Do you ever worry that you'll be alone and unable to start a family because of med school?

V781

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The main reason I've considered not going to Medical School is that I really fear not being able to fall in love and have children.

When I earn my Bachelor's degree, I'll be 28 or 29 (everyday, I hate that I'm so late in my schooling). I would hopefully go through medical school and residency in my 30s. I've always said that I want to have a couple children before I reach 35.

I start to feel anxious about this path because of this. I won't have time to date or think about my feelings when I'm in Medical School. And honestly, if I reach 35 and am single, I'd probably seriously consider a sperm bank and trying for a baby alone...which obviously would not be ideal! - raising a baby alone through residency. I really want to have kids in my lifetime. I'm depressed by the thought of Medical School getting in the way of this. Thoughts? Can anyone else relate?
 

Gilakend

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I know this changes for most people once they are actually exposed to rotations in med school, but do you have an idea of what specialties you're interested in?
 

futuremdforme

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Med school does not prevent you from falling in love and getting a partner. If you have a partner and you are ready for kids, just have them in med school. Lots of people meet partners in med school, you do have to get out and try to meet people of course, but that's true regardless of your profession.

If you're single and looking at the sperm bank route, it's much harder, but I don't know that it's going to be that much harder as a med student vs a resident except for financially.
 

strider144

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Tons of med students get married and have families. Lots and lots of doctors have kids, so it definitely happens. At the same time, there's this thing @Crayola227 has said more eloquently somewhere: Maybe medical school does keep you from finding love the way you might if you had more free time. Maybe being a doctor does keep you from starting a family, or from having the sort of family you imagine. It's far from an absolute, but it is possible, and I think you have to make peace with that -- if medicine really is the thing for you, you'll have to accept any trade-offs that come your way.

When I was younger, all of this played into my deciding not to pursue medicine. Then, four years out of college and with nothing to show for it and a degree in a field that I hated, I realized that I didn't have a partner and I wasn't talking about kids. I still hypothetically want a family, but not going into medicine is no guarantee, and at least if I go into medicine and end up on my own I'll have gotten to go into medicine. I just had to choose which dream to chase, and now I get to wait and see what comes of it.
 

mavric1298

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I would say that being in med school for several of my friends has been a net positive for their dating life. They were exposed to this entire group of new people, they study together, eat together, party together. They get to know their friends friends. Yes you have less time, and yes it makes some aspects more difficult, but by no means is it preclude finding someone, and increases your exposure to people through the "old school" method of being introduced or knowing each other in person. I know friends that still Tinder, others that have ended up with a classmates friend, and others that are with a dental student (who they study with the first year)...

So no, I would say that isn't a good reason to not go into medicine. You will have to plan more, and it will be effort. And having kids is a whole nother ballgame, but it's doable, and single/childless docs that aren't so by choice is the extreme minority


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operaman

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OP I can say without a shadow of a doubt that it is far easier to meet someone and date when you're in school than at basically any other time in your life. You will marry within the circles in which you travel, and school and training will land you amid a massive herd of young, ambitious, similarly minded people. Most doctors end up marrying other doctors.

Compare this to avoiding school and joining the workforce in a job you really don't like. Most jobs will have you working among a relatively small group of people and even fewer of them may be close to your age and fewer still single and having similar goals. Not that people don't meet other people all the time in the real world, but it definitely takes more effort than when you're in school and there are so many eligible people around you.

As for how much time you'll have, honestly medical school doesn't take all that much. It probably does take 50-60 hours per week just like any job, and yes some of your weekends will be eaten up by it, but there is still a lot of time to do whatever you want. I guess the difference is that you have to purposely schedule your free time a little more.
 

mavric1298

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Second the workforce thing. Other than my wife and best friend who we all started together at the hospital - I've only ever gone to drinks or hung out with 2 or 3 people from work, in almost 8 years.


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WGSgrad

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Any cat I've ever tried talking to gave me the cold shoulder. I could at least force my kids to talk to me. Haha.
Cats have personalities, just like people. And sometimes, just like people, they don't want to be bothered. If you want a sycophant, I suggest a dog. Personally, I don't trust anything that is always that d*** happy to see me. I'm not even always that happy to see me.

In all seriousness, I understand your concerns. While having children isn't a desire or priority for me, I would like to have a partner one day. And my "advanced age" by the time I matriculate (33) means that it's unlikely I'll meet someone in school. Which means I will have to put in more effort to meet someone. Unfortunately, extended time abroad and in graduate school away from home and friends means I've grown far too comfortable in my own company. I would like to meet someone and have hope that I will. But if I don't...cats.
 

willow84

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I've always wanted to adopt children from foster care, so I don't worry as much about what my future family holds. I can do that when I get through my 30s in school and residency. With that said, it's completely understandable that you feel that way. Like others have said already, plenty of people in the medical field start families in medical school and juggle a family with career. If it's something you want then you will find a way to make it work.
 
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OP
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V781

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As a nontrad med student in your 30s you have a number of factors working against you:

Few are on a similar life path
Many look down on career changing in 30s
An intelligence level that mismatches with at least 75p of the general population
Odd earnings trajectory with zero short term earnings
You already missed prime matching years, and there's likely a reason for this

Throw a few personal flaws into the mix and....well I think you need to be realistic.
Are you referring to her plan to adopt children?

Also, what are the "prime" matching years?
 
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It seems like you are overthinking this. There is no reason why you wouldn't be able to go to medschool and have a family, plenty of people have done this.
 
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mavric1298

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As a nontrad med student in your 30s you have a number of factors working against you:

Few are on a similar life path
Many look down on career changing in 30s
An intelligence level that mismatches with at least 75p of the general population
Odd earnings trajectory with zero short term earnings
You already missed prime matching years, and there's likely a reason for this

Throw a few personal flaws into the mix and....well I think you need to be realistic.
Apparently you just love being negative Nancy...

Average age for a lot of classes is mid twenties. That leaves people on both sides of the spectrum, with plenty of opportunities.

Who looks down on career changing? I've been met with nothing but positivity about it, and if anything it makes you more interesting.

"Intelligence mismatch" if you even want to go there, means being in med school you are around people with similar interests and intelligence and academic drive. So if anything NOT going to school would make finding someone harder. High horses aside

Dating someone based on their earning short term or long term is shallow as F. I wouldn't want to be with someone who seriously thought "hey he's in med school and not making money, so I couldn't date him". If those are the people you're going after, become a lawyer. I've heard they are good at having questionable moral judgement and put a high value on monitory gains. Maybe then you'll be dateable

"Missed prime matching years and there is a reason for this". What the hell does that even mean? The average age of marriage was 29 this last year and climbing. By definition that means half the people in the US were older than that. Jesus dude, come off more judgmental..."there is a reason for that" - you just lost any credibility that one.




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OP
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V781

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Apparently you just love being negative Nancy...

Average age for a lot of classes is mid twenties. That leaves people on both sides of the spectrum, with plenty of opportunities.

Who looks down on career changing? I've been met with nothing but positivity about it, and if anything it makes you more interesting.

"Intelligence mismatch" if you even want to go there, means being in med school you are around people with similar interests and intelligence and academic drive. So if anything NOT going to school would make finding someone harder. High horses aside

Dating someone based on their earning short term or long term is shallow as F. I wouldn't want to be with someone who seriously thought "hey he's in med school and not making money, so I couldn't date him". If those are the people you're going after, become a lawyer. I've heard they are good at having questionable moral judgement and put a high value on monitory gains. Maybe then you'll be dateable

"Missed prime matching years and there is a reason for this". What the hell does that even mean? The average age of marriage was 29 this last year and climbing. By definition that means half the people in the US were older than that. Jesus dude, come off more judgmental..."there is a reason for that" - you just lost any credibility that one.




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Yeah, I was confused about the intentions behind that post. Wasn't sure if commenting about realistically dating, adopting or being successful in medicine career.

I thought their last comment about matching referred to matching into a residency after Medical School. I'm not sure why age would affect a person's chances at being matched.
 

Mad Jack

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Apparently you just love being negative Nancy...

Average age for a lot of classes is mid twenties. That leaves people on both sides of the spectrum, with plenty of opportunities.

Who looks down on career changing? I've been met with nothing but positivity about it, and if anything it makes you more interesting.

"Intelligence mismatch" if you even want to go there, means being in med school you are around people with similar interests and intelligence and academic drive. So if anything NOT going to school would make finding someone harder. High horses aside

Dating someone based on their earning short term or long term is shallow as F. I wouldn't want to be with someone who seriously thought "hey he's in med school and not making money, so I couldn't date him". If those are the people you're going after, become a lawyer. I've heard they are good at having questionable moral judgement and put a high value on monitory gains. Maybe then you'll be dateable

"Missed prime matching years and there is a reason for this". What the hell does that even mean? The average age of marriage was 29 this last year and climbing. By definition that means half the people in the US were older than that. Jesus dude, come off more judgmental..."there is a reason for that" - you just lost any credibility that one.




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It is a realistic assessment. Half of women are married by 27, and they generally are in relationships for a couple of years prior. Female physicians have a particularly high rate of remaining single- 23% are unmarried, as of the last survey I read, while 7% of their male colleagues were unmarried. That's a pretty big disparity that exists for a reason. Smarter, more accomplished women enter the dating market both later and with higher expectations. Men also tend to date younger, while women date older partners, so the dating pool for women in medicine gradually shrinks while that for males grows. These are unfortunate realities, but they are reality. Now you need to ask yourself, is that chance worth it?
 
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willow84

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I wasn't sure about the intention either. Is it directed at my desire to adopt when I finish a residency program? The original poster's fear of starting a family and juggling medical school?

I haven't had a single person address my career change negatively.
 

workaholic181

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The main reason I've considered not going to Medical School is that I really fear not being able to fall in love and have children.

When I earn my Bachelor's degree, I'll be 28 or 29 (everyday, I hate that I'm so late in my schooling). I would hopefully go through medical school and residency in my 30s. I've always said that I want to have a couple children before I reach 35.

I start to feel anxious about this path because of this. I won't have time to date or think about my feelings when I'm in Medical School. And honestly, if I reach 35 and am single, I'd probably seriously consider a sperm bank and trying for a baby alone...which obviously would not be ideal! - raising a baby alone through residency. I really want to have kids in my lifetime. I'm depressed by the thought of Medical School getting in the way of this. Thoughts? Can anyone else relate?
I know its nutty to think about but TONS of people get married and have kids while in med school/residency or even before! Somehow, people find a way to make it work.

That said, there certainly are kid "friendly" specialties and some that aren't so much. I once saw a surgical resident cry because she had just come back from 90 day maternal leave (way, way too short) and realized how difficult it was always gonna be for her to do everything she wanted as a mom and be a surgeon. So there is a discrepancy. But in all walks of medicine, people figure it out.
 
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willow84

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Mid 20s and mid 30s is not really viable for something legit.

Over 30, major adverse selection: emotional problems, attachment disorders, kids, centurion or even millenion status
I'm sorry, are you saying that anyone over 30 pursuing medicine has emotional problems and attachment disorders?
 

timephone

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Given my recent (lack of) romantic success (currently 30 y.o.) I'm honestly thinking I might not be the emotionally healthy partner. But I feel pursuit of medicine isn't the important factor in this regard. Whether or not I was on this path I'd still be the same person, with the same qualities and flaws.

In a way what I'm doing gives me some contentment with my unpredictable state-of-affairs. If I was in a normal, steady job, I'd be out dating frantically to stave off the boredom. I know now that I need to stay very busy, whether with study or travel or hobbies, to stay sane. That will never change, and so if I eventually find a long-term partner, she'll have to be able to vibe with that mindset regardless.

Anecdotally I do know a person who turned down a med school admission to pursue a related clinical path with shorter schooling and less demanding lifestyle, in order to start a family. Long story short, things haven't happened as planned. Nothing in life ever does. The secret to being happy in life is not to expect anything--make plans, but only expect them to change, never to happen just as you wish. Concentrate on living a good life, helping others around you and doing what makes you happy.
 
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mavric1298

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No. I am saying that the dating pool after 30 is...not high yield for someone looking for emotionally healthy partners. Perhaps more attractive people have better options.
First off, between groups 25-29 and 30-34, the rate of marriage varies only by a couple points. Secondly, almost every study out there currently shows that almost all groups across profession, education level, and culture are pushing marriage and serious relationships later and later. In fact, pew just showed that dating apps are used nearly equally between age groups of 25-34 and 35-44, and the chance of a lasting relationship is HIGHER and divorce rate LOWER in the latter, old age group, which directly contradicts you statements about the health of said relationships/prosepects. And before you even respond about online not counting or some other nonsense, online is the second highest way people meet, just a few percentage points under through friends, and above "at bar/restaurant" (which between the three make up 80%). Jesus, Prof Quirrell must have let you in
 
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DBC03

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I understand the fear, but I have many friends who have met people while in medical school and subsequently gotten married. I also have many friends who have never gone on to graduate school and are in their mid-30s who are amazing, awesome, wonderful people who cannot seem to find a significant other in life. What I have learned is that you cannot predict or plan when you will meet someone and get married. So you should move forward pursuing what you are interested in regardless. Better to start medical school and end not married than to be the same age and not married. And you might meet some amazing person in med school and hit it off. Aside from having less time (which didn't seem to hold any of my friends back), I only see advantages to going to medical school in this situation.

I've also had many many friends have babies in med school and residency. But you absolutely have to have a partner who is supportive and willing to help out. There's no way you can do that on your own. So, again, move forward and remind yourself that even if you are 35 and single after graduating from medical school, it's better than being 35 and single and regretting not going!
 
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Jul 7, 2017
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I'm 28. Will hopefully start med school at 31. I date more than I'd like to admit. Literally the only person who didn't like the long term potential due to my desire to go to med school was someone who is right now in their last year of residency. They wish they went a different route and didn't want to go through it again, so understandable. There is a legitimate concern regarding kids and being able to afford it while in school. Outside of that, people like ambitious, intelligent folks. And everyone here is ambitious. The intelligence part is still up for debate, though. ;)
 
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