From OPM to Yale residency

Hello OPM community,

I recently matched into Yale for Internal Medicine Primary Care track and will graduate as an MD next month. At the beginning of my journey, I relied on OPM for advice and inspiration. This site was invaluable to me. The best way I can think of to give back is to answer your questions.

I will start residency in June so I will do my best to answer questions up until that time. Post them to this thread so everyone can see (i.e. try not to PM me). No question or topic is off limits. I will honestly answer anything you want to know about my journey and experience. Please give me a little time to respond because I’m finishing up rotations, getting ready to move, and taking care of my daughter.

Congrats on matching and finishing med school, that’s a major accomplishment!

You mentioned your daughter, how was it having a family during 3rd/4th year clinicals? That’s one of my big concerns, especially since the schedules are variable and not set very far in advance, which makes it difficult to plan and prepare for.

Hey bennard, congrats to you on almost getting past 1st year! My family consists of me, my wife, my 2.5 year old daughter, and 2 corgis. My wife’s job is straight up 8a-5p with no overtime or weekends, so she was able to take care of a majority of the family needs (taking kid to/from school, groceries, laundry, etc). You are correct that 3rd and 4th year is unpredictable in terms of the schedule (and no one tells the med student anything until the last minute) so that makes it tough but having support at home is crucial. Without my wife’s help, I would not have been able to study as much as I did.

There were times we fought and she got frustrated at me for being absent, but looking back on it now we both agree it was totally worth it to secure good options for residency training. One of the worst situations I can think of is to try so hard to get into med school, study, rack up hella debt, and then not match (happened to 2 people I know) or not have many options for matching. In the end, I had interviews at Yale, Brown, Mayo Phoenix, OHSU, Colorado, Wake Forest, UVA, Scripps Green, UF, Jackson Memorial, USC, Cedars Sinai, and Univ Arizona (my home school). My wife and I were so happy to have those options for our future, and a large part of the credit goes to her.

Congrats desertlog. What an achievement.

@desertdog wrote:

There were times we fought and she got frustrated at me for being absent

Oh yes, it is an emotional roller coaster and this is something everybody in our situation should be aware of. No matter how good things are at home, this is bound to happen. Be mindful of it and have a strategy to cope with this.

OPMers, I was hoping this could more than just discussion between medical students! So I just wanted to put this out there again that I am willing to answer any question posted on this thread.

Congratulations! Did you know anyone that had college-age children while they were pre-med or while in medical school? I will start taking prereq classes again after a 17 year absence from school, while, at the same time, my son starts his first year in college. I am trying to figure out the best way to finance everything. I was planning to continue working full-time and take classes part-time.

Thank you

Hi Lua, no one in my class or that I knew had college-age kids, but one classmate did have high school age children. I understand your concerns with finances. If you are able to stretch out your pre-reqs over several years then taking classes part-time while working full-time will be feasible. Just make sure you can still perform at a high level in your classes. During my pre-req years, I worked part-time (about 20 hrs/wk) while taking about 12 credit hours per semester, which worked out well. If you and your son are able to attend your state school then that will help with the cost. Arizona currently has a program where the family members of employees get deeply discounted tuition (which was a huge benefit for my med school tuition), although that program looks to be on its way out. Good luck!

Thank you desertdog. I think my best option will be to go back to work at the University of Pennsylvania. I worked there from 2003 to 2006, and they said I could bridge my time from that period. I would just need to work there one more year before they help pay for my son’s college tuition. Also, I could take 6 classes a year at UPenn for free. UPenn will pay up to 40% of their tuition at any college my son decides to attend. They will pay 75% of their own tuition if my son decides to go to school at UPenn.

@desertdog - Any interest in coming on The Premed Years podcast to talk about your journey!?

@MedicalSchoolHQ: Yes, sure. Never participated in a podcast before but I can give it a shot. PM me with details.