Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Things I wish I knew before starting med school with kids

1. That tired drinking out of a firehose analogy...unfortunately true. I remember being appalled when I read that med students study multiple hours a day on top of going to class. I foolishly thought on my days that end at noon (Monday and Friday) I can pick my daughter up from preschool / go to the gym / twiddle my thumbs. Instead, I am thankful for an afternoon with no class so I can hole up in the library and study. The endless studying is not death, falling behind is.

2. Wearing a half-face respirator during anatomy lab makes me look like Bane from Batman. But hey, that's a pretty good trade-off for formaldehyde-free breastmilk. And the puzzled looks I get when people see the lingering lines on my face after removing the mask -- extra giggles.

3. The lactation room is the mecca of multi-tasking. Pumping can be accomplished while eating, studying, napping, crying, making phone calls, etc. Bonus points for attempting three things at a time.

4. Whatever makes your life easier, and if you have the means, do it. Examples include ordering food, dry shampoo, a breast pump car adaptor, skipping a bath or two for the kids (hey they could have dry skin?).


6. You will be older than some of the MS2s-MS4s, the same age as some residents or even attendings. Bless your eye cream and good genes, although four years of this will probably negate all of that.

7. Saying no is okay.*
"Want to study together at extremely-far-from-my-house coffee shop at extremely-inconvenient-hour?" - No.
"Want to go rage after block exam and stay out all night?" - No.
"Want to join a thousand interest groups and shadow everyone possible in the hospital?" - No...maybe second year?

8. *It is also okay to say yes.
"Need help?" - YES!

9. Your classmates will be amazing people who have done amazing things. Everyone is incredibly supportive and no one is trying to sabotage you unlike the undergrad premeds.

10. And now, a visual representation of your life:

still smiling though!!! 


  1. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I am in the process of applying to medical school and I have 3 kids (11, 8, 1). It is encouraging to see someone else who is going through it. THANK YOU! :-)

    1. Good luck! The application process is challenging but definitely worth it!

  2. Yup, sounds about right! You can do it though! (from a soon to graduate MS4 with 3 kids)

  3. Yup, sounds about right! You can do it though! (from a soon to graduate MS4 with 3 kids)

  4. I am amazed by anyone that can do this! Kuddos to you!

  5. Thank you for this! I've been planning on med school for as long as I can remember, but plans were put on hold for a little while for my kids. So much I read is about having babies while in school; it's encouraging to hear from someone who had kids before starting. Thank you!

  6. Enjoyed your post :-) Super happy that I read it, I have a child in elementary school and plan to start school next year so this was helpful. (I definitely have a problem say no LOL)

  7. Yep, yep, and yep! Just keep swimming! I'm a 42yo MS1 with SIX kids (don't hyperventilate, three are grown and married), one grandson, and one grand-fetus in the oven. Everyone tells me they don't know how I do it. Great, that makes two of us. ;)

  8. So true! I'm an MS1 with almost-2-year-old twin girls. We just had our final on Monday and it was the hardest so far. Luckily at our school everyone says we have more time next semester because we won't have anatomy in the afternoons. I hope you get a break this winter as well!

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