The most amazing thing about applying to medical school is knowing that you gave your best in each of the 100’s of essays you wrote and the interviews you attended. Of course, it was an exhausting and money draining journey, so when I heard of my first acceptance, I was on top of the world. However, when I tell people that I was going to a DO school and not an MD school, I could see the confusion and disappointment on their faces. I don’t get me wrong; I do get that many people out there are not familiar with DO’s. Thus I take that into consideration as part of their “facial gesture assessment.”
When DH and I embarked on the journey of applying to medical school, we simultaneously started navigating the infertility road. At the time, however, we had no idea of the toll of IF treatments. A year and four months later, I was rejected from more than a dozen medical schools, put on a couple of waitlists (or what I called “death lists”) and got a couple of acceptances. On top of that, we underwent four cycles of fertility treatments, had one very early pregnancy loss (about a month or so) and an 8-week loss of our twin peanut boys, which included a D&C and three months of non-stop bleeding. The roller-coaster of hormones made me gain an awful 25 lbs, gave me mood swings, hot flashes, headaches, and what not. I went through good, bad and really tough days, plus all of the stages of grieving, while still finishing my last two semesters of school and interviewing at med schools in three different states.
After my hCG finally went down to zero, I decided that I needed a break from the fertility clinic, and doctors in general. I think at that point I was still in denial and too much pain, but it was one of the best decision I’ve ever taken. During the next six months, I took control of my health, went from a morbidly obese BMI of 32 to a healthy BMI of 25 (lost 40 lbs and still counting), graduated, and chose a great DO school instead of a great MD school.
It was not an easy decision. We weighted the cons and pros of everything, from moving to another state, the holistic vs. the conventional approach to medicines, Step 1 scores, job security for DH, and most importantly health insurance coverage.
Why was health insurance so important? Well, that’s a given, in an era where Obamacare, the insurance Marketplace, and the Trump administration are constantly scaring everyone in America about the future of healthcare coverage. However, more than that, going to the MD school meant losing our current super fantastic PPO health insurance policy ($100 deductible, 90% coverage in network and no referrals needed at all). Furthermore, the state where the MD school is located doesn’t have a state fertility mandate, which basically means that state laws specifically exclude coverage for fertility diagnosis and treatment.
This wasn’t fair! (But who said life was fair?). Once again, a curve ball is coming my way, and I have no idea how to spin it off to a home run. I certainly loved both schools and could have been happy at either, from an educational standpoint. But, what about having babies? Should we postpone having them for another four years because of lack of fertility insurance coverage? We definitely could not afford to pay for it out of pocket. So, in the end, it all came down to the possibility of having children ASAP (with the help of G-d and science). I am glad about our choice. I am a happy camper at DO medical school so far, and we are embarking in Season #2 of IF treatments, hoping for a baby (or babies) to stick with us next time around.