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To ask MN doctors - when did you have kids?

(33 Posts)
AmyGDalae Sun 07-Jun-15 17:42:25

No kids yet. I'm about to start med school (as a career-changer, so four years). I will be in my in my mid-thirties when I do my foundation years.

Obviously most of you would have been quite a bit further on with your career by the time you had kids, but hypothetically is there as such a thing as a relatively 'convenient' time to fit in having kids for me?

chiruri Sun 07-Jun-15 17:48:12

I'm currently off on mat leave with my 1st DC (I'm probably planning 2 in total). I'm precisely midway through my specialty training, which suited me as it still leaves a good few years before having to sit more professional exams/think about consultant jobs.
I don't think there's a 'perfect' time to think about having DCs, but maybe after foundation and during training is the most 'settled' time (especially if going into a speciality which does run-through training, like mine).

elspethmcgillicuddy Sun 07-Jun-15 17:49:57

I had my first as an FY2 and my second asGPST1. I worked full time and my husband (engineer) went part time until I finished my hospital jobs. I am now a GP working 6 sessions woth a 4 and 6 yr old. Has actually beenreally easy but having family nearby and non medical husband has made it so.

elspethmcgillicuddy Sun 07-Jun-15 17:51:51

I had my first as an FY2 and my second asGPST1. I worked full time and my husband (engineer) went part time until I finished my hospital jobs. I am now a GP working 6 sessions woth a 4 and 6 yr old. Has actually beenreally easy but having family nearby and non medical husband has made it so.

dnwig Sun 07-Jun-15 17:53:57

I was 26. But took 12 years out of medicine! Finally completed my 1st specialty training programme when I was 40. And am now onto my 2nd.

Realise this is a bit unusual however it does show that there is more flexibility than might be expected.

WiIdfire Sun 07-Jun-15 17:54:46

First due during middle of higher specialist training (age 34). Easier if you have a run through job of a few years, but not essential.

mummyrunnerbean Sun 07-Jun-15 18:04:46

I'm not a doctor yet but am also a career-changer in medical school, though a bit younger (will be 28 starting foundation years). Am currently on a year off having had DS the day after my last Y1/Y2 exam (our Y1 equivalent to the two preclinical years of the undergraduate course). He was a 'surprise' sodding copper coil but actually in retrospect it's been brilliant. Uni was hugely supportive all through the pregnancy, and no resentment/ career effects from having a full academic year off with him, so if I'd thought it through beforehand might actually have done it this way deliberately. The only difficulties have been financial as obviously not entitled to any SMP, but luckily DP earns enough we can just about manage, plus since DS turned six monthsish I've been tutoring and working as a bank HCA odd days in the local hospital when DP is at home to make ends meet a bit better.

Don't know if during medical school would be an option for you instead? At mine as well you can take up to two years off twice during the course, so my tutor has I assume not entirely seriously suggested going back for a year then having number two. Am actually tempted as would then be able to just crack on once I finally qualify!

jacks11 Sun 07-Jun-15 18:28:29

I had DD 2 years into specialist training. It's been fine, initially went back part-time then after 3 months went back full time.

I agree that there probably isn't a perfect time, so do it when it suits you. I wouldn't have wanted to go on mat leave during FY1 year, as you'll just be getting to grips with things and being pregnant/going off maternity leave could be quite stressful.

Colleagues of mine have started their families FY2, St1, ST3,4,5 and just after CCT.

thewavesofthesea Sun 07-Jun-15 18:59:04

My oldest I had in FY2, my second in GPST1. Has delayed my training massively (I have been part time since having my first) I graduated 8 years ago and just about to start GPST3. My kids are nearly 6 and 3.5. What's the rush though? I'll be 33 when I finish....so still at least 30 years of work left!

PenguinPoser Sun 07-Jun-15 19:03:18

GPST3 having completed professional exams. Only 5 months left until CCT When I go back. Although will go part time so bit longer. I know people who had them in F2 as well.

Lyndie Sun 07-Jun-15 19:03:35

I'm clearly a bit older but I had one as a first year SHO, the second as a hospital registrar and the third as a GP registrar after changing specialties.

MoseShrute Sun 07-Jun-15 19:04:58

I had my children once I completed Membership and got an SpR post.At that point I reduced my hours, worked part time and it was quite easy really. The on calls were less busy and i didn't have to worry about revising for exams.
I don't think I could have had kids any earlier. Revising for membership and working is really hard, and I couldn't have done that and looked after babies as well

blueteapot Sun 07-Jun-15 19:11:58

I am off at the min with my second, had my first in GP ST1, second in ST3, will be going back part time after this one as I found it hard full time after DC1 (was still in hospital placements during ST2) as hubby commutes to work about 2 hrs away. We have good family support thankfully!

I honestly don't think there's a right time, there will always be the next hurdle coming up unless you wait until after you CCT (even then I'm not particularly looking forward to locuming here there and everywhere with two young kids!).

Another thing to factor in is mat pay (GP wise anyway) as you will still get NHS mat pay whilst training.

Good luck with your course!

magpiedreams Sun 07-Jun-15 19:30:07

I agree with others that there is no 'right time' but suggest, if you can, considering working out the best timing for maternity pay if that matters to you as it's based on full salary including banding. And also, if doing GP you are unlikely to get maternity pay as good as standard NHS once qualified.
Also, again, if you can, think about timing things so that the worst of your long commutes / nasty rotas are over.
I had mine in GPST2 & went back pregnant having he second in GPST3. Used mat leve #1 to study for 1st GP exam which worked well.

straighttalker Sun 07-Jun-15 19:30:21

There's not a right time.

Medical school/foundation training IMO probably the worst time, in terms of massively delaying you. And training and doing the out of hours shifts in the acute specialties is gruelling enough without also raising children, coping with sleepless nights, guilt at being away from them etc. At least at the start or mid-specialty training, you have a bit of momentum behind you and the end is still in sight even if you go LTFT. Gives you a bit of extra time for exams, etc as well.

Best of all is probably consultant-hood (my choice). However obviously then you'll be older and potentially have fertility issues, so that needs to be factored in.

Depends on: your family support, your OH job, your career aspirations.

watchingthedetectives Sun 07-Jun-15 19:37:31

Have 4 first one at 26 then 2 as an SpR and last as a consultant will probably out myself with this
It really doesn't matter career wise. There is a never a good time - you just need to do it when it suits you and keep on going with your training.
I would however strongly advise against too much planning - do it when you want to, it all pans out

Dinocroc Sun 07-Jun-15 19:43:02

I had mine at 31 and 32 both during registrar training and in the middle of fellowship exams. Husband also a doctor but switched to GP the year before which helped. Advantages are mat pay, your steady five year ( or a couple more) plan during babyhood, ie no job hunting . Had them in rapid succession so as to not have the stress of babies as well as a new consultant job ( which was pretty stressful initially ).

The only thing I would say from the experience of my peers and colleagues if you really want children don't leave it too late. Lots of tales of trying for years, IVF , miscarriages at the moment among my peers ( in my early forties). I spent a few years working as a paediatrician myself and saw a fair bit of that and was pre warned. I think that influenced my decision. Be prepared for a few years of very little sleep! Best of luck with it all!

indecisivedoctor Sun 07-Jun-15 19:55:33

I was a grad entry medic too. Finished at 29, married at 30 and had dd1 at 32 midway through CT2 year. I have now left my training post to be a pt staff grade which suits me perfectly. I would say foundation years are probably best avoided but after that do what suits you best. I love being a doctor but it comes second to my actual life.
Good luck!

Wibblewobble100 Sun 07-Jun-15 19:56:29

I graduated in 2003 age 23 and had my first last year, with one year of higher specialist training left ( 2 years now I'm part time). As other say I don't think there is a best time, but I will say I couldn't imagine studying for the post grad exams with a baby or child to care for.

nooddsocksforme Sun 07-Jun-15 20:52:25

I am ancient but did psych many years ago .DS1 age 30 while working as a staff grade. No2 Ds 2 years later and went to higher trainee interview 6 months gone. Glad I had them before being a consulant cos despite what comes over in the media , and altho I cant provide the standard of service I would like to I now work loads of extra hours unpaid and get mega stressed if things go badly . When kids were young I worked part time and handed nearly all my wages over to the nanny

Apatite1 Sun 07-Jun-15 21:23:21

I'm a consultant, I'm 37 and expecting our first child. We left it late but it's worked out well so far, as I no longer have to worry about training issues and work in a great department. I'll be taking a long maternity leave which I'm grateful we can afford smile

Twodogsandahooch Sun 07-Jun-15 21:52:19

I had mine towards the end of my registrar training.

I would say that this was pretty ideal for many of the reasons stated above - exams all completed, no longer doing hideous shifts/on calls. It also meant that I was able to go part time without extending my overall training period by too long.

IMO the downside of waiting until consultancy would be the responsibility and sense of duty towards the department and your patients. Will they find decent maternity cover? Would you feel pressured to return to work sooner than you would like? As a registrar you are easily replaceable and can go off on leave without any worries about the service side of things.

Pishedorf Sun 07-Jun-15 22:12:23

I had my DD just as I finished GPST2. Did part 1 exam on Mat Leave. Went back full time to get ST3 out of the way. DD is now 4. It worked out quite nicely once my non-medic-but-works-in-a-crazy-job DH changed jobs. I'm a full time salaried now but I'm dropping to 6 sessions soon can't wait I'm now deliberating do we have another one or will DD be an only. Good luck for your course OP.

AmyGDalae Sun 07-Jun-15 22:34:39

Thank you; that's really helpful.

straighttalker Think waiting till I am a consultant is not going to be feasible. At the moment I've got my heart set on neurology, though obviously this may change, so I would be about 90 by the time I am a consultant (I only have an MSc atm, so would also still need to do a PhD at some point I guess).

It sounds like after FY2 before starting CT1 would work best (at least in theory). I very, very much want kids at some point and it is the one thing that scares me about embarking on this career so late in my life.

Apatite1 Sun 07-Jun-15 22:50:01

If you definitely do want kids, don't delay. There's never a perfect time. I was still umming and aahing when I got pregnant! I've been a consultant for several years and I've been able to get my ducks in a row quickly at work. I'm fairly sure this isn't typical, I've been lucky.

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