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to be or not to be

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by foreverLaur, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. foreverLaur

    foreverLaur MSN, RN, CNE

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    I've wanted two things in my life
    -to be a doctor
    -to be a mother

    When I say a mother, I mean like my mother. She never missed a single play, spelling bee, holiday, sporting event, team dinner... she was always able to be there. That's what I want to be able to do for my kids.

    But I've always wanted to be a doctor. And I can't have both.

    So how do you choose? Do you give up your dream to be a mother and have a job you won't hate, and may even like, but it won't be your dream.... your #1.

    Or do you give up the whole mother thing and become a doctor?

    How do you pick which one you'll regret more? I've been fighting with myself over this issue for weeks and I don't know...

    I've read Med School Confidential and the SDN guide. My best friends parents are doctors. I've shadowed doctors. I've talked to friends in med school. I know what it takes.

    My boyfriend supports my desire to go to medical school.

    I'm an accounting major. I'd just take the premed courses and throw in a biochem, anatomy, and physiology course. I'd be happy working as a financial adviser, seriously. I'd get to work from home and still make a 6 digit salary.

    I'm just afraid that somewhere, in the back of my mind, I'll regret not pursuing medicine. I've literally knew I wanted to be a doctor since I was 4 and that's never changed. I always aced all my honors science classes and loved them.

    I'm always afraid that if I choose medicine I'll want to quit because I'll be missing out on key moments of my children growing up. My neighbor missed her daughters first words, her first steps, and couldn't breast feed her because she was at work. I don't want that.

    So how do you choose? What's more important when you want both?
     
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  3. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Life is full of compromises. Only you know what's the right path for you.
     
  4. foreverLaur

    foreverLaur MSN, RN, CNE

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    But how do I choose? That's the problem - I keep fighting back and forth with myself. I'm usually a quick definitive decision maker too. Yarg.
     
  5. Wanna_B_Scutty

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    Psychologists would probably say this is a bad idea, but I work off of a psychic pain scale:

    How much psychic pain you would experience if you woke up 15 years from now and said to yourself, "I am not the Mom I want to be."
    vs.
    How much psychic pain you would experience if you woke up 15 years from now and said to yourself, "I am not the medical professional I want to be."
     
  6. MessyJessie

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    *sigh* what an excellent response :thumbup:
     
  7. Dr.Detroit

    Dr.Detroit Boogie Member
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    This is a false assumption. I know a family practice doc who has 2 kids, works 2 days/wk in an urgent care clinic and is active in her kids' care.

    She's married to a financial analyst.
     
  8. foreverLaur

    foreverLaur MSN, RN, CNE

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    i bet working 2 days a week makes it hard to stay up to date. and it's really hard to find those positions. every doctor i've talked to said they could never find part time work, despite extensive efforts.

    ...funny my other career would probably be a financial advisor. some people i know at my condo work 30 hours a week at most doing personal financial advising and bring in 2k a year.

    i think my internship this summer with Ernst & Young will help a lot - if I love it or hate it.

    Sometimes I wish I wasn't so family oriented. I've shadowed surgeons and it's probably the most enjoyable periods of my life as of late. I absolutely loved it. But that would definately not allow for both :)

    i also have to look at the fact that if i choose med school i'll be a year behind in college. i'll graduate when i'm 23. start med school at 24. graduate when i'm 28. finish residency around 31-36. and try to raise kids while in residency. that's when you miss a lot of key moments, like first steps.

    i'm also going to be marrying a lawyer - he'll be working a ton. i don't want a nanny or babysitter to 'raise my kids'. i want my kids to be raised by their parents.
     
  9. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Well, the OP indicated she wanted to not just be active in her kids' care but "never miss a single play, spelling bee, holiday, sporting event, team dinner..." for her kids. So in this sense she absolutely cannot have this and be a professional. She can have some of this. But no way all. As I said before life is full of trade offs.

    If you want the SDN crowd to decide your life for you, I'm sure we could. But that won't get you to what YOU really want.
     
  10. lilnoelle

    Moderator Emeritus

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    Hey!
    I'm a medical student and a mother. My kids are 3 1/2 and 19 months.
    They definitely see less of me than if I worked a normal job and even that is a far cry from being a stay at home mother (as my mother is). It will just get worse in third year and then in residency. My daughter will probably be something like 13 when I finish residency plus fellowship. Thats a lot of time for me to miss. I do feel guilty that my kids are being raised by a daycare, but its something that I just have to do. (I'm not nearly as domestic as you are and my hubby can't support us if I weren't working).
    If you truly want to be there for your kids as you say you do, I would wait for med school. There is a gal in my class who just sent her youngest child to college and now she's following her dream. It is possible. With a husband who can support you, there is no reason not have children now verses later (well, once your married, I mean) and theres no need for you to feel like you need to get out there and get your medical career started now.
    Go ahead and start your career in accounting and see how that goes. If its something you can handle for a while till you get married and start having children, then I think its worthwhile to wait for med school.
    PM me if you want.
     
  11. foreverLaur

    foreverLaur MSN, RN, CNE

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    just found a useful site..
    http://www.mommd.com/

    btw.. thanks to everyone for the valuable input. i'm not asking anyoen to make the decision for me as it is mine and mine alone to make. but the more information and personal stories i have, the easier it'll be and the more confident i'll be that i'm making the right one.
     
  12. leopanther

    leopanther New Member

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    Kids too want their parents to be happy. It's better not to have them come to a play than to see them sad/depressed/unfulfilled.
     
  13. Dr.Detroit

    Dr.Detroit Boogie Member
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    I said "active in her kids' care" because her kids are not yet old enough to play lacrosse or the role of Willy Lohman (much less spell the word "anaphylaxis"). When they are, however, she's poised to be there.

    If OP wants to be the one to wipe every drip from her kids' runny noses, I doubt that any career is suitable for her.
     
  14. soeagerun2or

    soeagerun2or Banned
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    Do neither. That way you won't have to live with making the wrong choice.
     
  15. foofish

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    Not to make life more complicated, but my mom was an analyst, and was most definitely not at every little event in my childhood. (But also note, I'm not emotionally scarred and have a close relationship with my mom.) She made it to most things, but not all...I think realistically the only way you're going to be there for every little thing is to be a stay-at-home mom (my dad was the stay-at-home parent). Once you're finished with training, you regain some control over your schedule....it's definitely possible to be there for most of the important things in your kids' lives. But if you really think you can't do both, you have to pick which is more important to you...and no one else can make that decision for you.
     
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  17. Robizzle

    Robizzle 1K Member

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    that is the question:
    Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
    The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
    And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
    No more;
     
  18. Dr.Detroit

    Dr.Detroit Boogie Member
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    Right on! I was hoping someone would do that.
     
  19. Mr. Belding

    Mr. Belding The Dude abides

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    This is not the query. It would be "I'm not the mom I want to be." vs. "I'm not a doctor."

    Pretty different.
     
  20. Cirrus83

    Cirrus83 Too old for this

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    For what it's worth? Kids aren't doomed to hate you just because you couldn't make it to a play that one time, lol. In fact, it's probably only even a big deal to the kid if you've been to every single play and then suddenly you can't go. And even then they'll get over it (I got over my mom not being able to be at my elementary school graduation because she had to be at her nursing class or test or something).

    So long as you don't actually neglect your kids and do spend time with them, they'll be just fine. I know you probably loved your childhood, but if your mom *had* missed a play because she had gotten paged to go do some emergency care, would you actually have held it against her? (other than for like, a day or two when you were a kid)

    Plus, if you explain to your kids ahead of time, they would probably understand that you might sometimes not be able to make it to stuff even though you love them very much and would like to be there. Kids aren't actually that dumb :laugh:

    BTW, being bitter that you never became a doctor is probably not very conducive to being a happy mom. And if you really regretted it you'd probably start to blame your kids for it, if only a little bit or subconsciously. That really can't be good though, thinking about the what ifs.

    And for what it's worth? Although the timeline is a bit different since I have a little more time to work with, I still wanna be there for my kids as a dad, but I know I probably won't be able to make it to every play, or coach their soccer team or something (which, come to think of it, is a good thing since I have no idea how to coach soccer).
     
  21. Green Pirate

    Green Pirate Neurotic Neuro Enthusiast

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    To die, to sleep;
    To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
    For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
     
  22. Wanna_B_Scutty

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    I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with you there, Mr. B. The OP could become, for example, a PA. As a PA, she'd get to do an awful lot of "doctorly" things, and many of her patients would probably perceive her as a physician-like professional. Thus, I don't see it as doctor or not-doctor. Rather, I see it as a question of gradations: LPN vs. RN vs. PA vs. NP vs. Doc.

    Though, as Law2Doc has pointed out several times on this thread, this decision is ultimately going to have o be made by the OP.
     
  23. Mr. Belding

    Mr. Belding The Dude abides

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    Fair enough, but I am going to disagree with your disagreement (does that make us agreeing?). Her dream was not to be in a health-related profession, but to rock the white coat. When it comes down to it, she is worried that the doctoring is going to interfere with her mothering, not the reverse, and she is right to do so. I just felt like phrasing it the way you did distorted the decision she was making. For everyone here (on SDN) the reality is that the dream of becoming a doctor does include some intangibles beyond helping people.

    Very few people on here would settle for being MFTs, MSWs, PAs, etc, though they could easily have the same lasting impact on someone.
     
  24. neom3x11

    neom3x11 Free your MinD

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    #22 neom3x11, Apr 25, 2007
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2012
  25. baylormed

    baylormed On the Search

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    I gotta admit that hearing Shakespeare quoted on SDN is kind of refreshing. :biglove:
     
  26. Tired

    Tired Fading away

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    Here's what's actually going to happen:

    You'll go after medicine, telling yourself that maybe you can work out a balance with your family. Then you'll have kids as you go through the process (because seriously, no one wants to wait until after residency to have kids). Pretty soon you'll realize that while you can be a competant and capable parent, you still miss a lot of school events, PTA meetings, first steps, etc. This will cause you a lot of agony with your first kid, and you'll constantly feel like a failure in life. By your third kid, however, you'll have gotten over it, and life will go on.
     
  27. Cirrus83

    Cirrus83 Too old for this

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    Tired, umm...almost everyone (regardless of profession) kinda feels like a failure with their first kid, simply because they haven't a friggin' clue how to be a parent yet.

    Pretty much the only people who wouldn't feel that way probably had their parents die when they were young and had to raise their younger siblings and become a pseudo-parent, but I'd say for pretty much everyone else they'll feel totally clueless with their first kid.

    Anyways, PTA meetings are pretty overrated, especially since half my grade school teachers just spewed nonsensical garbage during PTA meetings. Hell, I don't know about you, but I looked at my old grade school report cards and I got some pretty hilarious grades that were probably made up on the fly by the teachers. Actually, I think this might just be because I went to NYC public school, lol.

    Seriously though, missing a couple of plays isn't going to kill your kid. You know what would probably mean more to your kid? That you had helped them practice and memorize their lines for the play when you did have time. And heck, what with the miracle of technology, have your significant other go and watch the video they took on their cell phone (which I am sure by then will have HDTV resolution video in a cell phone the size of an ipod shuffle or something) with your kid. And then tell them how proud you are of them :love:
    (And yes, I am a saptacular person who is going to be a saptacular parent who does overboard stuff like this, and will probably burn out and go into rehab. So it goes.)

    If you actually did that, I'd be willing to be good money that your kid would feel every bit as loved, if not MORE loved, as any random kid whose parent just showed up and clapped.

    And anyways, sooner or later you'll probably manage to have time to catch a few of their plays anyway :p
     
  28. Tired

    Tired Fading away

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    Bah, you can't feel like a failure if you didn't care in the first place . . . :D
     
  29. LucidSplash

    LucidSplash Wire Jockey Trainee
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    To the OP: I don't have an answer for your question; it is one that I struggle with myself (I am a current MSI but no kids yet).

    However, I recommend checking out this blog: www.theunderweardrawer.blogspot.com. This is an anesthesia resident married to an ophthal resident who has a young child. He's schoolage yet, but I can tell you that if/when I have kids I hope I can do it as well as she seems to be doing so far. Maybe it will give you some insight, maybe not. At the very least it is a good read.
     
  30. HumbleMD

    HumbleMD hmmmm...

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    First order of business is to go tell these people to go get a new job.
     
  31. Dr.Watson

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  32. IceMan0824

    IceMan0824 Holy crip, he's a crapple

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    Well said, well said. I wonder who actually lives in a condo and is satisfied with 2K a year? I must be out of touch with reality.
     
  33. foreverLaur

    foreverLaur MSN, RN, CNE

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    What I meant by the condo thing... These people have houses too. The condo is a summer thing. It's on Lake Erie. These people just go up here to boat/jet ski and whatnot. It's a bit of a summer home. How can you complain about 2k a year while not even working full time?

    Secondly, my mother was not a stay at home mom. She's a nurse. Prior to me being born (the first of two kids), she worked at a hospital and did a lot of on-call, weekends, late nights, and holidays. However, she took up a job at a doctor's office that allowed her flexibility. She works part time and can sort of pick those hours. If I forgot my track spikes, she could leave work and run them up to me. She could leave by 3 on the days she worked to go to my sporting events. She could go in after my sister and I were off to school. She could take a day off to be a room helper for Valentine's Day.

    It's hard too because I could take my full time offer from Ernst & Young and start out in a great job at $75,000 a year. They pay for my CPA exam and they're one of the top companies in the nation for working moms.

    I don't like having to much such a huge and important decision.
     
  34. foofish

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    Yeah, I had been wondering about that myself...
     
  35. baylormed

    baylormed On the Search

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    :thumbup: :lol:

    I was a little disconcerted too. 2k a year? My 16 year old brother can make more during the summer mowing lawns or doing errands. :lol:
     
  36. foofish

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    You do know that 2k = $2000, right? I work roughly 30-35 hours a week as a lowly research assistant and make at least that a month....which is why none of us are all that impressed.
     
  37. baylormed

    baylormed On the Search

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    There's also www.medstudentmom.com

    This is actually a medical student and her husband is a resident, they have 2 babies. :eek: It's pretty good, too, and the kids are super cute. :p
     
  38. MChitty

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    The kids are adorable!!
     
  39. baylormed

    baylormed On the Search

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    I know! When I have kids I want some as cute as those. :p
     
  40. GreenShirt

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    I think you mean $200K a year.

    It sounds to me that what you are really debating is earning a 6-figure salary vs. kids. Any job that makes that amount of money is going to require a lot of time commintment, whether it's dcotor or financial analyst. I'm sure there are examples in of people in both professions who can work part-time and somehow bring in that kind of change, but you're going to have to be really crafty.
     
  41. baylormed

    baylormed On the Search

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    I agree, and I don't think people often realize this.

    Anyone who tells you otherwise is a moron, or a very lucky sports player. And how do you really know what other people make every year? I was taught to never tell and never ask.
     
  42. Steiner

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    Not sure if someone posted this already but you could do Emergency Medicine, it's shift work and just like any other job if you have a previous commitment, you get someone to cover your shift or ask for the day off. Being a doctor does not enslave you to the hospital, at least once med school and residency are completed. You could also try to do Rads and do teleradiology from home.
     
  43. baylormed

    baylormed On the Search

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    I'm not sure that matching on Rads is something you should bank on. You should do medicine because you like it, sacrifices included. That's really the only reason you need. If you want easy shifts or easy money then you should look elsewhere.
     
  44. Steiner

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    yeah, I threw in "try" to do Rads b/c it's tough to get into, but is still a viable option-though like you said not something you should bank on.

    I disagree somewhat with sacrifices and all. I understand that any career will have some sacrifice inherent in it, but that doesn't mean you choose one or the other. I have kids and am starting med school in the fall. The most important thing to me is my family and anything else, no matter how important, is a distant second.
     
  45. Steiner

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    Basically, know your rights if you want to start a family.

    Family Medical Leave Act, Questions about your future plans (regarding kids, marriage, etc....) are illegal also. As a woman you will probably be asked this multiple times throughout the application cycle and match program-it's always illegal.
     
  46. baylormed

    baylormed On the Search

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    Did I ever mention you had to choose one over the other?

    Let me answer that: No.

    When I said sacrifices I meant it, because whether you want to see it or not you will have to make a few adjustments here and there. You won't be home 24/7 and you won't be available at school/work 24/7. It doesn't mean you can't do both, and that you can't do them both well. However, to expect to devote 100% of your time to both is, well, impossible.
     
  47. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy
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    It's not just medicine. Most of the accountants I know work a lot as do most professionals. I hate to say it, but for family time accounting is probably not going to be much better than medicine. You're certainly not going to be able to replicate your mom's experience.
     
  48. Steiner

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    I love how defensive everyone gets online. Relax.
     
  49. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    More accountants are able to do significant work and telecommuting from home than doctors. If you have a home office with a phone, computer, fax machine, copier, and file cabinets, you can probably do 90% of your job. Maybe not at E&Y, but certainly some places may be accomodating. I have worked with several accountants who only came into the office for meetings.
     
  50. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy
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    But you still have to work when you're telecommuting, so you can't be the main care provider for your children. You might still have to skip some plays to finish up a project.
     
  51. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Agree. But you'll see your kids a lot more if they are in the next room.
     
  52. Dr.Watson

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