Hey everyone! I want to live at home (to save costs) while going to med school, but the commute time is a little more than an hour. Is that too long of a drive for a first year med student? Are there any other people that drive or commute that far for classes? Is this doable, or am I setting myself up for failure?

Wiseman in need of instuction and guidance…

It’s doable, but tough. I live about 40 miles away from campus - drive time is about 45 minutes, door to door (with parking and walking to class) is about an hour. I found the drive most challenging during anatomy. Living so far away made it difficult for me to hit the lab during the evenings and weekends.

There are several other students in my class who live as far away as I do. Fortunately, we have an Independent Study pathway, so in any given week I usually only have to go to campus about twice a week.

If your school has a note-taking service and/or lectures available online as audio or video files, this will make life a little easier.

Have a plan in mind in case of bad weather or exceptionally long days. If your commute involves you driving, you might consider using the time to decompress or relax (books on tape/CD) are great. If you can use public transportation, then you can use commuting time to study.

I would avoid a long commute (1 hour) if at all possible. The problem is that you do not know how much time you will need to get material down. Some folks need two hours while ohters need 10. So again, IMHO if you can somehow manage it, move close to campus.

thank you everyone for the guidance…

One of the women in my class lives an hour away, and has a kid, to boot (in fact that’s why she won’t move–her in-laws babysit so she lives near them). She skips a lot of lectures and listens to them on MP3 and comes in once or twice a week. If you can get a lot of studying done at home and your school provides a lot of resources online, it won’t be as bad–if you’re a good independent learner.

on the other hand, if you pretty much have to be on campus to get educated, that’s tougher.

Not a med school story just one about driving…

I bought a house 64 miles from work. Took me 1h5m to get to work. Took me 1h45m to get home from work. After 9 months my wife and I were threw with driving and sold. Driving this much takes a toll. I would suggest you take the drive during the times you would expect to take the drive to school. Also take the drive when you are feeling very tired, depressed, anxious or whatever. This is what you will be going thru. When my wife and I drove up to the place before we bought it we swore we could handle it. Taking the drive occasionally is different than EVERY day. I would say take the next few months and take the drive every Mon, Wed, & Fri.

When the “grrrrrrrrrr” hits you’ll shrug it off because “it’ll be different during med school…”. Don’t believe that. Move closer. In an emergency that hour drive will feel like 8 hours and everyone will decide that is the day they want to drive slow.

Not trying to discourage. Driving that much is a chore. Add med school to the mix and I wouldn’t recommend it. Better said, I wouldn’t do it.

Either driving or taking the Metro (train), I spent an hour at least commuting to school durings years 1 and 2. Off-peak drive times were much less - maybe 35 minutes - and so I didn’t have a problem with running in for lab reviews on Saturdays, and on the days when I didn’t have afternoon classes but had things to attend to at home (read: daughter’s orthodontist appointments or skating lessons), I could walk out the door of school at 1pm and be home well before 2pm.

It’s better if you are closer but you do what you gotta do. Don’t tell the Car Guys, but I used my drive time to catch up with family and friends, things that I definitely didn’t have much time to do once I got home. Got an unlimited cell phone account…

Your viewpoint will differ depending on what you’re used to. I live outside the Beltway in the Washington DC metro area, and commutes of 1 to 1-1/2 hrs are normal for lots of people around here, so it didn’t seem that bad to me.

thanks Mary…

A commute is one reason I am looking forward to moving to WV!!!

My hubby works 18 miles from where we live but it takes 1hr or more each way most of the time!

Last summer I worked at the UW and had 3 hour daily commutes! I live 23 miles from campus!

I guess if I leave my house by 5 am and either leave campus by 2 or stay until 8, i can reduce it to only 1.5-2 hours total…

So in a way I want to leave Seattle. Moving closer is not an option, housing is too expensive. We bought as close as we could afford. I will only sell our house if I move out of state.

You do what you have to do to get by. If you rent, I would move closer. If you own, I would just drive and try to deal with off-hour drive times. I would go to the school gym and work out in the mornings because that was the only thing that was open at the time!

thanks misscompassion… are you going to medical school in WV?

I will be going there starting next fall.

I thought of this to help with studying and long commutes…

Try recording lectures and listening to them on your way home. Most current car stereos allow MP3 hook-ups, so just get an MP3 recording device and listen to them that way!

I am definitely one of those anti-commute people. Words cannot describe how much I depise feeling my life tick away while sitting in traffic.

There are a lot of folks though, who have absolutely no problem with it. I guess it comes down to how you are able to deal with it. Misscompassion’s suggestion of the MP3 tracks is definitely a good way. The school she’s going to (WVSOM) actally has every lecture already on MP3 format shortly after the lecture has been given…but not every school does that of course.

I dealt with a 70 mile one-way commute for 18 months and it just about made me insane. After that, and some other more reasonable commuting, I decided I would only work within an hour biking distance, and worked for almost 3 years at a place about 6 miles away. I biked, bussed, ran or walked (walking while listening to ExamKrackers and doing flashcards basically got me through the MCAT) for those 3 years and maybe drove 6 times in that entire stretch. Now I’m working from home until school starts, but we are being very “scientific” about picking the location we will live… so that my daughter can walk or bike to wherever we decide to board her horse, and hopefully to junior high as well. Also this needs to be within about 10 miles from med school so that I can bike or bus. However, since med school is not ging to be quite the same as getting to work, I think I’ll be able to deal with having to drive if necessary. Also… it’s Med School… so I ought to be skipping in there every day, since it’s what I really WANT to be doing, regardless of how I actually transport myself there.

Anyway, just some extra random thoughts on the subject. Good luck with whatever you decide.