Calling all Chicago-area non-traditional pre-meds!

Hi everyone,

I am still reeling (in a good way, of course!) from this year’s OPM conference. Which, lucky for me, was held in my hometown, which is really why I decided to go in the first place.


I just posted a virtual novel on the “OldPremeds 10th Annual Conference was amazing” thread. That post includes my favorite parts of the conference, as well as some of what I learned.

One of the most valuable parts of the conference, though, was the personal connections I made. And some of them, I believe, will last beyond the confines of last weekend. Because we non-trad pre-meds have so much in common, despite our varied stories, histories, and backgrounds, and we need to encourage and support each other on this journey.

Which is why I want to start a support network for non-traditional pre-med students* in the Chicago area.

I don’t know what form this group will take. I don’t know what we will do. I don’t know how often we will meet. I don’t know where we will meet. Maybe it’ll be me and one other person sitting in a coffee shop somewhere. I haven’t thought that far ahead, because this idea just came to me this morning.

I’m unemployed, and have been for more than a year, so I know money is tight for people. Especially students (I’m starting a post-bac program this fall, so I know this well). So don’t worry: no outings to Morton’s Steakhouse. No, I’m thinking either cheap or free. We can both have fun and help each other out without going broke. And for everyone’s safety, we’ll meet in public places.

Anyway, if anyone is interested, feel free to either reply to this post or start a private topic with me. I’d love to meet more of you.

*Of course, medical students, residents, attendings, etc. are also invited! This is meant to be an INCLUSIVE, not an EXCLUSIVE group.

An update: I’ve found a few Chicago-area OPM members who are interested in doing a local group (which has been approved by Richard Levy, by the way), but I’m sure there are more of you out there … please don’t be shy!

I’m absolutely bursting with ideas on how we can share information and help each other out, in ways that are much easier (and perhaps only possible) in face-to-face meetings/situations.

For example, I’d love to set up visits to all of the Chicago-area med schools, then have a discussion afterwards about what we all thought (impressions, pros/cons, etc.). And like at the conference, I hope to invite Chicago-area speakers - and I think I’ve found one already. One of the physicians who works with my mom (who is a hospice nurse) is actually a non-trad MD herself. This hospice doc was originally an RN and went back to med school. I bet her story is pretty interesting. I haven’t talked with her yet, but I’m pretty convincing.

Anyway, if you’re interested, or know someone who might be, give me a shout.

I’m from Chicago too. Count me in!

I am in the western suburbs of Chicago…

Just turned 30, I work full-time as a creative arts director of a very large church in the burbs, graduated in 2002 with a BS in Biology (3.77 gpa) from Missouri State University. I was accepted to med school (DMU) in 2003, but withdrew my admission in order to work with at-risk kids at a church in Indiana. It’s been a great 7-8 years, but I’m ready to get back into med school…that’s where my true passion lies!!

Please let me know what’s coming up in the Chicago area! Thanks for taking the initiative…