ReenBean2020
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Jonathongli
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(Original post by Nas2020)
Hi!

As a 28 year old medic, I am only in 2nd year of my degree and really want to have a baby.

Can anyone tell me what third, fourth and fifth year of medicine is like with regards to schedule, assessments and exams and if raising a baby is doable during this course?

Please help
Preferably anyone from London based universities
I think u will have a very hectic routine until 5 th year and u cannot be able to give full time to ur baby and even after 5 th year u will have house job that I very hectic as weell I suggest u have a baby if u have someone in home to take care for him or else wait until 5 th year.I hope it helped
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Helenia
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(Original post by Nas2020)
Hi!

As a 28 year old medic, I am only in 2nd year of my degree and really want to have a baby.

Can anyone tell me what third, fourth and fifth year of medicine is like with regards to schedule, assessments and exams and if raising a baby is doable during this course?

Please help
Preferably anyone from London based universities
Well, your schedule will vary hugely depending on your university, but you can expect each of those years to be predominantly placement-based, so you'd be in hospital/GP most days. Some places make you do nights/weekends, but not many as a proportion of the whole. You may be placed quite far away from home for some of these as well (though if you did have a baby they'd probably make arrangements for you to get slightly easier locations).

I think the two biggest things to consider when thinking of having a baby in med school vs while working as a doctor are 1)Finances and 2)Support.

1)Do you have a partner/other source of finance with an income sufficient to provide all your living expenses? Plus childcare costs (£££ in London) once you return to your studies? You'd get fairly minimal support from government/student finance. Baby equipment etc isn't too expensive if you know where to look, but you still have to meet costs of living. I spend ~£800 a month on nursery for my 16 month old, that's only 3 days a week. London may be more expensive.

Bear in mind that if you wait until you have completed 12 months NHS paid work (so in F2) you will be entitled to their full maternity pay package which is reasonably generous, plus you can get tax-free childcare to help with the costs once you return to work. And you can work less than full time once qualified, while I don't know of any unis that allow part-time study in medicine!

2)Do you have family nearby who can support you? Would your uni allow you to take time out - and if so, how long? Would it have to be a whole year? (with associated costs) You are unlikely to want to go straight back with a tiny baby, so think about how it might prolong your studies. If you have family who are willing to help out regularly and reliably with childcare while you are on placement, it might work, but that's a big ask of even the most loving grandparents.

In short, if you can possibly delay, I'd wait till you are an F2 and life will be much easier.

I had my oldest (now 4) as an ST5 when I was 32. Obviously as you are a mature student you have less time on your side, but having a baby in early-mid 30s is very common and doable as a junior doctor.
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ReadingMum
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My parents had me while Dad was still in university, then we shifted house every 6 months when he was a houseman. We stayed put once I started school - then they divorced as they never saw each other.
It would put a huge strain on a relationship as your partner is going to be the one covering the nights/weekends/whatever your course and early qualified life requires of you.
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ecolier
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(Original post by Nas2020)
...What are the exams like for those years? And how many are there?
Depends on your medical school.
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Helenia
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(Original post by Nas2020)
Thank you so much for your thorough and unbelievably helpful reply!

I do have a partner who works as a civil servant. We both have been wanting a kid for a while and I know that conceiving can get more difficult the more I delay it.

My university does allow time off — but I personally do not want to take a year off. I do have family members who are willing to help and I’ve heard my university does make arrangements for those who are pregnant or have a child to care for. They also offer childcare funding.

So I guess my main concern is... is it manageable to raise a newborn whilst in fourth year and fifth year which is mostly placements?

What are the exams like for those years? And how many are there?
The exam question is impossible to answer, you need to ask people in those years at your med school.

It's good that you have a supportive partner and family, that will be a huge help. You need to find out just how much "childcare funding" is available, as they may still not cover the full costs. As for taking a year off - you may not want to, but you'd need to explore what the options are. I'd imagine there's only a limited amount you'd be able to miss before needing to at least repeat placements, which would then put you out of sync for graduating with your cohort. You'd need to find out from your uni if you'd be able to repeat only selected placements (and finish at a different time of year, which would be an issue with starting foundation training) or if they'd insist you repeated a whole year. You may not want to take a whole year off, but you also may well not want to leave a very tiny (only a few weeks, if you're under time pressure to get back) baby for long periods. I wasn't emotionally ready to do that with my first for at least 6 months, even if the little bugger had taken milk from a bottle and therefore been physically able to be apart from me for >3 hours at a time!

I'm sure there are people who have done med school with a baby, but they are few and far between.
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jessicaelliot97
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I can understand why you're wanting to have a baby but tbh with your foundation years coming up and the vigorous nature of the degree I think you will really struggle. But if you believe you can manage it then sure. As long as you have a good support network around you, it's definitely possible.
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Jonathongli
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Raising a baby in med school is very tough as far as I know ur routine will be hectic till the end of 5th year and even after that you'll do house job then u will become a doctor I suggest u have a baby only if u have someone in home for to take care of him or else have it after med school.I hope it helped u
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ecolier
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(Original post by Jonathongli)
Raising a baby in med school is very tough as far as I know ur routine will be hectic till the end of 5th year and even after that you'll do house job then u will become a doctor I suggest u have a baby only if u have someone in home for to take care of him or else have it after med school.I hope it helped u
If you asked me, being an FY1 (full time) is worse than medical school because of shifts.

But you may be able to work less than full time for FY1 and FY2, so that will be a saving grace.
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ReenBean2020
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(Original post by jessicaelliot97)
I can understand why you're wanting to have a baby but tbh with your foundation years coming up and the vigorous nature of the degree I think you will really struggle. But if you believe you can manage it then sure. As long as you have a good support network around you, it's definitely possible.
It’s a very difficult situation, especially when you factor in age and fertility. I just don’t want to leave having a baby too late and have regrets I didn’t try sooner 😔

I do want a baby. Very much. I’m just scared it’ll be impossible to juggle with Med school. Have you ever met anyone medic mums? Any idea how they managed?
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ReenBean2020
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(Original post by Jonathongli)
Raising a baby in med school is very tough as far as I know ur routine will be hectic till the end of 5th year and even after that you'll do house job then u will become a doctor I suggest u have a baby only if u have someone in home for to take care of him or else have it after med school.I hope it helped u
That’s very insightful, thank you!
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jessicaelliot97
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(Original post by Nas2020)
It’s a very difficult situation, especially when you factor in age and fertility. I just don’t want to leave having a baby too late and have regrets I didn’t try sooner 😔

I do want a baby. Very much. I’m just scared it’ll be impossible to juggle with Med school. Have you ever met anyone medic mums? Any idea how they managed?
I mean you are still young, so you have that on your side. It's definitely a tough one because different people can handle different levels of stress. Does the medical school have any support for students that are parents? I have to admit I don't know of anyone who had a baby actually during medical school. I know people who had children/teenagers when they started their MBChB but I think to actually have a baby during your degree would be a real strain on your studies. Do you think you might have time to complete your degree and have a baby during your FY1 or FY2? That way you have all of the intense studying over with by the time the baby has arrived. Obviously being a junior doctor comes with its own challenges but at least you've graduated by that point.
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ecolier
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(Original post by jessicaelliot97)
...Obviously being a junior doctor comes with its own challenges but at least you've graduated by that point.
Indeed, studying for post-grad medical exams with a baby is (I have heard) one of the worst things you can do.

(especially for practical exams that you have to spend your own time in the hospital to practise, like MRCP PACES)
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jessicaelliot97
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(Original post by Nas2020)
Well, by the time I’m in my 3rd or 4th year I’ll be 29-30 and I think FY1/2 years are extremely critical and much more stressful since the clinical aspect is much more hands on and exhausting.

And yes, Queen Mary Barts university offers a lot of support to pregnant females and parents, including extra examination hours, deferring exams, closer placements, childcare services and facilities, counselling and more. Which is what made me feel a lot better. But yes, the strain on studies is what’s kind of on my mind, but I also know that FY1/2 years are much worse than med school in terms of work load and content and definitely do not want to wait till I am 33 till I have a baby :/
I don't know if many people have done this (just started my first year at medical school) but would you be able to take a year out before starting your FY1? So spending a year taking care of the baby and arranging support for when you start foundation training?
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ReenBean2020
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(Original post by jessicaelliot97)
I don't know if many people have done this (just started my first year at medical school) but would you be able to take a year out before starting your FY1? So spending a year taking care of the baby and arranging support for when you start foundation training?
You certainly can, but I did not want to take an entire year out. But I know my university allows a few months off hence I thought I could potentially return to study etc once my baby is at least 5-6 months
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freemango
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I’m much older than you, have 2 children and will have a third next year (you are not old at all although I know it feels like it when you’re unsure of your own fertility with a first baby).

I am applying for GEM for 2021 or 2022 entry so cannot yet comment on the specific demands of med school but I would strongly recommend not underestimating the impact your first baby has on every aspect of your life. The massive adjustment to parenthood, the endless worry, the constant change as the baby grows and reaches sometimes difficult developmental milestones, the utter exhaustion and demands of trying to raise your little people ‘right’ are extremely all-encompassing.

I’m not saying don’t have baby now by any means...you must make the decision that is right for you...but give it extremely careful thought. You won’t be (or feel like) the same person you are now once you become a parent and your decision making and thought processes will be different. I wouldn’t assume you’ll feel comfortable going back to full time study and demanding placements when your baby is 5-6 months old, still possibly breastfeeding, not sleeping through the night and really still very small. Its so hard to imagine or plan for but it really does change everything. Make sure you think about what you’ll do if things change and you want to take more time off, would your uni allow that? The last thing you need as a new parent is any extra pressure, worry, guilt and demands on your time.
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ReenBean2020
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(Original post by freemanjo)
I’m much older than you, have 2 children and will have a third next year (you are not old at all although I know it feels like it when you’re unsure of your own fertility with a first baby).

I am applying for GEM for 2021 or 2022 entry so cannot yet comment on the specific demands of med school but I would strongly recommend not underestimating the impact your first baby has on every aspect of your life. The massive adjustment to parenthood, the endless worry, the constant change as the baby grows and reaches sometimes difficult developmental milestones, the utter exhaustion and demands of trying to raise your little people ‘right’ are extremely all-encompassing.

I’m not saying don’t have baby now by any means...you must make the decision that is right for you...but give it extremely careful thought. You won’t be (or feel like) the same person you are now once you become a parent and your decision making and thought processes will be different. I wouldn’t assume you’ll feel comfortable going back to full time study and demanding placements when your baby is 5-6 months old, still possibly breastfeeding, not sleeping through the night and really still very small. Its so hard to imagine or plan for but it really does change everything. Make sure you think about what you’ll do if things change and you want to take more time off, would your uni allow that? The last thing you need as a new parent is any extra pressure, worry, guilt and demands on your time.
You’re absolutely right
Gosh this is very difficult
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Helenia
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(Original post by freemanjo)
I’m much older than you, have 2 children and will have a third next year (you are not old at all although I know it feels like it when you’re unsure of your own fertility with a first baby).

I am applying for GEM for 2021 or 2022 entry so cannot yet comment on the specific demands of med school but I would strongly recommend not underestimating the impact your first baby has on every aspect of your life. The massive adjustment to parenthood, the endless worry, the constant change as the baby grows and reaches sometimes difficult developmental milestones, the utter exhaustion and demands of trying to raise your little people ‘right’ are extremely all-encompassing.

I’m not saying don’t have baby now by any means...you must make the decision that is right for you...but give it extremely careful thought. You won’t be (or feel like) the same person you are now once you become a parent and your decision making and thought processes will be different. I wouldn’t assume you’ll feel comfortable going back to full time study and demanding placements when your baby is 5-6 months old, still possibly breastfeeding, not sleeping through the night and really still very small. Its so hard to imagine or plan for but it really does change everything. Make sure you think about what you’ll do if things change and you want to take more time off, would your uni allow that? The last thing you need as a new parent is any extra pressure, worry, guilt and demands on your time.
All of this. It's so true. I went back LTFT after having my first, but he didn't sleep through for almost the first year back at work, and frankly I'm amazed I survived without any major catastrophes. It's just a different world that you really can't imagine before you have kids - though I know that sounds really patronising. Tbh I was really only just coming out of the fog with #1 (age 2) when I got pregnant with #2, which hasn't done anything good for my career prospects. :rolleyes:

Nas2020, I get what it's like when the baby fever hits you - it got me once I got my reg job, and I couldn't think of anything else. If you are determined, you will somehow make it work, but financially and probably flexibility-wise you would be much better off waiting until you are qualified. 32/3 is not too old by any stretch of the imagination, unless you're planning on creating a football team.
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Scotney
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(Original post by Nas2020)
I hear you 😭
This is so difficult.

Ideally I wanted 3 kids so that’s why I am at that stage in my life where I’m trying to plan carefully. If I delay pregnancy till my mid 30s, that’s extremely risky and fertility drops more than we realise 😔
This is madness.You want a full time career,no break and three kids.Borrow one for a week and come back to me.
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ReenBean2020
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(Original post by Scotney)
This is madness.You want a full time career,no break and three kids.Borrow one for a week and come back to me.
???
Everyone has their own dreams and goals so please kindly respect that and do not comment unless you have something useful to say.
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