Post # 1
I’ve been thinking about switching careers for a really long time. So much, that I’ve started working on some of my pre-med (post bac)requirements while I continue working full time. Fiance and I were discussing how this career change would effect our family and I am stumped. I honestly don’t know how becoming a doctor would change our plans for a family.
Any advice out there from doctor Bees? Advice from any mommy Bees is appreciated!
Post # 3
can’t relate but hoping someone else can 😀
Post # 4
well i’m just speaking as someone with a Fiance that is starting med school.. we are definitely going to be extremely affected by his career choice. we are actually planning when to have kids based on his medical school because we want him to be able to be around as much as possible (which turns out after seeking advice from other med students is 3rd or 4th year). when you go into your residency, depending on what you’re going into, it could also greatly affect your family life because it is really hard to say where you will end up. your family would need to be prepared for a move just in case for sure. after speaking to other people too we have realized that residency is when it will be the most difficult for family life, because you simply will be gone a ton (you will easily log 80 hours/week as a resident).
anyway, i think becoming a doctor definitely takes adjustments for any family…
Post # 5
ill be doing the same thing but right now im in that boat cause we are still paying Fiance student loans and its insanely hard at time but when one of us gets upset over it the other reminds them of the big picture and how in the long run it will help our family and help us pay for our kids to go to school so they dont have to live like we are now… so heres to being a doctor someday…. who knows maybe someday we will get to work together!
Post # 6
So you are thinking about becoming a doctor? Do you want to practice or research? Do you have any idea what kind of practice you might like (hard to know now I’m sure)? Would you apply to med school soon or are you a couple years out?
Getting into med school is a grueling process. It also requires a ton of flexibility, as you have little control over your residency and internships. If you started school this fall, having a child would be extremely hard for at least 6 years, bare minimum. I’m not a doctor, but I have enough friends to know that.
On the other hand, if your current plans are to have kids in your 30s, this may not change much. In addition, I am a professional and can say that one great thing about being a professional is that you are your commodity. Once you establish yourself, you have more control over your own life. It isn’t easy by any means, but you can make choices to build a practice in a way that allows you to create the life you want, within reason. I think lawyers (like me) and doctors can have more flexibility if they want and make that choice. That isn’t something that is open to most career paths.
Post # 7
i think Mrs. DG would be a perfect bee to get perspective on this too!
Post # 8
I finished grad school a couple of years ago and am looking for a job as a professor. Some women say kids and academia are similarly incompatible. However, women who have kids say it’s totally possible. You just do it and it will be okay. Really! Don’t let someone else discourage you because they think it can’t be done. It does, however, require lots of help from your husband – as long as he is an equal partner in child raising you’ll be fine. Also if your parents and in-laws are really willing to chip in. My Future Mother-In-Law currently spends a long weekend every 6 weeks with Future Brother-In-Law and his twins.
Post # 9
im in the process of talking with a couple doctors/friends about how to best get through the the first bit so i can start the process right away after my youngest starts kindergarten which should be sept 2012 until then i can do some preliminary stuff with the help of family and friends… its definitly possible for moms to go to school too, especially now that kindergarten is full time now!!! im happy with that new law! i guess it helps having friends that are already in the business that are more than willing to help out and getting the ball rolling when it comes to med school and the family to help raise the children… you know what they say.. takes a village to raise a child… not just 1 person so look for ways to make it work and talk about it write a list of pros and cons and go over it together
Post # 10
Hi! Doctorbee here!
I have seen my friends have kids at virtually every stage of their medical training and survive!
I had a few friends who decided to have their child in medical school. Typically they’ll get pregnant toward the end of 3rd year of medical school and then take a gap year or just a 10 week maternity leave during fourth year.
It is incredibly rare to see people have a baby during internship. Usually people who get pregnant in 4th year of medical school defer their internship for a year. Intern year is really too hard for new babies! But then in 2nd or 3rd year, many people opt to have a child. Personally, I don’t know how they do it, but it seems to work well for them. There are currently 8 women in our residency who are either pregnant or just had babies!
I actually opted to wait until I had completed my fellowship. I deferred getting a faculty position for a year, so that I could have a baby. Then, I’ll join a University Faculty after my maternity leave in September. We timed this really carefully, and luckily our little Lemon cooperated!
Medicine and babies are compatible, but I would definitely think carefully about what specialty/sub-specialty you would most enjoy. My girlfriends who are surgeons are having a much harder time fitting in kids than those who are Internal Medicine/OB-gyn/Pediatrics.
Anyway, these are just a few thoughts for now. I’m happy to discuss any other questions you might have in more detail. However, I would say don’t let the prospect of kids sway you from your career goals. It can be done!!! (and it’s not too difficult).
Post # 11
What is it about being a doctor that is so appealing? It’s something I wanted to pursue but sorta “missed my chance” (i have endo and thought we’d have to have kids at 24…we really coudln’t afford pushing it back too much) and my husband isn’t willing to give up his entire life to follow me around, either, while I complete school, take on internships, etc. It wasn’t fair to him and we didn’t want to rely on family to help raise our children for us. BUT he wants me to be happy. Just not at the expense that I’m happy and he’s not cuz that’s just not productive for us.
However, I found Physician Assistant programs. They’re 27 montsh long and you pretty much get all the same responsibilities (in my state you do) without the huge overhead and malpractice problems. If you want to become a surgeon, no can do. But you get to do a LOT of the good stuff with a solid 85K salary or so. Loans are about 1/3 of medical school, too.
Something to consider…many people I’ve talked to are VERY happy with that as a career! Somebody once told me you don’t have to be a doctor to practice medicine–the more i looked, the more i was flabbergasted by how many careers there were. I was stupid and thought there were just lowly paid technicians, nurses, and doctors. How naive I was! There are lots of second bachelors choices, masters choices, and accelerated tracks (I just applied to an accelerated 1 year 2nd bachelors program and it’s a LATERAL pay move and I’m an engineer….can’t complain about that!).
A lot of your premed requisites will apply too. Also….the MCAT is a bia. I have a BS in chemistry, a great GPA, and the MCAT blew me away. It was a rehash of sophomore year, most of which I didn’t remember solidly enough by the time I took it. But i know that the only prerequisites I’m missing are anatomy and physiology (which you don’t take as a chem major), ethics, and nutrition. Big fat whoop. Poke around a little–you may find another simliar career that may work out better for your familiar situation.
Post # 12
I would definitely recommend looking a wide variety of healthcare career options before making a decision. I originally wanted to go to Medical School but I shadowed an internal medicine physician and really didn’t like it as much as I thought I would. I wanted to be able to get to know my patients – instead, it seemed that the physician was in and out of the patient’s room in a really quick amount of time and basically was just devising a treatment plan.
Anyways, I looked into obtaining my Doctor of Pharmacy degree and am now in my second professional year (4 years total). I am very happy that I made that decision! Some of the factors I considered included
- Residency isn’t required (so your are done after 4 professional years)
- Job flexibility (there are a ton of part time positions)
- Pay is pretty decent
- In addition, depending on the setting you work in (there more than 100 different areas where pharmacists can work) you can really get to know your patients.
Anyways, I would highly recommend looking at a variety of options – physician, pharmacist, physician assistant, genetic counselor, etc. to see what’s the best for you
Post # 13
I’m going for my MSN hopefully, and actually contemplating doing it when our future children start preschool, and maybe going part time, that way when they get super expensive, and a little older, I’ll be bringing in that 80K pay check, and working as a midwife! … plans change though, so we’ll see.
If you absolutely want to be a doctor go for it, but to me it seems so high stress, and school is so expensive, it’s a choice that definitely rules your life.
Post # 14
I have to disagree with all the posters that say being an MD rules your life. You can make choices that allow your career to work with your life and not the other way around.
Sure, you can easily let it take over, but you don’t have to. Many people go into lifestyle fields such as derm, psych, anesthesia and ophtho or choose career paths that emphasize family. These fields have predictable and managable schedules with good call schedules.
A number of my friends work 3 days a week while they have young kids as pediatricians, internal medicine docs and family practitioners.
If you pick a surgical sub-specialty then you are definitely picking career above all else, but even my women surgeon friends have kids. They just don’t sleep much.
It’s easy to say how awful our lifestyle is if you are not in it, but I just don’t think that such a blanket statement is necessarily accurate!
If you love medicine, there’s always a way to make it work for you.
Post # 15
I disagree with the sentiment that you should not pursue medical school if you are looking for a lifestyle compatible with a family. Is it difficult? Heck yes. I am in medical school trying to figure it out right now myself! But is it impossible? Absolutely not. Of course, as people have already pointed out, you can opt to pursue nursing, Physician Assistant, Tehnician, Social Worker, etc. instead and still work in the field of medicine. However, don’t forget that those are different jobs. They are not any lesser than the jobs of MDs, but they ARE different jobs, hence the different training to begin with. And if those are the jobs you want to pursue, by all means, they are wonderfully rewarding as well. But don’t run away from med school just because you don’t think you will have a life. Your life will grow to accomodate you.
Post # 16
I am a 3rd year resident and although I am not pregnant yet since me and my fiance are in medicine I understand how family planning can be difficult.
First let me say I do not regret going into medicine, but if you are just starting now, I would really do soul searching and make sure that this is something you definitely want to do, because it is extremely time consuming and it is a very long road.
When you are starting med school and residency you will probably feel like I, and most of my friends with kids do, that there is absolutely no convenient time. I have one friend who starting having kids in her second year of med school and had her last one her last year of med school. She was extremely tiered all the time, and admits that it would have been almost impossible for her if she hadn’t had lots of family to help in the area.
From what I hear from my friends with families, it seems to make the most sense to start having kids during the end of your residency/fellowship. But then again, this depends on how old you are. I plan on starting to try the first or second year in my practice.
Also, when you are planning for a family consider your field. Things like, surgery,neurosurgery,ob..will be more grueling than things like neurology,psychiatry etc.