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Two hour drive 2x/week doable for OMS1?

hungryforapples

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So I’m an incoming first year. The fall semester is a hybrid curriculum and we’re expected to be on campus a couple times a week for anatomy. I currently live about an hour away from campus (without traffic) and was wondering if commuting seemed doable.

Some background: I’m married so living at home means I get to be with my spouse. We live rent-free so commuting would save a lot of $$. No kids, but 5 chill pets. I’ve commuted for most of my adult life. Last job I worked 80hr weeks with a daily hour commute (30 min to and from), it definitely sucked but at least with school I’ll only have to drive a couple times a week. Husband and I already talked about logistics, he’ll be doing most of the cooking/cleaning/pet care while I’m in school. And if I need to, I can always Airbnb near campus if I don’t feel like driving.

BUT I‘m feeling pretty intimidated by med school. I’m having a hard time gauging the load and how tired I’m going to feel. Now I’m thinking about renting a studio near campus which will cost $1500 (renting a bedroom with a private bath isn’t much cheaper unfortunately). I’ll definitely miss my husband but we’ve done long distance before (he worked in France for a year while I stayed in CA, and this past year he worked 4 hrs away during the week and came home on the weekends so me being an hour away kinda pales in comparison). If I rented a place, I’d like to go back home on the weekends.

So far I only know the schedule for the fall semester, but given how covid numbers have been going up, I don’t anticipate we’ll be back to normal by spring semester. What do you guys think? If I lived at home, I’d save money but I’d be driving at least four hours a week...is that feasible? Am I better off just getting a place close to campus?
 

Isoval

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You’ll be fine as long as you don’t mind the drive.

2 hours/week of lost study time is a drop in the bucket.

Anecdotally, a good friend of mine had a 35min drive to and from campus first and second year, and I know of someone who had a 1hr drive to and from campus.
 

hungryforapples

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You’ll be fine as long as you don’t mind the drive.

2 hours/week of lost study time is a drop in the bucket.

Anecdotally, a good friend of mine had a 35min drive to and from campus first and second year, and I know of someone who had a 1hr drive to and from campus.

It would be 4 hrs/week (sorry, realized the title wasn’t clear on that). But your anecdote does make me feel better!
 
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BoneWizard

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You'll be fine. I'm ~30 minutes drive every day with mandatory attendance. So ~5 hours a week.
I'd suggest getting a gym membership somewhere nearby school though if the lockers don't have a shower. That way you can get the smell out of your hair or rinse off if you get anatomy gunk on you without driving another 2 hours.
 
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PapaGuava

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I personally wouldn't want to spend that much time driving, but given the circumstances + Covid-19, it probably won't be an issue for you. However if you notice yourself needing that extra time come spring semester, then you can make those changes.
 
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Osteosaur

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Do you have to take exams at the school? Or will you ever? I would not want to drive 2 hours for an 8am exam - or worse yet - an 8am standardized patient. You're going to need to pick up badges and other materials, do clinical skills lectures, do in-person meetings etc. - Coronavirus restrictions won't be around forever.

You may need to move eventually to go to the hospital, too.

I knew someone who, as an M1, had a 1h45 commute. She did not last 6 months.
 
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Do you have to take exams at the school? Or will you ever? I would not want to drive 2 hours for an 8am exam - or worse yet - an 8am standardized patient. You're going to need to pick up badges and other materials, do clinical skills lectures, do in-person meetings etc. - Coronavirus restrictions won't be around forever.

You may need to move eventually to go to the hospital, too.

I knew someone who, as an M1, had a 1h45 commute. She did not last 6 months.
Yeah, this is what concerns me. We've had a few med students and more SMP students crater their careers due to long commutes.
 
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hungryforapples

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Do you have to take exams at the school? Or will you ever? I would not want to drive 2 hours for an 8am exam - or worse yet - an 8am standardized patient. You're going to need to pick up badges and other materials, do clinical skills lectures, do in-person meetings etc. - Coronavirus restrictions won't be around forever.

You may need to move eventually to go to the hospital, too.

I knew someone who, as an M1, had a 1h45 commute. She did not last 6 months.

There’s two weeks where I have an exam on one of the days (time depends on which group I’m in). And a third week where I have three tests. I was planning on getting an Airbnb these weeks. Also considered renting out a month-to-month 25 min away from campus for part of the semester. The nice thing is the school will be mailing all our stuff to us since they really want to limit on campus activity. According to a current student, second years needed to be on campus three days a week (pre covid) so I may end up moving there for second year. As far as rotations, the school has some in my city which I’m hoping to get. I’m coming in with some debt so I’d like to save as much money as possible buuut I also don’t wanna set myself up for failure.
 

hungryforapples

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Yeah, this is what concerns me. We've had a few med students and more SMP students crater their careers due to long commutes.

Did these students have to be on campus everyday? I’ll only need to be there twice a week for three months. If I moved close to campus, do you think it would be realistic for me to go home on the weekends?
 

Knight in shining armor

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It is doable for sure. I had classmates that did over an hour each way for commuting and they went to even the non-mandatory lectures. I would make use of the commuting time. Either listen to a podcast/lecture in order to learn medicine, call a friend/family member, pray if you are religious, or use it to listen to some relaxing music. Personally I lived about 20 minutes away from campus during OMS-1 and 2, and about 10 minutes from the hospital during OMS-3 (if I didn't get stopped by a train).
 

JSReed

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Have a few classmates that live ~1h from campus to stay with spouses/families. They usually get in on the earlier side to beat traffic, and then leave kinda late. I don't think they're actually working the whole time (not necessarily). A couple of them have kids and they seem to be doing okay.

That being said, its against the general flow of traffic (out of the city in the AM, back in at night). But especially if you don't have to be on campus more than 3x a week, just stay at home. There'll be some weird hours and you'lll be giving up some free time, but its worth the 18k savings.
 

Rekt

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I very much doubt any school will be that predictable. We always had random things pop up that required students to drive more often than they thought.
 
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D

deleted1005514

Same. This isn’t undergrad where you’re schedule is predictable. We had crap pop up all the time.
Us too, our schedule changed weekly, and our school informed us that we were at their beck and call 8-5, M-F if people complained.

That being said, OP you could feel things out the first month or so, then move if you need to. Talk to your upper classmen about the predictability of the schedule and how much you actually have to be on campus.
 
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Ho0v-man

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Us too, our schedule changed weekly, and our school informed us that we were at their beck and call 8-5, M-F if people complained.

That being said, OP you could feel things out the first month or so, then move if you need to. Talk to your upper classmen about the predictability of the schedule and how much you actually have to be on campus.

They once told us on a Thursday that we had to show up on that Saturday.

Maybe it’ll be different for you OP, but a lot of us have trust issues.
 
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Gilakend

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I would be more concerned with the school adding in extra days personally. I spent 2-4 (normally 4) hours per week driving during M1 without issue. If I felt like I needed to study or review I could always listen to Golijan in the car since he's on spotify.

So I say, if you want to, go for it. But I would realize there is a possibility it may be too much or you may be required to do it more than you think and be prepared to move closer if needed.
 

hungryforapples

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Thank you guys for all your insight! I hadn’t considered schedules changing so much so that’s definitely something I’m going to inquire on. Could anyone elaborate on why or what sorts of things they’d have you come to campus for that wasn’t already on the schedule?

I’ve talked to a couple second years who said some of their classmates commuted 30 min - 1 hr during first year when they were expected to be on campus M-F. Actually, they’re the ones who recommended commuting since the school is limiting on-campus activity because of covid.
 

Startingover123

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Do you have to take exams at the school? Or will you ever? I would not want to drive 2 hours for an 8am exam - or worse yet - an 8am standardized patient. You're going to need to pick up badges and other materials, do clinical skills lectures, do in-person meetings etc. - Coronavirus restrictions won't be around forever.

You may need to move eventually to go to the hospital, too.

I knew someone who, as an M1, had a 1h45 commute. She did not last 6 months.
I commuted almost four hours a day for five years to my full time job. You do what you have to do to survive.
 
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