Work/Life balance? Got it? How did you get it?

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    For those following this post, please see my story in the women physician forum.


    I’m not sure how you embedded your spam business advertising, but please don’t do it again. I’m not a computer expert, and your spam annoys me.

    Baby EinsteinBaby Einstein

    Southern, when you edit you can just unclick the add signature to remove the spam link. Can’t do it here because I’m not a mod in this forum. Or you can just delete the whole post. xoxo. BE.


    I’m very early in my career and in parenting, relatively speaking. I thought the secret might be that, like ants, all of a mom’s waking hours are work, regardless of whether it’s in the hospital or at home. I tried to just enjoy it like that, as what living organisms do: work to stay alive, because that is our natural/divine inclination. But this morning as a human I thought of successful home and working life as practice, like something you do and get better at every day, and it made me feel pretty good as I keep working 🙂

    Peace to everyone on the morning drop off

    Zeze 'sMumZeze’sMum

    I’m in my 3rd yr Res and I have a balanced life. The secret? Making hard choices

    1- choosing FP over OB ( I loved both but I had a goal in mind)
    2- honestly, putting my hubby n son over my medicine.
    3- choosing a career endpoint ( Urgent care fellowship) that will allow me to do shift work.

    Balance is possible but it involves sacrifice.


    surgeon mom with 2 kids. DH is finishing up surgery residency. it’s very tough, especially when kids were younger. we outsource a lot (cleaning, deliver groceries) and have a great nanny.

    my schedule now is pretty flexible, i work roughly 45h/week with minimal call so i actually spend a decent amount of time with kids. can’t wait until DH is done training so he can help out more! hardest part now is mentally juggling it all – concentrating on pts, writing grants/manuscripts, packing lunches, etc.


    I’ve maintained balance so far by taking a nontraditional path. I start my residency this summer in Psychiatry, so things may get ugly then… But from what I hear, the program has a very manageable first year (8 to 5 mostly) and with call being condensed into a few two week blocks of night float. My husband works full time as a lawyer, but he works from home and has a flexible schedule of about 40 hours a week. So that should help a lot. Up until now:

    Got pregnant in my 4th year of medical school with my first daughter.
    My first was born the month that I graduated in 2009.
    I was home with her full-time until she was one, when I started a postdoc in immunology research.
    After a year of research, I taught at community colleges as an part-time adjunct professor (medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, personal health, etc). I was pregnant with our second daughter. I had her when our first was three, and took another full year off to be home with them both. Then I resumed teaching part-time when our second was one. I decided last year to start residency in 2014. I applied and took Step III (after 6 weeks of studying about 4 hours a day) to show I’m caught up with my peers. I passed it, and I just got word from my first choice program that I’m ranked in their top 10 (they have 10 spots). I start this summer, and my girls will be 2 and 5. I feel very fortunate to have had so much time with them when they are little. I also feel very fortunate to have picked psychiatry, where they seemed to view my life experience and even my 5-year-hiatus from clinically medicine positively (helps that I passed Step III, I’m sure). I think with the girls a little older and more independent (and sleeping through the night), working full-time in residency will be a lot easier than if I had gone straight through. I’m also lucky to have a husband with a job that could support us during the last 5 years.


    Honestly, for a long time my job was what I used to fulfill myself. I think that can be great, but if things go south a little, you start to feel as though you have very little else to go on. A setback in my professional career forced me to focus on my personal life a bit more.

    Lori BLori B

    Haven’t been on here in awhile but just a note to say I had a great work /life balance. Then things changed as my children got older and my family needs changed. Now I need to be around more in the afternoons and evenings for them instead of mornings. So, I just changed jobs to make this happen. Just remember to constantly reevaluate!


    schedule schedule schedule! that is the best way to balance everything !


    As the spouse of a doctor (I am a male), I have an inkling feeling that women posting on this thread may perceive to have a work life balance, but their spouse (and kid(s)) is quite unhappy and in disagreement.

    The reality of medicine in the USA is that work-life balance and being a doctor are simply not compatible. If you think you can raise a family and be a doctor – you are sorely mistaken. One will win, the other will suffer. At best you will be mediocre at both.

    P.S. The whole “part-time” myth is just that. You will used and abused by the full-time system. It is the same as above.


    Hi Spouse, it is interesting to hear your perspective as the husband of a doctor. I think most women physicians do feel that there is a conflict between dedicating oneself to medicine and dedicating oneself to a family. (Male physicians somehow do not have this conflict.) It seems that mostly people are feeling guilty and stressed at trying to prioritize between two very important things, when there is not enough time and energy to go around. However, I don’t think finding a sense of balance is a myth. It is just not that easy to achieve. True part-time jobs in medicine are hard to find, and not everybody can afford to take one anyway. And it is hard to avoid being the default parent when you are female (and probably hard to become the default parent when you are male) because that family model is so ingrained in our culture. So that is why it is hard, but still it is not impossible. I do believe the people in this thread who have said that they have found balance. I hope that some of them will see your comment and tell us whether their families are happy or unhappy (I think they will be able to tell). I also hope that things get better in your family.

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