Mother-MDs – International, Welcome!

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  • #18210
    AnkiAnki
    Participant

    Hello Mom-MDs, from all over the world! 🙂

    I thought it would be great to start a topic where we non-American mother-doctors could share our stories and experiences.
    I also hope to find here advice from the “natives” 🙂 on American parenting and study/work issues…

    My own story of becoming a mom – while being an almost-MD – started during a surgery rotation. I was a visiting student in Texas where my husband had been working as a researcher of biomedical sciences. When I arrived to the U.S. we decided we wouldn’t do anything against a baby if she wanted to come 😉
    It was not the perfect time for a baby, but who knows if a perfect time would ever come (before I’m 80)? And for some reason I had the feeling that it would be very difficult for me to get pregnant – the last thing I could imagine was to conceive during a clinical clerkship when I was getting up at 4 am each morning, running all the day, not eating and sleeping enough, and being almost never together with my husband! :tired: So I completely forgot about the baby-question for a while. But… Some weeks later we were on a trip at the Grand Canyon with friends. We were supposed to return to Texas on September 11 – on that tragical day all flights were canceled, including ours. We decided to drive all the way back with our rental car. We were traveling long distances on rough roads, so no one (not even I) wondered when I started to become more and more nauseated. But few days later, when I again complained to my husband that “I feel sick but I’m also hungry” he decided that these symptoms were not typical of a food-poisoning or digestion problem… :confused: He stopped at a store to buy me a pregnancy test… positive! 😀
    During my pregnancy, I had a few clinical and research rotations. My son was born in May 2002. A completely healthy little man, very passionate with a strong temperament annd a good sense of humour! 😎
    During my pregnancy, we traveled many thousands of miles, including two trips to Europe (to our families), one to Florida, and one to the Grand Canyon. No wonder that my son loves so much to be in motion, and can’t stay sitting in a place for more then a few seconds! 🙂
    Some time after my son was born, I started preparing for the USMLE Step1. He was 5 months old when I took the test. My husband was watching him on the day of the exam – they visited me during the lunch break so that I could nurse my son. They must have brought me luck – I passed!
    Now I’m in my home country, Hungary again to complete the clinical clerkships and exams that I have left before graduation from my med school. Meanwhile, I’m also preparing for the USMLE Step 2, CSA, TOEFL exams and for next year’s Residency Match. I hope to find a program near the place where my husband works – so that the three of us could be together again!

    What is your story? How did you become a mother? Where are you in the process of becoming a physician? Do you/did you find the exams and getting ito residency difficult? Do you have advice on how to find a residency position that is both IMG and family-friendly? Post your experience and questions here!

    Annkrisz

    #18211
    foreignerforeigner
    Participant

    Hello Annkrisz! It’s great to see on this forum someone from Central Europe 😎 , I am from the country that’s your Northern neighbour. Don’t know the blessings of motherhood yet, but I went through the getting-into-a-residency thing recently. I came to the US in my last year of medical school, did some clinical rotations, graduated in 2000, passed Step 1, came back to Massachusetts, currently working in research, passed TOEFL and Step 2 last summer, passed CSA in October, got my ECFMG certificate this weekend. And most likely, I will start an IM residency in the city where my fiance works this coming July.
    If you’d ask me what was the most difficult part, it was not passing the exams. I guess I am a good MCQ exam taker, because I scored very high on both Steps without too much sweat. The most stressful and frustrating part is sending out applications to residency programs – with my USMLE scores way above the US average and good US letters of recommendations – and still getting rejections. The funniest thing is that many really crapy programs rejected me, while places like Mayo clinic and some Ivy league schools invited me :p . Get ready to spend tons of money on all the exams, and application fees (I think you already know that). I understood you will be quite fresh out of medical school, that’s a big bonus. Also, you did some rotations in the US, that’s another crucial thing. With your background, I don’t think you should have any problem matching into a good residency program… unless you wish to do a competitive specialty. IM, FP, psychiatry and pediatrics are said to be IMG friendly, and you should have enough geographical freedom in choosing your program.
    Good luck!

    #18212
    AnkiAnki
    Participant

    Hi Foreigner!

    It’s nice to meet you here!
    And congratulations for your ECFMG certification 🙂 I hope you will get a residency that you will enjoy 🙂

    Yes, accepting a rejection has always been hard for me, too. But I guess I’d have plenty of opportunity next year to practice dealing with such emotions…
    Originally, I WAS planning to go for a residency in a competitive speciality: my dream jobs were ENT and general surgery. In Hungary, there is not such a great difference between various specalities than in the U.S., regarding the difficulty of the residencies and lifestyle of physicians. And in Hungary ENT does NOT belong to the most competitive fields either… (nor does surgery, but the chances to get into surgery are lower for women). But since the decision has been made that I’d do residency in the U.S., these specialities are out of question for me. I will most probaly try IM myself. I think I will be able to find enough job satisfaction there as well.
    About your observation of crappy programs being less open to IMGs – I think that’s maybe why they’re crappy, because they care too much about how they look on paper, and care less about finding really good residents. And the real good programs are perhaps so good because they take the effort and invite many candidates – AMGs and IMGs – so that they can personally choose the person who fits best into their position… I don’t know much about this however, I may be wrong. But there is an observation we made with my husband when we were traveling a lot, which might be explained by similar reasons: the crappiest motels are NOT the cheapest, there are everywhere nice ones that charge less…

    I wish you good luck, too! 🙂

    Annkrisz

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