Women who started med school after 26 -- tell me your experience!

BleedinBlue2016

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Hi everyone,

As a quick background, I began college as a pre-med but ended up dropping it and working in consulting. Recently had a change of heart for a variety of different reasons and have started taking my final classes for med school application while working.

The way my timeline works, I won't be able to apply until 2019 -- meaning I would start medical school at age 26. I have so many friends right now who started med school right out of college, and throughout this whole process I have had that doubt in the back of my mind that things would have been so much better for me had I decided on my med school track just a bit earlier.

To be clear, I know that I am still on the young end of the spectrum when it comes to nontrads. But my age/the thought of being in school potentially until I am in my late 30s has still stressed me out sometimes to the point where I feel like it's not worth it. It's kind of a fear that while this career/passion is very important to me now, my priorities may change as I get older and have me regretting my decision.

I am extremely curious to hear from those who have taken a similar path, especially women who have started med school in their late 20s. Some of my questions are -- Did you feel like you had to give up on a more time-consuming specialty due to starting later? How much did starting later affect your personal life -- did you have to put other priorities (settling down, kids, etc.) on hold much longer than you would have liked? Do you have any regrets about your decision?
Curious to hear any and all input!
 

harkas

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I haven’t started medical school yet but I will be matriculating this fall at age 26. I figured I’d give my opinion but since I haven’t been through med school yet, it may not be helpful for you.

I had similar fears when I decided to go down this path as a few of my friends are now finishing up medical school while I’m starting. The funny this is is that they feel insecure about the fact that they started right away. They’re worried they wasted their 20s studying instead of having 8-5 50k jobs where they could get happy hour Thursday nights. As someone who had the time to sow her wild oats, I know that although it was nice, I could’ve been doing something more productive with my time if I had made the decision sooner. My point is the grass is always greener. The reality is you’re only 3-4 years behind and in the grand scheme of things, that’s not very much.

I can’t comment about the kids thing, but my long term partner and I plan to get married and I hope to get pregnant either during residency at 31-33 or after (NOT during intern year).We’ll see what happens!
 

stayathomemom

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You're going to find yourself in your late 30's (should you be so fortunate) sooner than you think, whether or not you go to med school. Do you want to find yourself without a MD, maybe wishing you did, or would you want to find yourself with medical school and residency already behind you?
 
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You're going to find yourself in your late 30's (should you be so fortunate) sooner than you think, whether or not you go to med school. Do you want to find yourself without a MD, maybe wishing you did, or would you want to find yourself with medical school and residency already behind you?
This! I will be starting medical school in the fall at 28. You can either be a doctor in your 30s or...not. You cannot turn back time and be one of those classmates who went to medical school straight out of college. Accept that and go for it! There is plenty of life to be lived in your 30s and beyond.
 

alexlex143

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I'll be 29 when I start this fall. My hubby wants kids in the next couple of years but that's not happening. I'm totally fine with it. I think this is my only slight concern (having that conversation, that is).
 

star.buck

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You're going to find yourself in your late 30's (should you be so fortunate) sooner than you think, whether or not you go to med school. Do you want to find yourself without a MD, maybe wishing you did, or would you want to find yourself with medical school and residency already behind you?
THIS! I had a similar statement posed to me, in my early 30's as I was pondering PA or MD... I'm now coming to the end of my 2nd year in medical school and very glad I took the leap.

As for the OP's post... honestly age is just a number at the end of the day. I'm 35 this year, have many friends at school in their late 20's and early 30's... and nothing really separates us except for the few times I am able to lend some life experience to a group-learning scenario, or when I act like a mom and fetch my friends food during long study days (making sure we also have utensils, plates, and of course: napkins!). Most likely, you will be glad you took that side road because it will mostly likely give you some unique perspectives both as a medical student and as a physician. You are not behind - you are bringing a different life perspective to the table. It will be one of your strengths, not weaknesses.

For the specific questions:

Did you feel like you had to give up on a more time-consuming specialty due to starting later - sometimes, but I have fallen in love with family medicine, so at the end of the day it wont be an issue.

How much did starting later affect your personal life - I married my amazing husband before med school started - we've been together over 6 years. As for kids, I know many female doctors who had kids during residency, and if this was something I wanted to do - I believe it would be very possible. I do miss my siblings and seeing their kids grow up more often - but the time we do spend together is of much higher value than it used to be (because my time is so limited at times).

Do you have any regrets about your decision? The only thing I regret is not believing I could do this sooner - and thinking that age is more of an issue than it really is. Yet, due to my age I am able to bring a different perspective to the table, and I believe this will greatly help me as a family doc - and it has helped me as a medical student greatly.

Let me know if you have any other questions. Don't hold yourself back!!

Best of luck to you!!

P.s. read Sheryl Sandberg's "Lean In", it will change your life.
 
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ChopinLiszt

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I’m starting this summer (still feels weird to say that!) at 37, but my situation is a bit different because I got married young and already had my kids. The youngest is starting school so I don’t need to worry about being pregnant, etc.
Because I’m much older I do worry a little about the specialty and training time, etc. But really, even if I do the longest training specialty and only get ten practicing years, that’s still ten years doing what I love, and maybe I can teach and do research after that, who knows? I say find what you love and do it, and have your kids when you want them. It won’t be perfect but all those things we’re taught to worry about aren’t worth missing big things in your life.
 

star.buck

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I’m starting this summer (still feels weird to say that!) at 37, but my situation is a bit different because I got married young and already had my kids. The youngest is starting school so I don’t need to worry about being pregnant, etc.
Because I’m much older I do worry a little about the specialty and training time, etc. But really, even if I do the longest training specialty and only get ten practicing years, that’s still ten years doing what I love, and maybe I can teach and do research after that, who knows? I say find what you love and do it, and have your kids when you want them. It won’t be perfect but all those things we’re taught to worry about aren’t worth missing big things in your life.
I’m adding you to my list of “women to look up to”. You’re my hero.
 

DBC03

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I’m starting med school and am 37 as well, but in a completely different situation than @ChopinLiszt as I don’t currently have children. It’s probably too long of a story to get into why i don’t have them now (married for over 10 years at this point), but after talking with at least 6 of my friends who are already physicians, I can say that every single one of them had children while in medical school and residency. It definitely takes some planning, teamwork, and sacrifice. But apparently it can be done. And one wise women told me something very similar to the comments above. When she went back for her JD while in her 40s and people questioned her judgment, she said, “I’d rather be 45 and in school than just plain 45.”


Sent from my iPad using SDN mobile
 
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BleedinBlue2016

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All of this is so incredibly inspirational and helpful! Thank you guys so much for sharing your experiences. The more I hear from people who were in a similar position as me, the more I realize that this path isn’t as uncommon as it originally seemed to me.
I’d love to PM a few of you to ask some more questions if that’s okay :)
 

star.buck

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All of this is so incredibly inspirational and helpful! Thank you guys so much for sharing your experiences. The more I hear from people who were in a similar position as me, the more I realize that this path isn’t as uncommon as it originally seemed to me.
I’d love to PM a few of you to ask some more questions if that’s okay :)
There's a lot of other very inspiring women here... but feel free to ask if there's any question I can answer.
 

fourandtwo

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I am going to be M1 this year and am 30 years old. I want kids during med school but I'm a lesbian which means that will require $ and planning. This, however, isn't going to stop me from pursuing medicine or prevent me from having a family. If being a nontrad taught me one thing, it's to chase your passions no matter what. Be a lifetime learner. Everything is hard, working in corporate doing what you only mildly tolerate, is WORSE.
 
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I am going to be M1 this year and am 30 years old. I want kids during med school but I'm a lesbian which means that will require $ and planning. This, however, isn't going to stop me from pursuing medicine or prevent me from having a family. If being a nontrad taught me one thing, it's to chase your passions no matter what. Be a lifetime learner. Everything is hard, working in corporate doing what you only mildly tolerate, is WORSE.
I can relate to this so much! Congrats on your acceptance! So ready to do what I love everyday, not just what I can tolerate.
 
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stayathomemom

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I’m starting this summer (still feels weird to say that!) at 37, but my situation is a bit different because I got married young and already had my kids. The youngest is starting school so I don’t need to worry about being pregnant, etc.
Because I’m much older I do worry a little about the specialty and training time, etc. But really, even if I do the longest training specialty and only get ten practicing years, that’s still ten years doing what I love, and maybe I can teach and do research after that, who knows? I say find what you love and do it, and have your kids when you want them. It won’t be perfect but all those things we’re taught to worry about aren’t worth missing big things in your life.
LOL! I'm a couple years behind you! 35 here, planning to apply summer of 2019, and my youngest is going to be in K this fall. I am soooo thankful I decided to have kids, and had them young. To each woman her own path, but I would have done a terrible job in my early twenties of juggling med school and a family. I feel like I've taken an advance on my retirement.
 

star.buck

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Aww thanks! How are you liking med school so far? I’m a little worried about the learning/endurance curve!
The first year was very difficult for me, if I'm honest... but I think that was partially my own fault due to my initial struggles playing the mental game of confidence and endurance even when I'm not where I thought I "should" be with grades and such; as well as some personal things that proved more difficult initially. You'll find the first year is usually most difficult for everyone - with the following years progressively becoming better (regarding stress, time, enjoyment of coursework, etc).

With the second year actually being more academically difficult (the beast neuro/heme/onc course work, and Step 1 coming up all too soon)... I am doing much better. I added more self-care routines, built confidence (still working on that!), made sure I was sleeping properly, and worked on making friends (which is as not difficult as I thought it would be due to the age difference).

My endurance and attention span has improved immensely, as have my study habits and skills. The best advice I was ever given was be willing to change up what you're doing in order to improve. Second best advice - don't use too many resources. Third: Anki. I enjoy being a med student, and I am quite excited for 3rd year and the clinical work to begin!!

You're going to be amazing, believe that. Your younger peers will appreciate you greatly and the experience you bring to school.

And... time flies. It feels like I started this whole thing last week, and now I'm almost half way!
 

DrHubby

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I will be 38 and matriculating this summer. I’m currently a self employed entrepreneur with a flexible schedule and high earnings. I could easily choose a much easier life by staying where I am, but I’d be bored and unfulfilled. Reading this thread is inspiring in so many ways! Thank you to all who have shared. I know the path I’m embarking on will be challenging, but the next few years are going to pass whether I am working toward becoming a physician or not. In the end I’ll have pursued my dream relentlessly and never question “what if”. My son will be 2 when I start med school, and I just feel extremely blessed to have spent the first two years of his life with him so much. We have an incredible bond! I am proud to show him that it is never too late to go after what you want in life and set an example of the value of an education.
 

PygmyPuff

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I am going to be M1 this year and am 30 years old. I want kids during med school but I'm a lesbian which means that will require $ and planning. This, however, isn't going to stop me from pursuing medicine or prevent me from having a family. If being a nontrad taught me one thing, it's to chase your passions no matter what. Be a lifetime learner. Everything is hard, working in corporate doing what you only mildly tolerate, is WORSE.
Truth.

I will be matriculating at 27 this fall. I currently have a high paying career in corporate healthcare. I barely tolerate it and it's not fulfilling. I haven't started yet but I think in the long run, the sacrifices will be worth it. Do what you love!
 

fourandtwo

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I will be 38 and matriculating this summer. I’m currently a self employed entrepreneur with a flexible schedule and high earnings. I could easily choose a much easier life by staying where I am, but I’d be bored and unfulfilled. Reading this thread is inspiring in so many ways! Thank you to all who have shared. I know the path I’m embarking on will be challenging, but the next few years are going to pass whether I am working toward becoming a physician or not. In the end I’ll have pursued my dream relentlessly and never question “what if”. My son will be 2 when I start med school, and I just feel extremely blessed to have spent the first two years of his life with him so much. We have an incredible bond! I am proud to show him that it is never too late to go after what you want in life and set an example of the value of an education.
Your son will have a great role model. Even though you'll be busy, he's gonna learn first hand how possible it is to balance hard work and family
 

PipetteDreams

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I haven’t started medical school yet but I will be matriculating this fall at age 26...
This! I will be starting medical school in the fall at 28...
I'll be 29 when I start this fall...
I am going to be M1 this year and am 30 years old...
I will be 38 and matriculating this summer...
...I will be matriculating at 27 this fall....
I realize I just quoted practically the entire thread, but I'm so happy to see all these wonderful women. I am 29 and will be matriculating in the summer, after finishing my PhD.

Is there a way for all of us to stay in touch? I would love to have a community to talk with as we all start this journey!
 

ScubaD

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I'll be 38 this summer and I'm apply this year! Someone above mentioned only mildly tolerating corporate life. That was me. I came home most days wondering what all of my hard work was for. Did it really matter? Did it do any good in the world? The answer was always "no." I just (3 weeks ago) left that long and pretty successful career to pursue my dreams. School- wise, I'm in my last semester of pre-reqs. I worry about residency and such, as well but for me its more important that I reach my goal and follow my passion. You're going to age no matter what so you might as well age while you're fulfilling your passion. Goodluck everyone! I'm glad to have found this little thread.
 

fourandtwo

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I'll be 38 this summer and I'm apply this year! Someone above mentioned only mildly tolerating corporate life. That was me. I came home most days wondering what all of my hard work was for. Did it really matter? Did it do any good in the world? The answer was always "no." I just (3 weeks ago) left that long and pretty successful career to pursue my dreams. School- wise, I'm in my last semester of pre-reqs. I worry about residency and such, as well but for me its more important that I reach my goal and follow my passion. You're going to age no matter what so you might as well age while you're fulfilling your passion. Goodluck everyone! I'm glad to have found this little thread.

GIRL, TOTALLY! I was having such a hard time with my corporate job, it was DRAINING, but I wouldn't say it was hard work by any means. When I was studying for the MCAT, even though that was a MUCH harder task and it required me to focus practically 24/7, I was as energized as ever! I'm so proud of everyone in this thread. Getting out of your comfort zone, especially as an older woman, is HARD!!!
 
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fourandtwo

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I realize I just quoted practically the entire thread, but I'm so happy to see all these wonderful women. I am 29 and will be matriculating in the summer, after finishing my PhD.

Is there a way for all of us to stay in touch? I would love to have a community to talk with as we all start this journey!
I'm down!

Follow up question for everybody: do you ever worry that you won't find a good support group in med school? I worry it! Gauging from the crowds at my interviews, it seems everyone's so much younger. I'm worried that when I need the support from my peers, I won't find it, as they haven't got the same life experience and are not in the same stage in life. I fear that I may only bond with them superficially. Furthermore, since I don't have kids or a spouse, I worry that I won't form that strong bond with people my age either, whom may already have those things.
 

naway

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I'll be starting at 29. Planned to finish my post-bacc and get started about 2 years sooner, but a variety of factors landed me here. I seem to be in an unusual position for nontrad, older women in that I don't have a SO. So if I want to have kids, it's pretty much meet someone while in med school and get busy or just accept that I'll never have them. I don't really have any intense desire to have them, but I'm not at the same time immune to societal pressures that say it's what I'm supposed to do and I'll regret it if I don't. Professionally, I know I'm making the right move. I've struggled in my first career choice for too long, and it has really taught me the value of having the rare job stability and security that being a physician provides. Personally, we'll see how it goes.
 

drdpmn

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I'll be starting at 29. Planned to finish my post-bacc and get started about 2 years sooner, but a variety of factors landed me here. I seem to be in an unusual position for nontrad, older women in that I don't have a SO. So if I want to have kids, it's pretty much meet someone while in med school and get busy or just accept that I'll never have them.
I’m in a very similar situation. 29 y/o, single, no kids, and had “planned” on matriculating 2 cycles ago. But I’d really like to have a partner and kids at some point and KNOW I will regret it if I don’t. I have been busy pursuing my career and I guess not wanting to be held back by anyone. Now I’m afraid I’ll be forgoing a family for Medicine and that makes me sad and worried...
 

tiramisucheese

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I’m in a very similar situation. 29 y/o, single, no kids, and had “planned” on matriculating 2 cycles ago. But I’d really like to have a partner and kids at some point and KNOW I will regret it if I don’t. I have been busy pursuing my career and I guess not wanting to be held back by anyone. Now I’m afraid I’ll be forgoing a family for Medicine and that makes me sad and worried...
Literally same. I'm just trying to going with the flow.

Jumping in on this thread! Will be matriculating this summer at 27.
 
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PipetteDreams

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Literally same. I'm just trying to going with the flow.

Jumping in on this thread! Will be matriculating this summer at 27.
Welcome!

I'm in a slightly different boat. I'm unmarried, but in a serious relationship where we're planning on getting married during the summer after my first year. I'm deciding whether to go to his medical school (he's in an MSTP, so we will finish at the same time), or to a more prestigious program that would actually cost significantly less.

It's all crazy. Before I met him, there's no way I would consider prioritizing a relationship over my career. He is supportive of either option, and willing to do distance (6 hour drive), though. I am just unsure if that's a journey I want to put us through for my career, when we will be couple's matching regardless. Yet I've been dreaming of going to this other program for the last four years...

Advice, anyone? Please?
 
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GypsyHummus

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Women in medicine is a tricky subject. This post will prolly get flagged as hate speech but let’s roll with it.

If you don’t want kids, I think that it is entirely possible to find someone understanding of the demands medicine places on you. No problem. Gonna be harder to find someone that understanding, but there are guys out there who will.

If you want kids, medicine becomes very tricky. The best case scienerio is that you are out practicing as a PC doc at age 29. While the 80 hour workweeks subside, Docs are still pulling in 40-50 hours/week full time. How many kids do you want? If the answer is three, well, that’s 9 months each and studies have shown that babies do best breastfeeding for 18 months. When are you sopposed to have time to do that? What is the point of having a child if you can’t raise it?

Personally, having female family members in medicine, they express their regret for going to medical school, and wish they would have done the PA/NP route because it’s shorter. After age 35, the risk of pregnancy complications goes up, and females are pretty much done after age 40.

Now, I think that the saving grace in the conversation is if grandparents are a part of the equation. Children need a father and a mother figure present in the first 6 years of life when the subconscious is developing.
 

GypsyHummus

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Why not have kids when you are still younge and go to medical school at 37?
 

PygmyPuff

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Welcome!

I'm in a slightly different boat. I'm unmarried, but in a serious relationship where we're planning on getting married during the summer after my first year. I'm deciding whether to go to his medical school (he's in an MSTP, so we will finish at the same time), or to a more prestigious program that would actually cost significantly less.

It's all crazy. Before I met him, there's no way I would consider prioritizing a relationship over my career. He is supportive of either option, and willing to do distance (6 hour drive), though. I am just unsure if that's a journey I want to put us through for my career, when we will be couple's matching regardless. Yet I've been dreaming of going to this other program for the last four years...

Advice, anyone? Please?
I think there are a few things you need to consider here and you should talk through the pros/cons with your potential husband because only the two of you can decide what's important to you.

1) Cost - this is a huge factor. For my husband and I, debt was a big topic when we were getting engaged (the ring), married (the wedding), buying a house, and now going to medical school (he's not going, but WE'RE going because we're really in this together). If you crunch the numbers and determine that you'll be significantly more in debt if you're closer then you'll need to decide if that's worth it. I know everyone says that all doctors have debt and what's the difference between 150k or 250k but the reality is that the difference is 100k + interest and probably a few years paying it off. When you graduate you're going to want (maybe) the nice house, car, kids... all that stuff costs money and debt hanging over your head stinks! But this directly competes with my next point...

2) Support system - For me, there isn't a single dream that's worth sacrificing seeing my husband every day! This is obviously not how everyone feels so it's just something you need to decide for yourself. If you can do weekends and holidays only then it might be worth it to go to your dream school at a lower cost.

3) Prestige of the Institution - I don't personally subscribe to the school of thought that says prestige matters. But again, this depends wholly on your specific situation and career aspirations! It doesn't matter for me but it may matter to you if you hope to be in academics or work at a prestigious institution.

In the end, SDN can't tell you what to do here. Use good logic and your heart to figure this one out!

Good luck!!
 

fourandtwo

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Welcome!

I'm in a slightly different boat. I'm unmarried, but in a serious relationship where we're planning on getting married during the summer after my first year. I'm deciding whether to go to his medical school (he's in an MSTP, so we will finish at the same time), or to a more prestigious program that would actually cost significantly less.

It's all crazy. Before I met him, there's no way I would consider prioritizing a relationship over my career. He is supportive of either option, and willing to do distance (6 hour drive), though. I am just unsure if that's a journey I want to put us through for my career, when we will be couple's matching regardless. Yet I've been dreaming of going to this other program for the last four years...

Advice, anyone? Please?
Here's some more things to consider:

We live in a global world now where most people will have a long distance relationship in their lifetime. It's not easy, but maybe easier than you think! It's only a 6 hour drive, which means plane tickets shouldn't be that expensive. Being apart in med school means that you'll be able to focus on school while being loved from afar. If your love is strong, you'll make it work. My SO and I have been seen a therapist in preparation for our upcoming long distance relationship. I feel very optimistic. I'm not saying you should pick the cheaper more prestigious school, I'm saying that we ARE older now, more mature, in serious relationships, we're going to be so busy, it not too bad.
 

PygmyPuff

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Here's some more things to consider:

We live in a global world now where most people will have a long distance relationship in their lifetime. It's not easy, but maybe easier than you think! It's only a 6 hour drive, which means plane tickets shouldn't be that expensive. Being apart in med school means that you'll be able to focus on school while being loved from afar. If your love is strong, you'll make it work. My SO and I have been seen a therapist in preparation for our upcoming long distance relationship. I feel very optimistic. I'm not saying you should pick the cheaper more prestigious school, I'm saying that we ARE older now, more mature, in serious relationships, we're going to be so busy, it not too bad.
I totally agree with this! Long distance is NOT the end of the world and it's doable. My husband and I did long distance for 2 years while dating. It wasn't easy but we did it and here we are years later, happily married! I absolutely think it can be done, but I also think it depends on the people in the relationship. You need to decide for yourself if you and your SO are the type of people that can handle it. Like I said, I wouldn't do it again and it's not worth it to me but if I didn't make that sacrifice in the beginning of our relationship then we wouldn't be where we are today so it was 100% worth it!
 
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PygmyPuff

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I have been busy pursuing my career and I guess not wanting to be held back by anyone. Now I’m afraid I’ll be forgoing a family for Medicine and that makes me sad and worried...
I met my husband when I was busy pursuing my career. At the time, I had essentially given up on the idea of ever being a doctor. My husband didn't hold me back, instead he pushed me in the direction of my dream and started dreaming it with me. I just want to say that you should have hope and know that the right person won't hold you back!
 

PipetteDreams

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Wow, thanks for all the replies! My main goal was see if there is any angle we missed when approaching this decision, such as fourandtwo's great insight to consider attending a therapy session if we go for distance. We've both done LDRs, so we've talked about what worked/didn't work for us in those times.

As Pygmy said, I'm seriously consulting my heart and logic on this one, as is my SO, and we've been very communicative. Even if it's not as simple as "is seeing you every day worth $128/day?" (the approximate cost difference, pre-interest, as things currently stand), you're so right that debt and support are two very real considerations.

We're both planning on careers in academic medicine, so institutions and their networks are a consideration.

Thanks again - it was really nice to think, type this all out, and see what you ladies thought. Sorry to Blue, though, for hijacking the discussion!
 

PipetteDreams

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Jan 20, 2016
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Women in medicine is a tricky subject. This post will prolly get flagged as hate speech but let’s roll with it.

If you don’t want kids, I think that it is entirely possible to find someone understanding of the demands medicine places on you. No problem. Gonna be harder to find someone that understanding, but there are guys out there who will.

If you want kids, medicine becomes very tricky. The best case scienerio is that you are out practicing as a PC doc at age 29. While the 80 hour workweeks subside, Docs are still pulling in 40-50 hours/week full time. How many kids do you want? If the answer is three, well, that’s 9 months each and studies have shown that babies do best breastfeeding for 18 months. When are you sopposed to have time to do that? What is the point of having a child if you can’t raise it?

Personally, having female family members in medicine, they express their regret for going to medical school, and wish they would have done the PA/NP route because it’s shorter. After age 35, the risk of pregnancy complications goes up, and females are pretty much done after age 40.

Now, I think that the saving grace in the conversation is if grandparents are a part of the equation. Children need a father and a mother figure present in the first 6 years of life when the subconscious is developing.


Blue, as Pygmy beautifully said, find someone who dreams your dream with you. My partner was the one who made me believe, in July, that I could take the MCAT in August and apply to programs in September. I thought he was crazy, but he told me not to close doors that are still open, just because they were slightly more open in the past.

Hummus here thinks maternity leave begins at conception, doesn't understand that babies can drink pumped milk or formula, fails to recognize childcare as a need for working women in any career, and leaves little room for a supportive co-parent or family.

Yes, this is a more challenging road, but it is do-able. While my community is in academic medicine, I have female friends who finished MDs or MSTPs in their early 30s and have specialized in fields from ophthalmology (now pregnant in PGY3), to neurosurgery (had a child M4), to anesthesia (had a child M4, planning for baby number 2 in PGY2). One of my mentors is an MD/PhD who had two kids in residency, and is a highly successful cardiologist who sees patients, runs a lab, and has a wonderful family. Many of them met their partner while in medical school, and they are all making it work.

For what it's worth, you'll only be two years older than the average age to enter medical school: ~24.
 

DBC03

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Dec 28, 2016
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Welcome!

I'm in a slightly different boat. I'm unmarried, but in a serious relationship where we're planning on getting married during the summer after my first year. I'm deciding whether to go to his medical school (he's in an MSTP, so we will finish at the same time), or to a more prestigious program that would actually cost significantly less.

It's all crazy. Before I met him, there's no way I would consider prioritizing a relationship over my career. He is supportive of either option, and willing to do distance (6 hour drive), though. I am just unsure if that's a journey I want to put us through for my career, when we will be couple's matching regardless. Yet I've been dreaming of going to this other program for the last four years...

Advice, anyone? Please?
One important thing to consider is how long you'll be carrying that extra debt. You'll be separated (hopefully) at most 4 years during your relationship, then you can possibly do a couple's match. If you take on the extra debt, that could be with you for years after you graduate. My husband and I took on a lot of undergraduate debt (over $100k) well before we met each other, and being in debt was a huge stress on our marriage. Of course, being separated is also a huge stress. Neither situation is ideal, but I'm slightly leaning toward taking on less debt and going to the more prestigious program. However, talking with a couple's counselor would be a great idea as that person may have more wisdom on what is the better course of action for the long-term. I think you can make this work. OTOH, tons of people take on massive amounts of debt for medical school and eventually pay it off, so it's not the end of the world. But I can attest that I hated paying off my student loans and will do anything I can to limit my medical school loans.
 

naway

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Dec 12, 2017
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I’m in a very similar situation. 29 y/o, single, no kids, and had “planned” on matriculating 2 cycles ago. But I’d really like to have a partner and kids at some point and KNOW I will regret it if I don’t. I have been busy pursuing my career and I guess not wanting to be held back by anyone. Now I’m afraid I’ll be forgoing a family for Medicine and that makes me sad and worried...
Literally same. I'm just trying to going with the flow.

Jumping in on this thread! Will be matriculating this summer at 27.
We need a support group for single women entering medical school in their late 20s/early 30s!

I just want to say that seeing how gracefully my primary care doc (and my previous primary care doc, actually) makes having a newborn in her 30s work with being a physician gives me a lot of hope. I notice when scheduling appointments that she typically works early mornings, like 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and then has a few appointments later in the evening, so she probably takes the middle of the day off to spend some time with her baby or whatever. So something like that is one of many options. There are people (read: men) who will resent female doctors for doing things like this, but their opinions are completely not worth concerning myself with. My doctor is there and attentive at my appointment times and has more than enough availability in both the mornings and evenings, so that's all that matters to me as a patient.
 

fourandtwo

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Jan 31, 2012
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One important thing to consider is how long you'll be carrying that extra debt. You'll be separated (hopefully) at most 4 years during your relationship, then you can possibly do a couple's match. If you take on the extra debt, that could be with you for years after you graduate. My husband and I took on a lot of undergraduate debt (over $100k) well before we met each other, and being in debt was a huge stress on our marriage. Of course, being separated is also a huge stress. Neither situation is ideal, but I'm slightly leaning toward taking on less debt and going to the more prestigious program. However, talking with a couple's counselor would be a great idea as that person may have more wisdom on what is the better course of action for the long-term. I think you can make this work. OTOH, tons of people take on massive amounts of debt for medical school and eventually pay it off, so it's not the end of the world. But I can attest that I hated paying off my student loans and will do anything I can to limit my medical school loans.
To add to the couples counseling thing (last thing sorry for derailing the thread!!), we are seeing our therapist 1x / month (our insurance covers it) and we plan on continuing during med school, even if no friction is happening between my partner and I. Our therapist offers teletherapy, and I think it's beneficial that she knows us as a couple already. I think this route is better than waiting to be long distance before seeing a therapist, or changing therapists when the distance occurs
 
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Osminog

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Dec 8, 2017
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Women in medicine is a tricky subject. This post will prolly get flagged as hate speech but let’s roll with it.

If you don’t want kids, I think that it is entirely possible to find someone understanding of the demands medicine places on you. No problem. Gonna be harder to find someone that understanding, but there are guys out there who will.

If you want kids, medicine becomes very tricky. The best case scienerio is that you are out practicing as a PC doc at age 29. While the 80 hour workweeks subside, Docs are still pulling in 40-50 hours/week full time. How many kids do you want? If the answer is three, well, that’s 9 months each and studies have shown that babies do best breastfeeding for 18 months. When are you sopposed to have time to do that? What is the point of having a child if you can’t raise it?

Personally, having female family members in medicine, they express their regret for going to medical school, and wish they would have done the PA/NP route because it’s shorter. After age 35, the risk of pregnancy complications goes up, and females are pretty much done after age 40.

Now, I think that the saving grace in the conversation is if grandparents are a part of the equation. Children need a father and a mother figure present in the first 6 years of life when the subconscious is developing.
If you keep it up with the sexist rants, the American Podiatric Medical Association is going to start looking for a new spokesman...
 

DBC03

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Dec 28, 2016
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www.thegracefuldwelling.com
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To add to the couples counseling thing (last thing sorry for derailing the thread!!), we are seeing our therapist 1x / month (our insurance covers it) and we plan on continuing during med school, even if no friction is happening between my partner and I. Our therapist offers teletherapy, and I think it's beneficial that she knows us as a couple already. I think this route is better than waiting to be long distance before seeing a therapist, or changing therapists when the distance occurs
I've actually considered doing this before we start med school, but we don't even know where we'll be, yet! Maybe we can start as soon as we get to the new location - it's a great way to prevent any issues beforehand. We did couples counseling even before we got engaged, then continued through our first year of marriage. We're 10 years into marriage and VERY happy, but I think part of that is because we're proactive about our relationship.
 

tiramisucheese

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Jun 15, 2016
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We need a support group for single women entering medical school in their late 20s/early 30s!

I just want to say that seeing how gracefully my primary care doc (and my previous primary care doc, actually) makes having a newborn in her 30s work with being a physician gives me a lot of hope. I notice when scheduling appointments that she typically works early mornings, like 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and then has a few appointments later in the evening, so she probably takes the middle of the day off to spend some time with her baby or whatever. So something like that is one of many options. There are people (read: men) who will resent female doctors for doing things like this, but their opinions are completely not worth concerning myself with. My doctor is there and attentive at my appointment times and has more than enough availability in both the mornings and evenings, so that's all that matters to me as a patient.
That sounds like an ideal work schedule! I've heard that some women purposely plan to have children during med school between M2/M3, take a year off, and then come back for rotations. I've also heard of women popularly having children during residency. This gives me hope that if they can do it, then maybe I can too...

I've really struggled in the past with trying to balance my own career ambitions/goals with socializing and trying to find a partner. I've been less than thrilled with online dating in my local area. So I'm hoping for greener pastures once school starts, but I'm a bit jaded at this point. Like, I don't think I'm horrifically weird/awkward, just very single-minded when it comes to achieving goals I suppose.

Sorry for the word vomit, lol. TL;DR single women's support group sounds great :laugh:
 

naway

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Dec 12, 2017
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That sounds like an ideal work schedule! I've heard that some women purposely plan to have children during med school between M2/M3, take a year off, and then come back for rotations. I've also heard of women popularly having children during residency. This gives me hope that if they can do it, then maybe I can too...

I've really struggled in the past with trying to balance my own career ambitions/goals with socializing and trying to find a partner. I've been less than thrilled with online dating in my local area. So I'm hoping for greener pastures once school starts, but I'm a bit jaded at this point. Like, I don't think I'm horrifically weird/awkward, just very single-minded when it comes to achieving goals I suppose.

Sorry for the word vomit, lol. TL;DR single women's support group sounds great :laugh:
Lol, we sound very similar. I didn't feel like I had the time to put toward dating while doing my post-bacc/was afraid that dating would sidetrack me and I'd never wind up finishing pursuing the goal I started. Plus, yeah, whenever I tried online dating, I had very little luck. Seemed like 90% of what I got on there were messages from guys looking to go out drinking, which is not my thing. Taking classes with people much younger than me certainly didn't open any options. On top of all of that, I live in an area heavilyyyy populated with military men. It feels like at least 80% of women I went to high school and college with who are now married have military husbands. I really don't think the military spouse life is for me. If I really clicked with someone in the military, that would be one thing, but I've never had that experience. Hopefully we'll have more luck in our new locations when we start school!
 
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PipetteDreams

2+ Year Member
Jan 20, 2016
53
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Is it too much to suggest a GroupMe or Facebook or Slack or something along those lines? We can either find a way to keep it anonymous or de-anonymized via invite or something. I just don't see myself checking SDN too much once I matriculate.
 

Laterthansooner

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Aug 15, 2015
90
281
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We need a support group for single women entering medical school in their late 20s/early 30s!
I am all for keeping in touch as we go through med school...but I vote for a more general nontrad women’s group. As a not-quite-ultra, I would def appreciate the ability to communicate (commiserate?) with other strong, smart females who took a different path to med school. I think it would be really helpful to be able to support each other as we go through this craziness.

Side note: it really heartens me to be around supportive, encouraging people who are also headed to med school.
 
Feb 28, 2018
24
30
Status
Pre-Medical
I’m starting this summer (still feels weird to say that!) at 37, but my situation is a bit different because I got married young and already had my kids. The youngest is starting school so I don’t need to worry about being pregnant, etc.
Because I’m much older I do worry a little about the specialty and training time, etc. But really, even if I do the longest training specialty and only get ten practicing years, that’s still ten years doing what I love, and maybe I can teach and do research after that, who knows? I say find what you love and do it, and have your kids when you want them. It won’t be perfect but all those things we’re taught to worry about aren’t worth missing big things in your life.
THANK YOU for your post!! I've been reading this forum for a year or so now (since starting my pre-med journey) and I finally signed up so that I could respond to you. :) I'll be applying this year for the first time...at the age of 38. As you could imagine, I've had quite a few doubts about whether or not I should, since I have a great job, an MBA, and would be leaving a 6-figure salary to go to school for 7-8 years.
My husband is very supportive, and like you, I married young and had my kids young. When I matriculate this year or next they'll be almost ready for college. It's SO nice to know that there are other people making the same life choices, and happy and surviving it! :)
 
Feb 28, 2018
24
30
Status
Pre-Medical
I am all for keeping in touch as we go through med school...but I vote for a more general nontrad women’s group. As a not-quite-ultra, I would def appreciate the ability to communicate (commiserate?) with other strong, smart females who took a different path to med school. I think it would be really helpful to be able to support each other as we go through this craziness.

Side note: it really heartens me to be around supportive, encouraging people who are also headed to med school.
I agree. Facebook group, ladies?
 
Feb 28, 2018
24
30
Status
Pre-Medical
GIRL, TOTALLY! I was having such a hard time with my corporate job, it was DRAINING, but I wouldn't say it was hard work by any means. When I was studying for the MCAT, even though that was a MUCH harder task and it required me to focus practically 24/7, I was as energized as ever! I'm so proud of everyone in this thread. Getting out of your comfort zone, especially as an older woman, is HARD!!!
Yes, yes, yes! I'm leaving a pretty cushy corporate job to go to med school at age 38. I can't stand the idea of doing this type of work for the rest of my career...I work for a Fortune 500, and add to their bottom line every day. Not very motivating. I want to do something that matters for the rest of my career.
Did you work full time AND study for the MCAT? How long did it take you?
 
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willow84

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Jun 21, 2015
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Jumping in with the single and in my early 30s crowd! Matriculating in the fall. I don't have children, and I'm not sure that I really want them. I'm nervous that being in my 30s in med school AND not wanting children is really going to take a toll on any romantic prospects. I know I probably shouldn't give this so much worry, but it's been on my mind a lot lately. I'd be happy meeting a single dad, but no desire to be pregnant or deal with children under 5, haha.
 
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