Balancing family w/ work (time to have kids?)

Discussion in 'Young Ophthalmologists' started by TropicalFish, Apr 29, 2006.

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  1. TropicalFish

    TropicalFish Junior Member 2+ Year Member

    Apr 29, 2006
    This a question geared mostly toward female ophtho residents/recent grads, but men are invited to respond too. In your experience or that you have observed of others, when is a decent time to be pregnant and have a kid? In residency/few years after graduating while getting established/or established ophthalmologist? I'll be starting my 1st yr of ophtho in 2 mos, and I know a few female residents who have kids their 2nd yr. Currently I don't have kids.
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  3. ryangeraets

    ryangeraets Junior Member 5+ Year Member

    Apr 8, 2005
    I'm just about to enter my last year of residency and my wife and I have a two year old. We have friends that started having kids in medical school, internship, as well as during residency, and all of them seem to have no regrets about timing. There will be sleepless nights and additional stress in the beginning for sure, but in the end if you feel that it is time to start a family then it is time to start a family.
    On the other hand, if I had to pick a time that it would seem most stressful, I would guess that it would be hardest immediately out of training. New move, new job, generally not a lot of friends to rely on for advice/babysitters/etc. and the more real financial pressures of private practice.
    Just my two cents.
  4. Pilot Doc

    Pilot Doc SDN Angel Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Mar 6, 2002
    In general, med school better than residency better than practice. Unless you work for Kaiser/the VA/etc, you are going to eat what you kill in practice. Motherhood will be a big hit to your income, inconvenience your partners and, at best, not help your popularity with patients and referring docs. If you deliver as a resident, people may complain, but even if you have to take an extra year, you get a completly clean slate when you start practice.
  5. kassie

    kassie Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    Mar 1, 2005
    New York
    No time is a good time if you think about it...My husband and I debated about this for a while, and we actually decided not to have kids during ophtho residency because I don't want to put extra work on the other residents (I know you can take call before etc) and I am not really willing to interrupt that part of my training especially since you can't predict pregnancy and any complications that might occur. He will also be a resident in IM so it was a career decision for him as well...

    But everyone is different...and planning kids isn't as predictable as it might seem...
  6. OphthoBean

    OphthoBean Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 24, 2003
    Orange County, CA
    I had my son at the end of my second year of residency and took off 3 months and had to extend my training for 8 weeks. I planned this exactly. My female senior residents both were pregnant and one delivered in her senior year and the other in her fellowship. The resident took 3 months off and the fellow only was able to do 6 weeks without having to extend her contract. One first year had a baby in mid-first year. Other local female residents I knew had pregnancies/babies in internship thus delivering in first year, or in first year thus delivering near end of first year, and senior year thus delivering in senior year.

    Other residents might complain, but I really didn't give a flying fig because I carried more than my fair share and accumulated my vacation time and met all my call responsibilites and saw consults, etc... Besides, legally I was guaranteed 12 weeks off due to FMLA and I was fortunate that my program offered short term disability so I was paid for all but 2 weeks of my maternity leave.

    I think residency was a great time to be pregnant and have a baby because there is no other time where you will have the nice legal guarantees and essentially get paid to be at home with your child. There were no requirements to provide for my pumping, but my program and out rotations were very nice and I was able to pump for 1 year. Starting my new job in August versus June made not one iota of difference to me.

    Now I regret that I didn't have another child my senior year. If I want to have another child now and want to take time off I would lose a hefty chunk of cash. I hate the thought of having a child and then neglecting him/her by taking a short leave and then dumping him/her off into daycare. And it would be harder to pump for a year and I cringe at the thought of formula feeding. The only way it could be managable would be to go part time for a little while so it isn't as severe a paycut or bring the babe to the office (which is what one of my senior residents now in practice for a couple of years has done. She took 2 weeks off and then lightened her schedule and has the baby at the office with a nanny there so she could nurse or pump PRN and see the baby during any downtime, lunch, etc...) It would be harder for me since I share an office and where could I stick a nanny?

    It sucks to have to choose between having but shortchanging a baby versus having no baby. Maybe my son wants to be an only child.

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