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Family and Medical School

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by carc2023, Apr 10, 2001.

  1. carc2023

    carc2023 Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 9, 2001
    CA USA
    I am a father of three and I am hoping to attend medical school in a couple of years. My question is how much family time do you have in medical school? Any responses from parents who have attended or are in medical school as a parent would be appreciated.
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  3. LisaPLECOM2005

    LisaPLECOM2005 New Member

    Apr 6, 2001
    Girard, PA
    I have a friend with 3 children, in fact his third was born the first semester of his first year of medical school. He spends a few hours at night with the family. Each morning he is up at 4:00 am to have study time before class at 8:30 am. Weekends are all his for studying. He is in his 2nd year. After that he will be doing rotations. He may have to be away from his family 6 weeks at a time. I don't have children nor am I married. I will be starting medical school in the fall and I don't think there will be any extra time for family, friends, or dating.

    Lisa P
  4. RCsquared

    RCsquared Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 26, 2000
    Phoenix, AZ
    It is possible to spend time with a family in medical school. I have 4 children, the fourth one born in the second year of medical school (not the best timing but it worked out!). I would come home for dinner every night from 5-7 to spend time with the family and then I would head back to the library. I went to all my kids soccer games and spent most Friday and Saturday evenings with the family. As long as you set your priorities and keep a schedule, it is doable. I wouldn't have done it any other way!
  5. oxford

    oxford Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 6, 2001
    Lisa P, I think it is sad and unfortunate that you would discourage someone from pursuing medical school when you haven't even begun to understand what it involves. Many of your classmates will have husbands and wives, as well as children and they will probably be better off with the love, support, and downtime that they get at home.
  6. wannabe_doctor

    wannabe_doctor Member 10+ Year Member

    Jun 14, 2000
    Hello there,

    I am a husband and future father of one. He or she will be born my first month of med school (good or bad, that is the way it worked out). I think having my wife there along with a child will not only be a form or support or distraction when you need one, it will also help me "keep my eye on the ball." After all, I am choosing medicine as my career. My career is suppose to support my family.

    Sure, I have the luxury of choosing a job that I will (probably) enjoy, but in the end, it is a means of supporting oneself along with a family.

    I am not saying that those with a spouce and/or family will be more inclined to succeed in med school, but for me, it will be a large help.

    Just my 2 cents
  7. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2000
    hSDN Member
    Carc2023 - there are numerous threads dealing with exactly this issue. Please consider doing a search for them on this site as I am sure they will provide you with the information and advice you are seeking.

    Lisa - please for your sanity, do not allow medical school to suck up all of your time at the expense of your friends, family and social life. A medical student without those key elements is not a happy camper and is often not the best student and clinician around. You WILL see classmates, like the one you described, who dedicate themselves to medicine above everthing else. I had classmates and friends like that; most of them are either divorced or lonely.

    If you absolutely must be at the top of your class, then you probably will have to study more than most; however, there is ALWAYS room to call a friend, catch a movie, exercise, etc. If you choose not to do so, then that is your business but IMHO it is bad advice and poor expectations to believe that medical school should only be about studying 24/7. A happy doctor is a better doctor.
  8. KCOM2005

    KCOM2005 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 17, 2001
    first of all, congratulations! The fact that you have a supportive wife will make all the difference in the world. My wife and I are planning on having a child during the first 2 years (yes, I said planning). I know it is crazy, but we are sure that we can do it together. That's the key, TOGETHER. We are both willing to make some sacrifices so that we can start our family. From what I gather, it is better to have a child during the first 2 years of school. The next 2-5 years after that can be worse due to time constraints.

    I'm excited about staring a family while in school, it reminds me that my career choice will not supercede my life as a husband and father.

    Anyway, congrats again and good luck! :D :D
  9. drewdo

    drewdo Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 16, 2001
    Kansas City, MO
    Cool Thread. I've been seeking input on this topic ever since I started college (1992). Now I'm starting med school this fall with a long-time partner. We're not engaged yet, but we plan on moving together and looking at marriage in the near future. I've wondered for quite some time how one can excel at and be committed to your work, spouse and children at the same time. I know it's a simple-minded question, but my junior-high concurrent dreams of being the best doctor, the best spouse and the best father don't seem to be able to be played out in the same life - just not enough time. And as a result I hear the divorce rate is quite high for docs. :( And of all professional people, medical students that marry within one year of their first year of medical school have one of the highest divorce rates. Don't know the numbers or the sources here, just relaying what I've heard. So what about all y'all? Can you marry and live happily ever after and still be a good dedicated doc? Do doctor-doctor couples do better or worse than doctor-nondoctor couples? :confused:
  10. KCOM2005

    KCOM2005 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 17, 2001
    From the docs I talk to, they tell me that med school will be the toughest time in your relationship. But, I talked to some that made it through even when both were med students. It can be done! This is contrary to the Nova special on PBS a couple of weeks ago in which everyone of the med student had divorced and remarried and divorced again. From my point of view, my wife is so supportive that she will actually make school easier on me, freeing up time for us to spend together. In otherwords, we are a strong team. She is willing to make some sacrifices for me (even if on the surface, this looks like the typical wife being a slave to her husband scenario). By no means will it be easy, and I don't pretend to be able to fortell the future, but we're going to do what it takes to make it work.
  11. EMDrMoe

    EMDrMoe Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    KCOM, I loved your statement about "doing what it takes to make it work." We plan on doing the same thing. It's about setting priorities. I also agree with "a happy doctor is a better doctor." Thanks for the inspiration!

    Wife & Husband shooting for entering class of '02
  12. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2000
    hSDN Member
    Guys and gals...

    Below are some articles dealing with physicians' personal relationships. It is by no means complete but if you have access to a medical library you might enjoy reading some of them:

    Mangan D.
    Doctor-doctor marriages: what makes them work? Med Econ. 1999 Dec 20;76(24):54-5, 58-9, 62-3.

    Hood GA, Hood KM. Is there a doctor in the house? Yes--two.Med Econ. 1999 Dec 20;76(24):4, 7.

    Frank E, Harvey L, Elon L. Family responsibilities and domestic activities of US women physicians.Arch Fam Med. 2000 Feb;9(2):134-40.

    Rollman BL. When doctors marry doctors.
    Ann Intern Med. 1999 Oct 19;131(8):631-2.

    Warde CM, Moonesinghe K, Allen W, Gelberg L. Marital and parental satisfaction of married physicians with children.J Gen Intern Med. 1999 Mar;14(3):157-65.

    Engfer LJ. The challenges of medical marriages.Minn Med. 1999 Jan;82(1):20-1.

    Sobecks NW, Justice AC, Hinze S, Chirayath HT, Lasek RJ, Chren MM, Aucott J, Juknialis B, Fortinsky R, Youngner S, Landefeld CS. When doctors marry doctors: a survey exploring the professional and family lives of young physicians. Ann Intern Med. 1999 Feb 16;130(4 Pt 1):312-9.

    Harari E. The doctor's troubled marriage.
    Aust Fam Physician. 1998 Nov;27(11):999-1004.

    Myers MF. Doctors and divorce. Goodbye to medicine, or to your marriage?Med Econ. 1998 Sep 7;75(17):200-2, 207-8.

    Myers MF. Doctors and divorce. Residency and marriage: oil and water?Med Econ. 1998 Jun 15;75(11):152-6.

    Myers MF. Doctors and divorce. When medicine, marriage, and motherhood don't mix.
    Med Econ. 1998 May 26;75(10):100-2, 105, 109-10.

    Myers MF. Doctors and divorce. Don't let your practice kill your marriage.Med Econ. 1998 May 12;75(9):78-80, 83, 87.

    Beiser C, Roberts J. Medical marriages.
    BMJ. 1994 Dec 24-31;309(6970):1673.

    Toombs JD. 'Be the doctor, always'.
    Am Fam Physician. 1999 Oct 1;60(5):1576, 1579.

    Burke CW. Marriage matters.Br Med J. 1979 May 26;1(6175):1424

    Fletcher RH, Fletcher SW. Here come the couples.Ann Intern Med. 1993 Oct 1;119(7 Pt 1):628-30.

    Fisher E. In sickness and in health.
    Aust Fam Physician. 1988 Jun;17(6):418-918,

    Myers MF. Doctor-doctor marriages: a prescription for trouble? Med Econ. 1998 Apr 13;75(7):98-100, 102, 107.

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