One of the decisions women who enter into postgraduate education might face is when to start a family. Luis and I had known before I started the program that we’d have to make that decision at some point. Back then, I had no idea how it would work or if it’s possible to have children while in medical school. Well, we will have first-hand experience soon enough because I’m pregnant – the baby is due at the end of July!
How will this work? Currently, I’m on the 5-term flex track in Phase 2. If I were to continue at the same speed, I’d have several classes next trimester and start clinic three days per week to complete Phase 2. Phase 3 would then commence in the fall – full-time internship in the clinic plus several classes. Instead, I’ve decided to finish most of the classes (from Phases 2 and 3) this summer and postpone entering clinic three days per week until the fall. That way, I’ll be able to adjust to motherhood with reduced pressure and coursework. My estimated graduation date is pushed back to August 2018.
I’m grateful for the university’s flexibility regarding pregnancy and the flex track. Without having the option of being flexed throughout the entire program, my physical and mental health, and my relationship would have suffered immensely, and I wouldn’t be in the same shape I am now. Also, having access to free clinic services since starting the program allowed me to focus on my health and prepare for this journey long before we were seriously considering it. I’ve been slowly improving my health for about three years by adjusting diet, lifestyle, personal care products, cleaning supplies, etc., and I think it contributed to such an easy pregnancy so far, free from morning sickness or other issues.
I’ll refrain from turning this blog into a pregnancy blog – I will continue to write about the ND program and student life, but if you have any questions about having a family while in medical school, feel free to contact me at [email protected]