I am a fourth year medical student anxiously awaiting March 15 (match day). I enjoyed almost all my rotations and nothing jumped out to me as "the one." I ended up applying in Emergency Medicine and Internal Medicine (2 different specialties, I did not apply to any combined programs). I also have a toddler who IS my joy and passion. My ultimate career/mom goal is working as a part-time ER doc or as a hospitalist with a week-on-week-off schedule, which, as far as I could see, would allow me the most time to spend with my child while still practicing medicine.
Here’s the catch: my husband, also a fourth year medical student, is applying in General Surgery. I have no illusions about how much I would see him as a surgical intern/resident anyway, but to add to that, he's applying to programs that (while less than an hour away from where I hope to be) will necessitate him living away from my daughter and I for several months out of the year (the program he's looking hardest at rotates where I'll be a good bit). I want to stay where we live now because we have an awesome/ideal amount of family support and a nanny that we love.
Most of my anxiety stems not from actual worry about intern year, but rather about never seeing my daughter. To that end, I'm basing my rank list on whichever program will allow me to spend more time with her (because, again, I love EM & IM both, and can't find another way to choose...also, she's my priority).
I've been able to negotiate with my favorite IM program a 3 months on, 1 month off format, which will extend my residency from 3 to 4 years (however, they're reluctant to do this with intern year, which I understand, but still isn't ideal). I am not sure if it would be better for my child if I was gone all the time for a shorter period of time or home one month out of four (but extending residency by a year). Stability vs. Seeing Mommy (at least sometimes). Of course this also has decreased salary and benefits. On the other hand, EM would mean not seeing her much at all on days when I work (usually 10-12 hour shifts) but then having whole days with her when I'm off (and still getting out in 3 years). There's also the night work, which means some more day time, but having to arrange night time care (fortunately, I am in a situation where I can do this).
I know no one can make this decision for me. Nevertheless, I appreciate the chance to get some feedback on my situation from people who might understand it better than most. Any thoughts on which one is more do-able (in the short and long run?). Rank lists are due Feb. 20 and I'm going back and forth on this.
At a Crossroads