July 30, 2002 at 12:02 am #88135**DONOTDELETE**Participant
I am 22 years old and preparing to apply to medical school. I have wanted to be a doctor since I was five, but lately I have been having reservations. When I was younger I assumed I wouldn’t get married until after I was done with school and then MAYBE I would consider having children later on. Well, 6 years ago I met the man of my dreams and we have been together ever since. He comes from a military family and had always planned on following those footsteps. When we got serious, he decided not to join the military because he wanted to be with me and have a family. Of course he knew about my plans for medical school. Eventually we discussed how unfair it is for him to have to give up his dreams so I could follow mine, so four months ago he joined the army. Now, if I start school, he and I won’t be able to be together for the next four years. I have a lot of confidence in our relationship, but even the best relationships can only survive so much. Recently, I have also found myself wanting a family more and more, but I don’t want to wait until I am completely done with school and residency to start having children, and I don’t want to wait until he gets back from his tour of duty because I will likely be starting residency at that time, and I certainly can’t start while he’s gone. So it seems now that I have to chose between family and career. I have been considering nursing as an alternative because I could become an RN in about a year and then I could move with him to wherever he is stationed. Atleast then I could still work in medicine, but I am having a hard time with that decision simply because I know I am capable of more(no offense intended towards the nursing profession). I am so torn. Any suggestions?July 30, 2002 at 4:59 am #88136efex101Participant
I would not pursue the Nursing route if your heart is in being a physician, you would be doing yourself and your future patients a disservice if you did this without really “meaning” it. Nursing is a different career than medicine altogether although they are somewhat related. Maybe some nurses can shed some insight here. As far as the military goes, my husband is in the Army and has been for the past 14 years so I can relate in that area quite a bit. I would personally wait until hubby is stationed somewhere before pursuing the medical school route. Most posts have a med school nearby for example at Ft. Bragg NC there are two medical schools really close Duke and UNC, at Ft. Campbell there are two in Nashville (Vandy and Meharry) and then one in Memphis. So you can always apply once you know where you will be stationed. I can tell you that if you plan on having a family it will be hard with your husband in the military (as far as support, help, etc.) if he is deployed a lot. If he is not deployed too much then you should be fine. My husband was sometimes gone six months out of the year so going to school for u-grad was hard with two kiddies, I could not imagine med school at it alone with two kids 😮 but there are single moms that do it all the time so it is a matter of what you can get used to I guess. Anyways sorry for the ramble but just see where he gets stationed, and then plan from there.July 30, 2002 at 5:00 am #88138TexasRoseParticipant
I’m a 32 yr old nontraditional premed, and I can tell you from experience that there is more than one way to pursue your dreams. Take some time to figure out what yor priorities are, as well as his. See if you can find a way to ” have it all” even if it takes a few more years than it would if you were alone.
I have a husband (11years!) and 3 fantastic kids and I get to apply to med school next summer! I feel very lucky and don’t regret for a second making my marriage and children a priority before my career. For me, the nontradional approach is working very well.
Good luck, whatever your path turns out to be!!!
TheresaJuly 30, 2002 at 8:01 pm #88139glennvallyParticipant
As a military wife (Navy, so he’s gone more than he’s at home) and an older pre-med, I certainly agree with Efex and Theresa. You are so young (lucky girl), and have plenty of time to “have it all”. I think those of us who had our kids, stayed home for a few years, and later decided to pursue medical school may have it a little better than the younger gals who have babies during residency and then beat themselves up because they feel they are missing out on their kids lives. Anyone who doesn’t agree with that, your opinion is welcome! 🙂 Maybe you can start your family now, let your husband get established in his career, then when you get a post near a med-school, start applying…Do you have all of your pre-requisites? Have you completed your BA/BS? The one thing to keep in mind is the age of your science pre-reqs, they DO expire. But if you wait five years to take the MCAT, you’ll probably want to re-take some of those classes anyway.
It can be done, but never without sacrifice~
ValJuly 30, 2002 at 8:06 pm #88141glennvallyParticipant
One more thing…I agree that doing an RN may not be the best route, but on the other hand, we all hear that medical experience is helpful in the admission process. Maybe you could do some short program (LPN/MA?) and work a bit to get exposure if you decide to delay your entry. Just a thought, if you’re anything like me, sitting on your hands while your hubby is out working will drive you nuts unless you’ve got kids to shuttle!
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