Career-changing where GPA is not the problem. (Warning: many questions)

After 7 years in software development, I have decided to switch to medicine. Medicine was always the aim, but 16yo me was ignorant of the US education system and essentially had to learn everything on my own. I am currently 25 and working full-time as a sole provider for my household: me and my wife.

I volunteer with two physicians in a community service capacity each week, who have given me advice on pursuing medicine. I wield two undergrad degrees, where the second regionally “absorbed” the first nationally - transferring in gen-eds, so I could focus on the good stuff for 40+ credits - but have only undergraduate physics 1 for med school prerequisites. So far as GPAs, the first was 3.63, the second was 3.9+. I come from family of nurses on my mom’s side and have some at-home clinical care of relatives and my recently deceased dog.

  • Question 1: Do you think there will be any issues with my degree(s) being considered valid to adcoms?
  • Question 2: Given my lack of access to physicians, and being the sole income stream for my home, how do I start getting more “recognized” clinical exposure? The nursing exposure was a long time ago (i.e. pre-high school)
  • Question 3: How does a letter of rec look from a doctor, if that work is in a non-clinical capacity? If it helps of these physicians is relatively famous in his specialty (i.e. he “wrote the book” literally).
  • Question 4: Does at-home clinical care of a dog count? I’m 100% sure it’s clinical style stuff - cleaning and dressing wounds, medication administration, taking and tracking vitals, fecal analysis, using vet clinic manuals for treatment protocols, etc. - but I’m not applying to vet school…

Most of the schools I’m interested in here in NYC expect solid course completions from a “senior college”. It seems obvious that I would benefit from a PostBacc program, but this is at odds with my current life situation. Few senior colleges in the city offer night classes, and very few in the pre-med sequence.

  • Question 5: If I acquire the credits through community college, am I just wasting my time?
  • Question 6: If I manage to inch through the pre-med sequence one term at a time with night classes, is it correct that I’m not demonstrating that I can handle significant “academic rigor” and “course load”? Would any of this be offset by my heavy undergraduate course load, or has it been too long? (For context, my average UG quarter was 24 credits, the lightest was 19, and heaviest was 28 or 29.) Are there any “mercy points” for being the sole breadwinner or is just “sacrifice all to become a physician, here and now or your app won’t be good enough”?
  • Question 7: Is a structured/formal PostBacc (e.g. Columbia) worth taking out loans for? I am going to become a physician, so I’ll do whatever it takes to make that happen.

Thanks for any and all advice,