Thought of potential issue with children and med school

It’s more than likely med school will necessitate a move. How does this work? I’ve heard over and over again you can’t work and do med school at the same time. We are hoping my husband can find employment whereever I land for school, but what if he can’t in this economy? How do you afford the simple cost of housing if you are not working? Am I getting in over my head at this point?

you are getting way to ahead of yourself at this time. By the time you start medical school this economy may be on the upswing. However, since I know what you are talking about because I had to move and I have 3 kids I will let you know what I did and you may or may not find that you can do the same. One caveat though, my wife owns her business as a proofreader, as long as Fed-Ex came she can go anywhere.

  1. When it is time to decide to apply to medical schools sit down with you husband and compile a list of the medical schools that you are interested in.

  2. Map out where they are and figure out if he can find a job in his field where you are going to medical school.

  3. Realize that the financial aid office will tell you that he MUST get a job because the financial aid is meant to support you and not the family. However, if you need childcare, this will be added to your financial aid.

    Although this strategy may exclude some of the schools that you want to go, it is the best way. Since he is going to be a part of this process, he needs to be included. My wife shot down several schools because there was no way that she was going to move to certain places. Realize that this may save you money on applications and interviews to schools that you would not go anyway.

    But right now, concentrate on your pre-requisites. You have plenty of time to worry about this later.

I had a similar experience to Gabe’s. The bottom line is, work hard and get yourself as qualified as possible for the greatest number of schools, and then you will have more options when the time comes to actually pick one. But it will definitely change your family’s lifestyle for a few years. You all have to be on board for this to work.

I have a (then) 2-year-old coming into school, and a supportive wife who agreed grudgingly to uproot herself for the sake of my career. It’s a huge thing to ask your family to do, and if you stumble as I did and have to withdraw from school for a while, it can be kind of miserable all around. You just have to keep the ultimate goals in mind and make sure everyone is signed on to them. Best of luck,

for an alternative view point:

I treated my wife’s position as fixed. I started from the assumption that we were not going to uproot everyone because of my fit of insanity. I confined my search to schools somewhat locally. Fortunately the area north of Boston has a number of good schools: UNECOM, Tufts, Dartmouth, UVM, Northeastern. This may not work for you.

I agree though - you are a ways from that choice. focus first on a good job with your current work or the rest will be irrelevant.

As to financial Aid - my loans basically paid tuition plus about $1000 a month living expenses- about half of which went back to supplement home income and half of which covered may share of home away from home - food - books etc. that was in 2001 - so things may have changed.

I have no experience with financial aid. Can someone please share how much $$ on average you can get for living expenses currently (2008-9)? What does this depend on? Does it matter if you have a family and no other pending loans? Do you get more if the school tuition is lower than average?

If you look at any school’s website, the financial aid department generally gives you the annual cost of attendance. This includes the tuition, books, fees, housing, and miscellaneous.

Once you submit the FAFSA and your school’s financial aid paperwork, they will give you what your loan is and what your cost of attendance is. If there is a big difference, you can ask for additional funds up to your cost of attendance. This is why there are no hard and fast numbers that you are looking for. You need to look at each school individually.

However, understand, that they do not take into account the number of people in your family other than children that need childcare. The school will not support a spouse and will not pay for private school. You will need to learn to live on a really tight budget.

Great information! Thanks for asking that question. My DH and I have already kicked around destinations he could transfer to. Washington State only has 1 medical school. We are looking at it early so that we can be prepared. (ie sell or rent our home out, him having a job, the expense of each city) I prefer to have it “out there” and be emotionally and mentally preparing for this event.

I’m w/ Swy here. . .Although it severely limits my options to only a couple schools, we’re going to try to stay put. My husband is self-employed. He could find a job or rebuild his business somewhere else, but it might be the straw that broke the camel’s back. Considering that you could move for med school, residency, a fellowship, and your final position, I’m trying to limit our moving as much as possible. Plus we’re already slicing our income by 2/3 if I don’t work. No point in taking it all the way to zero if avoidable. The “pro” I see in my scenario is that in-state students are favored at my top choice school.

OTOH, if your S.O. is supportive of moving, go for it. I’m am lucky to have as much support as I do have now.

Washington now has two med schools:

The financial aid office sets the amount a student is allowed to borrow (cost of attendance) yearly based on the number of months in classes. It includes tuition, medical school fees and other (books, rent, travel etc). Amounts alloted for cost of living depend on the area the school is located. Childcare is not included, but can be added later by requesting an adjustment in the form of additional loans if receipts are presented. Healthcare costs and car repairs are often on that list. That policy may however vary with each school.