Cosmetologist to Dermotoligist?

Hello everyone!

I wanted to introduce myself. I am 28 years old, married, with two children, 4 and 6 years old. I just transferred from a community college with some general ed. credits and a few psych classes under my belt. I am now (as of fall) attending the University of Oregon where I will complete a bachelors degree and all the premed req’s. I understand that it is recommended to have taken all science classes at a 4-year university (it is for my state’s med school, which I have the best chance of getting into), so this is why I didn’t at the cc. I will be starting this year as a sophomore technically, but I will be at the freshman level for pre-med studies. I am seeing this as an advantage now, so that I may be able to squeeze in a minor in spanish or at least some spanish classes. As far as a major goes, I am on the fence between choosing psych or human physiology (which is my school’s pre-health major). I understand that it would be easier to fulfill the med school req’s by choosing the human physiology degree, but would it allow me stand out as an applicant? Or would it be better to be a pysch major? And what about minoring in one or the other? Ahhhh, so many choices!!

A little more about me . . .

I have known since I was a little girl that I wanted to be a physician. In high school, to give myself exposure to the health field I enrolled in a health occupations program that consisted of in-class lectures and hospital hours to allow us to earn a CNA license, which I completed, but did not enjoy, and ultimately left the field completely. I thought my calling was somewhere in the field of art, doing something I could use my creative side. My creative influences came from my dad who is a graphic designer/musician and my mom was a vocalist, now a medical social worker. I also was persuaded by an uncle who is a cardiologist to not pursue medicine, as it does not allow you to ‘have a family’. I did know that I wanted kids someday and I decided to explore other careers that would suit me. I decided to go to cosmetology school. I have been a licensed cosmetologist (hair, nails and skin) for almost 10 years now. Many years into it, after realizing I was not fulfilled as a person, and I don’t believe I had reached my full potential, I decided to go back to school and pursue my dream of becoming a physician.

And now, here I am, 1 1/2 years later. I am very excited to be a part of this group. I definitely have no reservations about being a non-traditional pre-med student, in fact I choose to think of it as a benefit. I am excited to be doing this and I feel like my perspective on life and people is greater, because of age and life experience.

I have a few questions that I am hoping someone out there can help me with. I am looking at the allopathic school in my state (OHSU), as well as the soon-to-be-built osteopathic school (Western Univ.). I know there are many factors that contribute to one’s acceptance into a residency . . . do you think I would stand out as an applicant in a dermatology residency because I have 10 years of hands-on work with skin/hair/nails? I am not saying that I only want to be a dermatologist, in fact family practice, pediatrics and internal medicine interest me as well. And actually, I am really excited to learn about all the different specialties. At this point, I would just be ecstatic to get into medical school!!

Thanks MD2B2010!

I understand exactly what your saying. I hope they will look at my past career as a stepping stone to becoming a dermatologist, if that is the direction I go.

Thank you for your encouraging words! Hope to share more discussions with you in the future!

As my sister Susan would say, “what’s your story, morning glory”

what makes any candidate standout is how the present their story: what is the narrative in a clear, concise, convincing manner that strongly tells why you want what you do. Judy Colwell, former ass’t dean admissions at stanford med school as well as premed adviser and long-time boster of OPM who presents every year at our conferences, says the story should make your eyes dance. How you interweave your motivations and history into your academic achievement and the rest is what sells.

BTW, it certainly sounded liked your eyes were dancing when expressing your excitement