Vacation/Time off during School?

I’m seriously considering Med School. I am currently a 29 yr old, FNP with a BS Biology, BSN, and MS.

I have been reading a lot of forums on here and elsewhere.

My main concern is actually having time for family. I will most likely get married in the next year or two and want to have 3-5 kids sooner rather then later.

Do you have Summer vacation between years during Med School? Do you get Christmas vacation/Spring break?

I have read about some 5 year programs 3 years instead of first 2. Also some people have taken a year off during med school and/or before residency.

If I choose to pursue this, I would definitely choose a field where I could have a life, Anesthesia or ED. (I worked in Peds Anesthesia as a FNP and talked with a MD there who had started out in Surgery and switched to Anesthesia so he could have a life, and he LOVED his job and was very happy.)

And I would have no problem only working PT after residency. I do not have any desire to open my own practice (could do that now anyways) Its not about the money or the title. Its about the desire to have the knowledge.

I have an awesome life now, I LOVE my position as a FNP as well as I don’t have to do a residency if I want to switch fields, I make good money, and I can work 3-4 days/week. I have time to run marathons and would have time for a family.

After reading lots of comments I am seriously torn if the money and time commitment it takes for Med School/Residency is worth it. I don’t want to neglect my future family.

P.S. I am not at all interested in DNP it is theory and research, and should be called a PhD.

one 1 summer off: between 1st year and second year.

usually a winter break and a spring break in years 1 and 2. In my school, you have a 2 week vacation in your 3rd year that you get after 2 weeks of radiology and in the 4th year you have 1 month of comlex prep that is on your own.

8 weeks off between M1 and M2, plus 2 weeks Christmas break and 1 week spring break.

3rd year: 2 weeks off at Christmas, one week fall break, one week spring break.

4th year: 3 months vacation. Because our school is on quarters, most people take May off so they can move/get settled for residency. Most people take at least 1 month off in Nov/Dec/Jan for interviewing, some take 2. A lot of people take one month off in July or August to study for/take Step 2. Our school has numerous “longitudinal” electives with varying requirements. Typically, being enrolled in one of those gains you an extra month off. I’m in two longitudinal courses, so I actually have 5 months off. I took August off for vacation/board study/boards. Dec & Jan for interviewing, and will also be off in April and May.

There are several females in my class who opted to have babies 4th year. I had one 2nd year and took a year between 2nd and 3rd year to work on an MPH. One of my classmates also did the MPH between 2nd and 3rd and had her baby during her MPH year.

Excellent! Thank you for the responses.

From what i’ve read some school seem to work with you regarding having kids, ie. a year/or time off somewhere in there.

I will have to do research and make sure I apply to schools that are flexible in that regard.

Let me point out that professionals working in The Real World® normally get an aggregate total of about two weeks off of work per year, not including federal holidays. If you consider medical school your “profession”, then that’s actually quite a generous vacation package.

Just as a side note - this may be difficult to do. While many med schools are flexible, they tend not to like to hear from applicant that they are looking for a “flexible” school. As you mentioned, some schools offer the option of taking 3 years to complete the first two years of med school, but again, this is not something you want to ask about. Med schools prefer that everyone follow the “normal” path.

You also probably don’t want to take more than a year off. The longer you drag it out, the more difficult it seems to be to finish (and more difficult to do well on board exams). Many schools may actually limit you to how long after matriculating you must complete your coursework. At many schools, 6 years are allowed, but others only allow 5.

Life happens. Discussing your “reproductive life” with a school is probably not a good idea as it is none of their business and has nothing to do with you as an applicant. In addition, if an interviewer ever asks you about your plans to have children, realize that this is an ILLEGAL question and you should address that with the admissions director and ask for a new interview and interviewer. Now that that has been said.

One of my classmates was pregnant throughout most of the first year. She already had taken anatomy so she did not have to do it and therefor be exposed the the fumes. She had the baby sometime in April and in May was back in class taking final exams.

You can still go to class if you are pregnant. But discuss this with the medical school once you are accepted and once you are pregnant. There is no need to do so otherwise.

As for applying to schools that are “flexible”, this does not exist. Schools want you in and out in 4 years. If not, then they have to explain why it takes longer for some students to complete the program. You should focus your medical school search on where you want to live and which school you feel is the best fit for you. Most of the time, 5 year programs are reserved for people who are having academic problems.

Apply to the schools you want. First get in, then worry about what happens if and when you get pregnant in school. You will not be the first or the last.

True, but in the real world you can take up to 12 weeks of FMLA for things such as having a baby. Med school is typically not so flexible (and yes, I realize that not all jobs are so flexible, either).

I’m very grateful to have the amount of “vacation” that I get in medical school, but I also get no control over when I take said vacation, other than 4th year. Since my husband is in a profession with inflexible vacation time as well, that often makes scheduling things difficult.