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Tick Tock: The Ultimate Battle of Time Management

There must have been something in the water this past fall. Fifth, second, and third-year residents at the hospital where I am completing my rotations were pregnant at the same time! It appeared they made a pact to get pregnant sometime after internship year. I was shocked because I had watched these women go through part of their training. Was it a coincidence or just good timing? Perhaps after learning the ropes of intern year, these residents decided to squeeze in family planning. People who have passed through medical school will often say third and fourth years are a cake walk in comparison to first and second years. 

Notwithstanding Step 2 CS, Step 2 CK, applying for residency through the Match, and going on residency interviews, maybe they have point. When is a good time to start a family in medical school?  The easy answer would be that there is never a good a time, but the more complicated response lies somewhere between whenever you get a moment to breathe and whenever your life slows down for a millisecond. I have encountered pregnancy on the wards, and I have thought both “how are they going to do that” and “that’s a smart idea.” I used to be unpleasantly surprised when people asked me if I had children, bordering on anger.  Who, me?  How could I?  Medical school is the equivalent of having six children! Their names are Obstetrics and Gynecology (I call her OB for short), Pediatrics, Surgery, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, and Psychiatry.

Admittedly, by the end of my Obstetrics/Gynecology rotation, I never felt so maternal in my life. I loved it. Watching the resident perform the moro reflex and checking the APGAR score was fascinating. There are medical students with full-fledged families. I commend them and marvel at their time management skills. For now, I will enjoy going to the nursery and looking at the babies through the window on my lunch break for the few moments available to me before my youngest, Family Medicine, whines for me. She’s a real brat.

by Chinwe Okeke, Class of 2011