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Where do you live?

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by Lshapley, Feb 27, 2007.

  1. Lshapley

    Lshapley Old Man Med Student
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    Just wondering, if you are someone who is married, maybe has kids and/or pets, what type of housing arrangement do you have at medical school? Are you paying more for rent? Did this require you to get an additional loan? Are you further from campus?

    I am applying this year and I would love to hear your experiences. Thanks!
     
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  2. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy
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    I'm married with 3 cats but live in a very low rent part of the country. We opted not to buy because we might move to another city for my last two years, and our real estate market here is pretty poor. So, we're renting a 2 bedroom duplex about 5 miles from campus. Since it's so cheap to live here, it's not been a big expense issue. All of this really varies based on the how expensive it is wherever you live.
     
  3. DrMidlife

    DrMidlife has an opinion
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    I have a big dog, does that count? I imagine the answer depends greatly on the location. If I by some bizarre chance get into NYU, I'll give up my dog and live in the dorms rather than try to compete for other housing. On the west coast, the norm is to share a rented house not far from campus. There's some family housing provided, but there's zero expectation here that any school-provided housing is a good idea - it's more expensive and louder. For finding off-campus housing, Craigslist is a godsend.

    In the allo forum there's a recurring thread about buying a house during med school. Sounds like in some places you can actually afford to do so against med school loans. Not anywhere I've ever lived!

    Best of luck to you.
     
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    Lshapley

    Lshapley Old Man Med Student
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    Thanks guys. I have been discussing the hypotheticals with my wife (and our small dog, but he doesn't listen or contribute very much to the conversation).

    Currently I live on the other side of the city from my post bac, and I don't think that would be a feasible arrangement in med school. I am leaning towards schools that are not in the middle of big cities such as Penn State and RWJ. However, it all depends on where I can get in.

    What really worries me are those proposed med school budgets. What am I supposed to do if I am only budgeted $500/month for housing? My wife is a dance teacher and could potentially be un/under-employed if we have to settle in to a new area. I'm hoping these things tend to resolve themselves.
     
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  5. NineShadows

    NineShadows what red button?
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    I don't know what the possibilities for this are for you, your wife and doggie, but if you look for listings where you share a house, or perhaps rent an in-law apartment near the school, you might make it just inside the budget. I suppose it all depends on where you end up.

    As for myself, I'm married with two children, two dogs, a lizard, and soon an octopus ;) . We own the home we live in now, and as far as my husband and I have discussed, I'll be moving by myself for the duration of med-school:scared: .

    We don't want to sell the house, especially because we move around a lot due to his job. He wants to settle down and give our kids a chance to have a feeling of 'hometown' for a while. So, I guess I'll be either using the dorms or maybe renting a room in someone's house.

    Good luck to you!
     
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  6. oxeye

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    This is the main reason I applied to just the one school - it's five minutes from the house I already own and live in with my husband, two kids, three dogs, bird, and fish. :laugh: We don't have to move and my husband can keep his job for the next four years while I'm in school.
     
  7. new_doc

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    I'm currently looking at a long-distance situation as well. My husband loves his job and will stay in our current residence while I go to school. I'd appreciate any input on survival tips from those who've successfully navigated this path. Daily phone calls have made previous 1-3 month separations bearable, but 4 years is a long time. Any secrets to finding cheap airfare?
     
  8. Johnny_D

    Johnny_D Just strummin' away
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    Keep in mind that you can increase your student budget (depending on your school), to take into account a mortgage, children, etc. Drexel told me that I have to meet with the Director of Financial Aid to get a budget increase. This does mean more debt, but there is not much of a choice when your situation is "complicated".
     
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  9. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy
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    Actually, most schools budget you a lot more than you might think. For example, my school budgets us a little more than $20k for living expenses for 9 months. They might say you only get $500/month for housing, but then you'll give you something ridiculous like $3k for a laptop and $4k for books, and you've got enough to pay a little extra for housing or whatever. I don't know about postbacc situations, but med schools don't really expect you to live like a pauper for your 4 years.
     
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    Lshapley

    Lshapley Old Man Med Student
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    Thanks for all of the great feedback so far everyone!

    Yeah, for my postbac situation it is fine because we already had an apartment in Philadelphia. Glad to hear that the budgets from med schools often have some flexibility.

    I think an ideal situation would be if I could save a few extra bucks during the "glide" year and then buy a house. However, this is certainly easier in some places (like Hershey, PA) than others (New Brunswick or Philadelphia suburbs). Anyways, you guys have certainly eased my mind quite a bit.
     
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  11. vtucci

    vtucci Attending in Emergency Medicine
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    Not married and no kids-- in Tampa and own a 2Br/Bath condo.
     
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  12. neurorat

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    My husband & I did this while I was in graduate school and we will begin again this fall when I start med school. We often use ichat on our computer. With the cameras on we would each study or even watch TV "together". They are not that expensive & at least you can see each other, too.

    I know this sounds cold, but you will be so busy that the separation will not be as noticeable as you may think, at least for you. It usually sneaks up on you when you are alone studying and you just wish you had your husband's company or on a weekend that you couldn't visit because you had too much to do. On a daily basis, though, you get into the flow of your classes and you are fine.

    As for cheap airfare, my Mom (the queen of cheap airfare) gets e-mail alerts whenever there is a big airfare sale. I think you can get these from individual airlines and through sites like travelocity & priceline. You just have to be ready to buy as soon as you get the alert because the seats fill up fast.
     
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  13. oldpro

    oldpro MS IV
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    Yeah I agree with you 100%

    I just do not get this anxiety over moving? Life's an adventure and you may not get the residency where you want and then you may not want to practice where the residency, Moving is just part of Being a Doc in this day and age. That may be why not everyone goes to medschool and some PA and Nursing since you can stay put. For me it's just not worth it to not go to medschool I love the "Ride"
     
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  14. Krisss17

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    I totally agree with Doctor Bagel in that most schools do budget you for more, especially more than $500/month unless real estate rentals are particularly low in those areas. It'll just take some responsibility on your part to make the money stretch.

    Well, if your wife supports you in your pursuit to be a doctor, if it comes down to it, she may need to look for work other than dance. I know that having a family and going to medical school will definitely take some clever money budgeting schemes and its acase where everyone in the family will have to do what they can by not to spending money they can't afford to spend.

    Whether its good or bad, it's only me and my 3 cats, so I know that I will have to give up the idea of living in any kind of dorm setting, because unlike the poster who will give up their dog...I just can't do it.
     
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  15. EMT2ER-DOC

    EMT2ER-DOC Why so Serious?????
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    I know just what you mean. I have 3 kids and my wife and I have sold our house to move to umdnj-som in stratford, nj. However, when I put our budget together, the number was pretty high even after taking her self employment into account. I will just have to wait until the meeting with the financial aid counselor to see what our options are.
     
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    Lshapley

    Lshapley Old Man Med Student
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    Thanks, EMT2ER-Doc, I hope you have luck finding the right living situation. Are you planning to move in Stratford? Or are you looking for a cheaper location a little bit more into Jersey?

    Keep me updated, I am applying to all schools within 2 hours of Philly, so UMDNJ-SOM is definitely on my list. I would love to hear how it works out for you.
     
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    Lshapley

    Lshapley Old Man Med Student
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    Oh, Krisss17, I appreciate your thoughts but I really have to strongly disagree with this logic here. You see, my wife is a dance teacher and has been for about 7 years now. She's not rich, but she makes about 25k-30k/year. To ask her to change careers (what would she do?) is really unjust. Frankly, it would be much more responsible for her to ask me to go to PA school, or just get a gig now in business.

    Even of the suggestion of her changing careers so I can be a doc though would surely resolve any housing issues for me though. I would find myself single again and she would take the dog as well!
     
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  18. OP
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    Lshapley

    Lshapley Old Man Med Student
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    Well, we live in Philly and are both in our thirties with all our family and friends here. Fortunately there are 9 medical schools (2 osteopathic and 7 allopathic) within two hours drive of Philly, all of which I will apply to. When it is time for residencies, I am sure that I could get a list of 10-15 options within that same radius. This is certainly an advantage of being based in a big city.

    I think the PA or RN route does allow you to have a greater focus on your family and life outside the hospital. Perhaps this is why doctors have such a high divorce rate is because we have an imbalance between work and family. I'd rather go to a school some people consider mediocre or have a less desirable residency than get a divorce and live through that nightmare.
     
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  19. oldpro

    oldpro MS IV
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    I'm not trying to discourage trying to get into Medical school near where you live now, I went to great lengths myself, I'm 43 with 3 kids. Of course it would be nice to live in the US during medschool but I find I have little real time during school anyway and seeing them during breaks is much better then the day to day fights of Teenagers during normal life LOL........................

    I guess I love my wife and my family, if this was her then I would help the way she has no problem no regrets because I want the best for her too. Since I'm the one in medschool then I have a lot to be thankful for, she has moved 2 times for this so far and about to for a third.
     
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  20. OP
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    Lshapley

    Lshapley Old Man Med Student
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    No worries, oldpro!

    Oh man, you are going abroad for medschool? That must be really tough! My wife has moved once for me already and she is prepared to move again. I am going to try as hard as I can (med school gods permitting) to not make her have to find a totally new life in the process. But, if we have to move we will. She is very supportive and I think would welcome a move because she has lived in the same general area her whole life.

    We don't have any kids yet, we are waiting until after med school at least. I don't even want to think about them becoming teenagers!
     
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  21. neurorat

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    Lshapley~

    Is it out of the question to live apart for a few years? That way your wife could keep working at a career she loves and where she already has an established clientele?

    My husband & I chose to live apart because his job is hard to come by and pays fairly well. If he moved he would have to start over from scratch. With a career like your wife's, I bet she would be in the same situation.

    I know that it isn't easy to live apart, but it isn't impossible, especially if you only go to school 2 hours from your wife. You can drive home every weekend, or you two could take turns.

    I only offer this advice because I have been in this situation before & it can be done without resulting in divorce :) Just something to think about...
     
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  22. OP
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    Lshapley

    Lshapley Old Man Med Student
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    Hey neurorat, I am pretty certain that my wife would prefer to move with me wherever I end up. I know some people can really thrive in those type of situations, but I think it would make both of us miserable :( Thanks for the advice though!
     
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  23. EMT2ER-DOC

    EMT2ER-DOC Why so Serious?????
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    Right now I live in northern nj but I will be moving to southern nj for school.
     
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  24. OP
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    Lshapley

    Lshapley Old Man Med Student
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    Sounds good. I have another question for you. I have read some people talking about a numeric system qualifying you for admission to UMDNJ-SOM. Do you know anything about this?
     
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  25. melissainsd

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    It seems that I will not know where I am headed until right before school starts, so I really wish the "living apart" thing was an option for us. We have an 11-month-old and it just isn't possible. We currently own our home and will be purchasing a home wherever we end up. It will be difficult for my husband because he is a police officer and there application process is generally 6 mos. Poor guy, and he just canceled his WoW membership...what will he do for 6 mo?
     
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  26. Faze2

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    Ahh yes, going from New York accents to Philly accents. :laugh: :laugh:
     

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