How Med Student Parents Make It Happen


Can you be a parent while you’re in medical school?

tired mom photo
Photo by tvdflickr

Listener Courtney, a 26-year-old mother of three wants to know if her med school dream is even possible.  Obviously this is a two-part question since there are both moms and dads to consider, so we’ll have a mom on a future show to help.  But first, Gabe Conley, Marissa Evers, Joyce “Spicy” Wahba, and Kaci McCleary invited 2004 CCOM grad Dr. Tom McNalley on the show to represent the dads.  Tom was 39 with three kids of his own and a wife who was working towards her PhD when he entered med school.  We’ll find out how they did it.

After that, Dave and the gang do a little introspection in the way that medical students often are asked to do: by taking personality tests and comparing their results.

This Week in Medical News

Did you know that you can rent a human head?  We didn’t know either.  Did you know you can rent a HIV- or hep C-infected human head?  You can, if you were unwise enough to rent from these people.  And a man who needed a kidney found one at the happiest place on earth, sort of.

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Have doubts about your coming med school journey? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email  We can help.

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The opinions expressed in this feed and podcast are not those of the University of Iowa or the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine; nor do they reflect the views of anyone other than the people who expressed them.  If you have feedback on anything you hear on the show, positive or not, let us know.

3 thoughts on “How Med Student Parents Make It Happen”

  1. Thank you for answering my question!! I appreciate the information gathered from Dr. Tom McNalley and the viewpoints of students without children.
    It was just last November that I “came out of the closet” about going to school to become a doctor. Most of the people who know me now have only ever known me to be pregnant or have an infant attached to me (or latched on if you can appreciate that term). So, I felt like I was getting a lot of “yeah, okays,” when my ambitions came up in conversation. My self doubt is silenced at this point and the opinions of the less driven are no longer acknowledged. I understand the challenges I face and the sacrifices which will be made but, I am excited for my three daughters to observe and, in some ways, be apart of this journey.
    Keep talking and I will continue to listen every week! And perhaps in 15-30 years I can appear on the Short Coat and either inspire people in my similar situation by sharing my wonderful experiences of raising children and attending med school OR encourage them to go to nursing school. (Insert laughing/crying emoji here) Thank you, again!!

    1. Thank you for listening and for your question, Courtney! What a great opportunity it was for me to reconnect with old friends and also to get you what you needed. Definitely keep us posted on your journey. Best of luck!

  2. I forgot to mention: the picture of the mom accompanying the summary really cracked me up. This particular woman is not thinking, “hm, I wonder if I could be a doctor…” she is more than likely thinking, “why did I bring my small children to Disney World? Why don’t they serve alcohol here? And does that guy’s shirt say he needs a kidney??!!”

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