also working. All of the above examples I imagine are made possible by partners who pick up the slack in our absence as residents, and that certainly applies to me. Residency is already a challenging experience, and certainly more challenging when you have someone you're responsible for (and want to get home to), but it is certainly possible to thread the needle if you're judicious about where you train and what kind of support your able to coordinate. I wish you the best of luck.
Does the schedule become more benign in pgy3 and pgy4 in an inpatient heavy program? I'm asking because someone recently posted on this site that neuro residents work 80+ hrs a week and take no days off for the entirety of the 4 years of neurology reaidency.
 
OP
J
Jul 30, 2017
4
0
I had my first child while in residency. It is very challenging to imagine doing my intern year and my Junior neurology year again with a child, much less as a single parent. I have leaned very, very much on my spouse. She does more than 90% of the drop off and pick up, and I routinely only see my child for less than an hour a day when I'm on service. As a junior resident (and as an intern), in many programs, you're basically on service the whole year, and on that schedule, there is no way I would make bedtime. That said, I went to an inpatient heavy residency, and there is definitely variability across programs. Other programs are distinctly much more outpatient oriented, had a lower call burden, and the call burden was more evenly distributed across the three years. It is definitely possible to have kids during residency, it's just harder.

I also echo the above poster. The medical culture in the United States is very different from that in Europe, and the expectations are frankly quite a bit more taxing. Many of my colleagues who've come across the Atlantic have noted how different and bizarre the culture is here.

I encourage you to look for outpatient oriented neurology residencies, particularly if that is your professional interest. Also, it would be enormously important to have some kind of support, either family, friends, or the means to maintain paid services to ensure that your child is picked up, someone is home when you're on call, etc. It would literally be impossible for me to care for my child alone in my residency program, and remains challenging between me and my spouse was also working. All of the above examples I imagine are made possible by partners who pick up the slack in our absence as residents, and that certainly applies to me. Residency is already a challenging experience, and certainly more challenging when you have someone you're responsible for (and want to get home to), but it is certainly possible to thread the needle if you're judicious about where you train and what kind of support your able to coordinate. I wish you the best of luck.

Thank you so much for a really thoughtful answer. I guess the consensus is its near impossible to do it without substantial help. Do you mind if I asked you about the hours you worked in a week? And it would be nice if you could perhaps give me a rough sketch of the call schedule. The program descriptions at least to me seem quite vague and do not go into detail esp for PGY1 and Y2.

You also mentioned residencies which are more outpatient based, do you happen to remember which ones they are?
 
OP
J
Jul 30, 2017
4
0
There was about 10 of us in my residency class all 4 four years) who had kids while in residency. The best advise I can give you Is to look at Clinic base residencies. Call should be less compared to major stroke centers.
Thank you for the reply. Do you happen to know any programs which are more clinic based?
 

Que

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Aug 31, 2013
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My program requires 10 months inpatient as a 2, four months as a 3, and four months as a 4. The remainder are outpatient/electives/outpatient hours at an inpatient off service rotation


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
 
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neurochica

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Aug 31, 2009
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Thank you for the reply. Do you happen to know any programs which are more clinic based?
No I don't. Just look at their website. Per board certification, you will need at least 6 months (maybe4?) of inpatient work. However, some programs will do way more or front load them in your early years.