MadSci Network: Medicine

Re: Is it difficult be a pediatrician and raise a family?

Date: Tue Mar 13 18:50:17 2001
Posted By: Sarah Martin Mason, Medical student, Medicine, Tulane University School of Medicine
Area of science: Medicine
ID: 984077289.Me

Dear Morgan,
There is no real "answer" to your question, but I can tell you of my 
experiences, and the experiences of my friends.  Let me tell you a little 
bit about myself first just so you know where I am coming from.  I am a 
medical student in my clinical years, so I do a lot of the same work as a 
full-fledged doctor and put in a lot of hours, but I don't have the primary 
responsibility for the patients.  First of all I have to say I love my 
work.  I don't get all the time that many people do to sit around and 
relax, but in exchange for that I have the privelege of really enjoying 
what I do, and being completely confident that what I do makes a difference 
in people's lives.  I am married, but don't have children yet, but I really 
do find that I have enough time to do all I have to do, and still spend 
time with my husband and cook, clean, etc.  It really is all a matter of 
setting priorities.  You have to decide how you want to spend your time, 
and realize you can't do it all.  Everyone does this in a different way.  
Some choose a specialty that is not extremely demanding as far as hours 
worked in a week, or some people hire someone to do the things that need to 
be done but are not particularly enjoyable (usually house and yard work.)  
Also there is always the option of working part time.  The bottom line from 
my perspective is... if being a doctor is what you really want to do you, 
you just have to do it, and figure out the rest later.  Almost half of all 
doctors graduating now from med school are women, and they have kids, and 
spend time with them.  One suggestion I would give is to make sure that 
whomever you marry is going to be an equal partner in housework, kids, etc. 
 One more word of advice...being in medical school has been the most 
difficult time in my life, so really make sure that it is definitely what 
you want before you put in all the grueling hours.  Doctors still have a 
lot of 40 hour shifts, and they study an incredible amount, so just be sure 
before you put in all the work.  Good luck with your decision, if you are 
committed you can make it work, one way or another.
Thank you for your question.
Sarah Martin Mason, Mad Scientist

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