How This 41 Year Old 4th Year Found Balance

Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts

Session 536

As Latasha applied to medical school she was juggling being a medical student, mother, and wife. Finding balance was the key to her success.

For more podcast resources to help you with your medical school journey and beyond, check out Meded Media.

Listen to this podcast episode with the player above, or keep reading for the highlights and takeaway points.

[00:46] The MCAT Minute

The MCAT Minute is brought to you by Blueprint MCAT.

If you’re only six months away from taking the MCAT, Blueprint MCAT has some six-month courses specifically made for that purpose. Go check them out over at Blueprint MCAT. Create a free account where you can get access to their amazing study planner tool – all for free.

[02:20] Interest in Becoming a Physician

Her Passion From Professor to Physician

Latasha, a former professor in a biology department, discovered her passion for becoming a physician through her interactions with pre-medical students. Teaching these ambitious individuals sparked a desire within her to pursue a higher level of knowledge and expertise. This experience also served as a catalyst, reigniting a long-held aspiration that she had perhaps always known but never believed she could achieve.

Fed up with not taking the leap, Latasha finally made the decision to put an end to her hesitation and embark on this new journey. Her determination to overcome obstacles and push her boundaries drove her toward pursuing her dream of becoming a physician.

The Journey to Becoming a Physician

Latasha’s journey towards becoming a physician was fueled by her love for teaching anatomy and physiology. While she enjoyed preparing her students for their nursing or PA programs, she realized that there was a need for her expertise in the medical field.

As an educator, Latasha had always chosen to work in underrepresented or challenging school systems, where she witnessed the determination and resilience of her students. Although she had a positive impact on their lives through education, she wanted to have a more direct and physical impact as a physician. She believed that being a doctor would allow her to not only educate her patients but also earn their trust and make a difference in their lives.

Latasha recognized that in these communities, people often rely on trusted individuals within the community rather than doctors, and she wanted to bridge that gap by providing accurate medical information to her patients and their families.

The Role of a Support Network

The decision to pursue medicine was not made lightly. Latasha considered the timing of her career and the options of getting a PhD or an MD. Ultimately, the desire to fulfill her long-held dream of becoming a doctor outweighed any other considerations. However, she understood that this decision had significant consequences, both positive and negative.

As she was not a young student without responsibilities, she had to navigate conversations with her family, including her spouse and children, about her decision to pursue medical school. This was a process that involved open and honest discussions, considering the impact on everyone involved, and addressing any concerns or challenges that may arise.

[07:56] The Family Conversations Around Her Decision

Latasha’s husband played a pivotal role in her decision to pursue a medical degree. With his unwavering support and encouragement, he pushed her to take the leap and follow her dreams. Their discussions revolved around taking extra classes, gaining clinical experience, and volunteering, as stepping stones towards her medical career. He reassured her that they would figure out the logistics and navigate any challenges that came their way.

Being a military family added another layer of complexity to Latasha’s decision. They sat down with their children, explained the situation, and discussed the impact of her deployment on the family dynamic. Surprisingly, their military background seemed to ease the understanding of their kids.

Latasha shared her intentions of being away more often due to her medical journey, seeking their input and approval. To her delight, her entire family, including her husband and kids, wholeheartedly supported her decision.

Overcoming her own hesitations, Latasha found solace in knowing that her loved ones backed her dream. Together, they created a plan and committed to working towards her goal of becoming a physician. The united front presented by her husband and family became an essential source of strength and motivation as she embarked on this new chapter of her life.

'I just continue to ask my support system to remind me of my why. So when I felt like that, I had people to continue encouraging me.'Click To Tweet

[10:06] Balancing Act: Managing Time and Priorities

Maintaining open communication has been a cornerstone of Latasha’s family dynamic, allowing everyone to express their disappointments and concerns.

Recognizing the need to become a better time manager, Latasha became meticulous in organizing her schedule and setting priorities. With limited free time available, she made a deliberate choice to dedicate that precious time to her husband and children. Quality over quantity became her mantra as she strived to make every moment count.

To ensure efficient use of her time, Latasha embraced a detailed and structured schedule. This may seem overwhelming to those who haven’t experienced the demands of their unique situation. From scheduling calls to check on her kids’ progress or reminding them about homework, every aspect of life was carefully planned. This approach helped maintain a sense of sanity amidst the chaotic and demanding process of pursuing a medical degree.

Latasha’s commitment to balancing her responsibilities as a future physician, a spouse, and a parent required immense dedication and resilience. However, by implementing an organized schedule and prioritizing quality time with her family, she found a way to navigate this challenging journey while cherishing the moments that matter the most.

[11:35] The Financial Side of Things

Latasha and her husband carefully considered the financial aspect of their situation before making any decisions. They anticipated a significant decrease in income due to Latasha’s career change, but they also had the same expenses to cover. As part of their financial plan, they focused on paying down bills and credit card debt while saving as much as possible.

Latasha took advantage of opportunities to work extra hours at the college she was affiliated with, teaching additional classes to bring in extra income. While her husband couldn’t take on the same side jobs due to his military commitments, they both explored every possible avenue to increase their earnings. They were willing to make sacrifices and take on extra jobs to ensure a stable financial foundation for their family.

Considering the financial well-being of their children was a crucial factor in their decision-making process. They also consulted with the school’s financial aid office and advisor to understand the specific financial implications of commuting to school and the additional costs associated with childcare. The support and guidance provided by the financial aid director and advisor were instrumental in helping them navigate these considerations.

[14:20] Overcoming Doubt

When Latasha initially felt scared and uncertain about her career path, she considered attending PA school as a shorter and potentially more affordable option that would be convenient for her family. However, during her experience shadowing a physician, she shared her reasons for considering PA school. The physician expressed doubt and challenged her belief that those reasons were valid.

Despite initially feeling discouraged, this interaction prompted Latasha to reevaluate her decision. The following week, she informed the physician that she had decided to pursue medical school instead.

It was the physician’s words and validation that ultimately gave her the permission and confidence she needed to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor, even with her family commitments and other challenges. This encounter highlighted the importance of having someone she trusted and respected affirm her capabilities and aspirations, ultimately leading her to choose the path of medical school.

'Pushing through the doubt is probably the hardest part.'Click To Tweet

[16:58] Finding Resources in Crafting Her Story

Latasha’s journey to medical school is a testament to the power of mentorship and available resources. She credits Medical School HQ for being instrumental in her success. After discovering our Facebook page, Latasha reached out and received valuable advice. Through listening to our podcasts, it provided her with guidance throughout the application process. Latasha also utilized The Premed Playbook: Guide to the Medical School Personal Statement.

As someone who had been out of school for six years and lacked connections to the medical field, Latasha felt lost and unsure of what steps to take. However, through our resources and support, she found the guidance she desperately needed.


Living apart due to Latasha’s medical school journey was a decision that she and her husband made together. While her husband is stationary at their home, they recognized that their current location did not have a medical school nearby. As a result, Latasha had to deploy to attend medical school.

Having conversations with their children about being comfortable living apart was necessary. This was not a new experience for them, as Latasha’s husband frequently deploys. They understood the challenges that come with deployment and living apart, so they were prepared to take on this new chapter in their lives.

Currently, Latasha’s medical school is located about an hour and 40 minutes away from their home. To manage the distance, they have secured a place near the medical school where Latasha stays during the week or when she needs to spend multiple nights. Every Friday, she returns home, and on occasions like today, she can make quick trips home during the week.

While living apart can be challenging, especially for military families, Latasha and her husband have found solace in their military situation. They view this separation as another deployment, a mindset that helps them navigate the difficulties that arise. It may not be easy, but they are committed to making the best of the situation and supporting each other along the way.

“For middle military women, wives, or spouses who are thinking about it… It's more of just reframing your mind…. You learn to do the best that you can in that situation.”Click To Tweet

Latasha’s experience offers insights for military women or spouses who are considering similar situations. It requires reframing one’s mindset and embracing the challenges as part of the military lifestyle. While it may not be ideal, with resilience and determination, it is possible to navigate these circumstances and make the most of the situation.

[23:47] Preparing for the Residency Match

Latasha is preparing to match for a neurology program in 2024. One of the factors influencing their decision is the limited number of neurology programs in their state, which narrows down their options. Latasha has had conversations with student affairs and sought guidance from Dr. Bright regarding her preferences for staying close to her children. Maintaining stability for their kids is a priority, especially as they enter high school. Latasha and her husband believe it’s important to minimize disruptions during this crucial time in their children’s lives.

While the prospect of being away from her children causes Latasha anxiety, she is actively exploring possibilities and widening her options. She is considering larger cities with excellent airports, which would allow her to fly home and save time on commuting. This way, she can maximize her time with her family rather than spending it on long drives.

Latasha and her family are collectively preparing for various outcomes. While her top choice is within their state, they are also open to other possibilities and are considering locations closer to other family members. They are hopeful for the best outcome but are also taking proactive steps to be prepared for different scenarios.

Neurology is Latasha’s desired field, and she is committed to pursuing it despite the challenges that come with matching into a program while considering their family’s needs.

[28:47] Supporting Your Kids Throughout This Entire Process

Latasha recognizes the importance of staying connected with her children, even when she is not physically present. She takes on the responsibility of checking their progress reports every Monday and ensures that they are aware of their academic responsibilities. By doing so, she lets them know that she is still involved and invested in their education, even from a distance.

Building Strong Relationships with Your Kids

Moreover, Latasha makes it a point to sit down and have conversations with her children, discussing what is happening in their lives. If her husband shares any significant events or challenges, she actively checks in with her children to provide additional support and understanding.

Building a strong connection with her kids is crucial to Latasha, and she maintains traditions such as going on dates with them.

The Power of Communication

Latasha creates a safe space for her children to express their emotions and frustrations about their situation. She understands that it is unfair to expect them to be completely okay with her absence and the family’s circumstances. Therefore, she encourages open communication and allows them to voice their concerns. 

Additionally, she acknowledges that they may need someone else to talk to and is willing to make arrangements for them to seek support from another trusted individual.

Overall, Latasha strives to be transparent and understanding with her children. She avoids making them feel guilty about any negative feelings they may have and emphasizes that they deserve to have their mother around.

By maintaining open lines of communication and providing emotional support, Latasha ensures that her children feel heard and supported during this time of separation.

[33:11] Final Words of Wisdom

Latasha’s journey is a testament to the power of choosing oneself and pursuing dreams and aspirations, even while fulfilling multiple roles as a mother, wife, daughter, and sister. She emphasizes that by prioritizing personal fulfillment, she becomes a better mom, wife, and family member overall.

Choose Yourself

Latasha believes that it is important for individuals to decide to choose themselves and communicate this decision with their loved ones. She acknowledges that it is not possible to achieve everything alone and encourages seeking support from others. To her surprise, she found that when she shared her aspirations and asked for help, she received an overwhelming response.

'It's okay to choose you. You're not being selfish by choosing you.'Click To Tweet

She advocates for speaking up and letting people know what you’re thinking, as well as choosing yourself because you deserve to pursue your dreams. Latasha uses the example of aspiring to be a doctor rather than settling for a different role if that’s not your true passion. She recognizes the value of other professions, such as Physician Assistants, but emphasizes the importance of following one’s calling, like going to medical school if that’s what resonates with you.

The Power of Open Communication

Latasha, a fourth-year medical student, exemplifies resilience and determination in making her journey work. She shares her experiences and highlights the significance of communication within her family. Despite the challenges, she shows that it is possible to balance multiple responsibilities and pursue a fulfilling career.

Remember, communication and open dialogue are key to building a strong support system. By sharing your aspirations and asking for help, you may find that there are more people willing to support you than you ever imagined. So, don’t hesitate to speak up and choose yourself because you deserve to embrace the path that calls to you.

For those who may doubt their ability to achieve their goals due to various reasons, Latasha’s story serves as a source of motivation and encouragement. She proves that with determination and support, anyone can overcome obstacles and succeed. So, let Latasha’s journey inspire you to pursue your dreams and believe in your own potential.


Meded Media

Blueprint MCAT

The Premed Playbook: Guide to the Medical School Personal Statement