Children in Med. School...

I have read a few posts that talk about people having children while in med. school. I am getting married this year (November), and have no children of my own. I have spoken extensively to my fiance about children, we both want to have them. However, I had always thought that it would be too hard to have children while in medical school. As a result, we have decided to wait at least until residency. It would be great to hear stories/advice from people who have had children while in school and/or while in residency. Thanks!
Tara Hintermeier

Hi Tara,
I thought that I might share with you some advice that I got from former medical students who had children while in school and/or residency.
One doctor told me that she decided to have her children during her first two years because this is the time where at most schools you are taking your basic science coursework and your schedule is a little more predictable and you may have a little more time. A few doctors had even suggested that I think about having a child before I begin medical school. Several other people that I spoke to said that having a baby during residency can be extremely challenging with call schedules, etc. (not impossible though).
Since I am shooting for beginning medical school in the fall of 2004, my husband and I have decided to try and have a baby during the beginning of 2004 before I begin school and then maybe another during the summer after my second year (of course things don't always go as planned).
My husband and I have talked about this at great length and we decided that waiting until after residency would not work for us. By then I would be knocking on the door step of age 40. That is just a little too old for me!
Good luck with whatever decision you make!!

Thanks for the reply! The only other question that I have, then, is what to do when you ARE in residency and have 2 young children? I also don't want to be knocking on 40 before I begin having kids…
Thanks again for your input!

Hi Again!
I thought about the fact that I would have two young children while in residency. I decided that it would be a little easier having small children while in residency vs. being pregnant in residency (as I said in my previous post, I definitely do not want to wait until after residency).
I guess for me I am thinking about being pregnant in residency and having to be on your feet for hours, jumping up in the middle of the night doing call or having to be up for 48+ hours. I also thought about the fact that more than a few people have some sort of complications during their pregnancy, some even requiring extensive periods of bedrest. That would be extremely difficult if not impossible as a resident.
I felt like at least during your first two years of medical school, you have a little more flexibility, free-time and you get summer breaks.
Another very good thing for me is that my in-laws live in the area and my mother-in-law plans on retiring once we have our first baby to help us out! Since I plan on only applying to local schools, hopefully this will work out well for us.
Take Care,

This is Wendy, Dave’s wife. We are pregnant right now, but of course it is a little different as I am not a medical student. But-- I can tell you a little perspective from things I saw while we were in Kirksville for Dave’s first 2 years. I know that there were several mothers in his class and know of 2 off the top of my head that actually had children during the first 2 years. There was another that had a young (maybe 2 year old) upon arrival to school. The 2 things that I remember hearing them say the most was that they had to be very organized and disciplined with their time in order to fit in study time, family time, leisure time, etc. Things were complicated a little by the fact that babies don’t like to follow the schedule that we like to follow, so it also required a degree of flexibility. I know that one of the ladies actually postponed her Step I boards because of having a breastfeeding baby. The second was that they had a lot of help/ support. One had a stay-at-home husband, the other a husband that made enough money that they were able to afford a nanny. THe one with the young child at the beginning of school used day-care,relied heavily on her husband for a lot of the child care and had tremendous family support-- both of their families were available to fly into town for a week or more at a time to help take care of the child.
So, I know that it can be done during the first two years of school, but it requires a great deal of planning and pulling together/utilization of resources. Many schools are offering 5 year plans that give you a reduced load during the first 2 years. As for having a child during 3rd/4ths years or residency-- it can be and is done. You may have to look into options of extending in cases of maternity leave or bedrest should that be required.
Good luck with your decision. What Dave and I ultimatley decided was that there is simply not going to be a good time to do this, so look at the big picture, pick the least difficult time and go for it. You do the best you can from there! :)

Does anyone know anything about how difficult (or expensive) it might be to organize a responsible nanny or au pair during med school - or finding a student to live in (in exchange for a room) who can help out during esp busy times. And what about after school programs? Do schools run all day long or do you have to arrange after school daycare for school age kids.
I live in Europe right now so I'm out of touch with what's available in the US. I only hear stories from my cousin in VA about how hard it was to find good daycare in the US. My daughter will be 8 or 9 when I start med school. (I'm a single parent and my ex does not help)
In some ways what I have to deal with now with my job is probably even more complicated - esp. finding someone to stay with her when I have to travel out of the country. Now she stays with friends or former daycare teachers - Or I take her with me. At least travel won't be an issue in school.
From what I've been reading here years 3&4 and residency will be the most difficult times to organize childcare because of the unpredictable and long hours. But I hope the first 2 years of school give you some time to establish some network to help with years 3&4.

I was under the impression that they don't take small children in medical school. I thought you had to have at least 90hours of college under your …uh, what? Er…nevermind.

Yeh, she’s got a few years yet to go… She’s just starting her second year of school on Monday (kindergarten part 2 - they do 2 years here where we live. She’s very excited about being one of the ‘big kids’ this year).
(I’m jumping the gun on this for myselft too anyway. I’m just compulsive about trying to organize stuff ahead of time- even when you can’t do anything yet…)
LM :p

Quote (futrfysician @ Aug. 10 2002 6:48 am)
I was under the impression that they don't take small children in medical school.

LOL - everytime I see this thread title I think "but what about the kiddies from TPR?" (SDNers seem a bit better than the old TPR and/or newsgroupers)

My concern is that newlyweds having children while going to or being pre-med students is the possibility of failure of the mariage. Nobody wants to hear that but it is a fact that some mariages do end. If things do go sour are you prepared to be a single parent while being a student at the same time. I do not want to predict failure but my old scouting background comes to play here. " Be Prepared"