Single moms

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    I have read many things from married moms going through pre-medical studies. However, I have not seen many from single moms. I am 31 and have a couple years of pre-med classes to go. I have two daughters and no family support. I am determined that I will succeed, however, it would be helpful to know if anyone else is in this predicament.


    Try these two stories about single moms in medicine!

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    Hi! I’m so glad to see I am not the only single mom attempting this!!!
    I will be 31 this year, too, and I am currently taking my sciences post-bac. I plan to apply next year. My daughter is 8 and I will most likely apply to schools in Chicago, since that is where her father lives. Luckily, we have a friendly relationship and he is looking forward to being there for our daughter. I just don’t think I could handle it without any support. I think the first 2 years will be OK, but I’ve heard years 3-4 are more time consuming (and residency, of course!)
    I think we will be at an advantage, when it comes to time management, though! I am working nearly full-time (can do some stuff at home) and taking 2 sciences a semester. I think it might be easier (time wise) when we just have studying to worry about…not work, too!!! That’s just my opinion…we’ll just have to see!
    Good luck to you!


    Hi Janice,

    I wanted to respond to your message and to Ialee’s reply.

    I worked fulltime and simultaneously took fulltime classes as an undergraduate, and thought I understood what it meant to work long hours. Currently the ACGME (Accredidation Committee for Graduate Medical Education) is trying to limit resident hours to 80 per week, with programs able to extend this to 88 hours/week at their discretion – and they are meeting with great opposition. At this time, residents average about 100 hours per week. As an intern I once worked 128 hours in one week. The hours add up so fast because of in-house call. Your normal day might be 12 to 14 hours (alarm goes off 5:00 am, to work by 6:00; off work around 7:00 or 8:00 pm, and finally home). And those are the good days – when you’re not on call. On call days you don’t go home at all. After having put in your usual full day, you stay in the hospital, usually up all night with no sleep, and continue on working through the next day. Needless to say, after going 40 straight hours with no sleep, you’re pretty incapable of interacting as a normal human when you finally do get home. And this occurs every 3rd or 4th day.

    Now, you can choose a branch of medicine or a practice that has reasonable hours, no call, etc. at some point. But before that can happen, you have to survive residency. Someone will have to literally raise your children for you during this time, because you WILL NOT BE THERE. I’ve seen several people leave medicine as a career (men and women), after having invested years of hard work in the process of getting there, because they were unable to come to terms with their inability to provide parenting during their training years. And, to be truthful, these were all members of two parent families.

    Bottom line: chase your dreams, but have a workable plan in place, and understand the compromises, which are very, very real.


    I agree that it will be quite grueling going through residency, which is why I plan to live near my daughter’s father. I don’t think I could do it any other way–the guilt would eat me up.
    I have narrowed down my choices of specialities to those that are more “family friendly.” However, I do understand that residency, regardless of which specialty, is difficult…some definately more than others. If I COULD make my world a perfect place, I would try for surgery, but I am not willing to make those sacrifices. Thanks so much for your reply! 🙂 Are you a mom? More advice would be greatly appreciated! 😀

    Mary B-B ToBeDocMary B-B ToBeDoc

    Hi everyone!

    Sethina, I was just now able to log in and I say the new site looks great! For those of you who’ve been at MomMD for the past few years, you know how great this is…the membership has grown to the point of needing this new site. It’s the result of Sethina’s efforts. (Thanks!)

    I’m in the process of applying to med school now. I’ve designed my own post-bacc program at a satellite of Penn State (with a terrific pre-med advisor) and have previous degrees in fine arts (BFA, MFA). There are several women on Mom MD with arts backgrounds, so please reintroduce yourselves if you haven’t already. Anyhow, I’ve gotten to do some clinical research, shadow, tutor, and volunteer. It’s quite a process, but something I’ve always wanted to do.

    We also have 2 sons (ages 12 & 9). My husband is a programmer and we plan to sell our house, hopefully buy a house, and move when I get into med school. We’ve also done a lot of family camping trips…for the past 2 years, that’s included “drop me off at the closest med school” for a few hours (while my husband takes the children on a different adventure). I’ve gotten to look around, tour informally, and sometimes had an appointment with another older student at a med school. Now that I’m applying, I wish I could have seen even more schools! Who else here is applying this year? Good luck eveyone!




    Hi there!
    I am a 36 yr. old divorced mother of three wonderful girls. My oldest is 16, my others are 12 and soon to be 9. As you know, being a single parent is tough and having no support system is even tougher. I have had to make many sacrifices in my life. My girls are growing rather quickly and my dreams have been on hold for far too long. I am ready to go after the goal of becoming an MD with the support and full understanding of my girls. However, we really do not know exactly what may befall us :confused: . Needless to say, we are hoping to come through it as successful as possible.
    My major concern is affording to take care of the family while in school. I know that with the encouragement of those around us on these sites and others, we will be able to do it.
    NY 🙂

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