shevie

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Apr 23, 2007
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So I am waiting to hear from a couple schools (waitlisted...), Im hoping things will work out after May 15. But, if not, I need a plan for next year. Ive been doing research at the NIH for the past year, but my fellowship ends in July.

We are also expecting our first baby (!), and Im due the end of July. If I were to start med school (if i get in off a waitlist), Id push myself to be ready, even with a baby, in less than a month, and with a great husband and a supportive family, I dont see it being a problem. BUT: if I dont get in, Im not in any rush to jump back into pointless lab work just to pump up my resume. I cant go back to my old job anyway, because were moving to back NY from Maryland, so Id have to search for something new. I already have three publications, and quite frankly, I have no passion for lab work, I dont even enjoy it. So how bad would it look to medical schools if I took some time off and stayed home to enjoy time with my newborn child? I dont think Ill get to spend much quality time with him/her for the next 4 years anyway.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated
 

nonesuchgirl

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IIWY, I'd do *something* related to the app, but that doesn't mean you have to go hardcore... volunteer, clerk in the ed, something of that sort.
 
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shevie

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Apr 23, 2007
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oh, that ill for sure do. volunteering in a hosp or nursing home or something. i just have no desire to go work in some stupid lab again for minimum wage just to say that i have the experience. I am doing the whole NIH thing which IS prestigious, so I have that to look good. To go work in some random hospital lab, its like why bother....
but even so, am I allowed a few months "chill time" if I DONT get in off the waitlist? I mean, if im due in the end of july, am I allowed to hold off till September till I volunteer or anything?
 

doomknight

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Apr 13, 2008
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i'm sure you are. It's not like adcoms are gonna reject u if u don't volunteer in the ER the week after u give birth
 

LizzyM

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I think that saying that you decided to stay at home with your baby during its first year is acceptable. If after a few months at home you are going stir-crazy you could always do some community volunteer work for a few hours per week and describe it as a way to be involved and give back to your new community. (Some evidence of altruism on the appie always looks good).
 

Luxian

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Just so you know, there's a lot more on this topic in the Women in Medicine forum and some in Nontraditionals.

I'd say, go with the flow. A baby will change your life. Even if you do get in, you may want to defer for a year. That will give you lots of time with your infant and time to catch up on sleep.

If you don't get in, take your time. They really won't deny you for taking time off. However, you should keep some sort of more recent connection. Maybe keep up your volunteering? Your "proof" of interest in medicine shouldn't just stop altogether.
 

nu2004

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oh, that ill for sure do. volunteering in a hosp or nursing home or something. i just have no desire to go work in some stupid lab again for minimum wage just to say that i have the experience. I am doing the whole NIH thing which IS prestigious, so I have that to look good. To go work in some random hospital lab, its like why bother....
but even so, am I allowed a few months "chill time" if I DONT get in off the waitlist? I mean, if im due in the end of july, am I allowed to hold off till September till I volunteer or anything?
yes, absolutely. i think you have the right idea.

my girlfriend's mother was non-trad to medical school and had her first child before beginning medical school and her second child before beginning residency. she actually took a year off before starting each. you'll be fine!
 

sunny1

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Jan 13, 2007
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I think that saying that you decided to stay at home with your baby during its first year is acceptable. If after a few months at home you are going stir-crazy you could always do some community volunteer work for a few hours per week and describe it as a way to be involved and give back to your new community. (Some evidence of altruism on the appie always looks good).
agree with LizzyM here. and congrats on soon-to-be little shevie!
 

thoffen

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Aug 14, 2006
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You might also get some support and advice over on the non-trad forum where more people have similar experiences.
 

loganhayes

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Apr 25, 2008
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Take a year off. It will be difficult for you in med school with a newborn (scheduling, baby bonding, nursing, etc.). Chances are you won't get enough sleep you need. I have a lot of friends and coworkers with a newborn. None of them is ready for work in one month. In fact, after two, three months of leave, they still have to go home early because of the baby. Some even pump milk at work every four hours. I'm guessing you don't want to do this in the middle of anatomy lab. And they do have a supportive family who helps them with baby stuff.

It is okay to take some time off from volunteering or clinical work. You have a valid reason. And adcoms will understand that.
To be safe, however, don't bring up the subject (that you just had a baby) when you interview (if you re-apply). Some interviewers might think that you are more likely to quit med school because of your new responsibility.
 

eel800

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i agree with the others about taking some time off and enjoying your baby. volunteer in your "free" time and write a heck of a statement about how much you learned by being a mother. this is a huge learning experience just like any other activity you would undertake. don't spend time cooped up in a lab doing research if you aren't passionate about it and already have it on your CV. do some shadowing if you haven't already. or maybe take a few more science courses in a continuing studies course. these classes are usually only once a week in the evening, so are very conducive to people with families.

also, if you do get in this year (good luck, btw) look into taking the first year decompressed. some schools offer this option to families or really anyone who would like to take the 1st year curriculum over 2 years. the tuition isn't anymore at the school i'm at (you still pay for only 4 years of tuition even though you're technically going for 5). this would give you the best of both worlds...learning to be a doctor while still having enough time to be a great mom! good luck!
 

gujuDoc

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Take a year off, and becareful. There are some preallo posters who like to rip in women in medicne that have children. I just pray it doesn't break out into another flamewar as has happened with these sort of threads in the past.

That said, I agree with Lizzy. You will just have had a baby, so a year off wont hurt. If you have a strong MCAT and really want a job, why not just teach part time with an MCAT course? Or otherwise, as others have stated, you can volunteer one day a week at somewhere like a hospital, clinic, or nursing home.