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Overly Informative Situation: Question about Pregnancy in Medical School and Residency

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Neurotic98

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Disclaimer: I know I'm young, but I know what I want

Okay, so...this is decision day, and I'm choosing between an 8-year BS/MD program (whose undergrad is at a little-known liberal arts college), and a prestigious undergrad (which is the only way I can consider another career), and I'm having last minute doubts (read: freaking out) about pregnancy, children and a career in medicine. I've scoured the internet, but couldn't find the information that I need, so now I'm on SDN:)

I want to have children at around 24-28, and not a year later than that. I'm going to be in med school until 25, then start whatever 4-year residency I decide on. So what would be the best time in these four short years to have two children? Anecdotal or otherwise, any opinion/experience would be appreciated.

Couple of questions that I would really appreciate answers to:
1) If you decide to take a gap year between MS3 and MS4 for having a kid, would that be allowed?
2) Can you take maternity leave during your first year of residency? (I saw one post here on SDN about a woman freaking out about having to be employed for a certain period before maternity leave is granted)
3) Is there a limit on the amount of time you can take off during your residency (and this is assuming that you're willing to make up for that time and extend your residency)?
4) What's the easiest residency to be pregnant during? (Neurology's what I want at this point...)

I have four hours to put my deposit in! (Living on the edge;))
 

Winged Scapula

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Disclaimer: I know I'm young, but I know what I want

Okay, so...this is decision day, and I'm choosing between an 8-year BS/MD program (whose undergrad is at a little-known liberal arts college), and a prestigious undergrad (which is the only way I can consider another career), and I'm having last minute doubts (read: freaking out) about pregnancy, children and a career in medicine. I've scoured the internet, but couldn't find the information that I need, so now I'm on SDN:)

I want to have children at around 24-28, and not a year later than that. I'm going to be in med school until 25, then start whatever 4-year residency I decide on. So what would be the best time in these four short years to have two children? Anecdotal or otherwise, any opinion/experience would be appreciated.

Ignoring the artificial time limits you've placed on your childbearing, residency training and the fact that sometimes its not as easy as saying, "I want to have a kid NOW":

Couple of questions that I would really appreciate answers to:
1) If you decide to take a gap year between MS3 and MS4 for having a kid, would that be allowed?

In most cases your medical school will not turn down such a request. However, between 2nd and 3rd is traditionally considered better, so your nascent clinical skills don't rust while you're off.

2) Can you take maternity leave during your first year of residency? (I saw one post here on SDN about a woman freaking out about having to be employed for a certain period before maternity leave is granted)

Typically you must be employed for a period of at least 1 year before being allowed leave.

3) Is there a limit on the amount of time you can take off during your residency (and this is assuming that you're willing to make up for that time and extend your residency)?

Of course. Its called "what a reasonable person would do". Again, just because you want to take time off doesn't mean it will be granted or that you won't be incurring the wrath of your fellow residents (who will be doing extra work and call while you are off). Every board will have a time limit during which you must finish residency without taking extra time; each PD and faculty will also have their limit which can be subjective (i.e., good resident will be allowed more leeway; residents taking time off for illness rather than electively choosing to have children)

4) What's the easiest residency to be pregnant during? (Neurology's what I want at this point...)

I have four hours to put my deposit in! (Living on the edge;))

That is going to be highly dependent on the program, the census, etc. Typically residencies with less inpatient call, that are more family friendly and have higher proportion of women are going to be more understanding. But that may not be the case for you. I'd suggest you get into medical school and then reassess what field interests you rather than what field is going to be "easiest to be pregnant during".

Not that you asked, but SDN often recommends against combined programs especially for someone with doubts. Why not choose the "prestigious" undergrad which gives you more options for future careers (especially since the BS/MD doesn't appear to save you any time) and might give you a more fulfilling college career?

And with that, moving to Pre-Allo since OP is not yet a medical student. Those that wish to may comment there.
 
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Disclaimer: I know I'm young, but I know what I want

Okay, so...this is decision day, and I'm choosing between an 8-year BS/MD program (whose undergrad is at a little-known liberal arts college), and a prestigious undergrad (which is the only way I can consider another career), and I'm having last minute doubts (read: freaking out) about pregnancy, children and a career in medicine. I've scoured the internet, but couldn't find the information that I need, so now I'm on SDN:)

I want to have children at around 24-28, and not a year later than that. I'm going to be in med school until 25, then start whatever 4-year residency I decide on. So what would be the best time in these four short years to have two children? Anecdotal or otherwise, any opinion/experience would be appreciated.

Couple of questions that I would really appreciate answers to:
1) If you decide to take a gap year between MS3 and MS4 for having a kid, would that be allowed?
2) Can you take maternity leave during your first year of residency? (I saw one post here on SDN about a woman freaking out about having to be employed for a certain period before maternity leave is granted)
3) Is there a limit on the amount of time you can take off during your residency (and this is assuming that you're willing to make up for that time and extend your residency)?
4) What's the easiest residency to be pregnant during? (Neurology's what I want at this point...)

I have four hours to put my deposit in! (Living on the edge;))

If you really want to be a physician then take the BS/MD route.
 
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Neurotic98

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Winged Scapula, thanks for your response...

I had a question: Is taking 10 months-1 year off for having a kid considered "what a reasonable person would do"?

And the reason I'm not taking the prestigious undergrad (UChicago) is that it doesn't have a very good reputation for getting students into med school. Plus, if I need to take a gap year (which I probably would if I want to go to a med school that's "better" than the one the BS/MD program is at- I'm smart, but not a genius), it's going to make the whole having kids situation a lot worse.
 

kavorca

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Typically most specialties would be fine having a kid during residency. Some of the surgical subspecialties maybe would have to wait until year 5. Peds residents all (it seems) have at least one baby and graduate on time. I doubt they would want you to take extended leave beyond maternity/vacation/sick days though.
 
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Winged Scapula

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Winged Scapula, thanks for your response...

I had a question: Is taking 10 months-1 year off for having a kid considered "what a reasonable person would do"?

LOL no. I'd imagine almost everyone would see that as an extremely long amount of time. If you're taking 10 months you might as well take 12 (assuming PD allows it) because your residency program will have to find someone else to fill the spot while you're gone. You've fallen trap to the ideology that residency is education and not service; there is work to be done and with you gone, your fellow residents will have more of it unless another resident is brought in.

And the reason I'm not taking the prestigious undergrad (UChicago) is that it doesn't have a very good reputation for getting students into med school. Plus, if I need to take a gap year (which I probably would if I want to go to a med school that's "better" than the one the BS/MD program is at- I'm smart, but not a genius), it's going to make the whole having kids situation a lot worse.
Ah I thought you had 4 hours to decide between prestigious school and BS/MD program at less vaulted school.
 
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Winged Scapula

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Typically most specialties would be fine having a kid during residency. Some of the surgical subspecialties maybe would have to wait until year 5. Peds residents all (it seems) have at least one baby and graduate on time. I doubt they would want you to take extended leave beyond maternity/vacation/sick days though.
Surgical residents have babies all throughout their training but there is no doubt that during lab years it is the easiest, most recommended and most common.
 

MemeFactory

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Winged Scapula, thanks for your response...

I had a question: Is taking 10 months-1 year off for having a kid considered "what a reasonable person would do"?

And the reason I'm not taking the prestigious undergrad (UChicago) is that it doesn't have a very good reputation for getting students into med school. Plus, if I need to take a gap year (which I probably would if I want to go to a med school that's "better" than the one the BS/MD program is at- I'm smart, but not a genius), it's going to make the whole having kids situation a lot worse.


If you just want to be a doctor and don't care about reputation, I'd advise going for the BS/MD. IF, however, you want to go to a top ranked medical school or see yourself in a career in academia (MD/PhD, etc), I'd highly advise go to UChicago and work your butt off. Most people here say reputation doesn't matter. But the truth is, it does matter if you are aiming for top ranked medical schools and MD/PhD programs. Look at the majority of the students in top 10 ranked MD/PhD programs. You will notice that > 80% are from top-tier undergrads. Like I said, If you don't care about getting into a top-tier medical school and don't want to work as crazy as you will at UChicago, go with the BS/MD.

Without trying to convince you that it's okay to wait longer for kids, I would say the best time during medical school would be during the 2nd and 3rd year. MD/PhD students take a leave of absence from medical school between the second and third year and finish an entire PhD so it is definitely possible to have a kid during that time. If I may ask, how are you so sure you will find a suitable partner by that time?
 
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Neurotic98

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MemeFactory, a career in academic medicine was my dream, until I realized how much I would have to give up for it. Plus, there is a chance that I might be moving out of the US after med school and before residency (which is a whole another situation I'm trying to figure out, but this would make having kids a lot easier for me), and the whole academic medicine thing wouldn't work out in that situation.
And to your question, I'll save my complicated response and just say that I'm fairly sure I'd find someone, but the SO might be in another state (or another country)
 

kavorca

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And to your question, I'll save my complicated response and just say that I'm fairly sure I'd find someone, but the SO might be in another state (or another country)

Farmersonly.com
 
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Neurotic98

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kavorca, that's exactly my plan, how did you figure it out? :eek:
 

kavorca

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That's how I have found true love, every other weekend.
City folk just don't get it.
 
A

AnatomyGrey12

I had a question: Is taking 10 months-1 year off for having a kid considered "what a reasonable person would do"?

:rofl:Residency is a job, and just like any job you will get whatever the policy on maternal leave is. You will be lucky to get 3 months. That being said the blunt honest truth is that you need some more life experience because you have no idea how the real world works. There is a 99.9% chance that your life will not follow this plan.
 
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DrShephardWannabe

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Disclaimer: I know I'm young, but I know what I want

I want to have children at around 24-28, and not a year later than that. I'm going to be in med school until 25, then start whatever 4-year residency I decide on. So what would be the best time in these four short years to have two children? Anecdotal or otherwise, any opinion/experience would be appreciated.

While I respect having goals and a passion to achieve them, keep in mind life never strictly adheres to the 5-10 year plans we all make for ourselves. I can confirm from life experience.
 
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Winged Scapula

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MemeFactory, a career in academic medicine was my dream, until I realized how much I would have to give up for it. Plus, there is a chance that I might be moving out of the US after med school and before residency (which is a whole another situation I'm trying to figure out, but this would make having kids a lot easier for me), and the whole academic US medicine thing wouldn't work out in that situation.
And to your question, I'll save my complicated response and just say that I'm fairly sure I'd find someone, but the SO might be in another state (or another country)

FTFY.

Do you realize that if you move out of the US and:

1) do a residency in another country
2) take significant time off after medical school and try to come back to the US for residency

that your options are severely limited? If you are planning on practicing in another country, you should go to school there. If you are planning on practicing in the US, then you should plan on staying here, doing your residency here and finding an SO when and where you have the opportunity.

I know this wasn't your question but we find that a lot of pre-med students think they can simply move to another country after medical school and set up a practice/get into advanced training or come back to the US and work whenever they want.
 
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Neurotic98

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Winged Scapula, yes I recognize that. I've gone through all the procedures for practicing in that other country with a US MD degree, and I'll be wasting about 2.5 years by doing that, which is something I'm willing to do.
And I don't plan to come back to the US. If I do for some reason, I'll probably have practiced in the other country for a while, and will have to re-do my residency in the US (and I'm sure it won't be at a reputable program, but coming back to the US wouldn't be a part of the plan if I move).
 

catmario

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I don't mean this as a damning statement, but after a handful of years, when life has thrown enough
curveballs in OP's path the way it usually does, she will come back to this thread and laugh.
So OP, make sure to bookmark this thread.
 
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Neurotic98

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catmario, lol, alright I'll do that then.
I recognize I'm being neurotic (hence my username), but not planning means much, much less opportunity to get everything that I want. At the very least, I want to be informed about what I'm getting myself into by going to med school and wanting children relatively early, while I still have time (like, 2 hours) to change my mind and go to UChicago and let my life take another course, with another career.
 

gonnif

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catmario, lol, alright I'll do that then.
I recognize I'm being neurotic (hence my username), but not planning means much, much less opportunity to get everything that I want. At the very least, I want to be informed about what I'm getting myself into by going to med school and wanting children relatively early, while I still have time (like, 2 hours) to change my mind and go to UChicago and let my life take another course, with another career.

Deposits arent due until May 2nd, 11:59PM

(read my signature, definitely for you)
 
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PrincessBubblegum

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...the fact that sometimes its not as easy as saying, "I want to have a kid NOW"...

If only! Almost 18 months into an infertility struggle here... surprise, it's PCOS! I would never have thought to plan for this. 16 years I thought I was fine minus the occasional missed period! I looked peachy on labs and ultrasounds! Just no babby after a year.

I'm only planning to apply this coming cycle after a lot of thought, a lot of flexibility, and a lot of support from my partner and both extended families. It's still quite a gamble on many fronts.

OP, I 10000x everyone else saying life isn't that simple to plan :)
 
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ed*26

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IMO you shouldn't be making an a decision on your undergrad based on whether you are going to have kids between 24-28. If you want to have kids during that time and have the means to do it then you'll do it, regardless of whether you got into medical school through a BS/MD or trad route. Since with both programs you will be matriculating to med school at the same time, I fail to see why this is a relevant factor in deciding between them.

And as an anecdote, when I was 18 I thought I would feel much more adult-ly and mature in my early 20s. Instead I have come to realize that I had a very poor understanding of what being an adult involves. I would second bookmarking this thread. Anyways, good luck with college!
 
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lmtorre4

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And as an anecdote, when I was 18 I thought I would feel much more adult-ly and mature in my early 20s. Instead I have come to realize that I had a very poor understanding of what being an adult involves. I would second bookmarking this thread. Anyways, good luck with college!

This. I am 24 right now about to begin med school in the summer and I can't imagine having kids right now or even at 28. I know it is different for everyone and it really depends on what kind of support system one has, but I definitely don't have my life together to throw the possibility of kids in there right now. And this is after 2 years of living away from home on my own and having a very good personal growth experience. OP, I highly suggest you choose a path based on career goals and the path that will allow you to explore. Women have succeeded in all kinds of career paths while having kids (and have been great moms, too) you shouldn't let that be a decision factor, IMO. As far as "life planning" will go, you will learn from time and experience that sometimes life just doesn't go your way, but that's okay. Just go with the flow and learn to be flexible.
 
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If I'm reading this right, you want to:
--do a BS/MD program
--have two babies between 24 and 28
--take an extended maternity leave for each baby
--pursue academic medicine
--live out of the country between medical school and residency

You might be able to do some of those things, but not all of those things. Pick your favorites and shoot for them. (Living out of the country between medical school and residency is particularly out of the ordinary).

Are you already married/in a relationship with the individual you plan to have babies with?
 
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