Burning Out

So 1 year ago I decided to go back to school to get my prerequs done. This was 2 years after i got my MSW and had had a nice long break from school. I rocked fall and spring semesters last year with a 4.0 both terms taking my gen biol, gen chem, and calc classes. Over the summer I took O chem 1 and 2 lecture in accelerated courses. This semester I am taking biochem, physics, microbiology, my o chem 1 lab as well as physics and micro labs. I am spending at least 20 hours a week on campus, working as the director of substance abuse treatment for a small agency, and trying to manage a relationship. All in all I am worn out! I want to be a physician more than anything but I feel that my burn out is negatively impacting my academics. I am looking for suggestions or advice on fighting the burn out.


you obviously are academically fit. I do believe that you are trying to go too fast. Slow down a bit or you risk to experience difficulties in your job, personal life and even coursework.

There is no reason to go that fast. Remember that is one thing to get in Med School and it is another to get out, believe me. So you should go at a reasonable pace now while you can. Med School will wear you out, so you want to get in there fresh and ready to hit the ground running.

Take your time…

JRW - I was burned out reading that.

No one will consider you LESS academically fit if you lighten your load, however, they WILL consider you less fit if you get bad grades.


Thanks! The issue is that I’m 32 and I would like to use the military to pay for med school, so if memory serves correct i have to matriculate prior to age 35 or 36 for the scholarship. I don’t have many areas in my life where I can cut but I’m walking the tight rope.

I think you’re right, there is an age cutoff around 35. Typically with the military there is a waiver for anything if they want you bad enough, but definitely don’t count on getting one. I don’t know how the other services work it, but the Air Force has medical recruiting stations scattered around the country. They would be a good place to start, assuming you aren’t active duty right now. Last year the AF granted auto scholarships for GPA 3.6/MCAT 30. Not sure about this year but will hopefully be finding out within a month.

PS. Recruiters can be very persuasive. Take what they say with a grain of salt and make sure you consider everything from multiple angles to make the best decision for you.

Please make sure the military is something you want to do, not just for the money. The time commitment and uncertainty about where you’ll live, whether you’ll get the residency you want or become a general med officer initially, will you deploy, etc will be a burden you’ll have to bear. You’ll also assume the responsibilities of a military officer. With that comes leadership roles, extra paperwork like performance reports, and maintaining discipline among everthing else you’ll be doing as a physician. The military is changing right now, and it’s impossible to know where we’ll be in the next few months let alone in 10 years from now. Not trying to scare you or anyone off. I just don’t want you to do it for the money and end up regretting it.

Thanks for the advice, my uncle worked as a recruiter for the Navy for years so I got the heads up about the lies they tell. I was told to make sure that everything they promise was in writing before signing the contract.

I am the most anti-military on this board and yet I served for ten years in the Navy. The worst physicians were the ones who believed they were a physician first and officer second. That means one thing for a civilian and another for a military member. I’m not against joining however way too many do it for the wrong reasons and spend their time griping about how bad they have it…to men and women struggling to make ends meet. I mean who wants to hear how great your buddies have it “on the outside” and how great it’ll be for you once you get out but all you’re doing all day is sitting in your office studying to impress for your residency interviews…no duty, no collateral duties, no PT…just sit and read…oh and comment how one weekend moonlighting at the local hospital is equivalent to a month’s pay in the military. So IF you must join then do so but complain UP the chain and away from your troops preferably in the confines of your home. A bit of advice: be neutral about liking/disliking the military. Divert the topic to how you can help your techs in their career fields and future plans.

There is plenty of info on the net about the good and bad of the scholarships. I will say that if you are physically fit, ie no medical situations, then you are just as competitive as the next person. The military does not care about age, they need the people. I know of students in their late 40’s without any military service who were granted the scholarship and I know plenty more with 10+ years who weren’t granted the scholarship. IMO it seems it’s more of a timing thing with the scholarship than anything else. If you have strong stats and apply early you stand a better chance but that would mean also applying early to schools and getting accepted early. So the early birds get the scholarships.

There are pros & cons to any decision, just don’t gripe after you’re committed. Read up, decide, and move forward.

Oh…the GMO thing as fas as I know that is a Navy issue. I don’t know of any of the two sister services who still do it. If you go Navy I would recommend getting gungho and apply for FlightMed or DiveMed with my preference being the latter. They help for residency later on and you get to actually do some military training as a physician. If I ever took the scholarship I would go that route…IF…big IF!

As far as your original question this might help out:


Do you have a hobby? Exercise? Friends?

Stay the course. This too shall pass.

If you are interested in going the military route don’t be put off by that 35 age limit cutoff. They do waive it for physicians. They’ve taken doctors who are much, much older than that, but they make you sign a document which states that you understand that your older age may make you ineligible for certain retirement benefits. When you go to them, you should go through an AMEDD specialist recruiter who deals with recruiting health care professionals—not the regular recruiters. You can still get the loan forgiveness deals, etc.

Still, I advise caution with the military. I know people who’ve gone that route. They sometimes tell you things that are not true just to get you to sign those papers, and once you’ve signed there’s no backing out. You’re going to work! And unlike in the civilian world, you won’t have any control over your location and environment. You will be working wherever they send you and under whatever conditions they see fit. Unless you are the type who is comfortable with that type of commitment and lifestyle then you may want to look at other options i.e. the HRSA programs.