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morning commute in Des Moines

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by t-bone, Jul 16, 2001.

  1. t-bone

    t-bone Member
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    I'll be starting at DMU in August. I'm from Minnesota, so I'll (initally) be renting a room near in south Des Moines (near the airport) and coming back to Minnesota on the weekends. Any seasoned Des Moines people: What is the morning traffic like in Des Moines? Will I need to allow myself lots of extra time in the mornings to get to class? We lived in St. Louis for 4 years while my husband went to seminary, and the morning commute there could be awful.
     
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  3. p-bo

    p-bo Member
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    I'm a 3rd year at DMU and wonder why you want or believe you'll be able to make that trip every weekend? Be careful as to your commitments before you start school. Des Moines traffic is not a problem, sounds like you'll be within 5-8 miles of the school so I wouldn't worry about that, probably a 15 minute commute most mornings. Good luck and relax until class starts!
     
  4. t-bone

    t-bone Member
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    Blue Earth, MN is right on the Iowa border. Des Moines is only 2 and 1/2 to 3 hours from here. I've made the trip several times already. Besides, commuting back and forth to Des Moines on weekends will only be temporary--perhaps until October.

    Also: I finished my pre-med requirements by doing the same thing: commuting over three hours on weekends back and forth to school. I have a good support system: an understanding husband and a brother who lives in the Des Moines area. It's tough, but do-able. Thanks for the advice!
     
  5. abbeydesert

    abbeydesert Senior Member
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    T-bone- This is off topic, but I'm interested in your insight about commuter marriages in med school. I'm about to move to another city to attend med school-though only a little over 2 hours away from my husband and we will be together on weekends. Right now, it looks like this will be the case for at least 2 years, until he finishes his graduate degree. We've been together for over a decade and are very close, so we're naturally a bit anxious about being apart so much. How have you and your husband coped with the separation during your pre-med years? Were you able to see each other every weekend? Any insight much appreciated!
     
  6. t-bone

    t-bone Member
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    When my husband was in seminary and graduate school, I worked evenings as a nurse. How we managed to have children during these years is amazing! When he was coming home from classes, I'd be heading out the door to work. So time apart is not a new thing for us. But it has never been a problem.

    The best thing we have done over the years is guard our time with each other. That meant that we scheduled things together, spent alot of time together (and with our children). I also didn't go in for lots of extra stuff--clubs, extra-curricular stuff. It might sound jaded, but time apart has never been a big issue with us. We are both easy-going people, and we make it work. We got married very young, and I guess we have had a marriage that's been made stronger by times we've had to be apart. Good luck to you and yours! :D :D
     
  7. macman

    macman Senior Member
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    t-bone...I dont want to be a pessimist, but as a second year at DMU I would like to echo what the third year said--now i'm not a parent so I cant speak to that-and my fiancee lived with me in Des Moines last year, and I didn't have to commute, as I lived next to campus--I realize at this point your decision is done so I wont try to tell you what to do on your weekends in the beginning of the year---

    ...but anyone I knew that didn't do well last year, with rare exeption, was do to lack of sufficient/efficient study time (especially on the weekends) rather than smarts-as the faculty/advisors will tell you, DMU will be a totally different ball game than anything you've had before--I'm sure you and your classmates will be able to step up-but please have a fall back plan--I know a lot of classmates (including myself) who go away (usually home) on the weekend and think they will study-but the distractions are there--if there is a test on monday do yourself a favor and stay at school-on the other hand if you are a genius everything I have said doesn't apply

    good luck and I'm sure you'll do great

    t-mac

    :) :)
     
  8. DDuncan

    DDuncan Senior Member
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    T-Bone-
    Don't sweat the weekend trips. As you are obviously older and more "experienced", you will learn the key to time management. There are classmates who spend time with families on weekends, work, and party. If you study hard during the week, you will have plenty of family time on the weekend. Commuting for a few months won't be that bad.

    I just wouldn't do it right before a final.

    there is virtually no traffic problems in DM.. you can get to DMU from anywhere in the metro area in 15-20 minutes.

    --Derek
     
  9. t-bone

    t-bone Member
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    Hey, thanks for the concern :) and the encouragement! I kept up a very high GPA and good family life while commuting (three hours-plus) in undergrad during the week. If a big test comes on Monday, I might well stay in Des Moines over the weekend. One of my strong points is time management. Another big plus is that we can afford a housekeeper :D

    Also: There should be a section on here for "Spouses" of medical students. Or is that a bad idea?
    Seriously, I plan to make the best use of my time these first three months of commuting. If I could do it for two years finishing my pre-meds, I can do it for three months in med. school.

    We (my husband and I) will be in Des Moines sometime this next week to take care of some business. If anyone can suggest a great place to eat, let me know. I've heard Jimmy's All American is good?? Suggestions?

    BTW: I was scheduled to 'float' (I'm a nurse) this evening, but didn't have to after all :)

    So now I can spend an hour or two on SND :D
     
  10. kidterrific

    kidterrific Senior Member
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    EVERYWHERE IN IOWA IS EXACTLY TEN MINUTES.
     
  11. Izlamic M

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    T-bone: I spent 2 years commuting to the Twin Cities on weekends via Greyhound - you'll do fine! It's actually kind of nice to only have to worry about school while you're here and then be able to relax a bit around the rest of your world on the weekends. There are tons of places on Grand Ave, right across the street from school or in the near vicinity. I don't have a car and don't know much about traffic. A good support system is a must, and it sounds like you're much better mentally prepared thanks to your past experiences.

    There is an auxillary club at school for spouses - my hubby has been here maybe 5 or 6 tims total over the past 2 years and can't stand meeting people, so I don't know anything about that either. I'm sure if your husband started a room for spouses there would be a good response - there's somebody on here somewhere with a SN like "marriedtoamedstudent" or something.

    Congratulations, and enjoy it.



    :)
     
  12. t-bone

    t-bone Member
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    Thanks, Izlamic!!! :)
     
  13. SunnyOne

    SunnyOne Member
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    T-Bone,
    I respect your choices and applaud your perseverance. Question: How do you manage being a parent on top of your education/commuting situation. For example, do you have family that helps out, etc.
     
  14. t-bone

    t-bone Member
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    SunnyOne:

    My husband is very supportive. We have a (very) part-time housekeeper to help keep things clean, but otherwise, my husband keep things in order. And I have a brother who lives in the DMU area.

    In undergrad, and when I was a nurse, we simply kept a very tight schedule. It sounds simplistic, but it worked.
     
  15. ryanpj

    ryanpj Senior Member
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    I see one potential problem. As macman can attest to, when you start anatomy the weekend open labs will be your main information flooding period. I can say that if it were not for the weekend labs then I would have been screwed. You will not be able to handle all of the stuff that will be thrown at you during the week when anatomy and lab are in full swing, trust me and everyone else at DMU. YOU WILL have to put in extra time after school and almost for certain during the weekends. So I would say that you could probably cross the majority of November and Dec. out of your schedule for going back to your fam. As macman said you had better have a backup plan.
     
  16. Izlamic M

    Izlamic M Member
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    I don't think I went to one open weekend lab. I went in the mornings with a partener - around 8 AM when the schedule starts getting jumbled enough that you have some free blocks in the morning or else went over lunch, or else stayed a bit late. I could have done a lot better in anatomy but there were other things going on in life that had to be attended to. Dr. Khan will open the lab for you or make sure it's open when you want to go in during the day.

    If you're used to running a tight ship, and are willing to do less "with the crowd" (I am one of the most non-social people in the class) you'll do just fine. And don't worry about biochem. It's cake.
     
  17. ryanpj

    ryanpj Senior Member
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    Well sure if you want to isolate yourself and are content with being below the top 1/4 of the class you may not have to go into weekend labs. I however like to exercise everyday so I can still look good and I would not be content if I were below the topr 1/4 of the class. T-bone you mentioned that you think that anatmoy will not be as bad because you had it in undergrad, well I did as well. Do not be fooled,
     
  18. t-bone

    t-bone Member
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    Wow!! Thanks everyone for your input. Really, I don't have much choice in this situation. My husband is pastor at a church in Blue Earth, so until he gets a church in Des Moines I simply have to commute on the weekends. Of course, if I have a test or need extra lab time I can always have my family come to me. I never thought this would be easy, but it is necessary! :cool:
     
  19. t-bone

    t-bone Member
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    Wow!! Thanks everyone for your input. Really, I don't have much choice in this situation. My husband is pastor at a church in Blue Earth, so until he gets a church in Des Moines I simply have to commute on the weekends. Of course, if I have a test or need extra lab time I can always have my family come to me. I never thought this would be easy, but it is necessary! :cool:
     
  20. Izlamic M

    Izlamic M Member
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    Who said anything about being below the top quarter?

    You'll do fine, T-bone. People do what they need to do.
     
  21. t-bone

    t-bone Member
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    I understand that being in the top 1/4 of the class may be important to some people, but it's not that important to me. I'm sure you've heard the old joke... Q: What is a person called who graduated at the botom of his/her med school class? A: Doctor. I know that is trite, but it does help me keep school, family and everything else in perspective.
     
  22. t-bone

    t-bone Member
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    I understand that being in the top 1/4 of the class may be important to some people, but it's not that important to me. I'm sure you've heard the old joke... Q: What is a person called who graduated at the botom of his/her med school class? A: Doctor. I know that is trite, but it does help me keep school, family and everything else in perspective.
     
  23. t-bone

    t-bone Member
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    BTW: I don't mean to imply that I will be aiming for the bottom 1/4 of the class!

    I will do my best, while also trying to keep all things in perspective.

    Thanks for the input about anatomy also. I don't think having it in undergrad and in nursing school will make it easy, by any means. I do, however, know that the terminology and content will be a little more familiar to me. :D

    Sorry about the double posts. I don't know why that happened :p
     
  24. Popoy

    Popoy SDN Super Moderator
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    t-bone.... there's always us, your classmates, that will help each other as much as we can.... so if I can't hook you up with some information or help I'm sure others will.... :D

    Personally, I'm not the cutthroat kinda guy... so if I could be of any help during the year let me know....
     
  25. emt30119

    emt30119 Member
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    T-bone, i read earlier that you worked as a nurse (and are married). I am an 18 year old male EMT from southern Iowa. I am currently attending Nursing school. I am getting married next year and plan on comleting my B.S.N. Then my plans are to enter med school. It sound like we have a simmiler background and i am looking for advice. Was your BS degree in nursing? If so were the MCATs extra hard not having a science degree? What did you do to prepare? I have recently been discouraged by a few doctors and nurses. They don't think my education route will prepare me for med school. Any comments would be greatly appriciated. thank you
     
  26. t-bone

    t-bone Member
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    emt:

    The doctors I spoke with when I was applying said my experience as a nurse would be a great benefit. Most admissions committees are looking for medical experience with direct patient care. But I didn't come the same route you want to take. I didn't know I would eventually be applying to medical school when I became a nurse. It is wonderful work and I wouldn't trade a minute of it.

    My Bachelor's degree is actually in music, with an emphasis in piano. All the doctors and pre-med advisors who spoke to me before i went back to school to finish my B.A. and pre-meds had this to say: major in something you like! You can major in anything, just as long as you do well, especially in your pre-med classes. Well, I love music. So here I am--a B.A. in music, with lots of pre-meds thrown into the mix. My preparation for the MCATs, besides the pre-med classes, involved a Kaplan MCAT course. Take one, by all means!

    Nursing school is demanding. It may be difficult to work your pre-med classes into a B.S.N. course of study. That may be why people are hesitant.

    My advice: Do what you want to do. Major in what you like. Just do your best and make sure you get in your pre-med classes. And good luck!
     
  27. macman

    macman Senior Member
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    t-bone:

    just wanted to clarify---I wanted to give you my perspective on the first year at dmu; as you can see, if you ask five students you get twenty answers, again i'm not out there to discourage anyone, I just wanted to provide a perspective---better believe it, myself, my classmates, and your classmates will be there if things get crazy--however you sound very organized and confident-I look forward to meeting you and I'm sure you'll enjoy it!

    -macman :)
     
  28. t-bone

    t-bone Member
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    macman

    Thanks for the encouragement and support!!
     

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