Dear Mothers in Medicine,
My name is Alicia and I am finishing up by undergraduate degree in Secondary Education and Biology. I came across this blog via “A Cartoon Guide to Becoming a Doctor” and have been a frequent reader of yours for a while now. You each give great perspective on what it is like to balance work and family. I am fairly young (22) and planning to apply to medical school within the next year. However, I am concerned about how much time I will actually get to spend with my family (many years down the road since I don’t plan to have children right now) AFTER residency. I figured its going to be hectic and crazy during medical school and residency so lack of family time was a given. I want to go into primary care (pediatrics) but I heard from several medical students and residents that you’re always on call because new mothers call a lot.
My main concern isn’t whether I should go into pediatrics or not….it’s if I should re-think about going to medical school and pursue a PA program instead? All my life, my mom has been busy working to provide for my three sisters and I and was never able to attend any of my extracurricular events. I do want to be a doctor but I don’t know if sacrificing family time outweighs my dreams of pursing medicine. I have the impression (please correct me if I am wrong) that many Physician Assistants have “normal work hours,” which allows them more time with family and friends. I’m worried that if I do go the PA route, I wont be satisfied and will look back and think maybe I should have applied to medical school.
I was wondering if you could please provide some advice…I know that I am not a mother yet, but I will be some day. Thank you so much!