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Old 04-25-2014
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Default working mom studying

Hi all,
I've been reading posts for a long time on this website but this is my first time posting. I'm so discouraged and just wanted to know how others are managing to keep up. I'm married and have a child and a full time job. I get home too exhausted to do anything and its beginning to really depress me.
If there is anyone like me out there who has a success story to share, please let me know. Thank you
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Old 04-25-2014
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I was a working dad while studying for some parts of my Steps, so although I'm not a mom, hopefully I can encourage you! I am very familiar with the feeling of being very tired from work, exhausted with childcare and just not wanting to study at all at times. The end of my story is a happy one because I did manage to get through my Steps and I matched to the program I most wanted to go to.

A few things that helped me:
1. Setting priorities - I worked out what was most important to me (which included spending time with my growing child, my family and friends). I set aside study time intentionally, using chunks of time on the weekends when I had no work to do and tried to balance out my sleep, tag-teaming with my wife.

2. Setting realistic expectations - I didn't think I could consistently commit to studying hard every day. It was just impossible with the demands of work and family. So I tried to plan ahead, gave myself what I though was enough time, and did my best to stick to my schedule (and adjust as necessary).

3. Change work schedule (if possible) - I went part-time. This definitely helped with energy, stress and time, so if you can do this, then I'd highly recommend it. The financial burden would be temporary, you can have more time with family and you may have a better chance of sticking to your plan and getting a good score.

4. Keep in touch with others - I kept an online study journal at, read and commented on other people's journals and they in turn encouraged me to keep going. I think there are going to be good days and bad days, and the encouragement from an online community in a similar situation can be helpful.

I've actually written more about these issues on my website which might be helpful for you. It's an article about trying to not let the USMLE depress you. I've written also on thinking through work/study prior to residency.

I hope that's helpful, and good luck!

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