Need Advice for a Single Mother Friend of mine...

It’s great to see there’s a forum like this on the web!
I have a friend who lives in another state. She is a single mother of three (ages 8, 4 and 3) who divorced about 3 years ago.
This friend and I did our undergrads together. I was in business, she was in public health. However, she married a guy after college and moved to his home state. She always wanted to be a doctor. She became pregnant very quickly after getting married and, as a result, put her medical school aspirations second to her duties as a mother.
After the marriage dissolved, she’s been serious considering going to medical school again, but every time she gets her “gumption” up, she becomes discouraged by the fact that she’s a single mother with three children. She always second guesses herself with thoughts such as “How could I pay for it”, and “what about the time required versus my children’s needs”.
I can tell you this much, this woman is brilliant! She’s not only an undergrad from one of the top schools in the world, she also has a masters from another Ivy League that picked up while she was married. Serious brain-power here.
Anyway, in her home state (where I currently reside) she has a significant amount of family and friends, myself included, who would be willing to help her reach her goal of becoming a doctor. We personally believe that a person can achieve whatever they want if they plan well enough, work hard enough, and want it badly enough. Even becoming a doctor with three children in tow.
To know this woman is to know that she’s a doctor at heart. She loves medicine (always has), talks about it, reads about it, watches any show on television that depicts real life at a hospital, etc.
Are there any people out there who have gone to med school as a single parent? A single parent of several children? What resources are available to someone in this type of situation? Any replies out there would be greatly appreciated.

Well, I am not a single parent, but I am a parent and there are resources out there to help parents. I am able to borrow money to pay for my daughter’s before and after school care. This is in addition to money I can borrow for tuitition and living expenses.
I did my undergrad work when my daughter was 3 1/2 and my son was 11. Kids can catch on quite easily that mommy needs to study and they have to find something to do. She can get a helper that could watch the kids while she study on the weekends. And it is great that you and all her support would be there as well. She would need a great support system. If she truely wants it, than it can be done. She has to want it badly enough to overcome what she would have to overcome with having little kids while in med school.
Does she have the necessary courses required for med school admission? If so, then she needs to take the MCAT. That will help her to decide if she has a good chance of acceptance. Since she is in public health, I assume that means she has had contact with patients in a clinical setting. That is also needed to apply. Other than those things and getting letters of recommendations, she would be set to apply.
I would tell her to go for it. You are a great friend offering to help her with this dream. Give yourself a pat on the back.

Yes there are single parents out there that are going through medical school and have. As a matter of fact I met one myself when interviewing. The question here is not if there are folks like her but why is she not pursuing this? if she is making excuses then maybe she is not ready for this path just yet no matter how brilliant she is. The path is long and chock full of hard work and adding to that single parenthood it is even harder. Maybe your friend does not want to go to medical school although she loves the idea of one day becoming a physician. This does not mean that one day she will not do this, it may just mean that right now she is not willing…FYI all she has do is come to some of these forums and read for herself.

There are many, many mothers who are currently in or have gone through medical school. The only difference is that your friend does not have a husband to truly share in the childcare and home care. But is this really difference? Sometimes many wives and mothers will tell you they couldn’t have done it without the support of their husband, but not always. Sometimes you’ll find that the woman/wife carries almost almost of the child care and home responsibilities, including tending to the husband. I think your friend will definitely need outside. After all, she will need someone to watch the children. But personally I think that a support network - good friends (like yourself), aunts/uncles, grandparents, etc. that are all willing to pitch in and see her through this - equals one very wonderful husband.