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merci

Med school while wanting to get married/have kids etc

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Hi everyone,

I am 25 (turning 26 in March) and have just landed my 'dream' job as a community planner and I am wrapping up my masters. My job involves a lot of research, meetings, and public speaking and pays  well (my career will probably top out at $110 k/year).  For context, I live in BC and am a single woman :P 

I have always had medical school in the back of my mind since high school, but lacked confidence when I was younger and thought I didn't have the motor skills or social skills to be a physician. However as I have gotten older I realized I am more that capable and I really want to do work that I know is making a difference and having a positive impact on people's lives. I have high grades (oGPA 87.7% from my undergrad) and have taken most pre-reqs for medical school (although I plan on applying to UBC and maybe a couple other schools). I have worked in a huge variety of roles professionally and I am especially passionate about working in smaller communities and Indigenous populations. I love the idea of working as a locum for several years around BC.

However, I am also at a time in my life where I really want to find a partner and have children. I am currently single but I want to have a couple kids before age 35. As it stands now, if I got into med school during for a 2020 start, I would be 27 and graduate when I am 32. 

Can anyone speak to finding a partner/getting married/being pregnant/having children while in medical school and residency? How do people do it? Is it possible?

I am notorious for planning my life out and I know I should just live life how I want to and have things fall into place, but I really don't want to sacrifice having a family to pursue a new career when I already have a decent one.

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4 minutes ago, merci said:

Hi everyone,

I am 25 (turning 26 in March) and have just landed my 'dream' job as a community planner and I am wrapping up my masters. My job involves a lot of research, meetings, and public speaking and pays  well (my career will probably top out at $110 k/year).  For context, I live in BC and am a single woman :P 

I have always had medical school in the back of my mind since high school, but lacked confidence when I was younger and thought I didn't have the motor skills or social skills to be a physician. However as I have gotten older I realized I am more that capable and I really want to do work that I know is making a difference and having a positive impact on people's lives. I have high grades (oGPA 87.7% from my undergrad) and have taken most pre-reqs for medical school (although I plan on applying to UBC and maybe a couple other schools). I have worked in a huge variety of roles professionally and I am especially passionate about working in smaller communities and Indigenous populations. I love the idea of working as a locum for several years around BC.

However, I am also at a time in my life where I really want to find a partner and have children. I am currently single but I want to have a couple kids before age 35. As it stands now, if I got into med school during for a 2020 start, I would be 27 and graduate when I am 32. 

Can anyone speak to finding a partner/getting married/being pregnant/having children while in medical school and residency? How do people do it? Is it possible?

I am notorious for planning my life out and I know I should just live life how I want to and have things fall into place, but I really don't want to sacrifice having a family to pursue a new career when I already have a decent one.

25 is not old at all.

Finding a partner and having kids are not mutually exclusive with medical school, can be done, has been done, not a huge deal.  If you want to go into surgical specialties, then a bit harder.  You'll be able to take time off if needed during medical school and residency for maternity leave.  Kids will be young etc.  Of course, it is harder and easier for different mothers, and depends on your support system. 

But at 110k, you're coming from a pretty good position and career it seems. 

You really have to think about what fields you are interested in potentially. If you want Family medicine, that will be the path of least resistence and most flexibiltiy for family life etc. 

But first off, maybe don't put the cart before the horse, you have to find a partner first. 

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so many things wrong with this post....firstly just as the above poster said if you "landed your dream job" then be happy and run with it ... plus it is kind of weird how you immediately put the  "max income" in brackets and then said you want to do medicine...hmm, there are people on this board with great qualifications who still haven't received admission after several years of applications and degrees, so don't assume you will get in the first time... and finally before planning a timeline for kids maybe its more logical to look for a partner, see if you click, develop a long-term relationship, etc and then discuss as a team when/if to have kids....because as you know it is a two-way game..

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As others have said...timeline is well within reason and all of those are commonly done while training. Family medicine would be the easiest route.

BUT....medicine is NOT glorious or filled with sunshine and rainbows. It is nothing like what we all pictured when we were young undergrads. You've already got a good thing going, so your opportunity cost is higher than most people. That just means you need to think harder about it then most people. I would also suggest shadowing as much as you can to get a sense of what it actually is, vs what we all think it is.

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1) Graduating at 32: Not a problem at all. See above. 

2) Switching careers: I did it.  I'd probably do it again.  However, everyone has a different background and different reasons.

You mentioned:

5 hours ago, merci said:

However as I have gotten older I realized I am more that capable and I really want to do work that I know is making a difference and having a positive impact on people's lives.

If that is your goal, medicine isn't the only answer.  Only do it if there is nothing else you'd rather do.  If you can derive any kind of joy and satisfaction from your current role or any role you can get with your qualifications, and achieve the goal quoted above, then I personally wouldn't make that switch.  Income is a consideration, and having lost income through the opportunity cost is a definite drawback, but if there is nothing else you'd rather do, then go do it.  I completely get it.

 

P.S. Planning your life is hard in medical training, if not most things in life.  Go be your best self and the rest will follow.

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6 hours ago, merci said:

However as I have gotten older I realized I am more that capable and I really want to do work that I know is making a difference and having a positive impact on people's lives.

I switched into medicine for similar reasons, despite having a career that I enjoyed. It just didn’t really tick all the boxes in terms of personal fulfillment and enjoyment. I am only a couple years into medical school, but at this point I’d make the switch again. The lost income was a bit hard to come to terms with, but it gets easier the closer I get to making money again. 

6 hours ago, merci said:

Can anyone speak to finding a partner/getting married/being pregnant/having children while in medical school and residency? How do people do it? Is it possible?

Lots of people find partners while in medical school. People are dating each other all over the place. I think it’s a bit harder to find people to date who AREN’T also medical students (if it’s important to you to date outside of medicine), but it happens.

Lots of people also have kids in residency. I know several women who have done it. It’s a good time to do it financially because you get mat leave.  I also know a couple women who have kids / got pregnant in Med school (I actually met one resident who did so and spent quite a bit of our time together trying to convince me it was the absolute best time to do it).

In short, its very doable. Different people make it work in different ways. @sangria said it well. If those things are important to you AND you want to become a doctor, then you just have to do your best and trust that you’ll find a way to prioritize the things you want.

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On 12/18/2018 at 6:25 PM, sangria said:

P.S. Planning your life is hard in medical training, if not most things in life.  Go be your best self and the rest will follow.

^ I completely agree.

This is something I've contemplated as well. I started applying when I was 25, got in at 28, and will be 32 when I graduate. I had already started working in a great career with a similar salary cap.

I can totally understand your concerns, especially when as a woman, there's the worry of the ticking biological clock and whatnot. To echo what others have said, it's do-able- your two goals are not mutually exclusive. Conversely, just because you decide to give up pursuing medicine, it doesn't mean that you'll find a partner and be on target for your timeline either. Or, you think you're on track and then something throws you off-course...that's life.

I'll get super practical here- finding a partner will probably be harder in school/during your training than if you work a 9-5, just because you have less time (it also depends on whether you're able to find someone who can accept the demands of your training). It depends on the city you're in (i.e. your dating pool- probably the biggest determinant), size and composition of your class is (again, your pool of potentials), how keen YOU are in going out and meeting different people, etc. etc.  My point is, there are just so many variables!

I think it's important to ask yourself how important making that career switch is. How, practically, will it improve your overall fulfillment in not only your career, but your life overall? That depends on the values you assign to your potential rewards vs trade-offs.

For me, I decided that it just doesn't make sense for me to give up on a career change that will improve my advancement trajectory, fulfillment, and overall financial freedom by A LOT (which are SUPER important to me), over a marginally higher yet uncertain probability of being in a partnership (with someone who hasn't even arrived in my life yet!) and on track to having 2.3 kids, buying a house, etc. I also thought about what kind of a role model I'd want my kids to have (if I decide to have any)- I mean technically you don't need a partner to have kids, especially on a physician's income. But that's just me and my very biased opinion.

But honestly, work at your dream job for a while, throw in a couple of med school applications, all the while work on finding a partner- then see how things pan out, and re-evaluate. You may have a better inkling of what you want then.

 

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I think the best time to have kids is during residency. You get paid mat leave, benefits, and a guaranteed job when you come back. I’m 28 now, graduating at 31. Aiming for 2 kids before I’m 35 :)

No matter what you do, it’s always important to maintain a work life balance.

 

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