Any female docs?


My lifelong dream is to be a doctor, preferably an OB/GYN who teaches NFP, promotes breastfeeding, natural birth (of course, if health permits a woman to do so), reverses sterilizations, etc. I see it as my calling to help reverse our culture of death and to make my mission one of true healing.

I also find it my call to be a wife and a mother. I’m wondering, are there any female docs on this board who are also wives and mothers? If so, how do you balance these two calls? What advice would you give to someone who wants to do both? Is it possible?

I know St. Gianna Beretta Molla was a doctor, wife and mother. I know it can be done. I just want to know how.



my current primary care doc is a woman who is firmly committed to pro-life, active in local pro-life groups, teaches NFP in free classes, volunteers at crisis pregnancy center, prominently posts signs in her office that abortion referrals will not be made by her office. She and her husband, also a doctor, make regular trips to Mexico with a group that provides health care for the indigent. They have 4 kids, all of whom are studying to be doctors (3 are girls). They are also both active in parish life, a real pro-life example.

our ped in our HMO when our kids were growing up was a Catholic woman with 6 kids, who chose working in an HMO so she would have more regular hours, more time for her family. She was also very prominent in pro-life circles at the time just before and just after RvW, one of the few sane pro-life voices in our town and in her profession at that time. She is one of the first voices I ever heard warning about vaccines made from fetal stem cell lines. She was already retired at that time but is still a prominent pro-life speaker and activist, and helped run a chain of clinics.

yes these brave women are out there, and yes, it can be done. go for it.


I’m an aspiring ped and i hope for at least six kids some day. I’m very pro-life and i to want to carry that on in my work. Right now I’m still in the high school, but forever making plans and setting (and achieving) goals for the futrue. It’s a long road, but one i feel God has called me too, and hoefully after taking care of kids all day I can go home and take care kids of my own.


Not me, but my mom was a doctor (now retired).

To tell the truth, I don’t know if doctors graduated with as much debt in her day as they do now, but some things that I am sure contributed to her ability to balance career and family:
*]She did not marry and have children until she was in her 30’s.
*]She worked only part-time, 2 or 3 days per week, while we (5 children) were infants.
*]My grandmother (her mother) lived with us to help with child rearing.
My mother didn’t return to full-time work until after both her mother and my father had died (the youngest of us was in highschool by that time).



St Gianna was 33 when she married and already established in her calling. I would think that has a lot to do with being able to balance work and family. Maybe reading more about her and her life would give you the clues you need to see how it is done.
I’m sure there are more indepth other resources out there as well.

God bless,


I don’t know where you are in your schooling so this is a lot of general information.

You may be able to find some of your answers here

You need to take a realistic look at your life’s situation first.
-Do you have a decent financial setup where you aren’t struggling to pay bills? You can get financial aid, but you need to have the option available to you to not work. If you already have the stress of struggling to pay utility etc bills, that should ideally be solved first.

-Do you have a strong family/friend support network? Do you live alone or with someone right now? Are you able to call on someone to help you do laundry/cooking/cleaning/food shopping/errands/feed and walk the dog if needed? Are you OK with having 0 social life at some point? You’ll be doing 80+ hours a week at certain points. You will be living and breathing the medical field for a while. This means you WILL miss out on some important family events. You also will need someone close to vent to.

-Are you willing to move if needed? People often move to go to school/move to get to different hospitals. If you live near a big city with many hospitals, the chances you will have to move may be reduced.

-Are you willing to do continuing education hours every year to keep up your credentials?

-When are you planning on getting married and having kids?

-Are you willing to be on call? Are you willing to work some holidays?

There’s a lot of options in health care, as there is a critical shortage of many health care professions. Enormous shortage of pharmacists and nurses for example. There’s always the option too of becoming a nurse, and then going on to get a masters and becoming an advanced practice nurse working in maternal child health.

If you have time and are looking for a job, I’d suggest taking a certified nursing assistant course (I’ve seen some that are 6 weeks long). With that, you can easily get a job at a nearby hospital (CNAs are also in HUGE demand) working part time, full time or PRN (as needed) in a maternal-child area (or another floor). You’ll get direct patient care and will get a feel for how things go in a hospital setting (or a clinic setting). CNA work is very physical, so make sure you have a healthy back before going to this route. I plug being a CNA because you can really get to know more about the basics of healthcare and will feel a lot more comfortable with patients and interacting with them about personal issues. Plus it will pay you slightly above minimum wage. I think its a good starter job. But I work as a nurse in a hospital IMCU so I am biased towards the experiences nursing can give you. :wink:

Its hard, but if the circumstances make this a possibility for you, then that is wonderful! Working in healthcare you get to be a part of a team that makes a real impact on people’s lives. You get to be there in the best of times and worst of times. You get a real appreciation for what others go through, and are lucky enough to be a part of people’s recovery, or to be there when people need you the most to lean on. I know I have stories about people that I will never forget. I learn as much from my patients as they do from me. Its very difficult work, but I come home and I feel like I’ve made a real difference for someone. That’s a nice feeling.

Good luck to you in whatever you decide.


I am a fourth year medical student. My husband is a third year medical student. I am also doing a Masters in Public Health so we can couple match.

Here is the scoop. Medical school is difficult. Lots of studying, lots of hours, lots of time with a book. But that is only 4 years of your life. Residency to by an OB/GYN is 4 years of your life. There are many women in my class that had children before going to med school and have very supportive husbands and family that help them out. Many women have children while in residency and they also manage but there is a lot of guilt because they can’t be with their children.

Look, I completely understand your passion for OB/GYN. We need more physicians like you. I personally do not have that calling. My calling is pediatrics and I love pediatric endocrinology. You and I are strongly pro-life, and you need to face the fact that you will have a real hard time going through residency. You will have to fight each and every day. You will probably have to contact a lawyer right after you get there and they find out your true beliefs. Their bread and butter is tubal ligations and birth control, and if you refuse to learn it… maybe they won’t let you graduate. If you have and NFP only physician in your area, I would ask how they got through residency. I am just worried that if you are not skilled in those procedures they will feel like you are not ready to practice OBGYN.

Remember that OB/GYNs have horrible hours and that babies come at all hours of the night. However, there are options meaning that you can focus on one aspect of OBGYN and not all of them, so that might give you a little more flexibility. Perhaps going to the fellowship at Pope Paul IV institute with Dr. Hilgers and doing infertillity care. That would be a great option for you if you wanted to be a wife and mother.

I wish you much luck and happiness. If you feels God call to be a physician then follow it. I did, and I cannot wait to start the next phase in my life.


I am a Pediatrician who graduated from Med school 20 years ago. Earlier in my career I worked in underserved inner city areas and received loan forgiveness which helped eliminate my educational debt. (It still took 10 years to get rid of the last of it.)

Currently I am employed by a large multispecialty group.

I was married 12 1/2 years ago and we have two sons age 7 and 5.

I breastfed them each for 15 months.

I have always worked full time except for the 12 weeks I took for each maternity leave.

My dh is a SAHD and is wonderful. He is even now
homeschooling our boys. He teaches sporadically on evenings and weekends.

I know I am very blessed, and I thank God everyday for my wonderful husband.

One of the advantages of homeschooling for us is that it gives me more time with my kids. I don’t have to hustle them off to school every morning and get them in bed early on school nights. We cuddle in bed every morning and I put them to bed every night. We occassionally all meet for lunch. On my mornings off, I get to work with them on their schoolwork.

So, yes, if motherhood and doctorhood is your calling, it can work if God wills it.



You know, I’ve recently thought it would be great if a bunch of us like-minded women united to form a dr office coop where no one would have to work all hours of the day and night to provide sound, Catholic services to people like ourselves.

If you are called to both medicine and motherhood, God will show you how to do it, even by helping you meet people perhaps on this very forum.


Your story really touched me!! You are truly blessed!!!


I don’t know how it can be done, but I feel the same way. I want to be a very pro-life doctor and have kids.

I hear a lot about how you can do it if you have a supportive husband, but my DF wants to be a doctor, too!



I think this is every woman’s dream. It all sounds perfect. I have a friend who is a dr. (not obgyn) and she went through Holy Hell and was scrutinized and criticized harshly for not even partaking in the contraceptive part. She went from practice to practice because she was against Artificial contraception. I am in my thirties and do not find it a realistic goal. The Health Care field is booming. I may think about becoming a physician assistant and working for a Pro-Life OB! I am in a dead end job and seriouly considering going back to school.


I heard of these types of practices. They do exactly what you mention… they more or less work part time but someone is at the office 5 days a week and cover of each other if there is an “emergency” and see the patient for their partners. I hear that it works well.

Personally, I want to be a Pediatric endocrinologist. I just really feel a call to it. I think that the hours would be a little better.

I feel everything is possible with God so follow your calling. My husband and I did.


…and rightly so. It is one thing to refuse to perform a procedure on a patient, quite another to refuse to learn the facts, chemistry, biology, psychology to fully evaluate the efficacy of the procedure in the first place. I would never seek out any doctor who wasn’t well versed and fully educated in all aspects of my health care needs. Suppose you have a patient who seeks you out as a pro-life physician to explain to her how medically NFP is superior/preferable/more beneficial than ABC/tubal ligation. How will you ever know the facts if you “refuse” to study them?

My OB-Gyn group when I was still in the baby-making business was made up entirely of female docs who were very efficient at managing their part-time schedules and call duty. I appreciated the fact that even if my primary doctor was not on call when I went in to labor, I would have my delivery managed by a female OB with whom I was also familiar.

There is so much more opportunity to manage your time for family obligations and/or part-time schedules these days. Best wishes to you in this challenging path you have chosen!


Thank you guys! I’m a senior at high school and I intend to go into premed and Spanish in college next year. It’s been my dream since I was about ten to be an OB/GYN and after I became Catholic, I’ve thought that it could be a wonderful way to help the prolife movement. I’d learn about ABC and tubal ligations in medical school, but I would not under any circumstances either perform or recommend them for my patients. Instead, I would use my knowledge about them to teach and promote NFP and perform sterilization reversals. I’ve also felt it my calling to be married and have many children.

Last year, some of my guy friends were asking me why I’d want to work when I could just play with kids all day. I would not abandon my kids or my husband. In fact, I’d probably start up a practice with other doctors who agreed with me and we’d take turns and get to know all the patients (in case for some reason they ended up w/a different doctor). My boyfriend is supportive (I told him my dream and he’s like, good money! lol:p) so if we were to be together in the future, I don’t think that would be an issue. I do think about being a midwife at times, but I think that I’d be able to do more as a doctor. I also really like science and math and I constantly am researching ethical issues in medicine. I want to make a positive impact and feel that this could be my outlet.


You could always remind them that a lot of families are choosing to have Dad stay home with the kids while Mom works as the bread-winner, and then flip their question around and toss it back at them. “So guys, why don’t YOU want to stay at home and play with kids all day?” :wink:

I think it sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders. Stay close to God and pray that His will be done, and you won’t be steered down the wrong path.


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