I feel like if I go into med school and become a surgeon I will be choosing between a husband/family and my job. Have you thought about having a family or do you feel you have to make that choice?
Everything in life is ultimately a sacrifice. If you choose to be the best parent in the world it will be hard to be the best doctor. The reverse is also true. I worry sometimes about the family thing. At 26, my friends are starting to have kids intentionally. I couldn’t imagine having children right now, nor do I imagine it will happen in the next several years.
However, a classmate of mine had a kid roughly 8 months prior to starting medical school. She totally planned it that way and so far has done well in school. I have also seen several M4s who are about ready to deliver. Being a doctor does not prevent you from being a parent.
I recently had the good fortune of running into a relatively famous facial plastic surgeon (it was totally a chance meeting). He has a couple daughters, 3 I believe. I asked him a similar question: how did you balance a family and being a plastic surgeon resident?
"I definitely missed some things," he responded, "but I think I made it to all the important stuff." He went on to explain that he had missed some dance recitals and ball games. "I don’t regret it," he told me, "I love my job and I tried to be the best father I could. I think I did ok."
I think he is right. As a doctor, unless you have the perfect job, you most likely will miss some time with your family. But that is true of with a lot of jobs. You have to trust that the man or woman you end up marrying will be someone who loves all of you, especially the part that drives you to be a doctor. If that isn’t true then the relationship will probably be destined to fail, regardless of your profession.
Having a family will be significantly harder as a doctor, but both men and women do it everyday. There will be times you have to choose between your job and your family (true in most professions). At that point in time you will realize where your work/family life boundaries lie. But that point is not now. My philosophy is to not put the cart before the horse. If you truly want to be a doctor and can’t imagine anything else, then first worry about getting into school. You will know when the time is right to make a family, and you will figure out how to make it work then.
Best of luck on your journey,