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Anyone communte to school and if so how long?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by agent, Aug 30, 2002.

  1. agent

    agent agent, RN
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    I may have to commute to school as part of a compromise with my wife allowing me to go to med school.

    My major concern is that it may take me up to an hour to get to school.

    How would this be handled if I was on call? Would this be okay?

    This is the only thing that is a potential show-stopper right now, so please offer me any advice you can.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. Diogenes

    Diogenes Succat
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    I don't know man, 2 hours a day lost on commuting seems like a VERY bad idea.
     
  4. uffda

    uffda Senior Member
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    I think most call is in-house rather than from home, so it wouldn't be an issue, per se.

    Can you take public transportation or must you drive?
    It might be doable during years 1 & 2.

    For clinicals, I would think it depends on where the rotation is - are the bulk of the rotations at the hosp by the medical school or elsewhere?

    It may be that by year 3 your need to compromise on your living location will have changed and you'll be able to move closer than 1 hour.
     
  5. agent

    agent agent, RN
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    i agree.. that would be real tough. yeah i can take public transportation if i go to UIC or rush

    I could also take it if i go to loyola but id be jumping around a bit more.

    id rather do pub trans so i could attempt to study on the way.

    Im not too sure the wife will compromise which could be bad.
     
  6. Wednesday

    Wednesday Senior Member
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    Perhaps by third year your wife will have missed you so much during the first two years that she'll want to move closer to school so you can spend all that commuting time with her instead! :)
     
  7. omores

    omores sleep deprived
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    You'd certainly be able to manage it in years one and two, although you might come to resent it fairly quickly -- two hours a day is a big chunk of time. If you are able to study while in transit, then that might work. I never managed it, though-- always ended up either distracted or queasy. But if you can do it, that's great.

    For the clinical years, remember that sleep will be at a HUGE premium. You don't want to spend any more time than you have to in transit. During an internal medicine rotation, for example, you may have to arrive at 6am and stay until midnight -- or even later on a call night. uffda is correct in that call nights are generally in-house: commuting won't be an option. You'll either be awake on the floor or asleep (briefly) in the call room. Call rooms, by the way, are wee dorm rooms with a bed(s) and a sink -- they may be private, or they may be shared, depending on the hospital. They ain't very homey, but they work just fine. You might find yourself crashing there pretty often on difficult rotations, even when you're not on call. Save yourself the commute.

    And one more thing. Please, please make sure that the lines of communication between you and your wife are as open as possible before you start medical school, because it's going to be really tough when you're in the thick of things. I speak from experience: I didn't anticipate any problems when I began my first year, since my husband had seemed 100% supportive of the idea and he's very "low maintenance" anyway. But when I actually began school, and got all stressed out and felt that I had to spend all my time studying and so on, it created a huge strain on our marriage. Threw me for a loop. And yes, we worked it out. And will continue to work it out, even though my upcoming surgery rotation will likely create a whole new set of stresses...

    But if your wife ALREADY has her doubts, and you haven't even begun school yet, you two are going to have a LOT of talking to do, or it will get really ugly really quickly.

    Sorry, not trying to preach here, just hoping that you can avoid some of these problems before they happen.

    Good luck!
     
  8. Original

    Original Ogori-Magongo Warrior
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    Agent,
    It'll be rough. 2 hrs/day is alot. 10 hrs/week down the drain. 40 hrs/month! On top of that you'll still have to spend sufficient time with your wife; and you'll have to study; AND you'll have to sleep every now and then. Whew! just breaking it down for you. Like the ever eloquent and wise Omores pointed out; you and your woman have some talking to do.

    Good luck
     
  9. omores

    omores sleep deprived
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    But even more important than commuting, call rooms, and communication with spouses:

    Don't fret about the practicalities before you need to. If you want to go to med school, then commit to the process of getting in with all your heart. Don't hold yourself back with doubts about commuting time. Worry about that after you get the acceptance letter.

    Yes, I understand that it's good to be practical. Just don't let that make you scale back your dreams too early in the game. You're not going to have to start commuting until a year or two from now, and it will only be really difficult as an MSIII, which is four or five years away for you. A whole lot could change between now and then, so don't give it too much brain time.

    Things have a wonderful way of working themselves out when you commit yourself to them completely.
     
  10. CANES2006

    CANES2006 Miami chica
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    With a 2 hour commute (back and forth), you are gonna have to camp out at the hospital for year 3-4.
     
  11. agent

    agent agent, RN
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    agreed.. im not being foolishly optimistic.. thats part of the reason im trying to get as much info as possible.

    im going to apply and most likely get in to one of the chicago schools, and ill make it work somehow.
     
  12. MAWille

    MAWille New Member

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    Commuting is definitely doable if you are taking public transportation. I go to school at the University of Chicago and commute from Lakeview/Buena Park to Hyde Park (4000 N. to 5700 S.). It takes about an hour each way, but studying on the train is something I am accustomed to.

    Mark
     
  13. agent

    agent agent, RN
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    good to know.

    Pritzker hasnt been on my apply list, but i may add them.

    As a research and teaching school, I really didnt think they fit my inclination towards family practice.

    Plus im afraid my scores may not be up to par with them. still a year or so to see
     
  14. Starflyr

    Starflyr Manic Faerie
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    I commute now (2nd year). Last year, I lived a 10 minute walk from campus. However, I compromised with my husband for this yeae - both of us now have a commute of 30-45 minutes instead of one person not having one and the other having a 1.5 hour commute. It *is* do-able. My main issue is when my school schedules one class in a whole day - to go or not to go? (1 hour driving time vs 50 minutes class time...). I dont know about third year, but I do know that for people who can stay local (those of us with families), its either Galveston or Houston - living halfway inbetween helps in that regard.

    I will say this though: This would not work if my husband were not 100% committed to my getting through medical school. It sounds like you and your wife need to have some serious talks - even BEFORE you apply.

    Star
     
  15. spacecadet

    spacecadet Senior Member
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    I have a similar problem Agent. When I decided to go to med school, part of the deal was that I wouldn't make my family move. So, when I start next year, I'll have about an hour commute. I've already plotted out my bus route. I'll have a 15-minute drive to the Park & Ride, then take an express bus straight to the med school (45 min). I'm hoping that I'll be able to study on the bus. Chicago has a pretty good public transportation system, don't they? That should help. It sucks here in Houston.

    I think this will work pretty well during pre-clinicals, but once clinicals start it's going to be a lot harder. I'll worry about that when I get there.

    By the way, don't mention commuting at your interviews. I got a bad reaction from most of the people I talked to. Just let them assume that you're going to move.
     
  16. agent

    agent agent, RN
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    Yeah I plan to worry about that as well when the time comes.

    Yeah chicago has a good transit system, im not worried about that. I plan to study on the train if i go to uic and train/bus if i go to loyola..

    and thanks for the tip about the interview.
     
  17. agent

    agent agent, RN
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    -= bump =-

    anyone else?
     
  18. vixen

    vixen I like members
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    i think in nyc commuting ~1hr one way is the norm...technically the school i work teach at is 19miles away, but w/bridges, tolls, traffic, ramps etc.....its takes about 45min one way for me....and dont let me get started about the day i got lost and was in nj, long island, manhattan then finally home...:mad: anyways, if you have a wife, i say be a man and stay at home w/her and commute :)
     
  19. agent

    agent agent, RN
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    thanks for your feedback vixen!
     
  20. Explosivo

    Explosivo blah!
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    Hey agent I'm not in med school yet but right now I commute from the 'burbs down to the UofC each day by car for work. It takes a good 2-3 hour chunk out of each day. Pain in the ass and too much aggravation but I deal with it since its only temporary.

    If I get into UIC this year I'm definitely either living on campus or somewhere in the city nearby.
     
  21. agent

    agent agent, RN
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    yeah i understand that. if i get into uic, im going to try to take the train.

    id love to just move closer to the hospital, but im not sure the wife would go for that..

    well theres always finch which is like 30 mins from here
     
  22. pathdr2b

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    I currently live in the DC area and commute(via public transportation) from 1 to 1.5 hours each way per day. For me it's not an absolute requirement but I do use the time to study and it is working wonders for me!

    I also did it in graduate school and managed to finish at the top of my class with a husband and kid in tow!

    Should I be accepted into a DC medical school, I'll still commute and I plan to worry about "call" in the third and forth years when I get there(at least 5 years away for me). Who knows, by then I may have hit the lottery and will have a driver that can take me there is luxury every day!;)
     
  23. agent

    agent agent, RN
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    yeah thats my biggest concern is 3rd year.
     
  24. mamadoc

    mamadoc Old Member
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    Well, one good thing about clinical rotations is, you're driving so [email protected] early in the morning that you are ahead of rush hour and the drive doesn't take as long. My drive to school, which is 1 hour in rush hour, is just 35 minutes at 4:30a.m. :laugh:

    The other thing is, your school may have a variety of clinical sites. I've had some assignments that were closer to home, and some that were even further away. <shrug> If you're really fortunate, you may have some say in some rotation site assignments and you can look for sites that cut down on your commute.

    Yup, commuting can be a hassle, especially if you've got a long drive home at the end of a day that started with an alarm at 3:30a.m., but you just do it. Make no mistake, there is nothing even remotely resembling the 9-to-5 world during your third year. Here's what I'm doing tonight, which is a *Friday* night - I am looking forward to hitting the sack before 10pm 'cause I've been up since 5am and on my feet in an OR all day..... :oops:
     
  25. agent

    agent agent, RN
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    sounds thrilling..

    but its what I am.. so its what im going to do.
     
  26. Crusher

    Crusher Member
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    I wouldn't let the drive thing get you down. I do it now. My commute is about 45mins on average. 1 hour in rush hour (which I avoid at all costs -- just stay at school late) In the wee hours of the morning I can pull it off in 30 mins. First and second year it is no problem. Especially for me, since I chose to never attend any of the classes. You do have to be there for the occasional mandatory labs and stuff, but otherwise you make your own schedule. If I had a wife and a long drive I think the decision to study at home on your own would be a no brainer -- assuming you can learn that way.

    As far as 3rd year goes...well yeah it can suck. But at the time I get up for some rotations, my commute is shortened significantly. Call is no issue since it is all in house (with rare exceptions). If it is home call chances are you will be exempt or they will give you a call room. By the time I got there and changed, the pt will be half way through surgery.

    Look at it this way though, you can't freaking work/study all hours of the day. Those that tell you that 2 hours out of your study day will kill you are just wrong. Chances are they are wasting 2 hours out of their day playing video games or posting or surfing SDN. Become efficient and use your commute time to listen to music and try and relax.

    Best of luck
     
  27. limit

    limit Molesting my inner-child
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    Agent,

    I don't know how helpful this will be to you, but I'm an undergraduate senior and I commute to and from school roughly an hour each way. I live in New York City so we have an efficient metro system, but be warned: there is a moderate rate of train delays (technical difficulties, sick passenger, etc), especially during the wee hours of the morning and the heavy hours of the late afternoon (aka, high-traffic rush hour).

    In the morning, I'm lucky to get a seat only because I live on the first train stop. Several stops later all the seats are filled and there are people standing and crowding on top of everyone else. The two individuals to your sides are pressing you into a fat sandwich because chances are at least one of them is obese (welcome to America). Studying in this position is very difficult, as is sleeping. Also be aware that not all reading material is fair game for the train -- viewing pictures of cadaver dissection will turn a few heads, if you know what I mean, and it'll just invite conversation from the curious. You won't like it, trust me. If it's raining outside, the crowd's umbrellas will drip all over you and your book. Also, chances are you will be sitting next to some loquacious juggernaut who won't shut the f1ck up -- there goes your concentration. In the evening there is no chance for a seat, and you probably won't stand with much comfort either. Forget about the bus, its all of the above and worse.

    Yes, a poignant scenario, but you must be prepared for the worst, not the best. So that covers public transportation. You want to drive? Be aware that 16-60 percent of road accidents involve sleep deprivation. Sleep deprived driver studies have shown it to be just as bad as alcohol impairment. You can't get to class on time if your car has an inelastic collision with a telephone booth or another guy asleep at the wheel. Everytime you see someone tell you "it can be done," don't question whether that is so, ponder how good an idea it would be when weighed against the alternatives. Start discussing this with your wife. If she is argumentative, then don't, chances are what she says at this point won't matter and the decision will ultimately be based on circumstances you have yet to consider.
     
  28. pathdr2b

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    Commuting in the DC area is little different from what the previous poster said. I actually get a lot of studying on both the train and bus. I generally give people that "don't talk to me look" so I can read but so far I haven't had any major problems. The one problem with the DC Metro system is delay especially during non-rush hour.
     
  29. agent

    agent agent, RN
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    yeah I working on that look right now..

    and limit, I believe what you are saying. That sucks. That would be my luck. That would be funny to start pulling out some cadaver dissection photos on a crowded train. That should get people to shut up and look the other way. ;)
     
  30. pathdr2b

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    Anyone else wanna chime in?
     
  31. absolutezero

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