Monday, December 15, 2014

MiM Mail: Year off

Hi MiM Community!

I am in the middle of a year off, and at a bit of a crossroads. I got pregnant with my second child in the middle of MS2, took the Step 1 7.5 months pregnant (not recommended), and gave birth at the end of August. My school told me that I would only be able to take 6-8 weeks off max (8 was stretching it) if I wanted to continue with MS3. If I wanted/needed more, I had to take a year LOA and come back next July to start rotations with the next class. When I had to be off my feet during my 9th month, I decided to just take a LOA and enjoy my year off with my new baby and toddler.

I'm now 4 months into the time off and unsure what to do. I have been dabbling in continued research, but my heart is not as into it as I thought it would be. I do miss school and really look forward to going back and finishing, but all the plans I had for this year pre-baby (research, volunteering) just doesn't seem as exciting. Is it so terrible to just be a mom for a bit? Am I selling myself short for future residency applications?

I did OK on step 1. Not great, not terrible. I am not necessarily interested in a very competitive specialty, but I am very geographically limited (to basically the one big city I am in now) due to the abundance of family and support, and my husband's job. I know that this is my last chance to take my older daughter to ballet, join mommy groups, take my baby to music class, etc. Can I just enjoy my time without feeling guilty about not progressing my medical career? Or is that just not realistic and I should "get my act together?"

Thanks again for being an amazing community!


I am a MS3- to- be with a 2.5 y/o and a 4 month old. I love having an active lifestyle and looking for interesting things to do with my family around our wonderful city.


  1. I took an LOA in medical school, and I did a little research but not during the whole 6 months. Don't feel bad taking a year and not doing much medically, just make sure to do something that you can discuss during your applications/residency interviews. You will always be asked how you spent your time during your LOA, even when you are applying for hospital priveleges and board certification, so you have to have something to say that sounds good. Do well on Step2, do some research during your year, maybe write something about it, and don't look back.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I am also a geographically limited med student mom. I will say that you should do some research or even just some shadowing because - if you want to stay in the same place you have a unique opportunity to make connections and be known where you are. … That doesn't mean you can't (or shouldn't!!) devote 75% of your time to mom groups and all those lovely things. But I would say it would be worth it, if you can get your head into it, to do some limited, targeting experiences for the purpose of making connections.

  4. I look a 6 month LOA between my M2 and M3 year and did not an absolute thing other than be a mom. I don't regret it at all. Even now, 8 years later, I still get asked about it every time I fill out paper work. But don't worry about it. Just enjoy this time.

  5. I had my baby in my M4 year and stretched that year out into 2 years. I took about 6 months off post-partum and did rotations for a few months and then off for a few months and the cycle repeated. It was such a privilege and I did absolutely nothing during my time off except spend time with my baby (and studying for Step II). I wrote a one-sentence explanation for my time off for the residency personal statement. I don't remember having to explain the time off for hospital privileges/board certification but likely it had to be done based on the other posts. It was probably not a big deal that is why I don't remember it.

  6. Thanks for all your advice and support!


Comments on posts older than 14 days are moderated as a spam precaution. So.Much.Spam.