RockDoc7

Living the dream of the Golden Mean.
Mar 14, 2013
64
2
California
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
So, I am a married 25 y.o. man working as an inpatient psychiatric social worker. I have been researching for the past 2 years about switching careers into the world of medicine. This includes: RN, NP, PA, and MD/DO. Mostly I was torn between thoughts of PA vs MD/DO like so many others on the web. Though I was originally leaning towards PA, I have made a significant shift towards the MD/DO route as I began to understand more of the comparisons and contrasts of each. However, I am still open minded as far as where I'll end up professionally. Furthermore, I have completed applications for formal post-bacs to start this summer/fall and am looking forward to that eye opening experience. With that said, my concern is more on the social spectrum.

My wife and I have been married just over a year and of course have had the conversations of starting a family in the future; she being 2 years older than I and concerned for her "biological clock." Because she, myself, and my friends can visually see me as an MD/DO rather than a mid-level, the topic of sacrifices necessary to make this happen are daunting to say the least as is voiced daily on the multitude of forums found on SDN. More specifically, in order for us to have me go through medical school, she would presumedly be the bread winner for us working as an RN, a job she doesn't quite care for (at least at the facility/specialty she's at now), but really wants to be a stay at home mother - and I want to foster that to fruition any means possible. Personally, my family will/ough to always come first (as much as possible) and thus want to be less selfish if I need be to pursue the 10 year path to attendinghood and become a mid-level pracitioner (PA).

My question: Are there any creative ideas to achieve both goals/expectations of getting my MD and having my wife be a mostly stay at home mom when the kids are younger than school age? One thing that has come to mind is the HPSP (military) to not only pay for the schools tuition, but to receive a small stipend to help with income. Or I suppose take out an excessive amount of student loans to cover tuition and living expenses? I know having family close by to support and/or watch children while she works is an optimal idea but unrealistic considering the lack of medical schools and post-bacs local to my hometown. Even more so and separately: insurance. 1. If I were to get the HPSP, does the military provide insurance while in school? 2. Does the school provide insurance for student and dependents? 3. Or is out of pocket for either medical services or insurance the only route for said situation?

I know that by far I am no alone with these inquiries and would love some feedback on ideas that did work, didn't work, or ideas that may work. And for the record, my wife is very supportive regardless of what I choose, but as mentioned before, I don't mind being less selfish in my pursuit if I can be supportive in hers.

Thanks for reading my vent.
 
Jun 30, 2013
634
257
West Lafayette, Indiana
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student (Accepted)
Really, its up to you to decide what you would wanna do in future PA, NP, or MD/DO. As far as is it doable with your wife staying home? Of course, yea. I am a 41 year old RN and getting ready to start it this year. My wife is a pharmacist and getting ready to become a stay home mom after working full time for about a year (it would be then). The military will pay for your school, give you a monthly stipend, and give you a medical insurance. Now, my wife and I decided that she will work PRN to keep her license active, may be that is what you guys can do. Also wanna let you know that we have 3 kids and getting ready to pull this off. I think its doable it your really want it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Quik

7+ Year Member
Dec 23, 2010
396
121
Oregon
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
Definitely do-able, though if it were me and I was looking forward to this mix of circumstances/plans in front of me, I would be trying for that baby yesterday to get it out and through it's first year before beginning medical school. From my perspective of my sister and brother-in-law's experiences, the first year of parenting seems like the hardest year of a persons life. I would not want to go through that while attending MD/DO or PA school. The rest can be done.

Again from a vicarious perspective of my room-mate, med school does not necessarily equate to an end of social life or an abandonment of all other priorities but studying.

Hopefully you already have a good amount of volunteering/clinical experiences so you could focus on school/parenting rather than filling in every odd hour of your life with some application building activity if that is what you choose to do.
 
About the Ads

Ibn Alnafis MD

10+ Year Member
Dec 26, 2008
5,196
3,591
Where the past and the future intersect
forums.studentdoctor.net
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
I will be starting med school this coming fall. While I'm pursuing my medical education, my wife will be finishing her BA and pursuing her MA in social work. No one will be the bread winner. My loans and her financial aid should cover our living expenses. We also have a 6 year old kid. This entire time, my wife will be attending school for a small part of the day (while the kid is at school) and spending quality time raising our kid and not having to miss out on his most critical years in development.

If I were you, I would try to have a baby as soon as possible, so you get to adapt to becoming a parent before med school. In med school, your wife could stay at home and your loans should take care of the living expenses if you live frugally. In regards to health insurance, as a student with little income, you will qualify for state-subsidized medical insurance (Medicaid), or you will still get a big discount purchasing one under the ACA.

Remember, you DON'T need to sacrifice one for the other; you CAN do both. With careful planning, and more importantly, a mutual agreement between you and your spouse, everything is possible. Also, if you want to be a physician, go for it; don't settle for less (PA/NP). This is a career that you'll be doing for the next 30-40 years, so make sure you are content with your decision.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

RockDoc7

Living the dream of the Golden Mean.
Mar 14, 2013
64
2
California
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Really, its up to you to decide what you would wanna do in future PA, NP, or MD/DO. As far as is it doable with your wife staying home? Of course, yea. I am a 41 year old RN and getting ready to start it this year. My wife is a pharmacist and getting ready to become a stay home mom after working full time for about a year (it would be then). The military will pay for your school, give you a monthly stipend, and give you a medical insurance. Now, my wife and I decided that she will work PRN to keep her license active, may be that is what you guys can do. Also wanna let you know that we have 3 kids and getting ready to pull this off. I think its doable it your really want it.

That's exciting to hear you're staring this year. Congrats. I haev certainly seen a number of forums discussing how doable it is, and I truly do affirm that it is - I guess I was just wanting to know of some ways/ideas people have made it doable. Since my post, I was looking more into the military route and have learned that one can only got military insurance once active duty. So HPSP or FAP does not help. The only route that does provide that luxry is for one to attend USUHS :/ Yeah, I think my wife would like to work PRN as well; difficult finding NICU days jobs for RN's apparentl ha. Plus, I'm sure having 3 kids has a multiplicity of stressors factored on. Good luck to you and your family. thanks for the input.
 

RockDoc7

Living the dream of the Golden Mean.
Mar 14, 2013
64
2
California
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Definitely do-able, though if it were me and I was looking forward to this mix of circumstances/plans in front of me, I would be trying for that baby yesterday to get it out and through it's first year before beginning medical school. From my perspective of my sister and brother-in-law's experiences, the first year of parenting seems like the hardest year of a persons life. I would not want to go through that while attending MD/DO or PA school. The rest can be done.

Again from a vicarious perspective of my room-mate, med school does not necessarily equate to an end of social life or an abandonment of all other priorities but studying.

Hopefully you already have a good amount of volunteering/clinical experiences so you could focus on school/parenting rather than filling in every odd hour of your life with some application building activity if that is what you choose to do.

That's definitely interesting insight regarding having the kid yesterday ha. Although I will say we have undoubtedly talked about it. Maybe it's not a bad idea in all actuality. We just figured we'd like to spend the first few years of our marriage without kids to grow together. A kids first year really does seem to be the toughest time of parenting and would like not to consider placing our kid in day care for as long as possible. School age seems ideal for working life to continue for sure.

I am excited to hear this: med school does not necessarily equate to an end of social life or an abandonment of all other priorities but studying. These sentiments are few and far between but very well received.

Thankfully I do feel as though I have an adequate amount of work/volunteer/shadowing completed already so I can focus on schooling and parenting. Thanks for the feedback Quik.
 

RockDoc7

Living the dream of the Golden Mean.
Mar 14, 2013
64
2
California
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
I will be starting med school this coming fall. While I'm pursuing my medical education, my wife will be finishing her BA and pursuing her MA in social work. No one will be the bread winner. My loans and her financial aid should cover our living expenses. We also have a 6 year old kid. This entire time, my wife will be attending school for a small part of the day (while the kid is at school) and spending quality time raising our kid and not having to miss out on his most critical years in development.

If I were you, I would try to have a baby as soon as possible, so you get to adapt to becoming a parent before med school. In med school, your wife could stay at home and your loans should take care of the living expenses if you live frugally. In regards to health insurance, as a student with little income, you will qualify for state-subsidized medical insurance (Medicaid), or you will still get a big discount purchasing one under the ACA.

Remember, you DON'T need to sacrifice one for the other; you CAN do both. With careful planning, and more importantly, a mutual agreement between you and your spouse, everything is possible. Also, if you want to be a physician, go for it; don't settle for less (PA/NP). This is a career that you'll be doing for the next 30-40 years, so make sure you are content with your decision.

First off, congrats on getting into and starting med school this fall. Second, it sounds like your story shares similarities to my concerns. There have been a number of forums on SDN that have really deterred me from the the idea of taking out more than the minimum student loans for tuition to live on; but it sounds like a unintimidating/feasible idea to you and your wife? Is this how most live through med school? As mentioned in the previous post, school age children sounds ideal for PRN work but really wouldn't be a possibility at this point before starting med school - I don't think? But really it isn't a terrible idea to start now; I don't know. I've really read both sides now on these forums of starting before schoo, starting after school, starting after residency, or the concept that it doesn't matter when you start having kids because there's never a perfect time and you'll always have to adapt regardless of circumstances.

Further, I appreciate this: With careful planning, and more importantly, a mutual agreement between you and your spouse, everything is possible. I do agree that my contemplation of PA vs MD/DO is one of short term gain vs long term "happiness" (for lack of better term); thus, I'm really vying for the MD/DO venture. Thanks and good luck to you and your family.
 

Bru

10+ Year Member
Jan 27, 2011
275
71
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
It is definitely do-able although frankly it is hard on everyone. You're going to have to make some very hard decisions when it comes to what to sacrifice.

As for the finances, I would not recommend going the military route unless you really want to serve. There are a number of threads on this subject on SDN. My family is taking the maximum amount of federal loans available to us. I did not go the private route and I would not recommend private loans unless it is the only route. With max fed loans, things are doable albeit tight. I suspect if we lived in a location with a higher cost of living it might not be doable. As to the specifics regarding insurance and what not, that is a very school-specific (and even state specific) discussion. Some schools offer free daycare and other benefits for families while other do not.

Timing-wise, a fair amount of people seem to shoot for 4th year of med school which significantly less stressful time. Or summer between first and second year is also a good window.
 

RockDoc7

Living the dream of the Golden Mean.
Mar 14, 2013
64
2
California
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
It is definitely do-able although frankly it is hard on everyone. You're going to have to make some very hard decisions when it comes to what to sacrifice.

As for the finances, I would not recommend going the military route unless you really want to serve. There are a number of threads on this subject on SDN. My family is taking the maximum amount of federal loans available to us. I did not go the private route and I would not recommend private loans unless it is the only route. With max fed loans, things are doable albeit tight. I suspect if we lived in a location with a higher cost of living it might not be doable. As to the specifics regarding insurance and what not, that is a very school-specific (and even state specific) discussion. Some schools offer free daycare and other benefits for families while other do not.

Timing-wise, a fair amount of people seem to shoot for 4th year of med school which significantly less stressful time. Or summer between first and second year is also a good window.

I agree that the military is not a good option purely for money; was only considering it for insurance in all honesty ha - I have certainly read enough postings in the Military Medicine forums in said regards. Glad to hear that you are making it work with maxing federal loans. I used some private loans for my undergrad and they suck. I am starting to realize that much of my concern could probably be rooted to location, location, location for insurance and cost of living paired with student loans. It is encouraging to hear, though, that some schools have day care services and "other family benefits." And thanks for the tips for when to have kids (4th year vs summer between 1&2). But why between summer of 1st and second year?
 

Bru

10+ Year Member
Jan 27, 2011
275
71
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
I agree that the military is not a good option purely for money; was only considering it for insurance in all honesty ha - I have certainly read enough postings in the Military Medicine forums in said regards. Glad to hear that you are making it work with maxing federal loans. I used some private loans for my undergrad and they suck. I am starting to realize that much of my concern could probably be rooted to location, location, location for insurance and cost of living paired with student loans. It is encouraging to hear, though, that some schools have day care services and "other family benefits." And thanks for the tips for when to have kids (4th year vs summer between 1&2). But why between summer of 1st and second year?

It might be school specific but usually it is the last real summer you have more or less to yourself. 2nd/3rd year summer isn't really a summer typically.
 
About the Ads
This thread is more than 7 years old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.