Single Mom & Student

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    Hi I’m considering Med school. I’m a single mom although i have plenty of support from my mom i’m wondering how do you go through med school and work to support your family? I don’t want to live with my mom for the next 8-12 years. Advice please!!!!! :confused:



    You are lucky to have your mom’s support, but I don’t know that you would actually have to live with her for the entire time. If she is a willing babysitter, living with her during residency is probably not a bad idea. (Lucky you, to have that option). As far as finances go, unless you currently make a lot of money, you are probably better off than some of us…I am married to a man who makes just enough to make me ineligible for any gift aid, but certainly not enough to pay for my education. You, being a single mom (and if you are a minority that’s an added bonus) are eligible for so much financial aid, scholarships, etc. Rooting out the funding, applying, getting transcripts, letters of recommendation, etc. is time consuming and tedious, but the money is there, you just have to go after it aggressively. Treat it as you will applying to med schools, it’s probably good practice.

    Good luck, it can be done and there are members here who prove it daily~



    I would suggest finding a missions group that would help find a place for you to live and possibly provide daycare and some or all of your tuition. In exchange you can serve for a negotiated time as their missions doctor.

    If you need some suggestions on such organizations let me know I would be happy to plug in some suggestions. By the way Billy Grahams father in law Nelson Bell had all of his tuition paid for by the med school as he was sponsored by Southern Presbyterian for a his own voluntary service of surgeon to China for 25 years. What a worthy cause. Our church has a monthly mission trip to the open dump in Oaxaca, Mexico caring for the homeless who have only known the dump as their home. Lots of options!

    email at:


    Can you just live near your mom rather than with her? This could help avoid some frustration while still setting things up so that she can help you out.

    As to the money: very few people work to support their family during med school. You just won’t have enough time (especially if you want to see your kiddo!). Bite the bullet and take out loans for your living expenses. Once you are a physician you should make a sufficient income to allow you to pay the loans off while still having a decent lifestyle.


    I’m a single mother in my second year of medical school. So far I have managed by using the before and after school program at my daughter’s school and taking my friends up on their generous offers to babysit during exams.

    However, I know that during residence I will have two options: take out even more loans and have a live-in nanny, or move back in with my parents (hopefully I’ll get a spot in their city). The hours start far too early and can end far too late for outside care to work. Considering how much debt I’m in already, moving in with the folks for those years appears to be my only option. It might not be ideal for me personally, but it’s the best option for maintaining stability in my daughter’s life during those difficult years.

    As for working during med school, if you’re a single mom, forget it. You want to actually see your child, right? Borrow against your future earnings. You’ll be able to pay it back later.


    First congrats on getting in to medical school and becoming pregnant. I must say I agree with the majority of the responders. You should have the baby AND go to medical school. In fact, first and second yrs are the best time to have a baby because your schedule remains under control. I know of several women who have babies during these years and have done fine, matched into fine residencies and gone on to be fantastic mom docs. I am 34 now and had my first baby at 33 during the third yr which became interrupted by a 12 wk maternity leave. One big reason I would see for you to defer or at least make some special arrangement with your medical school is anatomy class. Depending on which trimester you’re in, the phenol/formaldehyde fix for the cadavers is a teratogen. As for your situation with your hubby, I know of two couples who raise a baby long distance. One is a tenured professor at Standford whose husband did the commuting flight from Chicago because neither wanted to give up their careers. The second is a young couple where the wife has recently received a tenure tract position in Toronto and where the husband was finishing his doctoral work in the US. Both couples are raising their babies successfully with a lot of juggling.
    Lastly, whether you life it or not, you are now a PARENT. AS such, sacrifices are obligatory. At the same time, they are well worth the gratification of seeing human development in your body and after birth in front of your eyes. There are no words to express what a gift this brings to your life. I am an intern now with a 16 month old toddler. After q4 calls, 14 hrs days, getting critisms from attendings and senior residents, it sure is nice coming home to a jubilant “Mama!”
    PLease have the baby, go to medical school, and quit worrying about yourself and your hubby. Face it, you are now a working parent! Welcome to the club.
    Rosalie, Missouri


    Kristin & Rosalie are right on target. You’re a mom now. Although ‘we’ think that living with our parents is the worst case scenario, it truly is ideal for the kids! Yeah, yeah. There’s many days when I am begging to be out again on my own, but then I wake up and see my daughter’s smiling face and realize that this is right where we are meant to be at this moment.
    I am a 27 year old pre-med student, full-time mother, full-time employee who needed to move back in with my parents. It is working out wonderfully. The working is killing me. I don’t get to see Ronni as often as I would like, but I am saving as much as possible now to make thing a little easier during med school.
    The nearest med school to my parents is 3 hours away, and I am hoping to get into one of 2 schools which is across the country. I am even talking my mom into moving with us if I get accepted. I’m sure that she will in the end. This is more cost efficient, better for Ronni to spend as much time with her grandparent(s), and on and on.
    I don’t know your personal situation, but it has brought my family closer than ever; it has even turned us into the nearest thing to the “functional” family as we can be! LOL
    If medical school is truly what you want, you can do it! (even with a child — even a baby!) And, you also have to keep everyone’s best interests in mind.
    Hope this helps! Good luck to you with whatever you decide! 😀


    You have to do what best for yourself and your child. You won’t be able to work and go to medical school full time. You are going to need your mother support (or someone support) in order to be successful. I didn’t live with my mother while I was in medical school and residency and she was able to provide the support I needed. In the meantime I didn’t see my child everyday either. Both decisions have strong pro and cons. You have to decide what best for the two of you.


    i have seen a lot of people suggest supporting yourself with student loans, but what about health insurance? my son has asthma and gets sick regularly once the cold weather hits. when i first found out i was pregnant that was the first thing i felt i needed to take care of was having health insurance for both of us (i am a single mom and was 19 and a student when i got pregnant) right now i work part time and am still able to get benefits from my job, but i know if i get into med school i’ll have to leave this job. does anyone here know of anyone who has worked through med school? how much of a possibility is it? sorry if my post is a little off and panicky.

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