Is grad school do-able with a family?

If you’ve been dreaming for years of becoming a doctor or earning your master’s but you’re not sure how more schooling will jive with having a family, worry no more.

At Des Moines University, we have many students with families and try to be as accommodating as possible. At lunch time there are many toddlers and infants in the cafeteria area. Many strollers are parked in the student lounge alongside a student’s spouse here for a visit in the afternoon. Our Wellness Center allows each student to bring one significant other, be it spouse, friend or child over 16. At Halloween, students bring their families in for a costume party. It’s not unusual to have kids of students, faculty or staff attend campus events or swing by for a visit. We are next door to a child care center, Children’s Garden, that gives priority on the waiting list to children of students and staff. There is even a club/group, The Student Advocate Association for spouses/significant others of DMU students.

If you rarely got to see your kids, we know you wouldn’t be as focused in class. If your spouse didn’t see you ’til late at night you might end up with stress fractures in your marriage. But fear not for these things because at DMU, we realize that happy, healthy families make for happy, healthy students that become happy, healthy doctors and healthcare professionals!

My dad started at DMU when I was 6 and had two younger siblings. I have fond memories of visiting him on campus while he studied. And back then the lounge areas were NOWHERE near as posh as they are for today’s students! I remember coloring pictures for his “study room” and visiting him at the hospital when he was an intern and as a resident. It was a balancing act for my parents but as kids we understood that it was important for dad to study and we’d spend time with him when we could. Now he’s the best doctor around (I’m not biased – haha!) and I’m glad he went to medical school without sacrificing his family.

If you are concerned there won’t be enough ways to entertain your children or a support group for your spouse in Des Moines, check out the following sites:

Moms resource page

a blog about DSM activities for families

a week’s worth of fun in DSM

Classes/activities at the community theater

Things to do in Iowa-many kid-friendly!

Believe me, your kids want you to follow your dreams!

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