On August 13, 2010, I donned a white coat, took the Hippocratic Oath, and officially became a medical student at the University of Pennsylvania.  To say I’m terrified is putting it lightly, but I’m also ecstatic–this new beginning has been four years in the making, since I, in the middle of my English Masters, thought Blast!!  And now I’m going to medical school.  I actually get to go to medical school!

I believe the next four years will be an adventure.  I’m four years out a college, and I have a Masters in English (yeah, I completed it–not a field I wish to pursue, but definitely a year of gluttonous academic indulgence), a post-bacc premed certificate of completion, a little bit of work experience, a lot of spent income on bus, train, boat, and air fare, and a husband I adore to show for it.  For the first time in my life, I am living entirely by myself (the husband has one year in Boston…still pretty choked up about that one), in the middle of a city I don’t know.  I’m looking forward to discovering who I become in medical school, and I’d like to try to track my progress here…hopefully regularly, more likely sporadically.

Let the classes begin!


67 Responses to “about”

  1. Todd Simkin September 10, 2010 at 2:03 pm #

    Hey — if you ever need anything, let me know. I live about 15 minutes from the Penn campus, and work even closer. Good luck!

    • annaojesus September 10, 2010 at 2:07 pm #

      Hi Todd, thank you! That would be great 🙂 I know you must be swamped, but if you ever want to grab coffee (maybe a work break if you’re in the city?) or something, please let me know! I hope you’re well!

      • Sarah Boesveld May 7, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

        Hi Anna,
        I’m a reporter with the National Post newspaper in Canada — hoped you could help with a story I’m working on for Mother’s Day about women starting their families in their 20s for some of the reasons you wrote about in your NYT piece. I couldn’t find an email for you, so just posting here. If you’re willing to help, I’d love to hear from you! My deadline is Thursday around 2 p.m. ET
        Sarah Boesveld

      • annaojesus May 7, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

        Hi Ms. Boesveld,

        Thank you for your comment! I just sent you an email, but please let me know if I have an incorrect address. I look forward to hearing more about you piece!

        I hope you’re well! anna

  2. Dr. Skeptic March 25, 2011 at 11:58 am #

    I came here via Schorrmore and I must say very cool site. Now if only you had an option to subscribe via email, that would be cool. Am I missing it somewhere? 🙂

    • annaojesus April 26, 2011 at 10:32 pm #

      Hello there! Thanks so much for the comment, and I’m very sorry for the long-overdue reply! I’m so touched that you like my site…even though I am clearly a technophobe :/ I know you can subscribe via email, but I have no idea how…let me ask some smarter people.

      Truly, thank you for stopping by, I hope I haven’t turned you off for life! What’s your story??

      • Pranab July 17, 2012 at 11:46 am #

        I am a technophile, and a newly minted resident of Preventive Medicine in Delhi, India. I seemed to have lost track of your blog for awhile now, and just came across it in my link files. Following you now… 🙂

      • annaojesus July 18, 2012 at 11:16 pm #

        I’m so glad! I hope you’re enjoying residency thus far! Thanks for your comment!

  3. Jennifer Ward January 9, 2012 at 10:39 am #

    Can’t wait to hear more…it’s fascinating!

    • annaojesus January 10, 2012 at 6:02 am #

      Hi Jenny! Oh, you’re such a sweetheart! Thank you. I hope you’re well!

  4. E May 31, 2012 at 10:45 pm #

    I’m so glad I stumbled across your blog; it’s wonderful! I’m in a very similar situation — 4 years out from school, started med school in 2010.

    • annaojesus June 3, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

      Hello! Thank you so much for your kind comment! It’s so good to find others in a similar boat! Looking forward to checking out your space, and I wish you the best of luck!

  5. Anna March 3, 2013 at 9:36 am #

    Hey Anna!

    I’m also an Anna-in-Med-School however in Tel Aviv Israel! I reached your blog via the opinion section in the New York Times. I am touched by your vivaciousness and adore your initiative to share your ideas as well as your beautiful writing.


    • annaojesus March 3, 2013 at 8:25 pm #

      Hi Anna! So exciting to “meet” another Anna-in-Med-School, and in Tel Aviv no less! What a wonderful city–we have some close friends who live there. I am so flattered to be thought of as vivacious. Thank you so much for your kind words! Best of luck with your studies!

  6. Lissie March 3, 2013 at 10:50 am #

    I am a mom of a almost three year old and I’m currently getting ready to take the MCAT and hopefully have one university admitting me but…. I have got a lot of comments such as “are you out f your mind?”, “think about how much your daughter will suffer”. And all that of course for me thinking…did ever get this type of comments?, what was your response? Just curious and happy to see there is more than one person put there taking challenges in life! And I admire you so much for that!!

    • annaojesus March 3, 2013 at 8:34 pm #

      Hello! Thank you so much for your kind comments, and best of luck on the MCAT! As someone who took the exam three times (I am not great at standardized tests), I think going in confident and prepared to destroy it makes a difference. Eat it up!

      Oooh, I’m so sorry you’re getting comments like “your daughter will suffer.” A lot of my classmates have physician mothers. One once told me, of her surgeon mother: “She’s my best friend. She made it work, but most importantly, I got to see her happy.” I think what you’re doing is a hard thing. You probably won’t see your daughter as much as you would like (for myself, I’m worried for residency), but you’ll make it work…you just will.

      I feel lucky that, for the most part, I’ve received a lot of encouragement. I’ve actually been surprised by how generous my institution has been regarding letting me take time off to be at home.

      Best of luck on the MCAT and the application process! I’m glad people like you are going into this profession 🙂

  7. dinaDuluth March 10, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

    Hi Anna. I just discovered your blog via The Times article. Looking forward to following your adventures…dina

    • annaojesus March 23, 2014 at 2:59 pm #

      Hi Dina! I just realized that I never replied to your kind comment…from over a year ago! Yikes! My apologies! Thank you so much for following, and I hope you’re well!

  8. pagingdrallie April 1, 2013 at 10:16 am #

    Hi Anna,
    I just stumbled upon your blog today, and I love it! I start medical school this fall after going through a similar story to yours. I will also be on my own for the first semester of med school, and hubby and I are hoping to start a family during school too. I look forward to reading more of your blog!

    • annaojesus April 1, 2013 at 11:02 am #

      Hello! Thank you so much for your comment! Congratulations on your acceptance to medical school! I wish you the very best of luck with your career and your family plans–I’m so sorry to hear that you and your husband will be geographically separated, I hope only briefly. Thank you again!

  9. Allison May 14, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

    Thanks for chronicling your experiences. I’ll be starting med school at age 28, and so I’m thinking a lot about how I’m going to balance medical training and starting a family. It’s encouraging to see how happy and healthy your daughter is; it’s obvious that you two share a wonderful bond in spite of your long hours studying/training.

    • annaojesus May 14, 2013 at 5:06 pm #

      Hi Allison,

      Thank you so much for checking in, and this comment is very kind of you to share. I’m not sure I always strike the “perfect” balance, but I do hope my daughter continues to thrive, and I’m glad that you think she looks happy and healthy (recent fever aside :/). I wish you the very best of luck with your family and in med school! And thank you again, you made my day!


  10. Bill Parker May 14, 2013 at 10:43 pm #

    Hey Anna, just want to say I’m really loving this blog. Which I’ve seen on and off for three years on FB, but now that I’m doing the WordPress thing myself, I can follow it semi-regularly. 🙂 You’re brave and clever and your writing is refreshingly clear and honest. Big fan. 😉 Wondering if you find time to sing at all these days…

    • annaojesus May 14, 2013 at 10:50 pm #

      Hi Bill! How are you doing? So kind of you to comment–thank you! I just happily started following your blog 🙂 Looking forward!

      I’m so flattered that you like my blog! Will gladly take any and all suggestions, if you have any.

      I’m singing a ton these days…but just to my daughter for now. Still loving it. What about you?

      • Bill Parker May 14, 2013 at 10:54 pm #

        Aw, very kind of you. I had a lot of fun with my post today, which you might like as a fellow Freedom to Marry fan. 🙂

        Ha, I’ll be sure to let you know, but you’re doing just fine…

        Ah, sweet. Yeah, mostly just singing to my kids too, for now. Hoping that in the next year or so we’ll be in a place where my wife and I can both find a more formal musical outlet of some kind.

      • annaojesus May 14, 2013 at 10:57 pm #

        YES! I am excited to read it on the train tomorrow–for now, I need to hit the hay 🙂

        Please keep me posted on singing endeavors. I worry that a formal setting might be a ways off for me, yet. But I’m very happy with how much music is a part of our lives!

  11. Milada June 28, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

    Hey Anna, I just came upon your blog today and I like it a lot. I have been dreaming of med school for the past 2 years and finally decided to just go for it. To be precise I am interested in MD/PhD program. Since I am no spring chicken I would like to start a family during my studies. It is really great to hear that some people can make it work. I just would like to ask you, did you go through a kind of disillusionment during med school? I am not from US and I just read that when med students go on rotations in their third year they are treated like vermin and they sometimes come to a conclusion that the health care system isn’t at all what they imagined. Some of them experience racism not just toward them but also toward the patients. Can you just give me your point of view please? Thank you a lot. You have a really beautiful family. Congratulations! You really seem to have everything :-).

    • annaojesus March 23, 2014 at 3:11 pm #

      Hi Milada,

      How are you doing? I sincerely apologize for the long delay in response! I’ve been going through comments saved and realized how far behind I am–I’m so sorry. Thank you for your kind words–they mean as much to me now as they did last June 🙂

      I hope the application process is going well for you!

      In terms of disillusionment, I think it’s common to experience it to some degree, certainly intensified by sleep deprivation, time away from loved ones, etc. I think everyone has an experience in which he/she is not treated particularly well, but I was certainly never treated like vermin. And the people who have treated me exceptionally well far out number those who have have moments of rudeness toward me. I believe the medical profession still has a ways to go, but is much, MUCH improved from where it was even a decade ago, let alone when women first entered the profession. Unfortunately, I can only speak to my situation as a white female at a fairly diverse institution, but I have not witnessed overt racism. I believe others, both at my institution and certainly elsewhere, would likely disagree, however. I wish I could give you more specifics. I do remember recently an attending commenting that a certain patient would likely have received better care leading up to her hospitalization and during our care if she was of a different ethnicity and age group…I took the comment both as an observation that we’re certainly not at the point where all patients are treated equally, but that it’s being noted and actively combatted.

      I hope that might help a bit? Thank you again for your kind words, and I hope you’re well!


  12. lissiegirl92 July 25, 2013 at 5:26 am #

    Hi Anna!
    I am currently and undergraduate student (Kinesiology and English double major… English just because I love it! It’s cool to see someone else has similar interests as me) and an intern for the WHO. I have to say, your blog is absolutely inspiring. I have so many questions from family and friends regarding my pursuit of med school and how to have a family and a marriage and a life at the same time. Granted, I am only 20 years old and still have a reallllyyyy long way to go, I am definitely concerned about being able to do all of that and still have a successful career in medicine. Your blog gives me hope that it can happen, it’s just about what perspective you want to take in approaching it. I want everything- the family, the career, the chance to make a difference in the world- and some people criticize my dreams saying that it is impossible to have them all. You are proof that it is possible (and with an English degree no less! So much grief for that one haha). Thank you for being so positive and dedicated to yourself, your family and your career all at once. I can’t wait to keep reading!!!

  13. indianajenae August 8, 2013 at 2:57 am #

    I just found your blog today via the New York Times piece “Pregnant in Medical School” and I just wanted to say thank you so much for writing about your experience. I am about to start my last year of my undergrad program and preparing myself for grad school applications and your article was so encouraging to me! I have a four-year-old daughter and have recently been weighing in the pros and cons of going to grad school while she’s still so young. My husband and I have also wanted to have a second child for some time now, but were concerned about how that would affect each of our graduate work. Coming across your article really gave me some piece of mind in terms of what is possible when earning an advanced degree, and seeing someone else have such a great balance is really encouraging to me.

    I hope the best for your, your family and your career! You seem like you really have it together and you’re such a great example for us soon-to-be professional moms who are striving to have it all. Thank you, thank you, thank you again!!!

    • annaojesus October 5, 2013 at 12:04 am #

      Hello there! I sincerely apologize for the delay in response, but I remember very clearly reading your comment to my husband–it meant so much to me. Thank you! (Of course, his response: “You really have it together? Clearly you’re misrepresenting yourself.” Ha!)

      Congratulations on finishing up your undergrad degree and preparing to apply for graduate school! I am WAY impressed by your balancing act. I was definitely not in a place where I could have been responsible for a child in undergrad. Well done!

      I am certainly no expert at balancing family with school, and I hope I never make myself out to be. I feel like I’m flailing most of the time. (Recently, for example, my husband and I have been wigging out about childcare for when I do my sub-internship and the other more demanding clinical electives coming up. Any and all suggestions welcome!) But I feel very encouraged that you appreciate my story.

      You already had a kid in undergrad, I cannot imagine that having one in grad school is more challenging. Seriously, I don’t know how you do it.

      I might be over generalizing, since I think I’m coming from a relatively supportive program, but I have a sense that there has been a shift toward being more encouraging, or at least more tolerant, of having a family in grad school. Stories to the contrary (like this one: http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/04/pregnant-without-a-policy-in-graduate-school/) are upsetting, but I’m under the impression that they are no longer the overarching majority.

      Best of luck to you and your family. And, again, thank you so much for your kind words!

  14. Cali Girl September 12, 2013 at 11:24 pm #

    Hi Anna!

    Thank you for your honest and refreshing posts. I, too, came here after reading your NY Times article. I must say seeing your medical life via your writing has been more informative and fun.

    I was a Cinema major in undergraduate, taught for a few years, and am now considering a career switch to medicine. I am 26 years old and very overwhelmed by how far behind I am compared to a traditional student. (And… I am also an INFJ.)

    I just had one question. What made you decide to go into medicine? Was it through shadowing, exposure (from your husband), or just a moment of epiphany?

    Thanks again for your website!

    P.S. Your daughter is so beautiful!

    • annaojesus October 4, 2013 at 11:27 pm #

      Dear Cali Girl,

      Thank you so much for your kind note! When I read it several weeks ago, it made me very happy–my sincere apologies for the delay in response! I’m really flattered that you’ve enjoyed my blog so far.

      Yeah, I have moments of feeling so behind. As much as I’ve enjoyed having a child in med school (it’s actually worked out quite nicely), I’m a little jealous of my friends from undergrad who are now done with residency and having babies as professionals, though I know it includes challenges than I can comprehend.

      Being a cinema major and a teacher I think would make you a very interesting candidate for medical schools. Do you need to do your premed requirements? The average age of my postbac premed class was 27, I believe. I think the extra years just makes you a more exciting applicant. And you’ll experience med school differently as well, in a good way.

      What made me go into medicine? Hmm…I think I had a somewhat decent answer for this question during my med school interviews, but the actual truth is rather vague. I know a large part was the influence of my husband, as you suggested. He was in his third year clerkships when I was finishing up my masters of English (I had thought I wanted a PhD). He would come home everyday completely exhausted and also completely in love with what he was doing. I loved my graduate course work, but I got discouraged that my work as a PhD, if I went that route, would not make the contribution I hoped to make–I would love the teaching component, but I would be disappointed at the likely scope of my research and writing. Just my thinking at the time. I was also playing my cello in the hospital ICU in my spare time, and I simply loved being in the hospital. Not the best, most convincing reasons, but my postbac confirmed that I could do, even enjoy, the sciences. I can say without hesitation that med school is where I should be.

      Please keep the questions coming, and I’ll try to get back more quickly in the future. If you’d like to continue this conversation over email, let me know.

      Thank you for your kind words about my daughter–we love her so much!

      And INFJ for the win!!


      • shamaness22 October 25, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

        Hi Anna! I was very delighted to see your reply. Thanks for taking the time to share your insight.

        I would love to continue the conversation via email, if you don’t mind! Where can I find your email address?

        Thanks again for your wonderful posts! Your family of three is beautiful, and I really enjoy your writing. Have a nice weekend!

      • annaojesus October 25, 2013 at 3:14 pm #

        Hi there!

        My pleasure–just sorry for the delay, always :/

        Let me try emailing you–will you let me know if you don’t hear from me in the next few minutes?

        And your words really make my day 🙂

        Have a great weekend! anna

  15. Amy December 16, 2013 at 2:50 pm #

    Hi Anna!

    I also came across your blog from your wonderful NYT article and, after reading through a couple of your earlier entries, I’m so encouraged by your journey through medical school!! I’m going to apply to med school this upcoming June and, being a nontraditional (and ♫ I-am-sixteen-going-on-26) applicant, I’m intimidated by the thought of learning amongst the hungry pre-meds, managing my new marriage, and still finding time to live the life I’ve come to love. Your blog has refreshed my outlook and shown me that it IS all possible… and I would definitely LOVE to chat more about your experiences, if you’re willing! 🙂 Happy Holidays!

  16. Sarah Kim December 17, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

    Hi Anna!

    I’m came across your blog from a list of top 10 medical student blogs. Couldn’t find an email address, so just sending you a comment here.

    I’m Sarah Kim from One Medical Group, an innovative primary care practice, that has a new scholarship for 3rd year med students (opens Jan 10). I’d love to see if you’d be interested in featuring the scholarship as a short post on your blog? I’m sure you’ve a number of prospective and current medical students who may be interested in the opportunity.

    If you are interested, please email me at skim[at]onemedical[dot]com

  17. jessicacady December 26, 2013 at 11:51 am #

    Just stumbled upon you and am following you to remain inspired…I’m just you (first year med student, post English degree, soon to be married, excited about becoming a doctor, eager to keep writing) from several years back. Thanks for sharing your story!

  18. Alison January 7, 2014 at 4:23 pm #

    Hello! I found your blog through the post you wrote for the NYT about being pregnant in medical school and I am so glad that I did. I actually work across the street from where you go to school (I’m at CHOP) and I’m in the process of applying to med school right now. Hearing your story and reading about your life has given me hope and inspired me to not give up on having a family AND my dream career. Thank you!!!

    • annaojesus May 4, 2014 at 3:34 pm #

      Hi Alison,

      Thank you so much for your kind words, and I am so sorry for the delay in response! I LOVE CHOP, and now I’m wondering if our paths have ever crossed. I hope you’re enjoying your work there.

      I’m so touched that my story is at all helpful. Does this mean you’re applying this summer or applied over this past year? Regardless, I wish you the very, very best of luck! If there is anything I can do to support you, please let me know!

      Thank you again!

  19. Justine March 6, 2014 at 2:57 pm #

    Hi Anna,

    I have been working as an analyst for the past 6 years and found that it wasn’t right for me. Although I love to analyze, I never felt like I was making a difference in the world. I did lots of soul searching, quit my job and have begun the prerequisites for a future in the medical field. I am about 6 weeks into my necessary coursework and am happy with my decision; it feels right!

    Since I had been out of school for a while I was concerned about how a change in career might impact my personal life. I came across your blog after googling “baby in med school.” It has been comforting and inspirational to read your thoughts and experiences about your life.

    I have a few more semesters of coursework and am considering what medical path would be the best for me. I am researching the differences among the PA, MD/DO, and NP paths. Might you be willing to share your thinking on this topic and/or if you considered alternate paths for yourself?

    Thank you!

    • annaojesus May 4, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

      Hi Justine!

      How are you doing? First of all, I sincerely apologize for the long overdue response! No excuses, just easy to get bogged down in the day to day and neglect things :/ I’m so happy that you’re feeling good about your decision, and I hope that your coursework continues to go smoothly.

      So I’m about to give you a very unfortunate answer to your question regarding considering alternative paths. If I’m being honest with you and with myself, one of the main reasons I never considered paths other than MD was that my boyfriend (now husband) was on the MD tract and I wanted what he had–incredibly mature, right? That said, I am happy with the decision and believe it is the right one for me.

      Although I did not consider DO programs at the time (I worried about the statistics regarding passing the boards/getting accepted into a residency/etc.), I will say that some of the best clinicians and educators with whom I’ve worked have been DOs. (My favorite surgical resident is a DO, and I just had the pleasure of learning from an awesome attending who is a DO.) If you’re interested in having the hands-on musculoskeletal manipulation component as part of your education, a DO program might be a good fit.

      PAs and NPs are invaluable, and I really enjoy working with them. In my very limited experience, their education seems to be less focused (by necessity, as the training is shorter) on physiology, some of the details of disease processes, and logic and evidence behind treatment. You can do so much either of those degrees and practice great medicine but, in the end, you always (to my understanding) have to be working alongside an MD/DO. I like that I have fewer constraints with the degree I will (hopefully) be receiving in a year.

      I’m not sure if any of this is helpful, but I would be happy to continue the discussion! Best of luck!

  20. Niqiq April 26, 2014 at 8:53 pm #

    I’m always so interested as to how pple balance family life AND being a med student. I know people do it, but I always hear that medical school is so hectic as is, so I can’t imagine even having a family at the same time! Props to you!

    -Niq (20somethingmedlife)

    • annaojesus April 27, 2014 at 3:51 pm #

      Hi Niq!

      What a kind comment, thank you! Not sure our balance is always decent, but I have to say it’s been a fun ride! And I certainly get a lot of help, from my husband, family, daycare, and my med school. It’s heart-warming to me how many people actively support my decision to have a family. Thank you again for your kindness! You made my day!


      On Sat, Apr 26, 2014 at 8:54 PM, anna in med school wrote:


  21. kiran May 2, 2014 at 11:58 am #

    I love the site. Stumbled upon it after reading your article in the NYtimes about having a baby in medical school. I started researching the issue because I am considering going to medical school at the ripe old age of 34! And I would need a year or two because I need to re-take the MCAT. Is this crazy! Would love to hear your thoughts…

    • ericrosoff May 3, 2014 at 8:23 pm #

      Hi Kiran, I’m one of Anna’s med school friends – about to graduate med school at 32. I personally don’t think you are ever too old for med school. Med school is difficult, but not insurmountable. I think issues related to your age would feel trivial compared to the other more generalized challenges. I think the most important issue to consider is the same as for any med school applicant – an honest self-evaluation of whether you are pursuing this career for the right reasons (will you be happy in medicine or is it more attractive because of money and/or prestige?).

      I think older applicants should perhaps spend more time considering finances (though this is an important consideration for all comers). The older you get, the harder it is to bounce back from student debt – especially if you are supporting or plan to support a family. Even someone with terrible finances can work through this [ie with the military’s Health Professions Scholarship Program among other things], but much more easily with good planning. It certainly would not benefit your wallet if you realized medicine was not for you during your 4th year (see “honest self-evaluation” above).

      With respect to starting a family in medical school, I can’t offer a personal perspective. I can say that I have watched Anna maintain impressively successful scholarship and simultaneously manage her work-life balance with grace and without ever once losing site of her priorities.

      • annaojesus May 4, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

        Thanks for the thoughtful reply, Eric! I love reading your words here.

      • kiran_bajwa@vanguard.com May 6, 2014 at 6:00 pm #

        Thank you much appreciated! I may come back to the blog for advice. Now it is time to dive deep into the MCAT.

        Sent with Good (www.good.com)

      • kiran_bajwa@vanguard.com May 8, 2014 at 2:30 pm #

        Eric Rosoff thanks for your feedback! I will be quite a bit older when I start medical school and I appreciate your comments. I am now diving deep into the MCAT. If you have any MCAT suggestions let me know! For now my plan is to forget about how old I am and just dive deep into the MCAT.



    • annaojesus May 4, 2014 at 3:00 pm #

      Hi Kiran,

      I hope this note finds you well! I’m flattered that you’ve checked out my blog–thank you!

      First things, you are definitely not crazy! The question I always ask myself is, “Would I be AS happy doing anything else?” And the answer has been consistently “no,” even during some of the darker times in med school (i.e. second semester of my first year, when I was living apart from my husband, broke my shoulder, received an infertility diagnosis, and got Hep A while slogging through, not so successfully, the basic science component of med school :/). I think if the idea of med school is consistently in your mind, it’s a good idea to seriously consider it.

      One of the things I’ve found myself cautioning others about is time. Would you be okay investing the many years of training and knowing that you will be allocating so much of your time to that pursuit, away from others? Personally, I have felt lucky to be able to start a family while in med school rather than have had one before, although people do it, and they do it beautifully. I cherish my time with my daughter/soon-to-be daughters (!!!), but I have concerns about the demands of residency and what that will mean for my relationships with them. I am so fortunate to be passionate for a field (pediatrics) that has a three-year residency (rather than seven) and values the family unit. And I am comforted by the fact that my eldest won’t even be six by the time I finish, so I won’t feel like I’ve missed all her formidable years. In that respect, if you think your life would be seriously negatively effected by the time you would be devoting to studying medicine, in my mind that might be a reason to reconsider.

      On the flip side, I have good friends, husband and wife, who live down the street, and the husband started med school at the age of 39. It’s challenging, and he has been placed in away sites for over half of his clerkship year, but it hasn’t seemed to negatively impact his marriage, which seems as strong as ever. He’s much happier working toward a career about which he’s excited, and I would imagine more focused and efficient in his studies as a result.

      This is all so vague! Bottom line: I think starting med school later poses unique challenges because, often, folks who are a bit older have more fixed personal commitments from which it is difficult to sacrifice time and energy. That said, the incentive and desire to study medicine seems to be more thought out and honed, which theoretically should lead to more focused, happier students.

      I would be happy to speak more if you’d like, and I look forward to hearing about your decisions! Best of luck!

  22. Kiran May 6, 2014 at 5:45 pm #

    Hello Anna,

    Thank you for the wonderful and very encouraging response. I ver much appreciate the encouragement from you and your friend Eric! I went to NYU undergrad and had a tremendous amount of student loan debt. I returned home to West Chester and got a job at Vanguard the mutual fund company.

    I took all of my prequisites and paid off 90k in student loans. Bought my mother a car ( which she sadly crashed after dripping the collision insurance). In short I did a lot financially but f

  23. Kiran May 6, 2014 at 5:58 pm #

    I want to apologize to anyone that just read my previous comments on Anna’s blog. Sorry Anna! Trying to respond via my iPhone and I mispelled multiple words. My apologies to all!!

    Anyhow I wanted to reiterate how grateful I am for your response. I am going to dive deep into the MCAT and pursue my dream. I have no doubt that it will be hard but I know that it will be worth the effort. I was struck by your comments about a surgeon and her daughter is her best friend. It’s all about how we cultivate and grow our relationships. I will keep you updated and I may ask for more advice in the future.

    I plan on keeping up with your blog. I was in Philly today on 13th st thinking I need to get here!! What a great city to go to med school. I hope you got to enjoy a little of today’s gorgeous 70 degree weather.

  24. Carisa May 9, 2014 at 3:23 pm #

    Hi Anna, I work at the VA Hospital in Philadelphia and we are hosting the National Veterans Wheelchair Games in August at the Convention Center.

    I am coordinating Kids’ Day, a local event during the Games to allow children with disabilities to participate in several adaptive sports. I was wondering if I could e-mail you our flyer to share with any contacts you may have at Penn or in the community that work with children with disabilities? The event is free and open to the public.

    Thanks for considering!

    • annaojesus May 12, 2014 at 1:08 pm #

      Hi Carisa,

      I hope you’re well! Please email me the flyer and would be happy to distribute and post on the blog, if that’s okay!


      On Fri, May 9, 2014 at 3:23 PM, anna in med school wrote:


    • annaojesus May 12, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

      Hi Carisa,

      I hope you’re well! Thank you for the great work you do at the VA!

      I just sent you an email, please let me know if you did not receive it. I would be happy to post info about the event on my blog and distribute it where I can. Thanks for the note!

      take care,

  25. carisagayle@gmail.com May 16, 2014 at 9:24 pm #

    Hi Anna,

    Congratulations on your newest addition!!!! She is adorable!

    I would greatly appreciate if you would post the flyer. I never received your e-mail. Would you mind re-sending? No rush… anytime you get a chance. 🙂

    Thank you!

  26. Kelly May 28, 2014 at 9:31 pm #

    I’m currently in nursing school but I am considering going to medical school after to become an ER doctor. I have a bunch of experience in the ER and I love it! What are your thoughts on BSN-RN to MD? Thanks.

  27. Dr. Mom July 4, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

    I nominated you for an Inspiring Blogger award. Congratulations!! Check it out at: http://urbandoctormom.com/2014/07/04/the-inspiring-blogger-award/

  28. Rachel C. July 11, 2014 at 10:57 am #

    Hi Anna, thanks so much for your blog — my husband and I are expecting our first child (a girl!) in a little less than a month, and I’m launching into my second year of medical school a few weeks after… reading about your experiences has been really empowering! Thanks and best of luck.


  29. kiran July 11, 2014 at 11:44 am #

    Thanks for the post Rachel. I have often wondered what it is like to be pregnant during your first year of medical school. I am beginning a post-bacc program at Jefferson and I have wondered about having kids during your first two years. I would love to hear more. Kiran

  30. doctorloony July 28, 2014 at 2:48 pm #

    Hey Anna! I love your posts! I always look forward to them and I love seeing the mother and medstudent in you 🙂 Your daughters are beautiful and I look up to you for handling medicine and motherhood! I nominate you for the Liebster award! http://autumnscrubs.wordpress.com/2014/07/28/liebster-award/ I hope you accept it!

  31. affordable kitchen remodeling September 30, 2014 at 7:09 pm #

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  32. Maxine October 11, 2014 at 10:15 pm #

    Hey there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my zynga group?
    There’s a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate your content.
    Please let me know. Many thanks

  33. Tai Rachel November 11, 2014 at 12:02 pm #

    Hey Anna!
    I’ve just nominated you for the “One Lovely Blog Award”! To accept it and know more, check out my post!


    I am a big fan of your blog, keep up the good work! 🙂

  34. Dee December 29, 2014 at 3:50 pm #

    Hi Anna,

    Full disclosure: This whole comment is going to come across as weird.

    I know you haven’t checked this “About” page recently, or responded to comments here in quite some time. If you do happen to ever read this, please feel free to delete my comment if you find it creepy. I simply wanted to write and say “hey.”

    How did I get here? Well, last year, when I googled “Pregnant in medical school,” your NY Times opinions piece on the subject came right up. From the article, I found a link to your blog and tadaaaa, I’m here. I stop by here every now and then. Reading your blog is an enjoyable form of procrastination for me as we share a couple of similarities. I can identify with a lot of your posts, especially your earlier entries as a new medical student as well as the ones regarding your first forays into motherhood.

    I, too, had my first child during my second year of medical school (hence the frantic google searches).
    I majored in English Lit in undergrad and while I didn’t pursue a Master’s in the end, I was (and remain) a bit torn about it.
    My husband is also an ER doctor.
    And finally, I hope to pursue a pediatrics residency too.

    This part is going to sound super weird, I know (full disclosure, remember?): Given these vague similarities, thinking about your blog sometimes makes me feel better on particularly stressful days. Every now and then when my husband is on the overnight shift and we haven’t seen each other for days on end (and I’m walking around like a tired zombie–after yet another night alone with an adorable baby who likes to party at 3AM– while attempting to maintain enough brain function to remember something, anything, about medicine), I think “ugh, this is too hard! How can anyone do this?” I look at the residency “finish line” and think that I’ll never get there.

    Then I remember that your blog exists, and that you’re doing “this” with not one, but two children. Furthermore, you do “this” with grace, and aplomb and nary a complaint; you even take pictures and blog about it. I remember these things, and I think “This girl with the blog is doing it. She’s been there and made it through, all the while enjoying the ride. I can too. Just maybe without the blogging part.”

    So that’s it. Now you know that somewhere, out there, exists another girl, who reads your blog, admires your determination, and finds you to be a source of inspiration. (Aw, creepy again. Sorry).

    So hey, and thanks.


  35. Eleanor Wray July 29, 2015 at 9:26 am #


    I’m the marketing assistant for Medicine Books at Oxford University Press. I’m writing to ask if you would be interested in reviewing upcoming medicine titles to post on your blog? If you’re interested, please email me at eleanor.wray.contractor@oup.com

    Best wishes,
    Eleanor Wray

  36. Danielle Ligenza September 8, 2015 at 3:27 pm #


    I hope all is well. I run the editorial for Bartonassociates.com, and would love to have you guest post on your experiences following medical school. Please let me know if you would be interested and I can provide further information.

    Thank you!

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