Too many Choices! Non trad w/ family

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by matopet2, Jan 17, 2001.

  1. matopet2

    matopet2 Junior Member

    Jan 14, 2001
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    I am in to both MD and DO schools. CCOM,AZCOM, Wright State, and GWU.I am still waiting to hear from 10 schools OUR (wife& 2 kids(5 month old and a 3.5 year old.)best support structures are in DC and Chicago.Cheapest schools are in ohio. GW is a great school but expensive and i love the curriculum . who knew too many acceptances coul be a bad thing? I am willing to wait and see what happens w/financial aid. My wife is stressed out and so am I. I am not the 22 yeqar old who can pick up at the last minute and go. She is not willing to do military and i am not keen on public health service. However, the state of Illinois pragram would allow me to to do EM/IM or EM/PEDS and do my pay back in IM or PEDS.The only school i am into in Ilinois is CCOM, but i am waiting to hear from 2 schools. I think if i go to CCOM and do well I can get into any residecy I want. I am no lomger looking at the DO/MD thing just where I can do the best. My family is the most important thing. I see lots of oppurtunity. Any thoughts or perspectives? --Thanks
  2. Congratulations! What a "good" dilemma to have.

    I'm a first year with 2 kids, and a husband who would have had a tough time moving (fortunately I got into the school in my town, and I absolutely love the curriculum). My advice would be: that going where you really like the curriculum is the first priority. We have an integrated problem based program that I love, and my going back to school has been much easier than I expected, because the curriculum suits my learning style. This makes my family very happy. Second, having extended family will be very important, probably more for your wife and kids than for you. Third, try not to worry too much about money. Most docs still make enough money to pay off their debts, and there are some residencies that will give you debt forgiveness. I also happen to know an ED doc, and he does quite well (and we don't live in a big city). What is really important is that you are happy with your school, your classmates (hard to pick but some schools do get reputations...), and your family life.

    Good luck, and congrats again.

    Now, back to biochem (ugh).
  3. johnny_rotten

    johnny_rotten New Member

    Nov 3, 2000
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    'Life support' for your family is crucial. At least 4 years will be spent in the new location, and if you folks have no friends or extended family it will be much rougher on everyone. There are enough stresses and strains on family relationships without deprieving oneself of neccessary support mechanisms.

    The money thing: it hurts no matter what. Talk to some people more experienced than I (4th year med student) about the wisdom of making specialty choices on the basis of need to repay loans. You may hear something different, but the resounding theme I've picked up on is that it is foolish. Presumably you're after professional and personal happiness - and all doc jobs are not the same. I would honestly rather drive a garbage truck than be a Family Practitioner. And some people would rather do the same than work in the ED, from which I am inseparable. THink long-term. The loans look bad on paper but they go away in time. Choice of speciality, especially now with the changes in the fundin structure for GME, is essentially for keeps.

    Regarding curricular styles, i disagre ewith the previous poster. First 2 years come and go, and in reality are a minor part of the whole experience. There are few lectures or problem-based sessions you'll remember. YOur real teachers are going to be patients on the wards. A med school with splendid curriculum and poorly organized clinical rotations = crap.

    Again, think long-term. If you want to gauge the relative 'worth' of a school, at best you could look into what options grads have available to them. Because if you're like 80% of other med students, what you go into isn't going to be what you start school considering. Keeping options open is key.

    But take care of your own first. From a purely utilitarian, selfish perspective, if the homefront is choppy you're going to be inefficient. From the more realistic perspective, these are people you love and need to look after.

  4. Hi all,

    This is an extremely important issue to med students with spouses and/or children. I'm thinking that there must be some good resources out there (on websites/message boards or in print) regarding family issues in med school/residency. I've found one, which I will link below. Please share your bookmarks if you find any others. Thanks!
  5. Strom

    Strom Member
    10+ Year Member

    Oct 21, 2000
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    you may be my clone. Except I haven't been accepted to any schools yet. I interview at GWU in two weeks (any tips?). I also have a 3.5 year old and a 10 month old. If I have the luxury of several acceptances, I will also be gauging the relative values of tuition costs, quality of life for family, nearby extended family etc..In fact, I already have. It sounds like your getting some good advice from these posters.

    I would only say that it's great to know there are other crazies out there who are trying to do this with a family. I would also reiterate what others have already said and express my point of view. As I go into the decision making process, which program? which town? where's the nearest family? lowest cost of living etc? I keep reminding myself that I have already put my family in a position to make great sacrifices. The time may come when I need to be willing to make some career sacrifices as well, just to make the whole thing work. As you already know, if life at home isn't good, your studies and work will suffer.

    Strom 'waiting for my brain transplant' Thurmond

    [email protected]
  6. Pegasus

    Pegasus Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Sep 4, 2000
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    I just want to send some encouragement to those with families. There are several students in my class that are married, some with children, and even some not married with children. You should know that it is very possible to go to medical school and balance out a family life. I have said before on previous posts that the key is time management! Yes, your days will be long but you soon adjust! Sure, maybe you have to give up ER or Survivor (the only shows I watch) but you also have your weekends. And, If you get into a school with P/F/H then know that you do not have to make honors to get into a residency program.

    Also, I am not sure how much 'easier' DO is compared to MD. I do not have enough knowledge in this area, but I am sure the program in DO is just as tough as MD, they take the same classes as we do.

    As far as residency is concerned, I am a first year, and this is already in my mind. What do you want to practice. If it is peds or family practice, I belive most students match highly.

    If you are worried about finances, then I want to reassure you that most public medical schools are very generous in this area. I almost did not make it through undergrad because of the cost, however I have found out that I do not know a single person in my med school class that worries about finances. They will take you as making nothing (since you cannot work. I am sorry I cannot give advice about what they do exactly with students who have young children and whose wife also doesnt work. I would suggest you talk individually to these schools and see what options are available. And dont forget to get you FASA in ASAP, free money the sooner you get it in!

    I hope this helped out a bit.

    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  7. Catherine

    Catherine Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Apr 7, 2000
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    You may not be looking at the MD/DO issue right now but you may come to regret it if you take DO over MD. I too have a family and chose a DO school for the support etc. Big mistake, and I don't know of anyone who went DO and had a choice and didn't regret it.
  8. matopet2:Family will always come first please keep this in mind even when in the midst of exams!

    As for finances I would not worry too much especially since you are talking about the possiblity of a payback program. I am a NHSC (National Health Service Corps Scholar)so I have all my expenses paid for, it may be something for you to look into as well. The NHSC is a program designed to provide medical care in rural areas and those that are medically underserved, it is a year for year payback time. The only limit is that you must pursue IM, Peds, OB/Gyn, or FP (all primary care). They do work with families and consider the family unit of utmost importance in your assignment areas.

    As far as the MD/DO nowdays the distintion is blurred except in the highly technical areas ie neurosurgery. DO's do have extra training in skeletal muscular systems that may be of some advantage especially in terms of diagnosing sport related injuries and degenerative joint diseases. I personally like the ability to diagnose hands-on.

    But do what is best for you-- go with your "gut instinct" of which interview felt the best where were you most impressed. GW does have an awesome program (having lived in D.C area and working at NIH I had the opportunity of listening to some great lectures and visting the hospital).
    Good luck

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