Internship with baby!

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    Hello everyone,
    It is so great to finally find a forum that adresses our concerns as women, mom and MDs!
    I am foreign graduate, finished residency in my home country 3 yrs ago, then came to the US with my husband. The initial plan was to stay just one year (I did research in a university hospital in my specialty field), but than we decided to stay longer, so I decided to apply for residency (again), since it is the only way to get a licence. My specialty is very competitive, but the year of research paid off (as well as good scores), and I interviewd with some very good programs. The problem is that I have to do an internship before starting residency and my baby will be just one year when I start (she is born in late May 2002, that is why I didn’t apply last year). I don’t know if I will be matched for internship (there are very few IM programs in my area and I had few interviews. If I don’t I will have to do a surgery internship and that scares me a lot (not that it is too difficult, I already did surgery in my home country, but I can’t imagine working at least 80 hrs a week, and taking calls, with a one year old). My husband has flexible work hours (at least in the morning, but he generally leaves around 7 pm), and we plan to leave the baby in a day care in his company (they have onsite child care). I know everything sounds worked out, but I am so anxious, I have been with my baby 24 hrs a day since she was born, and I don’t know how both of us will adjust once I start internship. I am still nursing her, and planning to wean her around April-May. Anyone had such exprerience with internship+baby please give us your advice!
    Thanks a lot and good luck everyone!


    hi dorsel
    yes, i have had much experience with this. I had my first child as an intern and my second child as a third year resident. I would love to talk to you about it. send me a private message and lets chat.


    Hi Dorsel,
    I am in a similar situation to yours. I graduated last year from med school , but decided to stay home with my son. He will be 18 months when I start my internship. I am also looking at IM programs. I am very scared as to how I am going to handle going back to work and leaving him. Like you, I have been with him 24hrs a day for the past year. The whole adjusting issue really is concerning me.
    Somehow I know we will manage, but it is still very nervewracking.


    I started internship with a three month old baby. I do not know if I would make the same decision with my 20/20 hindsight. My son was born with congenital heart defects in March of my 4th year (discovered after his birth). At first I seriously considered delaying internship, but my husband was a full time student, and we really did not know how to make the finances work. Also, without my working, we would have NO health insurance at a time that we had a child with serious health issues. When the pedi-cardiologists assured me that my son would be stable on meds and would not require corrective surgery until about age 2, my husband and I agreed that I could proceed. He was scared, I was exhausted and felt guilty all the time. Then, of course, further discoveries about my son’s heart made by a later echocardiogram meant he needed surgery at age 7 mos (November of my internship yr). We made it, but the strain was severe.
    I was an RN before I attended med school, so I wish I had delayed residency one year as I first thought of doing; I could have reactivated my nursing license and worked in the nursing flex pool of any of several local hospitals to make ends meet. That still would not have solved the health insurance issue as flex nurses did not receive any benefits. Knowing how hard it was going to be, delaying would have been the better decision. I do not think that I would have had much trepidation about starting residency when my son was 15 months old and doing great health-wise. But I would not have delayed longer than one year…it is too easy to lose much of your knowledge base.
    The real key, ladies, is your MAN. He must be ready to assume the mantle of “Mr. Mom.” My husband grew into the role very well (can you tell how much I respect him for that?). But your man is the key…I saw several female MD marriages dissolve because the man of the couple had great difficulty in expanding beyond the typical “man of the house” role and help the woman with children, meals, laundry, etc. If you do not feel that your mate is capable of doing that, then the right answer might be to make a choice of specialty that historically requires a less rigorous work-week. Ones that come to mind include psychiatry, pathology. Of course, the new laws limiting the residency work week may change things some, but an 80 hour work week is still challenging to also doing the typical work of wife/mother/homemaker. Also, in private practice, I still have had my share of 70-80 hour weeks.


    I’m facing a similar situation, except that I’ll be starting 3rd year this July, when my son will be 14 months old (he was born in May 2002 also). I’ve spent tons of time with him since he was born- I usually skip class and study from home instead. He’s never been in daycare or even with a babysitter. The only time I’ve ever left him is to take exams and for about 7 hours/week of required attendance- which is when my husband stays home with him. I think Taurus makes a very good point about your man…mine has made all the difference for our family. When I start 3rd year, the plan is for him to stay home for as long as we can possibly afford to and/or as long as he can stand it and still be happy.
    Still, I’m very nervous about being at the hospital all the time and not seeing my son for 36-hour stretches or more. In fact, I’ve considered taking a year off for that reason, but finally decided it wouldn’t be any easier next year either.
    I guess I don’t really have any advice for you- just wanted to let you know you’re not alone!


    Check out this link. There was a discussion about family and residency on SDN. Very interesting…I guess this is what some colleagues are thinking behind our backs
    Studen t Doctor Network/Graduate Medical Forums/General Residency Issues/advice please


    Hi Dorsel,
    I can’t give you any advice myself – I’m in a VERY similar situation!
    I am an International Medical Gradute, came to the U.S. with my husband who got a job here. I originally planned to stay for a few months, maybe a year. But then it turned out that my husbands’s job required him to stay longer, so I too stayed. I did two clinical clerkships as a visiting student (one of them was in surgery), then got a research position. My son was born in May 2002 🙂
    And now I’m preparing for the USMLE and CSA exams, and looking for a residency.

    I’m often thinking about the possible difficulties of being an intern with a toddler – but I hope we’ll manage it. I agree with Taurus: a supporting husband with flexible work hours is probably the key!

    Good luck! 🙂



    Thank you all for your replies. I feel better knowing that there are many women out there that are or have been in the same situation. Taurus, your story is very inspiring, and you are right, without the active support of the guys, we will not be able to make it.Best of luck to all!


    I’ve moved this to the residents forum!

    Good luck!

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