Everyone who knows me well knows that I am a HUGE proponent of goal-setting and visualization. If you can see yourself being it, then you can definitely do it, right? Whenever I am trying to do something new, my first instinct is to seek the counsel of someone who has gone through a similar experience. Not only is it reassuring, but also a way to ensure that you don't waste time re-inventing the wheel - because we have to work smarter and not harder.
That being said, in an effort to broaden the MrsMommyMD perspective a bit - giving my readers more visuals - I have recruited the help of some amazing women. And today, I'm so excited to roll out the inaugural "See It. Do It." Interview!
There is no better way to start than with the woman who, in 2008, helped a pregnant and terrified college senior (me...haha), see that my own dream of going to medical school with a small child was still possible because she was doing just that. Now a resident, Monique is still someone I continue look up to:
Name: Monique Bowles
Medical School: Wayne State University School of Medicine
Graduation Year: 2010
How many children do you have and their ages: 2 children; Jaylen, 8yrs old and Malachi, 2yrs old
Did you do any post-undergraduate schooling or working before attending medical school?
Yes, I worked as a research assistant at the University of Michigan in Neuropsychology one year prior to
entering medical school.
Did you have any of your children during medical school? If so, how did you “plan” for it?
I had my second child, Malachi, as a fourth year medical student. I planned to have him during my
fourth year because the schedule was the least demanding. There was no studying or exams to be
concerned with. I tried to time having him after interview season, which did not quite happen. But
overall everything worked out.
What kind of childcare do you employ?
My husband started graduate school once I began residency, so he stayed at home with Malachi during
the day until I got home and then he would attend his classes. My older son, Jaylen, was in school
throughout the day. With my husband home, he was able to drop off and pick up my oldest son to and
from school. Both my husband’s and my parents live close, so they were also to help watch our children
whenever needed. My husband recently started working the beginning of this year. So, our neighbor has
graciously helped by babysitting 3 days a week, while by parents help the rest of the week
What has been the biggest challenge to handling medical school and/or practicing medicine along with having children? How have you overcome it?
The biggest challenge as a resident is the lack of time I have to spend with my children. Unfortunately
a resident schedule just does not allow much free time. I am often left feeling guilty. I have gone as far
as to question my career choice. However, I am blessed to have a supportive husband and family whom
continue to encourage me. On my days off I am attending my oldest son’s basketball or football games. I
am taking the kids to the movies or the park. I make sure it’s all about them. I must say an even bigger
challenge is making sure my husband feels appreciated. When I’m placing all my focus on the children, I
sometimes forget him. It’s a work in progress and no one ever said marriage would be easy. I thank God
for him and his dedication to our family.
Do you feel like your school/job is “flexible” to any family issues that may arise?
I am blessed to be in a residency program where when family issues arise, there are people volunteering
to help. Luckily, I have not suffered any major issues, but I have colleagues that have and every time we
have rose to the occasion.
What is one item/strategy that you have that helps to make life easier as a mother and medical student/physician? (i.e. organizational method, electronic device, calendar tool, etc.)
I keep everything written down.
What kinds of things do you do to “relax”?
When time permits, I like to have a quiet dinner or movie night with my husband. It always helps if I get a
massage out of the deal too!
Do you feel that your experience as a mother has made you a better doctor or future doctor? If so, how?
I had my first son while attending undergraduate school. My experience raising him has had the most
influence on the type of individual I have become. Having a child at a young age and unmarried at the
time was difficult. I had to grow up fast. As a result, I became more responsible, organized, efficient, and
humbled. These qualities have allowed me to better connect with my patients at work. I judge less. I
show more compassion. I pay closer attention to detail. I feel an overwhelming obligation to make sure
my patient receives the best care. Having become more efficient and organized has aided me in taking
care of the most ill patients.
What advice do you have to the women who want to pursue medicine with children?
Keep God first. Pray every day. It’s the quality not quantity of time you spend with your children that
matters. Know you are doing the best for your family. Continue to study hard and work hard. Keep
those around you whom are supportive and have your best interest. Lastly, know you are truly blessed
and highly favored.
Are you a physician or medical student mom who would like to share her story? Send me an email at Mrs.Mommy.MD@gmail.com