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Starting residency at 30, no spouse or kids but really want a family :(

Discussion in 'Women in Healthcare' started by drindochin, Mar 27, 2010.

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  1. drindochin


    Mar 27, 2010
    Hi everyone,

    I'm new to SDN and am impressed by the outpouring of support and opportunity for discussion on this forum...

    As my title says, I just turned 30 and will be starting intern year this summer. I've been in multiple serious relationships over the last decade and a half but am currently single (have been so for the last 1.5 years) and don't have any new prospects that I can foresee (I don't anticipate on having any time/energy to meet new people/date during intern year; furthermore, after intern year is over, I'll be starting residency at a small-program with 11/class, 70% of whom are already married based on what current residents there have told me). I don't mean to be overly dramatic and I don't mean to catastrophize my situation, nor can anyone ever predict the future (in my experience, relationships tend to 'happen' when you least expect them); but I feel like I've hit "a wall" that many women at this age do...and am afraid that my opportunities for marriage/family are dwindling, fast.

    As far as life balance goes, I know that some are better at it than others. I've seen classmates of mine get married and/or pregnant during med school and residents who have done the same. That said, I personally cannot see myself being able to do that; if I couldn't handle a serious relationship during medical school, how am I supposed to do so during residency, let alone with marriage and kids? (kudos to those of you who are able to do so; I honestly don't know how you do it!). Best case scenario is if I meet someone after residency, but by then I'll be in my mid-30s and well...we all know the stats on pregnancy with aging. Should I give up the idea of ever having a family/kids and focus 100% on my career at this point? Or should I consider freezing my eggs or adopting in the future?...

    The thought of living out the rest of my life single and alone greatly saddens me...and makes me feel at a loss with regard to achieving my personal life goals.

    Thanks in advance for any input or thoughts.
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  3. TDX


    Jan 2, 2010
    First of all, at 30 it's a bit early to start worrying about living out the rest of your life single and alone - especially since you've only been single for a year and a half. Even if it may seem differently to you right now, chances of you finding a new relationship are probably close to 100%.

    Secondly, the next few years will be a perfect time to meet someone and slowly build a lasting relationship. Sure, you'll be busy - but since your career is in medicine, any man you have a relationship with will need to realize that and accept it anyway.

    The fact that most of your colleagues will be married isn't necessarily a bad thing. You might not meet someone at work (who wants that kind of drama, anyway?), but social gatherings with your colleagues should give you the chance to meet lots of new people... possibly including the guy you end up starting a family with.

    Of course, you will need to make some decisions, too. If starting a family is this important to you, you need to find a way to balance your priorities if someone comes along. Work is great, but if you want to have a life next to it, balancing it with other parts of your life is essential. While that can be hard (and quite likely involves passing up on some hours of sleep), it's by no means impossible... not even for you.

    So really, try to worry a little less, see what comes along, and make time for the good things in life. You're still young, and you have far more opportunities to get all the things you want than you might think right now.
    Aspiringdoc235 likes this.
  4. drindochin


    Mar 27, 2010
    Thanks for the response TDX, I really appreciate your feedback.

    That may be true - looking back at my med school years, there were several (5+) guys in my class (and 3+ outside of my class) who were interested in dating me - something that I completely did not expect. That said, of those who expressed an interest, I only ended up dating two of them, and found both of them grossly incompatible with me. :rolleyes: There may be opportunities to start new relationships, but I don't want to be in a relationship just for the sake of being in one. I'm looking for someone who is the right partner *for me*, and after several long-term relationships, I'm starting to think I may never find that person. It also gets harder the older you get, because even though it's in your favor to have a clear idea of the type of partner you're looking for, knowing that also makes you more stubborn/picky, and less willing to settle for anything less...making the pool of potential, datable people less than it may appear.

    I completely agree, which is why.... (see below)

    ....I think you have a better chance of a successful relationship if you were to date someone within the same profession, as they're much more likely to understand the nature of your work/schedule. I'm not going to bet on meeting someone within my program (it's too small, and like I said, the majority will already be married), and you're right, after all the drama of dating fellow med school classmates, I definitely don't want to repeat *that* again, but I still think the odds of my having a family/kids rests on whether or not I'm able to meet someone within my work environment (proximity plays a huge role in most, if not all, relationships).

    And this is where I have the most difficulty.. Hypothetically, even if I were to meet/fall in love w/ someone during residency, I really don't know how I'd be able to balance it with work. Residency is going to be much, much harder than med school. I already had a great deal of difficulty balancing my life the past few years - I can't fathom doing any better over the next 4 years. How do people do it?? I mean, does anyone feel like they have a balanced life during residency? I went to a physician panel on work/life issues a few weeks ago and, when asked how they deal w/ the issue of balance, one female doctor (who has a family and kids) responded.. "There is no balance!" Instead, she portrayed having a chaotic, unpredictable family life and having to juggle work with kids/family all the time...sounds like it's no picnic, and yet she's one of the better female role models we have here at school.

    I never thought I'd be one of those women who freak out when they turn 30, but here I am, at 30, still a student, up to my neck in loans, no significant other, and a long road ahead of me still before I earn anything respectable..this journey is really quite the marathon, and it may be easy to tell yourself "you're still young, you still have time" when you're in your 20s, but once you hit 30, it's like reaching a stop sign that tells you, hey, you really need to reevaluate your priorities or life may pass you by altogether. I don't like to worry about things I can't control or predict, but starting residency at this age (and being female) does tend to activate/accentuate these fears about the future.

    Does anyone else feel the same way or similarly?... I guess being an older med student puts me in the minority to begin with.

    Anyways, thanks again for listening. Any/all thoughts/comments are appreciated.
  5. drindochin


    Mar 27, 2010
    102 views and only one response huh?...

    Anyone else have any thoughts, insights, comments to share?

    I can't be the only older/non-trad/female med student/doctor-to-be who's thinking and worrying about these issues? I'd post this in the forum for the specialty I'm going to, but it's a male-predominant specialty, so I thought this women in healthcare forum would be more appropriate. I'm noticing very little discussion on the threads here though (besides the 'would you change your last name' thread).. which is disappointing. :(
  6. dotdash

    dotdash 2+ Year Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    From an older age than yours: don't panic, you have time and opportunity. You are about to be working elbow-to-elbow with a whole new crop of men your age and will be able to meet all their friends, too.

    If you want to meet someone with whom to start a family, then my advice is to take that goal seriously. Don't go out with guys you know you wouldn't marry, tell your friends and new acquaintances that you are looking for someone (if 30 people are thinking of single men they know, you will be inundated), and get to know yourself and your needs. Every day, do something to further your goal, even if it is a tiny thing.
  7. swdoc1234


    Mar 7, 2017

    Hi! I will also be in your situation, will be starting my residency at 30 (late 30 almost 31 since my birthday is in September), and when I read your post which is from 7 years ago I thought WOW THIS WOMAN IS ME!! I have the exact same fears and I also thought i'd never become one of those women who fear being 30 and let it give them anxiety about the future but there I AM! This would be absolutely NO PROBLEM if I was a man but as I woman I have to face reality biologically I want to have my kids at 35-37 great max, which means I need to meet someone in the next couple years. Although it does reassure me that I know or see more and more women having kids at 35-37 (it's becoming a normal thing).
    It's crazy that even the part where you talked about freezing your eggs and adopting are something I too thought of...

    The fact that your post is 7 years old is a chance for me because I get to see how your story turned out. I know you must now be a very very busy doctor and hopefully successful, but if you could take time to answer me that would be greatly appreciated! Please be straight up honest and don't sugarcoat anything, just say how it truly was, were your fears exagerated or was it actually a prediction ?

    Thank you very much!
  8. Smurfette

    Smurfette The blonde among the blue. SDN Administrator 10+ Year Member

    Jun 6, 2001
    Just FYI, that user hasn't logged in since 2011, so you are probably not going to get a response.
  9. swdoc1234


    Mar 7, 2017
    Hi. Thanks for the heads up and yes I noticed too when I wrote the message but I thought MAYBE she still checks her mails and sees there is a reply under her question. I know the probability is low but it doesn't cost to try...
    Could I ask you how you, as a woman handleled residency, did you get pregnant during it? was it doable?
    thank you
  10. DrCommonSense


    Sep 20, 2016
    The biggest issue for female physicians is largely hypergamy.

    Female physicians will MOSTLY date/marry men who MAKE more money than themselves with a prestigious title such as physician/attorney/investment banker.

    When a female gets to her 30s, those men become EXTREMELY rare due to the fact they are usually married/often in serious relationships/dating younger women due to their higher SMV as a result of their resource acquisition.

    Successful men in their 30s will have many options and if they are marriage/children minded, they will often date women in their 20s that are more than willing to marry/date them due to their status. Men in their 30s who are successful are VERY willing to marry attractive women in their 20s who don't have much "status" in their job as long as they are physically attractive.

    Ergo, if the hypergamy thing can be neutralized whereby you date a "blue collar worker" or some other guy with a "lower prestige job", I'm sure you can find someone.

    However, if you want to shoot for only the TOP caliber men, remember, most women are ALSO shooting for those men. This will make it a much more difficult task to achieve.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017
    Prince090, Aspiringdoc235 and icd22 like this.
  11. DokterMom

    DokterMom 2+ Year Member

    Mar 1, 2013
    Slight twist in tone --

    If you limit yourself to dating only men who are as/more educationally and financially successful than you, you will have constricted your potential dating pool considerably.

    But if you can broaden your definition of male attractiveness to include dimensions other than career and financial success, you will find a whole wide wonderful world out there. Your own financial strength brings a valuable asset to any marriage -- one where you are free to choose a partner who contributes something wonderful but different. Consider artists, teachers, social workers, carpenters, writers, etc. Your own earnings will assure your family's financial well-being, so look for your complement, not your duplicate.

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