I am a pre-med student (planning to apply in 2011). I am married and I already have two children, who will be no younger than 3 and 5 when I start medical school. I see that most people waited until residency or after to have children, but obviously that's not an option for me. Did anyone else go through medical school and residency with children? Do you regret it? Are you glad you did it the way you did? Do you have any advice!
Good luck and good for you. I am just finishing up a research fellowship, and I will be returning to join the class of 2012 at my medical school. I was originally in the class of 2011, the year I hope you get in!
When my classmates ask me when I think they should have kids, I tell them all "Before you get into medical school, and then wait until they're potty trained and sleep through the night." Of course, most of them don't have that option. I am mostly kidding when I say that, but it worked for me, and I hope it works for you.
I actually wrote a guest post with advice for parents in pre-med, recently (I am squeaky brand new as an official contributor! Whee!) I especially like #4 Don’t overestimate or underestimate the understanding of your classmates, professors or administrators when it comes to your kids and #5 Don’t put your education last in your house.
I was less alone than I thought I would be. There were at least half a dozen fathers in my class, and more than a few mothers. We have three single moms in our class. I sat next to a grandmother for my whole second year. We all make it work in different ways.
This research fellowship has been a blessing. It gives me an extra year to spend time with the kids, and I can learn from my classmates who are now a year ahead of me about the logistics of rotations, so I can plan as much as possible. Mornings are going to be rough.
I felt very grounded by my family and children the first year of medical school. I saw many of my childless classmates struggle with loneliness in the beginning. It can be a grueling transition, especially if you have to move to a new place. Having home and children to go home to can be a blessing, not a weakness, sometimes. It does make applying to programs, both for medical school and residency, a bit of a challenge. My first official post (coming soon) will be on having children while looking into away rotations and the residency match.