Surgery + Family

(this is in response to a question about whether or not it is possible to have a family while doing surgery residency)

The only women whom I know who have kids
are going into family med, pediatrics or psych.

I would say that without a doubt it is great to have a baby in fourth
year, preferably towards the end.

There are electives in fourth year that have minimal time
committments, thereby allowing you to take some extra time and advance
the months you could have with your child before having to start real
work. I would not recommend doing Advanced Medicine or Neurology
(required fourth year electives) during that time. But things like
Sports Medicine (one day a week) at South campus, Gross TA, Advanced
Dissection, or even a "research month" through whatever department you
want are all super easy.

When I was doing a Pathology elective, I met an
intern who was already a board certified OB/GYN with her husband, but
she said that with both of their schedules they couldn't have a family, so she
went back into a Pathology residency which itself allows more personal
time, and the career itself isn't as demanding time-wise.

Residency and family are not easy for any field. Peds, Medicine
(especially), Surgery, OB/GYN require crazy time schedules that aren't
really conducive to having the perfect family life. But while in
residency most programs will allow you to take time off, if you really
need it, beyond the general maternity leave. That would mean, though,
graduating from your residency late. But when you start going on
interviews it is a good question to ask the residents that are at the
programs you visit.

And about being a woman… I can't talk about that, but
when it comes to having a baby it really shouldn't matter past the
pregnancy period. I wake up just as much as my wife to take care of
the baby. And when she is taking care of him I'm picking up, doing
the laundry, washing dishes, etc. It's a partnership that we both
talked about before we thought of having a baby. That's VERY important
to make sure you are on the same page with your significant other. B/c
I know some guys in our class who say "that baby is not mine until
he/she is 5 years old". You can pretty much surmise how involved they
were in the early years of their children's life.

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