Hi, I’m MomTFH (from Mom’s Tinfoil Hat and Foodie Loves Picky). I have written three guest posts here at Mothers in Medicine, and participated in the last topic week, but this is my first post as a (squeal!) contributor. I love this site and its contributors, and I am so honored that they want me as a mom medical student voice.
I am a medical student at an osteopathic medical school in Florida, and a mom of two boys, currently 11 and 5 1/2. I am just about to finish a year long pre-doctoral research fellowship. I will resume my medical education as a third year student starting clinical rotations in July.
I was planning on writing a touching, self-actualizing first post, based on the recent birth of my cousin Susan, weaving in reflections on the birth of my first child, my journey to obstetrics, and the joy of observing a practitioner who is an incredible example of how to combine evidence based medicine with woman centered obstetrics. That post still may come.
But, for right now, I’m freaking out about away rotations.
The fourth year of medical students consists mostly of elective rotations. Those rotations usually involve “audition rotations” in your specialty(ies) of choice at your location(s) of choice. These are usually month long commitments, in which you are supposed to work your little tail off, so this potential residency site wants you to be part of their incoming team of residents.
There is only one residency site in my immediate vicinity. All of the other sites of interest to me are at least a half day drive, if not a several hour flight. If I could combine this into a summer vacation for my family, we would possibly be able to work something out with them coming with me to one or more of these locations. But, these elective rotations usually happen in the fall and winter, when the kids, S (11) and Z (5) and my husband, Coach Stu, are in school. There are months of elective rotations for most of the year, but interviews occur in November, December and January, so your audition interviews should occur just prior to or during those months. Let's not even get into the fact that a lot of huge, family oriented holidays occur during October, November and December.
How can I just disappear for several months? Many programs end up selecting many residents who don’t do an elective rotation at their site. But, most sites do choose many new residents who did a rotation there. I have no affiliation or connection with many of these sites, otherwise. I am a pretty good student with pretty good test scores, but I am also an osteopathic student competing to get into an MD system. Not to mention I am going to be forty my first year of residency, and have two kids and a husband in tow. I need any edge I can get in applying.
Is there any way I can put my kids, husband and pets in deep freeze hibernation (Alien style) for a year? I can fly around, do away rotations, fly to interviews in several cities, and not worry about abandoning my family. Then, I’ll get my match results, hopefully in some fabulous, progressive, friendly city with seasons at a wonderful, academics and research-heavy focused residency program with night float, while still being family friendly, in a place I happen to know some moms already (hey, I can dream, can’t I?). Then, I can thaw them out, and we can all move there together.