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Will graduating late affect my chances for MD/PhD? Motherhood?

medicinalrose

New Member
Mar 25, 2020
1
0
1
  1. Pre-Medical
Hello everyone!

I am new to SDN. I tried seeing if anything recent and similar to my questions has been posted here, but I could not find anything. Apologies if both questions have been asked; I am still learning how to navigate this forum.

As an undergrad student who changed my career path, worked full-time, and took care of my sick parents, I won't be graduating as expected. At the earliest, I should be graduating 1-2 1/2 years later than intended. This allows me to participate in more research under my belt before I apply, which is great. However, will graduating so late affect my chances for acceptance?

Another concern on my mind is how I will be able to manage motherhood in the future, even with a supportive partner. I do not want to sacrifice motherhood for a career. I have no female mentors or role models so I have little exposure to doctors who are also mothers. Would it damage my chances of acceptance if I graduated, worked in research during my child-rearing years, and then applied to programs afterwards? I am sorry if this sounds naive, but I am just seeing what is possible.

Thank-you for your time. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
 
Jun 11, 2010
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Somewhere west of St. Louis
  1. Non-Student
Hello everyone!

I am new to SDN. I tried seeing if anything recent and similar to my questions has been posted here, but I could not find anything. Apologies if both questions have been asked; I am still learning how to navigate this forum.

As an undergrad student who changed my career path, worked full-time, and took care of my sick parents, I won't be graduating as expected. At the earliest, I should be graduating 1-2 1/2 years later than intended. This allows me to participate in more research under my belt before I apply, which is great. However, will graduating so late affect my chances for acceptance?

Another concern on my mind is how I will be able to manage motherhood in the future, even with a supportive partner. I do not want to sacrifice motherhood for a career. I have no female mentors or role models so I have little exposure to doctors who are also mothers. Would it damage my chances of acceptance if I graduated, worked in research during my child-rearing years, and then applied to programs afterwards? I am sorry if this sounds naive, but I am just seeing what is possible.

Thank-you for your time. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
You can do a research career with just the MD.

As to parenting advice, best to inquire in the MD student forum.

Oh, it's a premed delusion that med schools want you to do UG in four straight years. Just do well.
 
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DocJanItor

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Jun 7, 2017
466
601
116
  1. Medical Student
Hello everyone!

I am new to SDN. I tried seeing if anything recent and similar to my questions has been posted here, but I could not find anything. Apologies if both questions have been asked; I am still learning how to navigate this forum.

As an undergrad student who changed my career path, worked full-time, and took care of my sick parents, I won't be graduating as expected. At the earliest, I should be graduating 1-2 1/2 years later than intended. This allows me to participate in more research under my belt before I apply, which is great. However, will graduating so late affect my chances for acceptance?

Another concern on my mind is how I will be able to manage motherhood in the future, even with a supportive partner. I do not want to sacrifice motherhood for a career. I have no female mentors or role models so I have little exposure to doctors who are also mothers. Would it damage my chances of acceptance if I graduated, worked in research during my child-rearing years, and then applied to programs afterwards? I am sorry if this sounds naive, but I am just seeing what is possible.

Thank-you for your time. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Graduating late won't affect your chances. Everyone has their own timeline. As long as you are generally "full-time" and prove that you can handle multiple courses simultaneously, you'll be fine.

I became a father in my 1st year of medical school. I know one woman who was pregnant over her 3rd year and one other who already had 3 children before starting in school. As a parent, anything you do outside of parenting will cause you to sacrifice something. I had to sacrifice a lot of time with my kid for Step 1, M3, and now Step 2. It will continue through residency and beyond.

That being said, mothers have it harder. You all have the burden of pregnancy, recovery, and early care of the child in which they can't and shouldn't be away from you for long periods. Even the president of Pepsi, Indra Nooyi, has said that her career has forced her to sacrifice time with her children. However, women do it all the time. My cousin had 2 children during medical school and another during residency. Her kids are all great, but she had a huge support structure of her parents, sisters, aunts, and cousins. And even then it still took a toll on her. (You might be like "where's the husband"? He was also in medical school).

So it's certainly possible, but it makes 2 difficult situations much more difficult. It's rarely possible to do two things without compromise. It's just up to you to choose which you want to focus on and how much you're willing to sacrifice.
 
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alw44

New Member
Apr 6, 2020
6
2
1
  1. Pre-Medical
I’m 28, married, 2 girls under age 2. I currently work in pharma sales and I’ve decided to gain some clinical experience and do more consistent volunteering so that I can apply to med school.

I won’t sugarcoat it... it’s HARD to work, study for the MCAT, be a mom, be a wife, volunteer, and be a volunteer EMT. I’m doing all of that right now. It’ll be easier when my daughters’ daycare opens back up. I look forward to that. On top of all that, of course there’s house chores and we own our home so there’s always something happening (our fridge broke when I was in labor with my second one February, our dryer needs to be replaced soon and we just replaced our washer, we now have raccoons in our attic, we have more than an acre to mow, we’ve had two roof leaks, and the list goes on). Oh, and my husband is in the military so he will be gone for 8 months beginning in August.. I’m hoping to be able to rely on his parents to help out a bit.

I’ve done so much research on the premed process, application process, etc. I firmly believe you will not be at any type of disadvantage if you decide to take some time off before applying to medical school. If you want to start a family, I say go for it. But understand that you’ll need to be consistent with your volunteer and clinical activities during your time off. Your partner needs to be incredibly supportive and do AT LEAST 50% of the work around the house and caring for your child. My husband does much greater than 50% (I actually do not cook at all.. he does it). We understand each other and our goals and it works for us. The harsh reality is that many men are not like my husband.. but I hope yours is.

Sorry for the long response... I just think it’s important I try to give you a full picture. It’s so hard. But you CAN do anything you want if you are willing to work for it.. even if you are a mom.
 
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