Hello writers/readers of MiM,
I have been a long-time reader of this blog and I absolutely love the content — thank you for being honest about both the highs and lows of being a physician-mother. I am currently a medical student, and intent on pursuing a career in neurosurgery. I would also like a (small) family, though currently I’m very single (other than my books ;) ) so any possibility of a family is at least a couple years down the road.
I come to you wonderful ladies asking for advice/encouragement/hard truth —whichever you feel is most appropriate. I was talking to one of my attendings today about my interest in neurosurgery and consideration of various residency programs/sub-i rotations. He gave me a lot of good advice about preparing for residency applications; however, he also brought up the lifestyle of neurosurgery and the difficulties being a female in neurosurgery entails.
I have long realized that having a career in any medical specialty, yet alone neurosurgery, will make the experience for my (future) children different than what I experienced growing up — I had a stay-at-home mom. I had (almost) completely accepted that, but today one of my attending’s choice of words really hit me — he said that I would be an “accessory” to whatever family I have, rather than playing an integral role. This has been quite distressing emotionally as I try to process both 1) if this is truly the case, and 2) if so, if I’m okay with that. I really cannot see myself doing anything other than neurosurgery and so it’s hard to reconcile both my love of this field and my desire for a family.
I appreciate any thoughts you take the time to share. Best wishes for 2017!
Perplexed Med Student