Medical School

Medical school may be an excellent time during your medical training to have a child for a number of different reasons.  At this stage of your medical career, you are paying tuition rather than earning income.  Therefore, it may be financially easier to take a leave of absence since you will not be losing income during a maternity leave as happens to many employed women.  Health insurance benefits are typically maintained for enrolled students on a per semester or per year basis.  With respect to scheduling, most medical schools have considerable flexibility, particularly in the fourth and final year.  Students can often pursue and receive credit for a variety of maternal-child health electives as part of their maternity leave.  Logistically, medical students do not have continuity patients whose clinical care will be interrupted and who will require clinical coverage while they are on leave.  Many medical students who have a child during medical school are able to finish school in four years and graduate with their classmates.  However, some medical student-mothers decide to extend their formal education by a year to provide both time with their infants and flexibility with their coursework.

Purely for logistical reasons, medical school may be a relatively easy time during your medical career to take a maternity leave.  And yet, many medical students do not have a life partner and may not feel financially secure enough to contemplate having children at such an early point in their training.  If you do have a child while in medical school, you must take into consideration that you will be raising a young child during your typically demanding residency training.  Thus some of your most intense professional and personal experiences will be happening simultaneously.  For that reason, even financially secure medical students in serious relationships delay childbearing until later in their training.

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