31 year-old non trad


Currently I’m doing a DIY post-bachelor program and splitting up the classes between a community college and a 4-year state institute. My grades at the cc so far are:

Bio I - A

Bio II - A

Chem I - A

Chem II - A

I’ll be finishing up physics and o-chem at the state institute starting in the fall.

Currently, I work full-time in an anatomic pathology lab and am considering reducing my hours and working part-time so I can double up on classes, study the MCAT, and apply for medical school on June 1, 2013. Oh yeah, and I start my clinical volunteering in August and will be doing 3 hours a week for 10 months.

That all sounds great!! Awesome grades --WTG!

And welcome to OPM!


Welcome to the club. I’m 31 also, but haven’t started the prereqs yet, planning on starting them next summer.

Currently working full time in a very non-medicine career field and volunteering at the local VA hospital. Which state school are you going to attend?

I’ll be finishing up my pre-reqs at UMASS Boston. As I stated above, I’m having a hard time deciding if I should reduce my work schedule to a part-time employee and double up with o-chem I and Physics II in the fall and take o-chem II and study for the MCAT in the spring. FYI, my mortgage is paid off and I only have to pay a low monthly fee to my condo association and my property tax is under $1200 a year.

My other option is to apply for medical school on June 1, 2014. I could take a semester off in the fall of 2013 to prep for the MCAT, take bio-chem in the spring of 2014, and still work full time.

it is very non medicine flying a passenger jet, but have you thought of trying to get into a long-range medevac company that uses fixed-wings, like University of Michigan’s survival flight? I don’t know how competitive it is, but it would look great on the resume!

I would think doubling up is the better option if you could afford it and maintain good grades. Med school is going to obviously have a heavy course loan and I am of the opinion it is better to show you can do well in classes concurrently, IMHO.

@actowery. Those jobs a) tend to pay horribly b) generally have terrible schedules (26 days or so of 24/7 on call) and c) despite this are tough to get because they are good old boys networks. I originally had thought it sounded like a great gig as well, it’s not, at all.

Well, that’s just it. I know I can get good grades if I do one class at a time while working full-time. I’m not so sure I can pull of A’s if I do two of the hardest science core classes at the same time, volunteer, and work 40-hours a week. Although, I think I could pull off A’s if I worked less. BTW, I’m not one of those superman non-trads from SDN who works two jobs, has three kids, runs a marathon every other weekend, and volunteers at the local soup kitchen every Sunday.

Hahaha, I’m in the same non-superman boat. It takes effort on my part, lots.

I had meant work less and show you can handle the classes together learning two difficult concepts concurrently. Might even be able to get an extra clinical volunteer hour in or two if you work more part time.

Welcome Kinoko!

I too am in my mid thirties and also plan to apply in Summer 2013. Sounds like you’ve got your head on straight. Keep up the good work in your academics and Im sure the Adcoms will appriciate all that you have on your plate (work, school, volunteering, etc…)

Remember this (a hard lesson that cost me 3 W’s on my transcript) Never think that since “the other guy” has a family, six kids, takes 24 cr a semester, and volunteers in cancer research that you have to do this too to be competitive. Do what you can handle and do it well. And then sell it like there’s no tomorrow come interview day.

Learn your material and learn it so well that you can teach it to a 5 grader or some random dude in a bar without going over you’re notes. Find a system of study that manages time effectively and is efficient in learning the essentials. The rest with just fall into place.

I too work full time, nights and know that I can not take more than 8 credits a semester without some compromise in either my grades or what I actually retain. And I’m cool with that (at first I wasn’t but now I am, lol)

Do what you need to do but be sure you’re not burning it at both ends because the last thing you’d want is to kill yourself to be perfect in work, school, and extras only to arrive COM of your choice with no energy, no motivation, lots of loans, and burned out. Not a fun place to be my friend.

Again, welcome! I’m sure I speak for everyone in here in that we’re here to help, guide, and advise in any way possible.

This is a marathon that we are all determined to finish.


It’s funny, I know that a lot of people discourage post-bachelor students from taking their pre-reqs at a community college, but I think its helped me boost my self-esteem when studying the sciences. My chem I professor actually teaches the same course at UMASS Boston and she told me the only difference was the size of the classes. UMASS’s class had about 110 students and my CC’s class had only 16 students! Meanwhile, she’s already written me a kick-ass LOR for medical school which I know I would have trouble getting in a larger lecture class.

Also, I am now confident in my study habits. To do well on the tests in Chem I & II, all I had to do was do about 35% of the study problems in the back of each chapter (that’s about 30-40 questions per chapter). I also learned that I can’t rely on the professor to teach me the material, that’s my job.

You have wonderful grades. Hope for the best and everything turns up to be as you’ve planned.

Hey Kinokoboy, welcome. Good to know there is someone else in Boston here. I just started taking classes this summer so I have more questions than answers.

You mentioned you already work for a pathology lab. What kind of clinical volunteer work will you be doing?

I signed up for Brigham and Women’s Medical Career Exploration Program. It’s 30 hours as a patient access ambassador, 30 hours transport ambassador, and 80 hours in a department. Supposedly it’s for full-time undergraduates, but I called and talked to one of the coordinators there and he said they take post-bachelor students.

Also, even though I work at a lab, I don’t meet any patients and I hear from some folks that doesn’t look good to adcoms.

Mike, where are you doing your pre-reqs?

I am taking a couple classes at Brandeis this summer (psych and sociology since one of the med schools i am interested in requires behavioral sciences) and I will be starting the post bacc program at harvard extension in the fall

Volunteering at BWH sounds good,over how many weeks will you be doing it?

10 months for three hours a week.