Trending
41-year-old mom of 9 recently graduated from medical school and is becoming a neurosurgeon
What's harder than med school? Being in med school while raising 9 kids.
Elijah Chan
07.19.22

What’s more difficult than med school itself?

When we become parents, we somehow, or for the most part, compromise the personal goals we set for ourselves. In turn, we dedicate our time to our families so that they can grow healthy and happy.

Pexels - RODNAE Productions
Source:
Pexels - RODNAE Productions

But sometimes, when determination and opportunity align, some parents can’t help but chase after their dreams. And so, what’s more difficult than med school? Being in med school with 9 kids in tow.

Dr. Sarah Merill’s youngest child was 4 years old when she finally got her medical degree.

The 41-year-old mom graduated from the Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine in Phoenix, Arizona. Celebrating with her onstage were 10 very special people – her husband and their 9 kids.

Pexels - Ekrulila
Source:
Pexels - Ekrulila

So how did this mom juggle between school and motherhood? Dr. Merill said it was definitely not a walk in the park. It was a journey full of grit and perseverance.

Dr. Miller’s journey started at Dartmouth.

She joked in her interview with CBS that her greatest love was not her husband who she met at the university but neuroscience.

YouTube Screenshot - CBS Evening News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - CBS Evening News

Nonetheless, the couple dated and got married. By the time she graduated with her pre-med degree, their first daughter was already 5 months old.

She was faced with a decision at that moment.

She already took the Medical College Admission Test while she was pregnant. She wanted to go straight to med school after graduation but changed her plans.

YouTube Screenshot - CBS Evening News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - CBS Evening News

Then, 9 kids later and at 34 years old, Dr. Merill decided to return to the path she set for herself. She retook the MCAT and was accepted at the Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine in Arizona.

Her family only had tremendous support for her even if it meant big adjustments for the family.

She shared that they had a “big family meeting” to talk about her decision then her family gave a “big vote of support”. Her mother also moved with them to Arizona so she could help. Her husband was also able to make arrangements to work remotely.

YouTube Screenshot - CBS Evening News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - CBS Evening News

To maximize mother-kids time, her daughters would organize homework parties where they would study together with her while munching some snacks.

YouTube Screenshot - CBS Evening News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - CBS Evening News

It also helped that she was inspired by the fact that her kids are proud of her and are as equally inspired to chase after their dreams.

Then, just last May, all her hard work came to fruition.

She shared with Good Morning America that while it was difficult to juggle school and motherhood, being a mother also gave her a lot of experiences that made her more resilient and easier for her to connect to patients.

YouTube Screenshot - CBS Evening News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - CBS Evening News

For her residency, Dr. Merill will go back to her first love and take up neurosurgery at Indiana University. One of her teachers said that Dr. Merill will do well because she endured med school while taking care of her 9 children.

YouTube Screenshot - CBS Evening News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - CBS Evening News

For those who wanted to follow her path, Dr. Merill has a piece of advice: “If you know what your priorities are, focus on the next step and then you’ll get where you want to go.”

Watch how this mom became a doctor after raising a family of 9 children.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

By Elijah Chan
hi@sbly.com
Elijah Chan is a contributor at SBLY Media.
Advertisement
Advertisement