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Baby Early vs. Late M4


Full Member
2+ Year Member
Oct 27, 2018
Hi all,

I am a rising second year medical student interested in starting a family during 4th year of medical school. I have heard/read mixed things about the best time to start a family in medical school. It seems like right now, my best options are early 4th year (around August-Oct-after taking step 2 and completing my sub-I's) OR Feb/March (after residency interviews). I would like to spend as much time as I can with my kid before starting residency so I'm leaning towards early 4th year. I would like some input however especially from anyone who has gone through all 4 years of medical school!

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Full Member
2+ Year Member
Oct 19, 2017
Everywhere yet nowhere.
  1. Medical Student
Don’t worry too much about the perfect timing. Just try to get pregnant when you are ready. I planned on waiting until 4th year but we decided we were ready and got pregnant 2nd year and will have the baby right before rotations (one of the worst times according to many people). No regrets! There is no “good” time and it may take longer to get pregnant than you’d think. Good luck.
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Full Member
10+ Year Member
Sep 29, 2008
  1. Attending Physician
There are pros and cons to any timing. I had my first during my PhD and started M3 with a toddler. I have friends who delivered in MS2, MS3 and MS4. MS 2&4 are easier to schedule than MS3 but everything is doable and you should have kids when you are ready.

Also realize that you can't time pregnancy perfectly. We wanted to have our 2nd during MS4 and it just didn't happen.
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10+ Year Member
Apr 28, 2011
in a bubble
  1. Resident [Any Field]
As someone with no kids, but in the early part of M4 right now, I'd say late M4 would be better if you can manage that timing.
The first half of M4 (even w/o the additional pandemic upheaval) is when you go do specialty audition rotations/get ERAS in/interview, and if you need weeks/months out of that schedule to have a baby, then you'd effectively need to take a whole year off to delay your app. Whereas the 2nd half of M4 is just coasting to graduation with no real pressures beyond the anxious wait for match day.
But, as everyone else has said/will say, there's no perfect time and people have and will make babies at all points along this process. From dedicated at the end of M2 through residency interviews in the winter of M4 it's a pretty non-stop, high-intensity process. But I know plenty of people who've delayed a clerkship or two, or a whole year, to have kids or do other things, and they all come out fine in the end.
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