Women in Medicine: When to Have a Baby

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Women now comprise close to 50% of medical school applicants and students.  The number one question all these women get asked is: What made you choose a career in medicine?  Yeah, right.  The real question they will all face: When are you having children?

pregnant in medicineSo GomerBlog’s completely self-appointed lead correspondent on women’s affairs, Dr. Amy G. Dala, interviewed thousands of women in medicine to get to the bottom of this question: When is the best time to have a baby*?


The following summarizes the options.

High school

Pros

  • Fertility at its peak.
  • Friends all recently certified in babysitting.
  • Parents able to help out, as they now realize playing with an adorable baby is way easier than raising a teenager.
  • When you are finally finished with training, kid will be heading off to college and you can concentrate on your career.

Cons

  • Hard to find a baby carrier that matches prom dress.
  • Lack of baby-friendly section at high school football games.

College

Pros

  • Already used to pulling all-nighters.
  • Perfected skill of taking care of people covered in their own vomit.
  • Unlimited student loan income.

Cons

  • Lack of baby-friendly dorms.
  • Spring break, baby! isn’t really supposed to involve actual babies.

Med school

Pros

  • 4th year!  Seriously, things finally lighten up.
  • Already used to fetching stuff for a bunch of babies.
  • If you can handle a baby and med school, you can handle anything.

Con

  • After you find time to have a baby, you then actually have a baby to take care of… a bit tough with intern year looming.

Residency

Pros

  • How else can you get a 4-6 week vacation?
  • Used to everyone pissing all over you.
  • 80 hr work-week restrictions leave 88 hrs/week of free time!

Cons

  • Hard to care for baby when you can barely care for yourself.
  • Two words: milk leakage.

Fellowship

Pros

  • Used to cleaning up everyone else’s messes.
  • You know everyone in the hospital, and who can/can’t care for your kid.
  • Two words: home call.

Cons

  • Research projects as demanding and rewarding as a new baby.

Attending

Pros

  • Finally making real money.
  • Able to make your own schedule.
  • Secure in identity as physician, woman, and mother.

Cons

  • Hmmm… how do we say this?  You know that cool kid that peaked in high school, and subsequently experienced a gradual, painful decline in social status all these years?  And whose popularity is now circling the drain? Well, her popularity is a metaphor for your ovaries.

In summary, female physicians interviewed reiterate that there is no clear “best time” to have a baby. And your body is your business.

*Assuming you WANT TO HAVE A BABY. Another completely legitimate response is “NEVER.” To these women: woo hoo! You too will still face a lifetime of questions about having children, but at least can answer without being covered in spit-up or poo.

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