Med school and Kids

Hi all-

I finally took the plunge and began pre-meds this fall. This is a long time in coming since my plan through high school was always to do pre-med and finish med school before marrying and having kids. However, my dad died during my senior year in high school and I lost all my momentum… took the easy road out and became a teacher.

Anwyay, I am now married with three kids (the youngest being only 5 weeks old). I’m really glad life went the way it did so I had the opportunity to meet my wonderful hubby and have my three awesome kids. I’m confident that I can handle the demands of medical school since I work full time from home (teaching) while caring for my 3 kids, organizing fundraisers, volunteering weekly at the local ER, and doing undegrad work. (My husband also works full time and is a football coach, so I’m used to being on my own on the family front for half the year!)

I’m not so concerned about the work load of medical school, but I worry about the effect that process will have on my kids. I worry about having to move them once, maybe twice or three times, so that I can get into programs where I have been accepted. I worry about missing sports games, etc.

Is there anyone on this board who can talk about that, either from the perspective of having been through medical school with kids or from the perspective of looking at medical school with kids (and figuring some things out)?

I’d love to hear any thoughts!

I am just strating this process myself so I can’t speak to the effect med school will have on your children. There ae some very good threads that you can find regarding the juggling act. Gablerman posted a great one a few weeks ago. I can tell you though that as far as moving goes, my husband is military. We have moved 5 times to 5 different states over the last 12 years. My oldest son had endured 2 moves by the time he was 5 he is now almost 8. Children are amazingly flexible. I think our moving has had a positive impact on the development of his personality. He is very self assured and absolutely not a follower in any way. He is comfortable spending time alone, but he also makes friends very easily. I find this to be a pretty common trait among military brats and I think it is because they are forced to forge their own path multiple times during their childhood. My bigger concern is the how my residency will affect my children. I have worked long crazy hours being called out in the middle of the night for years, but it still doesn’t compare to residency! It sounds like you are great at juggling many tasks, am sure with the support of your husband that moving can be a fairly smooth transition and viewed as an exciting time for your children. Good Luck!

Yes… It can be done. My kids were older by the time I started, more at the run themselves stage, But a number of friends had small children, some even went through pregnancy. It does require a very good support system (usually spouse) – and acceptance of the fact that you will not be able to do all the parenting you could wish. Like many things… Pre-med; med school; medicine; all require compromizes… you cannot be all things to all people. DOn’t expect to be a perfect mom and a perfect student too. But you can do a respectable job at both.

Hi, I can relate to what you’re saying because I’m also planning on going to medical school and I am married with two beautiful children. My oldest is going to be 12 this month and my youngest is 10. I thought about all of those things too, such as going to their games or assisting them with homework.

My husband is great with helping the kids but, as a wife and mother, I still worry. So, I know how you feel. However, many women has done it, gone to medical school while married with children and made it. Although it is harder, if persistent enough, it can be overcome.

I know someone that went to medical school and she is married with three daughters. She spoke about the struggles she had while in medical school and the balance she had to make between school and family. She is now done with med school and her residency and now has her own practice.

I know that for those like you and me, we still have a long way to go but with support and persistence, we can achieve it as well. Just take it one day at a time and I know sometimes we may have to say no. But we can’t please everybody and kids understands more than we think.

They might be young but they’re very smart and if we communicate with them, they’ll understand.

I have the same concerns…so I too know how you feel. My little ones are 7 and 4, and although I am atleast 2 years away from medschool at this point I still worry they are so young. My understanding is that it is all about balance, which you find along the way.

I did come across the blog, and really enjoy reading it…while it is not moms in medschool, it still gives you a good understanding and appreciation for how hard these women work…to make it all work!

Who knows, perhaps in two years we can start the blog momsinmedschool!

Let me start by saying I am so excited to have found this website!!!

I am a wife and mother of three kids. My son is 5 just started Kindergarten, my daughter will soon be four, and my youngest is 8 mos. I have just begun studying for the MCAT. I don’t have an answer to your question but just wanted to let you know that you are not alone…I have the same worries as you do. I feel that the best thing we can do for our kids however is to pursue our dreams so that they can have a good example of how working hard and not giving up will allow you to become anything that you strive for.

I am just finishing my undergrad premed courses and have just finished the application process to med schools. I have 2 kids- 6 and 10. I was lucky enough to not have to work away from home on top of all of that! I spent as much time as I could with my kids and made a rule that I would not attempt to do schoolwork while they were awake. I only ended up frustrated and mad at them if I did! That didn’t always work out (especially when I had 19 credit semesters) but then my husband stepped up and stepped out with the kids when he could.

I applied to med schools that were commutable. That narrowed my options WAY down. Only one school is truly commutable- the others will be more of challenge- staying with friends and family in the area during the school week. I hope I get in locally- I have an interview!

I’d love to keep in touch and commiserate whenever!


I do not want to rehash what I wrote a couple of weeks ago, if you do a search you can find it. I am a 3rd year medical student with 3 children 8, 6, and 3.

Can it be done? Yes

Is it Hard? you betcha

Are you going to cause long term psychological damage? NO.

Would you do the same type of damage if you worked the same hours?

The secret is schedule, schedule, schedule, schedule and be anal about it. If you have specific questions let me know, but search for my earlier post.

Thanks for this thread. As a pre-med single mom of a toddler, I think often about how this affects my daughter. I mentally hold on to the stories of other parents who are also on this path, especially the ones who have succeeded.

I met a very kind man at a med school open house who mentioned that his mother went through med school with four kids…and they all managed fine. I’ve collected more positive stories from DO moms than MDs, but there are lots of successful med student moms and dads out there. Nice to know that we’re not trailblazers and that the med schools, to some degree, see us coming.

Thus far, there seem to be concrete things you can do to make it easier. Have a plan for parenting, back-up, etc. Treat studying like a job. Do homework and studying ahead of time…because your child will get sick two days before the big exam if you don’t. Have a good support network. (In my case, a friend babysat so that I could do an MCAT review course.) And when I’m in med school (please…), I know ahead of time that I won’t be the gunner…and that’s how it has to be. Because there will still be soccer practice and school plays. I’m going to be with my daughter when I can, even if it means I’m not in the top half of the class. I’m not “willing to be a doctor at any cost”; I just think it’s do-able.

For this to work, I’m going to keep applying to med schools in this town until I get in…because the support network is crucial. It may not take a whole village, but I/we need our family and friends.