Any Med School Commuters Out There Willing to Answer a ??

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    Hi all! I felt the need to vent and posted it in the pre med forum. One of the solutions to my venting seemed to be the possibility of commuting to school (I will be MS1 in August) on a daily or every other day basis. The commute would be a long one (2 hours without rush hour traffic). Has anyone tried this instead of moving? My husband is willing to move, but it is an option I might now want to consider. Is it “doable”? I just thought 4 to 6 hours a day would be too much. I thought that time might be better spent studying and spending it with family. Anyone that has made this trek or any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


    Funny you should ask. I have a pharm exam at 8 AM tomorrow 100 miles away and was debating whether to drive up tonight or wait until tomorrow AM- we have snow in the area and I wasn’t sure if driving conditions were safe. I’m a 2nd year who has been commuting to med school for almost 2 years. When I started school, my husband kept his job and apartment 100 miles away, while I took a cheap apartment in the student ghetto. He came up to visit me on weekends and I usually ended up driving down at least once a week and skipping class that day (e.g., we only had 1 class on Tuesday AM, so I would come home Monday afternoon and drive back Wednesday morning.) My grades were fine, but I did miss out on a lot of extracurricular and social opportunities 1st year. It was tough, but worth it for us because the town my med school is in has very few jobs.
    This year, we’re doing something similar: he still works out of town 2 days a week and we still have two apartments in 2 cities. The difference is we now have a 9-month-old baby, which makes things considerably more difficult. It’s been an extremely rough year, to say the least, but we’ve survived so far.
    Give it a try if you’re so inclined- if you find it isn’t working, you can always change your mind. I would, however, strongly suggest getting a place to stay in the other city- you don’t want to be faced with a long commute the morning before an 8 AM anatomy practical. Also, while you’re taking anatomy, you’ll find that you do need to spend more time in lab- evenings, weekends, etc. With the other classes, I’ve managed to do most of my studying on my own at home.


    Whew!! I thought I was the only one considering such a thing. I will be making applications next year. One school(UAB) is a little over an hour from where I am currently living. I have a ton of family in the Birmingham area, and so I am thinking about commuting. What is really good for me is the fact that I can arrange for my son (who will be two years old at that time)to stay with my grandmother during the day. This way if I have to get to him quickly, I can. Also, I can crash for the night with no problems if I have too. Now the other school (USA) wont be so easy. It is a 5 hour drive from here. 😮
    If I get accepted there I will probably end up moving. Anyway, I will keep you all in my prayers. Keep on doing what you do. Just think, one day you will look back and laugh while wondering how you did it.


    Just to share my thoughts…

    I’m curretnly commuting 1 hour each way for my OrgII and MCAT prep courses. It’s frustrating when I think about how I could spend those 2 hours a day if I wasn’t on the road, studying, being with the kids, running errands.

    I’m sure the commuting can be done, but the drive on a daily basis will get frustrating abd exhausting. Can you get an apartment near the school to stay in during the week?



    If I get into medschool this year I will be staying there during the week and home on weekends, at least for the first year. I too will have about a 1.5-2 hour commute, and on snowy roads (especially) I just think it is tooooo much.

    Luckily, my husband is really involved with our kids, and he is somewhat flexible in his hours (solo practice) and works only a couple of minutes from their school and preschool. But I think the seperation will be harder on me than on them. :guilty:

    On the other hand, the extra 4 hours/day will be much more efficiently used, allowing me to be able to focus completely on them when I am home. I also think that I may be able to get home for one night during the week on lighter work-load weeks.

    Will try this for a year anyway, and then may re-evaluate. :scratchchin:


    BTW – I commute currently approx. 1 hour (door-to-door) and find the drive relaxing and good “transition” time. But the unpredictability of the roads at this time of year is stressful, and with the increased pressure of a medschool curriculum, increasing the commute to closer to 2 hours is just nasty… my opinion anyway. :boggled:


    Hi! if i get into the school of my choice for the fall i will be commuting about 1.5 hours each way. i am going to try find a place near the school to stay about 2-3x a week and see how that works. the school has a really developed electrionic curriculum so i hope to be able to stay at home when i need to (not on a regular basis though). this will pose a problem for exams though. luckily the worse of the winter weather doesn’t outlast january usually but again, i will have the option of staying in one place or the other. I actually think that it will work because i am going ot try to tape and lsiten to the lectures on my commute. i have done this quite a bit in the last few premed classes that i have taken and ti has increased my recall of the material tremendously. i feel that we will at least try it and have the option to move closer if it doesn’t work out.


    Bermiegal – are you looking at MCV? :goodvibes: Just a guess… (it’s where I did my first two years of med school)

    I’m also looking at a commute, though mine will be for residency. If I match at my first choice :crossfingers: I would have a 90 mile commute each way. My husband refuses to move for someplace so “close”. The tentative plan would be for me to get an apartment in town and come home my two free weekends a month and during the week when I can.

    I know the new 80 hour workweek will make this more doable… I just don’t know if I can stand to be away from my kids so much. I’m going to be away from them enough just doing residency.

    Obviously, then, I feel a tremendous amount of pressure to go to the program here (30 miles away). I wish I felt that I fit there better. They know me already, and I know them. Maybe that’s the problem. :banghead:

    Wish I knew what was “best”



    WOW 😮
    Hats off to you guys who are going to commute. I thought I had it bad in Atlanta when to save some money I lived at home for 1 or 2 of the years. THe good thing is the unwinding..that is unless you live in an area of road rage. 😡
    THe bad thing is that those of you with kids may truly get the burnout much earlier because of the lack of time that you could study and just go to the next room to peel in on your youngins.

    One thing I did when I had the commute in college, actually, was (I admit a bit anal), but I recorded the lectures and then listened to them on the way home. Made me really love organic. Seriously!

    Good luck to you guys!

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