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Feel worried and guilty for leaving single parent away for medicine

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medismydream

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Hi everyone,

I am very fortunate to be accepted by a DO school as an international student but as time approaches to matriculation date, I am becoming more worried and stressed for leaving my mom alone with all the responsibilities while traveling abroad for a career I worked so hard for.

If I were going to the states, my mom would be the only person taking care of my ill grandparents and my 7 year old brother while going through a nasty divorce with my abusive dad. And because I'm so far away with intense school work, I won't be much help. And since I will also need to do my residency here, it will be a total of 7 years spending in the states before I can really help my mom. These thought keeps me worried for my mom's health and since my mom (and part of me) don't want family stuff pull me back, I'm wondering if there is any way I can control the situation or compartmentalize my thoughts so I can dedicate to studying during school years?

I tried to talk to psychologists about this but they seemed not really understand how much stress and work US medical students go through, so I'd thought to put it here as you guys are the true experts. Any advice is MUCH appreciated!
 
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grapefruit17

Hi everyone,

I am very fortunate to be accepted by a DO school as an international student but as time approaches to matriculation date, I am becoming more worried and stressed for leaving my mom alone with all the responsibilities while traveling abroad for a career I worked so hard for.

If I were going to the states, my mom would be the only person taking care of my ill grandparents and my 7 year old brother while going through a nasty divorce with my abusive dad. And because I'm so far away with intense school work, I won't be much help. And since I will also need to do my residency here, it will be a total of 7 years spending in the states before I can really help my mom. These thought keeps me worried for my mom's health and since my mom (and part of me) don't want family stuff pull me back, I'm wondering if there is any way I can control the situation or compartmentalize my thoughts so I can dedicate to studying during school years?

I tried to talk to psychologists about this but they seemed not really understand how much stress and work US medical students go through, so I'd thought to put it here as you guys are the true experts. Any advice is MUCH appreciated!

How much help could you really give them in your current state? Maybe emotional support but you can't be there every time to defend them from something. Going to medical school and then succeeding will give you more opportunity to help your seven year old brother. There are apps you can use to communicate long distance. Stay in touch with them but its a "the end justifies the means scenario". If you become a doctor it may give you more opportunity to help. Of course the decision is ultimately up to you.

Possibly see a psychiatrist if the anxiety becomes too severe to manage.
 
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SurgeDO

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Your mother wouldn't want you to give up on your dream for her. If she's a logical person, she would feel absolutely terrible if you did that for her.

If becoming a physician is truly a life goal for you, you should do yourself and your mother a favor and attend medical school. If you pass up on this opportunity, you will end up resenting your mother for making her pass up on your dream. It would be unhealthy for both you and your mother.
 
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DokterMom

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The above two posters are absolutely right. If you give up or postpone your acceptance, your ability to help right now will be pretty limited anyway; as a physician (even a poor resident), you will have significantly greater resources at your disposal and be able to help in a much more meaningful capacity.

So talk to your mom! Tell her how you feel and your perceived conflicts. She probably already knows all about it -- She'll almost certainly urge you to go - and she'll mean it! Accept that gift from her. Her pride in your accomplishments and knowing she set you free to fly will help her through the rough times to come.

If she doesn't encourage you to go, and is the type of mom to hold you back instead, know that her neediness and willingness to diminish your life to support hers are not temporary qualities. Some parents hold their children back forever. If that's the case here, seize your opportunity --
 
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MrMammal

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The above posters are right, but also are emphazising western ideals of independence and advancement.Take that into acount. Your mother could love you, want the best for you, but still expect you to stay behind and help. You could get resistance from you family and even friends. Don't let that disuade you, if you truly want to become a U.S. trained physician.

They are right in that you'll help them more once you're a doc, but at the same time, cultural beliefs can make a dent in logic. They are after all, beliefs.

Ultimately, it is your decision. Do what is right for you first (can't help it, also western influenced), then you'll be able to help them.
 
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IslandStyle808

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As a person who has grown up under both western (here) and eastern (my origins) influences, you figure out what would give you the best life. My single parent knows that to best help myself I needed to pursue my goals. She also knows that medicine will lead me to a better life. I don't let my eastern beliefs tie me down if it means an overall better future for me and her.

You have to think long term about your goals, because if you stay behind you may help your mom and brother for the short term. However, with the earning potential of a doctor you can help them for the rest of your life. Even in residency you can moon light and nearly double your resident salary, so don't be surprise that you can do a lot of good even as a resident for your family.
 
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DexterMorganSK

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If your grandpa gets better then try bringing your mom and brother with you for your own sanity sake.
Medical school is already hard but if you have to worry about your mother back home while studying for an exam then it will not end well for you.
Sucks to be in this position but hope it works out for you!
 
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liquidsodium

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My father moved to the US for his medical training and started his family here. He left his single father, siblings and friends behind.

Now, he is able to send them sums of money on a regular basis. He can bring them new technologies that haven't been released yet in our home country. He even helped our cousins navigate their own move to the US. And (though you likely haven't reached this point yet), he was able to raise his children in a safer country with significantly greater opportunity.

These are long term benefits, and you may not see them immediately during your training. Still, remember that what you're doing is in large part for your mother and brother, whether or not you are present with them physically.


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
 
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medismydream

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How much help could you really give them in your current state? Maybe emotional support but you can't be there every time to defend them from something. Going to medical school and then succeeding will give you more opportunity to help your seven year old brother. There are apps you can use to communicate long distance. Stay in touch with them but its a "the end justifies the means scenario". If you become a doctor it may give you more opportunity to help. Of course the decision is ultimately up to you.

Possibly see a psychiatrist if the anxiety becomes too severe to manage.

I'm currently living with them, so I'm kind of the support for the house: taking grandparents to appointments, help with daily chores, discipline my brother, and do all the negotiation and legwork with lawyers as my mom is working most of time to financially support the family. But after reading everyone's helpful post, I think it's in the best interest of me to attend med school this year. Thanks again for your advice!
 
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medismydream

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Your mother wouldn't want you to give up on your dream for her. If she's a logical person, she would feel absolutely terrible if you did that for her.

If becoming a physician is truly a life goal for you, you should do yourself and your mother a favor and attend medical school. If you pass up on this opportunity, you will end up resenting your mother for making her pass up on your dream. It would be unhealthy for both you and your mother.
The above posters are right, but also are emphazising western ideals of independence and advancement.Take that into acount. Your mother could love you, want the best for you, but still expect you to stay behind and help. You could get resistance from you family and even friends. Don't let that disuade you, if you truly want to become a U.S. trained physician.

They are right in that you'll help them more once you're a doc, but at the same time, cultural beliefs can make a dent in logic. They are after all, beliefs.

Ultimately, it is your decision. Do what is right for you first (can't help it, also western influenced), then you'll be able to help them.

Thank you so much for your input. My mom is totally supportive and has had talks with me to alleviate the pressure I've put on myself and she really wants me to pursue what I dreamt for. I think it is the thought of my mom's health being hinder b/c of the overwhelming responsibilities she will have makes me worried for her. This year alone, I've had close family friends diagnosed with last stage of cancer and they are only slightly older than my mom, so that rooted insecurity in me.

But hearing everyone's comments and weighing the advantages and disadvantages, I think I will accept the offer. My goal for now is to see how i can stay focused in school and still can help my mom indirectly.

Thank you again for your words!
 
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deleted480308

if you don't want your grandkids and children to be burdened with you in 50 years, go to med school
 
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AlbinoHawk DO

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I can completely relate. My parents split when I was an adult and I had to go to another city for medical school while she took care of my grandparents/pets. Ultimately it comes down to the fact that sometimes doing good by others means you need to sacrifice short-term things. In 4 years you will be a doctor and will potentially help your brother when he needs to as a teenager. Your mom will eventually be older and you'll have financial security to cover any related costs. It will suck for everyone those 4 years, but it will manage to be something positive in the end.
 
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