MSHQ 061 : Medical School Mom – Prioritizing Family, School and More

Session 61

In today's episode, Ryan talks with Rebekah Costello, a current 4th year medical student at Midwestern University Chicago – College of Osteopathic Medicine. She also runs a blog at doctorandmom.blogspot.com. Today, she shares with us her medical school experience as nontraditional student who went through seven different higher education institutions before finally landing at the current school she's at.

Having started medical school at 35 years old and a mom of three children, find out how Rebekah practically juggled her life and glean lessons from her, particularly on how to set your priorities and put aside those that are not really important to you. Her passions for both her family and becoming a physician that exude from this interview will truly inspire you.

Here are the highlights of the conversation with Rebekah:

Rebekah's path to her medical school journey:

  • Being pregnant with her son and going back to her undergrad studies
  • Pursuing her biology degree to be eligible to do genetic counselling
  • Shadowing a genetic counsellor and realizing the actual job was different from what she thought it to be
  • Wanting to be there more than just a 15-minute interaction with patients

The importance of shadowing:

  • To know what it's like being a physician
  • It's okay to step away if it's not what you thought it was or wanted

Her experiences of balancing being a nontraditional student and a mother:

  • Starting a family at a very early age
  • Going through the Master's program
  • Knowing that it's really what you want 100%
  • Getting support from her husband
  • Preparing meals for her family
  • Teamwork as the key!
  • Her 1st year of medical school as a very challenging phase – letting go of micromanagement
  • Having a good support network
  • Being okay with not being the number one in class as long as she's able to be there for her family

Prioritizing her time as a nontrad premed:

  • Literally making use of every spare second of his day
  • Asking her professors about certain points about the lecture for clarification
  • Perusing her note packets to have an idea of their lecture flow
  • Making audio flashcards
  • Making sure she is able to spend dinner with her family to maintain that sense of family
  • Having lunch with her daughter on the weekends
  • Planning the week ahead and studying after the kids went to bed at night
  • Family time was crucial, vital, and key but limiting the activities of her kids

Going through her application and the interview:

  • Getting put on the waitlist and her Master's being not a guaranteed acceptance
  • Integrating the fact that she has a family into the interview

Some pieces of advice for premed students:

  1. Don't let anybody tell you it can't be done.
  2. Let go of little things and micromanagement. Even if you don't do it, it will be okay.
  3. Family always comes first.
  4. You will hear people giving a ton of advice. Don't listen to them because you and only you know what study skills and organizational skills work for you.
  5. Be flexible and be willing to change because life happens.
  6. Don't lose sight of who you are. Do not let the process change you. Keep who you are.

Links and Other Resources:

Check out Rebekah's blog at doctorandmom.blogspot.com

www.mothersinmedicine.com

If you need any help with the medical school interview, go to medschoolinterviewbook.com. Sign up and you will receive parts of the book so you can help shape the future of the book. This book will include over 500 questions that may be asked during interview day as well as real-life questions, answers, and feedback from all of the mock interviews Ryan has been doing with students.

Are you a nontraditional student? Go check out oldpremeds.org.

For more great content, check out www.mededmedia.com for more of the shows produced by the Medical School Headquarters including the OldPremeds Podcast and watch out for more shows in the future!

Free MCAT Gift: Free 30+ page guide with tips to help you maximize your MCAT score and which includes discount codes for MCAT prep as well.

Hang out with us over at medicalschoolhq.net/group. Click join and we'll add you up to our private Facebook group. Share your successes and miseries with the rest of us.

Check out our partner magazine, www.premedlife.com to learn more about awesome premed information.

Next Step Test Prep: Get one-on-one tutoring for the MCAT and maximize your score. Get $50 off their tutoring program when you mention that you heard about this on the podcast or through the MSHQ website.

Listen to our podcast for free at iTunes: medicalschoolhq.net/itunes and leave us a review there!

Email Ryan at ryan@medicalschoolhq.net or connect with him on Twitter @medicalschoolhq

Get the Podcast Free!

Subscribe in iTunes Google Play Music Subscribe to RSS

[/vc_column_text]

Listen to Other Shows

Leave us a Review and Rating!

Just like Yelp reviews or IMDB ratings help you choose your next restaurant or movie, leaving a 5 star rating and/or a written review is very valuable to The Premed Years. It allows us to be able to share our information with more people than ever before.

I am so incredibly thankful to those who have recently gone into our listing in iTunes to provide a five start rating and a written review of The Premed Years.

Subscribe and Download

iOS/Mac/Windows – You can subscribe to the show in iTunes. Or you could manually add the RSS feed to your aggregator.

Android/Mac/Windows – You can download DoubleTwist and use that to manage all of our past and future episodes

Please help us spread the word!

If you like the show, will you please take a moment to leave a comment on iTunes? This really helps us get the word out!

[/vc_column_text]
  • Rebekah Costello

    Thank you again for taking the time to talk to me – I hope this was helpful to some one out there 🙂 And I would be more than happy to do it again in the future if it did not go the direction you were hoping

    • Ha – it was exactly what I was hoping for! I’m sure many out there will learn from this! Thanks again for taking valuable time away from your studies and your family for doing this.

  • premedDad

    This was a great podcast! I’m currently in the application cycle, but I’ll have similar circumstances (mid-30s, wife & 2 young kids) when I start school. Sounds like we share similar perspectives on things as well. I know that I won’t be able to devote the time to be #1 in my class, but that’s ok. I’d rather ensure that I’m able to spend time with my family during the process. Best of luck to you Rebekah as you make your way through residency.

    • Thanks for the comment! Would love to know where you’re planning on applying.

    • Rebekah costello

      Thank you for your kind words!
      If you need anything please feel free to contact me – I am always happy to help and give advice on how this all has worked 🙂
      many blessings to you on your future path

  • T. Bloomfield

    I really enjoyed your podcast! I too am a mother of three children 14, 8, and 5 and am planning on applying this next cycle. It is inspiring to know that there are others out there who’ve been accepted like me and that my dream is not impossible as so many tend to say. Congratulations on your achievement and good luck to you in the future and THANK YOU for taking the time to post!

    • Rebekah costello

      Best wishes to you in the upcoming application cycle!

      It is definitely not impossible which is why I wanted to do this for Ryan, to show it can be done.

  • Marie M.

    Hi Rebekah,

    Did you apply broadly including out of state or across the country? I want to apply broadly, but my husband wouldn’t be able to move with me if the only school I get accepted to far and would need a plane ride.