This week, we’re answering a question that comes up a lot, usually from women, which is whether or not you can have kids while in medical school. This episode will help you especially if you’re female, getting ready to be married, or in a relationship and thinking about having kids.
This is not the same situation as wanting your cake and eating it, too. It’s a situation where you want to be a premed, a medical student, or a physician, and you want to have a family at the same time. The reality is that women enter medical school and residency every year and have kids. It’s a wonderful biological process, having babies. It’s natural, and you don’t need to put it on hold unless you want to.
Listen to this podcast episode with the player above, or keep reading for the highlights and takeaway points.
[02:50] OldPreMeds Question of the Week:
“I’m a 35-year-old woman turning 36 tomorrow, and after a major life event last year, I have felt that my true calling is being a physician. I have a couple of science prereqs left to take before the MCAT and some great docs lined up to shadow over the next few months to confirm my desire to be a doctor.
If I stay with this track, I’ll apply next year for a 2019 start. By then I’ll be 38, and my boyfriend is super supportive of me becoming a doc. But we are also getting serious about getting married and having kids.
I’m wondering what you all think about starting med school and having babies in the same few years? Anybody have young ones or planning to have them at the same time as medical school? Yes, I know, it may be crazy, but is it still doable?”
[03:50] Can You Have Kids in Medical School?
Yes! It’s definitely doable.
If you’re not part of the Hangout Group on Facebook, go there, join, and share your story there. Try to tag Jessica White. Jessica was a student I did advising for, and she was on The Premed Years podcast back in Episode 168. She was accepted to ten medical schools. She got married, started medical school, and she had a baby in the first year.
Is it easy? Heck no! Having a baby is never easy. Of course, having a baby in medical school is even less easy, but it’s doable.Having a baby is never easy. Of course, having a baby in medical school is even less easy, but it's doable.Click To Tweet
[Related episode: Should I Mention Kids in My Med School Application?]
Taking Years Off from Medical School to Have a Baby
I teach a little bit at a medical school here in Colorado, and one of the students who was teaching with me was a fourth-year student who had two kids during medical school. She took a year off for each kid. The school obviously had to grant her that, and she made it work.
Although it took her longer to finish medical school, she felt it was the right decision for her and her family to have the baby and stay home and raise the infant. After a year, she was ready to go back to school and reintegrate herself into medical school. Then she did it all over again with a second kid. Now she’s matched into psychiatry, and she’s going into residency.She had two kids during medical school. Now she's matched into psychiatry, and she's going into residency.Click To Tweet
[Related episode: Can Being a Single Parent Prevent Me from Becoming a Doctor?]
Medical School with Kids: Easy? No. Doable? Yes.
Again, it’s doable. Easy? No. But having babies isn’t really ever easy. It’s just one of those situations where you’re going to have to prioritize your time.
You’re going to have to be very good at time management, be very efficient with studying, and have a great support system around you. Lastly, you’re just going to have to deal with being crazy for a while. But it’s doable, without a doubt.
This is a very common question that comes up, usually from women who are interested in being premed, going to medical school, and becoming a physician. They have that lingering question: What if they want to be a mom, too? The answer is yes, it’s definitely doable.What if you want to be a physician and you want to be a mom, too?Click To Tweet
[Related episode: How Med Student Parents Make It Happen.]
[06:24] A Resource for You: Physician Moms Group
As one final resource, I want to mention the Physician Moms Group (PMG). I’m not sure if they allow premed students at this time, but I highly recommend the Physician Moms Group on Facebook or on their website. They have over 70,000 members!
The founder of the Physician Moms Group is Dr. Hala Sabry, an ER doc with three kids. She was also on The Premed Years podcast back in Episode 201. This is a huge resource for students thinking about going to medical school and being a mom. It’s essentially a big support group for physician moms!
Links and Other Resources
- Check out my Premed Playbook series of books (available on Amazon), with installments on the personal statement, the medical school interview, and the MCAT.
- Related episode: Medical School Mom: Prioritizing Family, School, and More.
- Related episode: Do I Have Enough Time to Be a Premed and a Mom?
- Need MCAT Prep? Save on tutoring, classes, and full-length practice tests by using promo code “MSHQ” at Blueprint MCAT (formerly Next Step Test Prep)!