med school and a social life-an oxymoron?

Hi, I've been considering going to med school in a year or 2, by which time I'll be 33. Currently, I am still single, and do not have children. I hope to have children, get married in the next 5 years-This is very important to me. Would medical school
be a big obstacle in my having any kind of social life? I just want a few hours a week to enjoy, nothing more, and be able to relax now and then.
When you are completing the residency, how does this affect your free time? From what Ive heard, residents work like 50 or more hours a week, are on call, etc. Any one here know of people who actually had relationships/got married while in med school/residency?

sigh This sounds very much like the things I struggle with in terms of deciding whether or not to go for med school. I too expect to have children in the next 5 years and am extremely concerned about how medial school and being a doctor would affect my lifestyle. My lifestyle now is nice, but I hate my job and am bored with it. At this point I don't see how I can have both a career I love and a lifestyle I love.
If residents were only working 50 hours a week I think I wouldn't be as worried. But I've heard numbers over 100 hours a week, though now the max is supposed to be 80 now. That's still so much time! And it doesn't really get that much easier once you're done with all your training. Being a doctor will mean a lot of work for the rest of your life.
Sorry I don't have any real info. Just wanted to let you know that you're not the only one who's worrying about these things.

The first two years of medical school are pretty much like any other sort of schooling - predictable hours. yes, it’s a LOT more studying and it’s more intense, but it’s still predictable and you can work around it. You can definitely find "a few hours a week to enjoy."
Third year of med school, things get a lot more unpredictable and free time is much more at a premium; this is the year you do your core rotations in surgery, medicine, peds, ob/gyn, psych. Every school’s schedule will be different. I had one core rotation in primary care - no call, no weekends for six weeks! Psych was also pretty easy hours. Peds was split into inpatient and outpatient, so during half of it I had weekends off and enough sleep. During the months you’re on surgery, medicine, ob/gyn - you won’t have much time to call your own. When you’re not on the wards, you’re trying to catch up on sleep or studying. It kinda sucks but it’s a finite amount of time; however, I wouldn’t want to tell you that you can definitely have a social life straight through third year.
Fourth year of medical school, from what I hear, is a big party tongue.gif Seriously, the stress is from residency applications and interviews, NOT from rotation schedules. You’ll be able to be as sociable as you want. I have three classmates who are finishing up third year at various gestations of pregnancy, aiming to have their babies early in fourth year.
Residency - intern year is tough everywhere, even if it’s “just” 80 hours it will be unpredictable, demanding, exhausting. After that first year of residency it can get a lot better, depending on what you go into.
Hope this helps!

Thank you so much, Mary-it doesn't seem so bad from what you wrote.

Best advice I ever got was not to base my career decisions on the assumption that I was going to have children - because I might not ever have kids. Go do what you want to do. And if you meet someone wonderful, and you want to have kids together, and one of you gets pregnant, you'll figure out what to do. I've had friends who got pregnant at every inconvenient stage of their doctoral programs and academic careers, and they made it work.

… and I think you can also flip that advice around, don't try to figure out WHEN to fit kids into a plan for the rest of your life. If having kids is really important to you (and you've got a partner who feels the same, obviously): Have the kids, and then figure out how your life works out. You will figure out a way.

Hi there,
None of my classmates planned pregnancies during medical school or residency but several ended up having babies and managed quite well. I used to think that 80 hours a week was a huge amount of time to spend working but when I worked 140 per week on my Laparoscopic Surgery rotation, I found that I am often bored with just 80 hours. I can nose around and find some attending who wants a resident to cover a case in the early morning or late at night.
Really, medical school and family is not an “either-or” proposition. You can fit in anything that you enjoy doing. You don’t have to study every minute and you can’t possibly learn everything. You have to have balance in medicine and a family provides that balance nicely. I find that going home each morning to my two four-legged “kids” is the best part of my day. I am sure that the two-legged kind work in the same way.
Natalie smile.gif