How I Kept a Career in Medicine as a Stay-at-Home Parent

June 12, 2019
Like many of you, my background is in health care: I have my Certified Nursing Assistant and EMT certifications as well as a Doctor of Chiropractic degree. Those of us who work in medicine have a passion for science and people, which almost always means leaving home to go to work each day. When you decided to work in medicine, you probably envisioned being in a clinic or hospital rather than working from home.

While I intended to work as a chiropractor, along came my children, and my priorities shifted in ways I didn’t anticipate. I put my career aspirations and goals on hold while I stayed home with my kids because I truly didn’t know a way I could have both. My three kids are ages four and under, and right away I decided to stay home with them while they’re still young. I want to be the one with them during the day—reading them stories, going on adventures, and teaching them about the world. You know the saying “They’re only little for so long”? It couldn’t be more accurate. I wanted to witness all of the “firsts” firsthand.

They’re only little for so long…

If you decide to step away from your career to be a stay-at-home parent, you might end up missing a huge part of yourself in the process. I wanted to continue working, but my idea of a career shifted from working as a chiropractor to working from home for a company that I believe in; one that is making a difference in the world of medical education. Then, I found Rosh Review: a company that aims to enhance medical education worldwide. Although I’m not a practicing chiropractor, I’m still helping others by making sure our content is the best it can be. Though I’m not directly working with patients, I’m contributing to the education of those who do.

It is absolutely possible to maintain a career in medicine while working at home. Figure out what aspects of your job you’d like to continue doing. Is it working directly with patients or customers? Maybe you’d be a good case manager. Is writing your strong point? Look into medical writing. Depending on your background and interests, there are lots of resources out there. Here are a few examples to get you started:

Do I have to work from 9–5?

The beauty of working from home is that, generally, as long as you get your work done, you have flexibility in the timing. If you’re like me, a mom of a 3-month-old who hasn’t gotten the message that nighttime is for sleeping, 3 AM might become your most productive time of the day. When you’re working from home, you’ll be able to snuggle a kid who doesn’t feel well without missing a day at work because you can complete your hours later. Sure, it might require running on coffee and endorphins, but how amazing is it to even have the opportunity to do so?

Is working from home less productive?

Working a nontraditional schedule is challenging at times. There isn’t a clear separation between home and work—the environments become one and the same. If you work in an office or hospital, for example, you have a distinct workplace away from the house. You can leave work at work, and when you’re home, you can truly be at home. If your office is at home and you’re unable to get to the work you have, or if things take longer than expected, you have to take those hours from somewhere else, which might mean that your sleep suffers. There are pros and cons to working at home, but in my case, the pros far outweigh the cons. Thank goodness for coffee!

Putting it in the simplest terms possible, working from home is the best of both worlds: it allows you to continue working in the field you love without leaving your home and family. Look at me—I get to be a part of an amazing team of people making the world of medicine a better place, all while being home with my littles. Blessed is an understatement.

For more about searching for jobs in medicine, check out these posts.

By Erica Parrish

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