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How can one get into medical school as a single mom of 3 very young kids?

It’s a conviction of mine to become a physician but life changed the route before I could complete that journey. I have completed all but one prerequisite. I have worked in the field but not as a licensed professional. Currently I’m functioning as a single mother with three children under 7 years. I do not have or foresee having reliable childcare because of the inventory and resources. I know that this requires me to be very inventive and creative but I’m also curious to know if anyone might have some concrete suggestions.
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Will’s Answer

I have no experience as a single parent, but I think the biggest challenge for you (assuming you have only one pre-req left) would be doing medical school and not actually getting in. Assuming you have good grades and a good MCAT, outside of coordinating the interview process, as a single parent you are at no disadvantage compared to other applicants. Traveling for/paying for interviews and figuring out childcare while you're gone would be difficult, but if you apply to mainly schools in your region this could become better. Do you have local relatives the kids could stay with while you're gone on interviews? As for being a single parent in medical school, you could spend the vast majority of your day at home as a preclinical student. Almost all preclinical lectures are recorded, and at many schools, most preclinical students don't attend live classes at all. Only exception to this would be anatomy lab, where you have to physically be there. Third and fourth year would be more challenging, as you have to be in clinic for the workday and would have to figure out childcare during the day.

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Yasemin’s Answer

Hi N.D. this a great question! I don't have solid experience but I would like to say that you can achieve you dreams! My brother had a classmate who was the age of 60, he always wanted to be a physician but he never got the chance when younger because of raising a family. You are so much earlier in this decision and from what I know from my siblings is that the first two years aren't too bad; it is studying so you can be home most of the time I believe, except for labs and lectures. The third and fourth year are hard because you are in the hospital most of them time doing electives ( for the specialities you have in your mind) and that is when you may need additional help. I would also check out student doctor network on their post for single moms in medical school. I will attach it below! There's another link from medicalschoolhq, which I believe is very reliable and helpful! One thing that was mentioned was that some schools offer resources for single parents and there may be a few schools that offer daycare services too so be sure to read in detail! I wish you the best future doctor!

P.s. There was a single mom with three younger kids in my stats class and she was doing amazing! We learned so much more because of the questions she was so brave to ask while other students, myself included, were a little shy about!

Yasemin recommends the following next steps:

check out https://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/single-moms-in-med-school.467971/
https://medicalschoolhq.net/opm-40-can-single-parent-prevent-becoming-doctor/

Thank you very much for your thoughtful insight and encouragement. I will look into the links you provided. I really appreciate your help. Thank you N D.

You're welcome! Good luck! Yasemin G.

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Barbara’s Answer

Hi ND,
It sounds like child care is a basic issue. Companies such as Amgen provide child care. There are also companies that pay for schooling. Perhaps working for a company that would have child care as a benefit and pay for your MD or ND would be an out of box way to solve both issues or one or the other. You could use the MD toward research or your own practice.
With many classes going online, it might be easier to get into medical schools in states you never considered moving to. So generating more options for schooling might help.
Vote for politicians and policies supporting universal child care.
Go for it! Now is the time.
Sincerely,
Barbara

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Sudeep’s Answer

This is a tough question and I can see why you are pulling hairs to find a solution. I can only suggest your window to get things done is when the children are in school or attending to activities. Th weekend I guess is out of the question. If you know your window of time, then visit the administration and see what are your options to get things done to meet their requirements. This is the best you can do until the children reach an independent age.

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