Hello there this is Dr. Jody Navitsky and I can chat with you today. You must be very proud of your daughter and it is exciting to see her progress from your end I'm sure! 3d year of medical school is where usually future doctors find their calling. She will rotate through different sectors including medicine, pediatrics, surgery, etc... and usually it is the experience here that points us in our ultimate direction (although some do not choose until 4th year).
Depending on her medical school the requirements are varied but all have core things that you must cover. My best personal advice to her is to keep an open mind as she embarks on what is the most fun part of medical school while she experiences a little bit of all fields. When she gets to the one where she should end up she will know. It will be the rotation that she comes home excited to go back the next day after 10+ hrs of walking and standing around on her feet....
Most of us have an idea before going into third year but so many times that idea is changed that I would have her pick some rotations in the areas she is interested in such as psych, or pediatrics....so that she can experience them early on in 3d year (as there are some electives that you can choose), and this will help her plan her 4th year which usually is much less structured and more moldable to what you want to do.
As far as picking a residency program location is a fine reason to limit oneself thus the three that are available to her she should start asking around to the residents she encounters as she rotates through the local hospitals to find out how happy people are. When she interviews she should ask questions about how well supported the residents are, how happy they are, and how much they would recommend the program to others. Rather than program quality (most US programs really are about the same in terms of quality as long as they are accredited) and not going to a big name program is completely fine!
I would focus on quality of life and work quality at the programs. Residency is hard enough as it is, you want a program that will not punish her if one of her kids gets sick and she has to stay home or needs some mental health personal time like a few months to take off in the middle of her intern year....
Being a Mom already as a third year student will be tough but many families do it! Having help at home in terms of cooking and cleaning will allow her to concentrate on her kids when she is home and probably keep up her satisfaction as a working mom.
A big well kept secret is that 4th year has a lot of leeway time and some students can even build in time abroad or finish a little early if they plan things well (for family time for her!)...
So in terms of picking a residency program the best advice I can give her as well is to go by feel and instinct. I went to UCONN (medical school as well) for residency and our program just was the one that I felt covered what I wanted to do the best (which was primary care), and had great support for residents in general (most of us had children during the program). I also was limited by location as my husband was finishing a PhD at the time and picked between 3 programs. I had an excellent residency experience and would strongly recommend my program to anyone interested. That is what she wants to look for when she interviews...happy residents...happy graduates with quick work placement.
Another thing that most of us do not consider is time off between 3d and 4th year. As a Mom already this may be important to her and I would encourage her to consider it if she thinks she needs to. After residency when you start working the job is intense and if you want to give it your all you really won't have much time off (don't tell her this though :)), and the chance for taking a large chunk of time off really won't be offered again. Another reason that she has to choose a realm of medicine that is more of a calling than something you think through that much as dedicating yourself heart and soul to your job is hard to do unless you love it.
I would love to offer you or her any further advice and I thank you for your question as it has made me reminisce over my early days which is always good to keep things in perspective! Please reply with any thoughts and I wish you both the best!
I am physically located in Spain and just wanted to let you know that I am signing off for the night. Please let me know by replying if you need anything further thanks!
Thank you very much.What did you concentrate on afterall...family medicine?
Very family friendly lifestyle usually (as we love kids!) and I myself have 3...(8, 5, and 14 months)
You are more than welcome! Best of luck to your daughter and to you.
Is it a matter of just asking your attending physician if one can have off some months inbetween internships and residency?If I may ask,why are you way over in Spain versus staying in the U.S.A.? And how much do you make as an intern and then as a resident? I plan to continue supporting my daughter no matter what,but my sister wishes to stop supporting once she gets a paying job.