26.08.2015

Having a baby during medical school

There seems to be no perfect time to have a baby during medical school, yet there are many women having planned or surprise babies during medical school, and it is something that can be done. Joan's pregnancy was a surprise: "I am 30, starting med school in August, and found out this week I'm pregnant. Another member, Angela, shares her experience: "I am just about to begin my third year of medical school, and I have an almost 10 month old son. The MomMD family-friendly medical school survey discovered that some schools do offer the option of extending the first or last two years of medical school. The above experiences may paint rather a rosy picture of having a baby during medical school. However, with more women having a medical career and more non-traditional applicants, the number of medical school moms may rise. One member tells MomMD, that "the advice from the mothers at this website has been wonderfully uplifting and a real testament to the strength of mothers." Support from family, friends, and the medical community is key to balancing both medical school and young children. Dealing with the demands of medical school and parenthood simultaneously is by no means easy.
I have four children – three were born prior to medical school, and one was born during medical school.


On a school level, there is an organization specifically aimed at families and nontraditional students that sets up meals for families with newborns or who have challenges ahead of them (illness, death in family, etc). I had a baby during my fourth year, and took the year after my graduation off before starting residency.
My intention was to wait until fourth year to have a baby, but my husband and I revised our plans!
There are other MomMD members who experienced pressure from other students to have an abortion or leave medical school altogether. But if you are considering going down this road, you can take comfort in the fact that many physician-parents have already been through this process of having a baby in medical school. We always knew we wanted to have four children, and the biggest factor in deciding to have a child during medical school was spacing between children.
We have several students with children in each class, and actually have consistently had a baby born every one-to-three months for the past two-to-three years. Assuming an uncomplicated pregnancy, I am thinking that I will deliver and have a few weeks for Christmas break before I start school again in January. Many pregnant medical students may feel isolated and unable to discuss the situation with others.


MomMD is a reliable resource where women at all stages of their medical career can openly discuss the challenges of having a family. Here is what one MomMD member has to say about her experience with raising four children during medical school. This is kind of a natural break point, because at most medical schools the first two years are spent in the classroom, and the second two years are spent doing clinical rotations.
Because my research years count toward a fourth year in med school, I am not officially required to do a fourth year.
My school has been phenomenal; administration is supportive, classmates helped us move and brought us dinner several times, and people genuinely care about her progress.
Anyway, I did find the school administration very supportive (our dean of the students is female, and she has a son).



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