Having kids in med school/residency

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by old lady, Sep 10, 2001.

  1. old lady

    old lady Member
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    To those of you planning to have children or who already do: Is it a bad idea during medical school? What about residency? Or do you plan to wait until after residency? I am applying to medical school this year, and will be 26 when I start. I might want to have children before I finish my residency in my mid-thirties. Any advice or stories would be appreciated.
     
  2. nochaser

    nochaser Senior Member
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    I have two kids, ages 6 and 8. I am currently in app process for Fall '02. I think that you could get more info on this by joining the mommd.com discussion group. It is a very friendly place for female premeds, med students, residents and physicians that are moms or moms-to-be. Hope to see you there!
     
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  3. radspouse

    radspouse Saint
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    I'm the wife of a radiology resident. We had our first child before he started med school. We had twins before he started third year of medical school and I am currently expecting our fourth child during this, his intern year. Can it be done? Yes. Is it hard? Yes. Is it worth it? Yes. MomMD is a good place to start asking questions of other moms in the medical field. If you are engaged and/or married you can also find out a great deal of information on the subject of families and medical training at the site I co-administrate (see the link at the bottom). The difficult aspects of having children during a medical education are finances and finding time for your kids in my opinion. I really think my husband has done a superb job of balancing his family life and his career. If you are interested in exactly how he has managed to do this (ie what we learned after a couple of years of major mistakes) I wrote an article on this as well. It definitely takes serious dedication to raise kids and meet your career goals (and I highly recommend that you have a spouse that is every bit as dedicated to BOTH goals). Anyway, I hope you find all of the answers to your questions!

    Jennifer
     
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  4. kd

    kd Senior Member
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    Bear in mind that medical school and/or residency may not be the best times to be pregnant. I'm 30, currently an MS-1 and pregnant-though I'm absolutely thrilled about the pregnancy, let me tell you, it's tough, even with a very supportive husband! My husband plans to quit his job and stay home once the baby's born, so that's not an issue. We'll just take out a few extra grand in loans the first year or two, until he is able to go back to work. However, the pregnancy itself is already MUCH tougher physically than I'd anticipated! I'm extremely exhausted and sick all the time, so I'm having a really tough time keeping up with school right now. I get really nauseated in anatomy lab, even though I wear a respirator, so I'm mostly having to study from atlases. I can only imagine what life will be like when I'm wobbling around in my 3rd trimester (though I am very grateful that I will have the first summer off to be with the baby.)
    If I had it to do over, I wish we had gotten pregnant before starting medical school. Another woman in our class has a 4-month old and, other than a few sleepless nights, she's doing pretty well (of course, she also has a very supportive husband). There are lots of people in my class with small children, so obviously it can be done- you just have to manage your time well and have a lot of support.
     
  5. radspouse

    radspouse Saint
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    I also know of a woman who deferred med school for a year (between her 2nd and 3rd years I believe) because she was in her last trimester and wanted a break to spend REST and spend time with her new child. This woman had a wonderful, supportive husband whose job, luckily, allowed him to work at home. There's various ways to work out that situation - it requires a lot of creativity. I really feel for you, kd, having morning sickness AND working in anatomy lab!


    Jennifer
     
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  6. commymommy

    commymommy *reformed commymommy*
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    I like your username, Jennifer!

    I turned down my medical school admission when I became pregnant with my first child and have gone on to have two more...I think that for our family it was the right decision because my husband was a resident....I've decided to wait to apply to med school until my children are even older , which will definately throw me into the "Old-PreMeds" gang...but for our family I believe it is the right decision. The training years were stressful for us because we made 4 moves in 7 years! :oops: I'd like for us all to finally enjoy some stability before making the decision to reapply....

    I think it is a very personal decision and it does depend on the amount of support you will be able to count on from your spouse. We have friends that planned things very carefully...they waited until the last year of residency to have a baby and then applied for part-time positions or took 6 months off before working again...Another colleague had two babies during a surgical residency and her husband was an anesthesiology resident...they had a live-in nanny care for the babies......it just really depends on what you want for your family, I think.

    Best Wishes, and good luck on your application!

    Kris
     
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  7. beached whale

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    I'm due with my first child in the next six weeks or so - and I'm also in the middle of the application process for med school. My spouse is wonderfully supportive and in a way the timing will be just right - nine months at home with baby before med school starts! Like kd, my morning sickness was awful - actually I was pretty much bed ridden for 15 weeks! Well, the good news is that each pregnancy is different that way. Despite all of this, we are planning on having another child during my first or second year of med school. It will be difficult, to be sure, but more and more female students are deciding to have children in med school, and the result is that more and more med schools are finding ways to accomidate them. It can be done. Its not going to be an easy ride, and you can't be Donna Read and Madam Curie at the same time, but we each can work to find a balance for ourselves.
     

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