Best course of action

Hello everyone! My name is John. I’ve been lurking here for a little while now and I’m now ready to lay out my situation (which I don’t think is that bad) and collect some advice.

Let’s see… I’m 29 years old, married and I have two young kids. I graduated from the University of Vermont in 2001 with a a double major in History and Geography. I took very little in the way of sciences while in college (however, I did take math- Calc I and II.) But I did graduate cum laude with a GPA 3.64 and a few honor societies.

I ended up going to the University of Florida- Levin College of Law to go to law school. I attended the first two weeks of classes before turning to a friend that I had met there and stating, “I hate this.”

I was able to withdraw and get back my tuition ( ) and having nothing else to do, I returned to to my home in Vermont and went back to UVM for graduate studies in Geography. After two semesters of graduate work (In which I maintained a GPA of 3.8) and still not knowing what I wanted to do, I left school to find a full time job.

I have been working for the Social Security Administration since 2003. My job is cushy- but boring. One aspect of my job that I have enjoyed is the interviews that I conduct with people when they apply for disability.

Over the past few years, I have become more and more eager to become a doctor. This stems from a number of different factors. The first is from a long-held conviction that I was destined to do something more than languish in a cubicle. When I was a little child, I told everyone that I was going to be a doctor. I think that dream waned when I got to college and got really into my history/geography studies. While I knew I didn’t want to teach history or geography, I kind of assumed law school would be the answer. When I found law school to be something that I detested- I was left without anything to do that directly related to my major. At that time I began to look at post Bacc programs, but after completing four years of college and somegrad work, I decided that it was time that I get a real job.

The security of a regular paycheck and benefits can be quite comforting. My job itself, while secure, can be very nonfulfilling. Over the past few years I have spoken to my wife regarding my regret that I did not pursue a premedical route while in college. My wife at dinner last week surprised me by tellin me that I ought to look into taking my pre med classes.

Now, I understand that I would need to complete the Pre-requisites for medical school, which as far as I can see are Bio I/II, Chem I/II, Physics I/II, Org. Chem I/II, with probably biochem and possibly one more English class.

My current game plan is to take two classes a semester beginning 01/2009, hold down a forty-hour a week job (though one that has flex time and is somewhat flexible), not neglect my family, squeeze in some volunteer/clinical work, ace my MCATs, get accepted to a school for the fall of 2011 and maintain my sanity. Am I being unrealistic?

I have real estate investments which I can sell so that my family and I would have about $100k in the bank when I end work to begin Med school. My wife would work.



one idea

I went to U of Vermont post bacc program, tried the part time thing and it sucked. I then went full time and got my grades where I wanted them got an earlier acceptance to University of New England Osteopathic College. U of Vermont had a deal with that school where I could take MCATs in April, complete Organic chemistry in May, and start school in July. My advice take 3 classes at a time and don’t work. I am in huge debt but it is all worth it.

I took 1-2 classes per semester while working, but I did scale back to 32 hours per week after a while. Budget cuts allowed my boss and me to do each other a favor there. I volunteered at a hospice for 2-hour shifts a couple of times a month and still had a LITTLE free time. If you schedule things so you’re only taking ONE class while prepping for the MCAT, it is possible. POSSIBLE.

I had a husband, but no kids, and in face during my last semester was working, taking physics, studying for MCAT, and filing my own divorce paperwork. It’s doable, but it’s not a big old party.

I would say take ONE class your first semester to get your feet wet and start adjusting your schedule. If you jump in too fast, you can mess up your grades and this is no time for that.

Going through a divorce all the while? Wow. That must have been rough.

I really can’t give up my job while working on the post Bacc program, but thanks for the advice regarding that.

The volunteer/clinical stuff is what I’m trying to figure out how to go about doing that.

I think at this point I really just need to focus on the present upcoming semester.

I think so, too, but I still recommend starting with one class that first semester. It takes time to adjust your life to fit school. And then you can find a volunteer opportunity with flexible scheduling (many are) and complete any training requirements before school gets too crazy.

Sounds to me like you know what you want and have a plan for it. It’s great that you’ll have that much money saved prior to med school, and it will be possible that you can finish with no outstanding debt. I’m in a similar situation in that I have something of a cushy job that will allow me to start out with some money in the bank when I go back for prereqs. A difference between you and I is that you have a family to be concerned about, whereas I just have myself. That being said, I think it’s outstanding that you spouse is so supportive and pushing you toward what you both know you want to do. The only concern I have from your introductory post concerns your reasons for hating law school. Was it the subject matter itself, volume of work/information, or what? Also, before you embark on this journey, do you have much experience in the health care field? I know I did not, so I started volunteering with some shadowing upcoming to be the final evaluation of whether this is something I really want to do (and turn my life upside-down in the process). In any case, best of luck and I hope to see you around the boards some more!


By the way, love the avatar. The Count was my favorite character when I was little.

I always enjoyed the concept of a vampire on a children’s show.

I stopped by the university today to speak to the post-Bacc adviser. Nice guy, seems like anyone can get into their post-Bacc program. if your GPA is over 3.0. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing.

I think I’ll look into volunteering at a hospice next.

On a side note…

I spoke to the professor in charge of the post-Bacc program, got my application for the university squared away, and it looks like I can start taking classes at UNF effective 01/2009.

From reading other threads I know taking all the pre-reqs at a CC is a no-no.


How about taking one series of the pre-reqs? Like Physics I and II at the CC?

I think you can get away with that. If it gets you started faster, if you have no old/bad grades to make up for, and if it saves you a bunch of money, it’s defensible. Not ideal, but certainly defensible.